OneNote 2007 goes Gold!

We're done! As you may have heard, 2007 Office System (including OneNote!) went golden on Friday. We had a great ship party with lots of OneNote purple hair and not just on the OneNote team!

I'd like to thank all of you who participated in the beta program and gave us feedback, whether it be direct bug reports and requests through the beta site, the Connect site, the public newsgroup, this blog or other paths, crash and hang reports, or Customer Experience Improvement Program usage data. It all helped make a better product and is much appreciated.

OneNote 2007 is a milestone for the product since it not only delivers a whole set of new capabilities and features, but expands the scope of what "OneNote" means. With 2003 many people referred to OneNote as (merely) a "note-taking" product (and often mistakenly only for TabletPC). With 2007, OneNote has grown up to be much more than that description. OneNote 2007 is now a lightweight collaboration tool for small groups and teams. Shared notebooks, wiki-like functionality, and the ability to work on shared items online and offline and have even complex changes sync and merge is unparalleled in the software world.

At the same time, the "personal organization" aspect of OneNote has expanded. It's a great tool for people to manage their effort to get things done. With the new links to Outlook such as two-way task sync, notes on contacts, and the ability to send emails into OneNote the integration with Office is very strong. The ability to have multiple notebooks and to use note flags to categorize notes help you organize your projects and notes effectively.

OneNote also makes a great research tool, whether for personal or shared research. You can clip things from the web as HTML or web clippings (images). Images are indexed for searching just like text. When you clip from the web or office document types, a link is retained to the source. Unlike other research tools, you can highlight or annotate research with ink or text or voice to remind yourself or others as to why you chose to keep that information, and order the research in ways that make sense to you, not just "collections".

OneNote helps a lot with running a great, effective meeting too. If others have OneNote, you can use a live shared session to collaborate immediately on a  very rich shared editing surface. You can use OneNote to capture notes of course, and those "notes" can even be a meeting recording in audio and video. Simply using OneNote to build an agenda and then sticking to it as you take notes and using tasks and flags makes the meeting go better.

I covered the list of top new features here when beta 1 launched, including OneNote Mobile for Smartphones and PocketPC. It has links to detailed blog entries on each area. Check it out!

Looking forward, we are thinking really broadly about the future of productivity and how OneNote can help people be more effective. We know that most people who use OneNote use it a lot - they live in it. To us this means that OneNote has hit a chord by matching more closely to the way people work than traditional tools do - so much day to day work is just dealing with information so this makes sense. I think you'll all be pleasantly surprised as we get more clear on the plans for the future.

Finally, on a personal note, after five years almost to the day working on OneNote including the time before it had a team, I have accepted a new position in the company doing some exciting new work. You'll hear more from me later about that, but for now you can be sure I'll continue to stay in touch, writing about OneNote as I hear more stories about people using it. Keep in mind that there are now many people on the OneNote team blogging. Here are some samples you should check out: Dan, DavidOlyaOwen and others.

I want to close by saying that it has been an honour and a privilege to work with the OneNote team over the years. The team is a model of customer engagement at Microsoft (literally!) and I am so proud of the dedication to delighting customers that the team has had from the start.

Go OneNote!

Comments (27)
  1. Erik Paul says:


    It is sad to see you leave us ON users.  You hit it right on when you said we live in ON.  There are ~60 med students at my school that use ON over 12 hours a day, with many days being up to 18.  I don’t know what I would do without this ingenious product!

    About customer support–I have to hand it to your office–there has yet to be a better team of customer interaction that I have dealt with in IT, anywhere.  I have had personal experiences with Dan and Olya.  We even did some remote assistance to look at the bugs.  The rest of your company needs to look at your team and learn from it–I’m so impressed.

    Like I said, it is sad to see you go–I hope ON continues to be the best product in IT since the search engine (actually, I find it to be more productive).

  2. Andy says:

    Thanks for working so closely with me and really listening to all of our feedback! It’s an amazing product, and all of my labmates have heard about it from me. We’ll definitely be ordering some academic copies soon!

  3. Dror Engel says:

    Hi Chris,

    you have a wonderful software which I really like!

    keep on the good work!


  4. In case you haven’t seen on Chris’ blog or on Jensen’s blog Office 2007 is done! We had our ship party

  5. feralboy says:


    As a OneNote fanatic, I tip my hat to you. Congratulations on the new job– you’ll definitely be missed. I read each of your posts and learned a lot about ON from them.  The new team is lucky to have you. Continued success.

  6. Congrats on this! This is a great product and as someone who does a lot of Architectural Design Sessions with customers it is invaluable.

    Thanks again.


  7. Godspeed on the next endeavor, Chris. You will be missed.

  8. Jesse says:

    Congrats on finishing the OneNote software; as I’ve read through users’ posts in here, I have to agree that as a university student, I’ve become completely hooked on using OneNote.  It’s completely solved all problems I had with disorganized Word documents stored in semi-logical folders in My Documents, and beyond that, it’s proven useful in so many ways.  It’s an indispensable tool, whether you have a tablet pc or not.  

    I downloaded the Beta 2 version and it’s amazing; I look forward to purchasing the final product.  

    Good luck in your future projects.  

  9. richard1972 says:

    I’m a development VP at ADP ( and I’m a huge fan, it’s a great product.

    Do you have any idea when we’ll be able to get the RTM bits from MSDN?

  10. I am proud to have been a part of this beta — and I look forward to encouraging others to join the OneNote family. It’s a fantastic tool! Kudos!

  11. Kobus van den Berg says:

    Wherecan I download or buy onenote 2007 for my pc an lt

    my e-mail =

  12. Lee Hopkins says:

    G’day Chris.

    1. Congrats on going Gold

    2. Congrats on the new gig

    3. Congrats on being the only ‘geek’ who’s blog I read and who has done more to inspire me to work with OneNote than anyone else – and ON is now my ‘tool of choice’ for so many things!

    Finally, I posted about not being able to read your blog or any from the ON team on my pda. Can you wander over and have a look and provide a bit of insight, please?



  13. richard 1972: for MSDN, I do not know but obviously pretty soon. Perhaps end of this month?

    Kobus: you can get access to a downloadable 60-day trial of the final bits in a few weeks. You can convert that to the full version on line. If you want a "box" you’ll need to wait until retail launch in Jan.

    Lee: I can read my blog on my smartphone browser (Windows Mobile 5, using iMate SP5m). I have the view set to "one column" since "default" often seems broken for many web sites (and indeed, I cannot see the blog text in default which is probably what you are using). In "one column" view the text is below all the chrome so you need to scroll down a couple of screens.

  14. Hi!

    I’ve downloaded and installed OneNote 2007, and love it! I’m a frequent 2003 user, and 2007 has some really nice new features.

    One of the things I love is the Smartphone integration. How ever, I’ve run into one major problem: how do i rotate the pictures once synced to Outlook? When taking pictures of posters i often tak them in landscape mode, and when i get them into Onenote i want to rotate them correctly..

    Any tips? Am i missing out on something?

  15. richard1972: its on MSDN now

    Jonas: sorry, rotation of pictures is something I was hoping we could do but like many smaller useful things we just ran out of time to do it..

  16. Mikhail says:

    One Note Rocks!!!

    This product is a real thinking outside of the box.

    Great work and keep on going.

  17. RandyS says:

    Slightly OT, but I have a couple of questions about ON2K7:

    — I write stuff on scraps of paper, sticky notes, back of receipts, legal pads, envelopes, anything that is available when I need it, usually while on the phone. Is anyone successfully using a tablet (not TabletPC) for this sort of notetaking? I tried it once, but it was cludgey, since I could not see what I was writing. I just found a product called the DigiMemo which is under $100 and you write on it’s paper pad, and it somehow transcribes it into digital. Looks kinda cool, if it will work with OneNote.

    — I have a WM5 phone, PC at work, two at home and my Tablet PC. I have Outlook 2003 on all and I use RPC over HTTP to allow all of my non-office PCs to be kept up to date with email. My PPC also is live sync to my SBS server. This is the shiznit! No downloading, etc. It just works! I am really Jonesing to have this sort of functionality with my desktop. As a secondary matter, having OneNote synchronized to all of my platforms seamlessly is sorta the Holy Grail. Do I need to have Sharepoint Portal Server to get this sort of functionality? If so, and I save a note on my work PC, will it show up on my home office PC as well as my PPC phone? And can I have a notebook that is private and also a notebook/notebooks that is/are shared with my co-workers?

    Thanks in advance! I sell and support SBS and other technology, so if I can get this to work the way I need it, I will really be able to evangelize this concept.


  18. Ash says:

    Congratulations, Chris.  OneNote 2007 should really rock, I’m looking forward to it.

    I run parallels desktop for mac only to run one program on Windows, that’s OneNote.

    Is there any hope of porting to Mac OS anytime soon?  =)

    Pretty pleeeeeeease?

  19. Gideon says:

    Exactly as Ash said.  I’m absolutely in love with OneNote 2007 and nothing else even gets close – but I also love my Mac for ‘being on the go’ (I use  windows desktop for most my heavy lifting).

    I’d really love to see this working in a Mac environment without the need for parallels.

  20. Randy: I don’t know many people who use a separate tablet rather than a tablet PC for handwritten notes. Since the handwriting recognition engines are not on Windows Xp (non-tablet edition) all you get is an image of your handwriting so it isn’t all that useful. Maybe that will change with Vista which has reco engines in some versions. That said, I know a LOT of people take notes with OneNote while on the phone by typing.  It’s just a Windows-N key combo away and then off you go.

    Sharing notebooks does not require sharepoint. But to do it over the internet without VPNing into your network requires a webDAV-based location to store the notebook, which is probably hosted sharepoint or sharepoint on your extranet(doesn’t have to be, but most WebDAV implementations outside of sharepoint are too limited to support this).

    you can certainly share different notebooks with different people. The access to the notebook is controlled by the access permissions of the place it is stored, so to have different ACLs requires you to put the notebooks in different places with the different ACLs

    OneNote mobile syncs with a PC via ActiveSync (USB or bluetooth), so your scenario would work but you’d have to sync your phone with a PC that had the up to date notes.

    Ash, Gideon: The Macintosh Business Unit makes their own decisions on this sort of thing. For now they have implemented a few OneNote-like features inside of Word (notes view). A full OneNote for the Mac is probably far off for now.

  21. aden says:

    Onenote can record the voice and annotation at the same time, Can it be played back for user to go through the discussion process?  

  22. aden: yes, use the play button on the audio and video toolbar. You have the option of highlighting the various paragraphs that were typed/written as you play back (use the last button on that toolbar called "see playback". Even more cool and useful, to the left of anything you typed if you hover with your mouse you see a play button where you can play back the audio from the point where you typed or wrote that particular note!

  23. ReneeCleary says:

    Thanks for all of your great work with OneNote.  I realize that you’ve moved on but could you forward a request for 2007 calendar templates?  I keep checking the templates section but there’ve been no updates.  I use ON as a daily log and have inserted a monthly view into the first page of each month section.  It would be so wonderful to have this available for all 12 months. Regards.  

  24. Renee: you need to get on Dan’s case about those calendar templates:

  25. We’re done! As you may have heard, 2007 Office System (including OneNote!) went golden on Friday. We had a great ship party with lots of OneNote purple hair and not just on the OneNote team! I’d like to thank all of you who participated in the beta progra

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