OneNote for Blog Prep

I’ve already switched from Word to OneNote to prepare my blog entries. I didn’t like maintaining more than one idea in a Word doc. I get a few ideas going at a time, and I create a page for each one in a section I have dedicated to my blog. When I get a chance to flesh them out, they still have their own pages. When I am ready to post, I move them to Word, let Word’s more aggressive and capable proofing tools check ’em out, add any hyperlinks I need, then paste them in the blog tool. I miss the speller-based AutoCorrect in Word when I type though – Onenote only has the basic list-based one. Clearly this experiment in blogging has been useful already. I am inspired to fix my own pain.

Comments (15)

  1. Tristan says:

    Hi Chris–thanks for sharing all these stories on OneNote. It has to be, by far, one of my favorite apps. I started using it several months ago and mastered a technique for jotting down blog ideas. I have a blog section as well and what I do when I get a blog idea is click the OneNote icon in the notification tray, type my brief note in the scracthpad, then click that "move to" button to move it to my blog section. I love that it remembers where I commonly move things, so after the first time, I just pick the section I want. Now, if I can only get a better system for taking my ideas and converting them into blog entries, I’d actually have a blog that averaged more than one entry every 2 months…

  2. KC Lemson says:

    I started blogging about 5 months ago, and at first I figured I wouldn’t have much to say, so I also started just jotting notes of possible blog topics in OneNote… after a week or two, I had 20 topics, so I decided I would go ahead with it.

    Nowadays, I have a massive list of blog topics organized in onenote, I couldn’t possibly keep track of these in any other application. When I’m ready to write it, I cut it from onenote, paste into Outlook and use the Newsgator plugin to .Text to write up the rest.

  3. I hope more Microsoft Office team members follow your lead. There is a great deal of knowledge bottled up in the team that can be "casually" and informally shared through a blog.

    My Dream is to see : Brian J, Martin W, Chad R all blog on their areas of subject matter.

    Do you know those guys? Maybe you could put in a good word 🙂

  4. Adam Field says:

    OneNote is a million times better than notepad for taking notes in those long telephone conferences or project meetings

  5. Aleksey Maksimov says:

    If only OneNote could be programmable so everyone could post their blogs straight from OneNote

  6. Greg Hughes says:

    Actually, I have seen a number of people post here and there able wishing they could blog from OneNote – so I decided to do it and show it can be done. 🙂

    Software involved was OneNote of course, plus Office 2003 (to allow the Outlook email integration from OneNote), and then dasBlog on the server for the blog software (a .net blog package that h as, among other things, ther ability to accept HTML formatted email as blog content input).

    – greg

  7. Greg, that is very cool! We had hoped that someone would find a way to take advantage of the MTHML output to get a blog going – now you have!

  8. Greg Hughes says:

    Yeah, to be honest, I was surprised how well it worked on the first try. 😉 I did notice that the MHTML output is a bit goofy if you need to edit text that is sanwiched – seems to set up fixed-size layers or something (have not had a chance to dive into it in detail yet).

    OneNote is Cool(TM). I’ve got my company on the RAP program right now, too. We have a large number of our employees using it, and even more asking for it. This is one of those apps that people see for the first time and say, "Hey that’s kinda cool." Then, once they actually start using it, their positions change to something along the lines of, "How did I ever live/work/operate without this?!?!"

    It would be cool to figure out how to truly leverages the MHTML output better in the blog world. Maybe I’ll dive into that tomrrorow between the second and third quarters. 🙂

    And if anyone uses SharePoint 2003 and has OneNote, but you have not yet done shared notebooks – You’re missing something really valuable. But that’s another topic for another day.

    Glad to see you blogging here, Chris – thanks!

  9. We had a real challenge on how to represent our notes in HTML, since OneNote supports a full two dimensional arrangement of objects, and HTML does not do this unless you treat everything like separate layers and use absolute positioning, which gets evil if you try to embed it. People assume that web browsers can do anyting, but in fact they are just a display surface like anything else, with their own limitations.

    Shared notebooks on SharePoint are very cool yes – they’re sort of like a wiki but much richer in some ways and not quite there in other ways. We’ll be exploring that idea further in the future.

  10. Greg Hughes says:

    Ah, speaking of Wikis on Sharepoint, I’m researching solutions in that area right now. I have a very real (and fairly urgent) need right now to be support Wiki capability inside of Sharepoint.

    I am glad I found your blog (via Scott Hanselman’s link) – I think maybe we share some similar ideas. It would be fun some day to chat about it.

  11. Louis Parks says:

    I’ve never written blog entries in OneNote, but I do use it jot down ideas that later can turn into posts/emails to people/letters, etc.

  12. Steven Hatch says:

    Chris — Indeed OneNote is an excellent tool and well suited for blogging. However, I agree with Aleksey in that some form of interface would make it an ideal and versatile blog posting tool. Perhaps you could incorporate <a href="">NewsGator‘s Plug-in architecture</a> to immediately provide support for vast array of blogging tools?

    In addition to blogging however, I think OneNote would make an outstanding Wiki front-end. In fact, I have expanded on this idea on my blog:

  13. says:

    I recently started reading Chris Pratley blog. Chris is the Microsoft OneNote Group Program Manager and it appears he has been publicly blogging for only a weeks. Yet in just a few entries, Chris not only provides unique insight into…

  14. David Hanley says:

    Blogs, combined with a search tool such as Google, offer a wonderful, rich repository of information and are now a vital resource to find solutions to technical issues/problems.

    I am very keen to become involved in this community and share my experiences with my peers. However, I have been put off by the difficulty and duplication of effort involved in creating a Blog. I am an avid user of OneNote and use the tool to record work activity. It seems to me a logical extension to the OneNote feature set to allow the publication of OneNote content direct to a Blog.

    I look forward to seeing this in OneNote 2007.

  15. Shayne says:

    I just started trying out Word and OneNote blogging, but Word won’t publish any of the ink I write. If I import it from OneNote as a drawing it publishes correctly (albeit in very low quality), but if I ink "annotate"  some words/phrases directly in Word, it says it publishes it, but no pictures show up in my blog. Any suggestions?