My OneNote Wish List

Let me be absolutely clear - I have no inside information about what is planned for Office 12, but after my little moan yesterday I got thinking about what I'd do if I were a OneNote PM.  So here's my own personal wish-list for OneNote v.Next.


  • Full extensibility - A native .NET API
  • Better visualisation of notes - The tabbed page metaphor works for a while but quickly becomes difficult to manage when you take notes in meetings almost every day.  I really hope we can come up with something really innovative here - perhaps making use of the upcoming Avalon presentation layer to help me categorize, group and define relationships between notes and sections.
  • Add links to other notes pages (in the same way that in Word I can add links to document sections).  This could use the CTRL-K command like other Office apps, but perhaps wiki-style linking would be appropriate too?
  • Some usability work on toolbars when working with ink on a Tablet PC.  Personally I find the menu commands and buttons too small and fiddly when working with a pen-input device.  I hope our user experience folks take a hard look at this for Office 12.
  • I want to be able to post my notes up to a server running a web service so that I can sync my notes to other machines and locations.
  • I want OneNote to be able to understand my notes and suggest to me other related pages, notes or even documents based on the stuff I am writing about.


What would you like to see added or changed in the next version of OneNote?

Comments (6)
  1. Dan Pilone says:

    Unless I’m missing something, some way to"hook" writing areas together. For example, I have my usual outline in one area, then I jot some information down "in the margin". I can draw an arrow over to the thing I’m making a margin note about, but if I edit the original text (or resize it, or whatever) the arrow now points to something completely different.

  2. Tables, please give us tables…..

  3. In my ideal OneNote version, we would have:

    1. Better pen customization; more section color choices (i.e. customizable colors, not just the 16 pre-defined ones)

    2. A strict shape-straightener (the Newton had this — draw a squiggly circle and it becomes a perfect circle shape)

    3. Thumbnail views of notes pages as a method of navigation

    4. Save-as JPEG or some other image format

    5. Fixes to finally get rid of the spontaneously-relocating-ink-strokes bugs

    I use OneNote in pen mode almost daily and it’s a great tool. Your wish list plus my wish list later, this will be just perfect.

  4. Aleksandar Petrovic says:

    Mix OneNote with some Wiki concepts, and you will have not only digital replacement for piece of paper, but really powerfull "personal database".

  5. TristanK says:

    On the posting to a web server thing – you can kinda do this with Sharepoint already. If you have a Sharepoint server published and available, it’s do-able.

  6. RedLion says:

    1. To have an agenda, where each note can hang on a day and time. When a note is made it’s displayed by default on the day and time written.

    2. Possibility to store the notes on SQLServer, so I can access them everywhere.

    3. Possibility to add dropdownboxes in the header of all notes where the values come from a webservice e.g. so I can hang a note on a customer stored in a CRM product on SQLServer

    4. Find all notes that hang under an selected value see point 3.

    5. Drop emails within onenote (then they become a note), and onenote notes as emails within outlook

    This way everything is organised!

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