Microsoft Takes Aim at Evernote with Free OneNote for Windows

Microsoft Takes Aim at Evernote with Free OneNote for Windows

Microsoft OneNote 2013 Logo 310x

Microsoft's note-taking/organizational app is now free for all Windows and Mac users.

Microsoft's OneNote application is now available for the low, low cost of zero dollars to all Windows and Mac users.

The Mac version of OneNote can be had via the Mac App Store, while Windows users can head over to OneNote.com to grab the download. OneNote has always been free for Windows Phone and Windows 8 users, but now Windows 7 users can get in on the gratis action, too.

OneNote's shift to free is Microsoft's response to apps like Evernote and Google Keep -- both free -- gaining incredible momentum over the last year or so. If OneNote gains users, it's also reasonable to expect more users for Microsoft Office or, more specifically, cloud-based Office365. I've been using Evernote for quite some time now, and having simple notes and lists in the cloud definitely helps with my information sorting. If you're already a heavy Windows 7 and Windows Phone user, you should check out the app, but entrenched Evernote users will have trouble finding a reason to shift over.

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I knew nobody would care about this. I mean no offense, Mr. Connors. What I mean is that nobody really uses OneNote. I found it by accident after purchasing the student version of MS Office and immediately forgot about it.

I can see why Microsoft made OneNote, which is to say that too many workers rely on Outlook to coordinate important, collaborative tasks, and neither email nor shared calendars are up to the job. There's definitely a gap that's ripe for filling, so to speak, as evidenced by the dozens of collaborative solutions vying for your business.

So now that it's been made free of charge, I give it, say 9 months before Microsoft quietly shutters OneNote entirely.

I use OneNote quite a bit myself.

It syncs up between my Windows Phone, OneDrive and Surface tablet really quickly.

More people having access to the program is nice, I hope other people will find it as useful as I do.

FizzyIzze:
I knew nobody would care about this. I mean no offense, Mr. Connors. What I mean is that nobody really uses OneNote. I found it by accident after purchasing the student version of MS Office and immediately forgot about it.

jackpipsam:
I use OneNote quite a bit myself.

It syncs up between my Windows Phone, OneDrive and Surface tablet really quickly.

More people having access to the program is nice, I hope other people will find it as useful as I do.

Make that 2 people on the escapist that use OneNote. It's great for note-taking and as mentioned syncs nicely between PC and Windows Phone. Microsoft's also been developing it for quite some time and I don't think they're going to scrap it anytime soon. At least I hope they don't, I use it pretty much every day.

jackpipsam:
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Alek The Great:
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My apologies. So OneNote is useful without any sort of interaction with others?

FizzyIzze:

jackpipsam:
snip

Alek The Great:
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My apologies. So OneNote is useful without any sort of interaction with others?

Well, what I use it for primarily needs no interaction with others as I tend to use it for taking notes in lectures, quick personal notes, or things I want to jot down on the fly when in an informal meeting. It's automatically synced with my Microsoft account and I can access it anywhere. The neat thing I like about it is that it's fairly free-form so it's really easy to rearrange text, drawings (you can draw in it), images, or whatever else you want to embed (I think you can do audio as well), plus you've got almost as much freedom over your text as you do in MS Word so it's perfect for most lecture notes. I used to use "Notes" on my iPhone (not sure if that app still comes prepackaged with current iPhones, haven't owned one in a while) in a similar, but a lot more limited capacity before so OneNote has been a great and pretty intuitive replacement.

That's not to say that interaction is not possible in any way. I believe you can share notes and even make ones that others can edit (one default suggestion was planning a camping trip that showed an embedded and annotated map, bullet lists etc.), but I haven't really found a need for that yet. What sort of interaction with others do you generally want for notes? (I just haven't really thought of many use cases before is all.)

Alek The Great:
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Ah, okay thank you. I should have guessed that there would be a high level of interaction between Microsoft devices. We used Windows Phones back at my old job, but that was first gen only.

As for sharing of notes, my best and most ironic example was when I had to interact with a major pc/software manufacturer for a competitive bid asking for collaboration software (this is key). The document we ended up working on grew from about 20 pages to over 250. Everyone on the vendor side kept making minor changes and--can you guess? Everyone was sending me complete copies of the same response document, but only with their changes. So instead of just sending me the pages they edited (or even just notes), they were all sending me their version of the 250-page word document, about 12 different people, every time a correction was made. Of course, the irony was that they were competing to sell collaboration software but weren't using it. I think my Outlook mailbox limit had to be raised a few times.

It was around that point that I started losing my mind, but things kept changing at my job. We switched from SharePoint to SalesForce, to a company intranet, to all sorts of other ideas. The problem was that someone in management kept changing their mind about which solutions to use, and we never gave anything a fair try.

In retrospect, it was wrong of me to criticize OneNote because I don't think it was the solution I thought Microsoft was trying to provide. And as for collaboration software, even though I'm no longer at that job, I'm still looking for some sort of collaborative nirvana.

FizzyIzze:

Alek The Great:
snip

Ah, okay thank you. I should have guessed that there would be a high level of interaction between Microsoft devices. We used Windows Phones back at my old job, but that was first gen only.

As for sharing of notes, my best and most ironic example was when I had to interact with a major pc/software manufacturer for a competitive bid asking for collaboration software (this is key). The document we ended up working on grew from about 20 pages to over 250. Everyone on the vendor side kept making minor changes and--can you guess? Everyone was sending me complete copies of the same response document, but only with their changes. So instead of just sending me the pages they edited (or even just notes), they were all sending me their version of the 250-page word document, about 12 different people, every time a correction was made. Of course, the irony was that they were competing to sell collaboration software but weren't using it. I think my Outlook mailbox limit had to be raised a few times.

It was around that point that I started losing my mind, but things kept changing at my job. We switched from SharePoint to SalesForce, to a company intranet, to all sorts of other ideas. The problem was that someone in management kept changing their mind about which solutions to use, and we never gave anything a fair try.

In retrospect, it was wrong of me to criticize OneNote because I don't think it was the solution I thought Microsoft was trying to provide. And as for collaboration software, even though I'm no longer at that job, I'm still looking for some sort of collaborative nirvana.

No worries. To be honest, you may be right in that it's not too widely used, but I still do find it incredibly useful and it works great between my Windows Phone 8 and my PC.

That story is incredibly ironic though - I've had my share of similar situations too but not quite to that extent - and it reminds me of this comic: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/email (See: "Email != Collaborative Editing Software" part).

As for products to use for what you've described I think something like Google Drive/Docs and SkyDrive (recently renamed to OneDrive) would be best (assuming the contents/data is not very sensitive). I find Google's solution is a bit easier for simple documents and is overall less clunky, but OneDrive offers more formatting options because it's essentially a slightly lighter web version of Word.

I'm not too sure how the sharing is on OneNote, but it may be worth a try (you can share an entire notebook even I believe) - although I imagine you may want to use it for less formal occasions/purposes as it's meant to be pretty freeform and the focus is on being able to move things around.

I use OneNote, very handy to be honest. Also picked up the new "OfficeLens" for WP, making it even more useful now but the reasons are 99% business related.

I use it sometimes as well. It's really the only thing in the Microsoft suite 2010 that does OCR with scanning...And does it well.

As my phone is currently running Symbian 9.2 (Firmware 7.20) I seriously doubt that it can support OneNote. However I do have a couple of iOS devices that are currently using Evernote for note taking. Once Mircrosoft rolls out a free OneNote iOS app then I may give it a try as I use a Windows PC and have it installed on that as part of Office 2013 anyway

dafuq is an Evernote?

Well, I suppose seeing as it is free I could give it a try. I just use Open Office for most of my notes/printing needs though.

 

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