Back during the development of OneNote 2003 the team had customers send in their paper notes. You can see Chris' from January 2004, Handwriting on the wall:
We started out with an effort to collect handwritten (and typed) notes. We asked about 1000 registered users of Microsoft products (who had agreed to be contacted in advance) to send us a manila envelope full of their notes (whatever that meant to them), in return for $20. We got notes from about 500 people, which we posted on the walls of our hallway (picture to come later). We categorized them into groups. People who use outlines (hardly any, confirming my bias), people who make lists, people who mix drawings and text a lot, people who write paragraphs, people who use no discernable structure, etc. We also had classes of notes like post-its, course notes, and interview notes. And notes from other countries, lawyers, notes from meetings on handouts, etc.
We put these notes on the wall because I wanted them to be easily accessible. If we ever had a discussion about whether "users do this" or "users do that", it should be as easy as walking out into the hallway to check. And we did. Many arguments were settled pretty quickly. The "wall o' notes" was one of the more successful things we did in the OneNote project.
I actually have the box of those notes sitting in my office and as we start planning the next release of OneNote we would like to do the same thing again.
Please send us your notes!
That being said I would encourage you all to upload your notes to the team!
Why: Why do we want your notes? That is a great question and really it is about understanding how you take notes. How do people organize their notes? Do users use note flags? How do you ink? What do your notes look like? Do you use fonts and styles for a lot of items? Do your notes look right after upgrading?
What: We are looking @ getting OneNote 2003 notes as well as OneNote 2007 notes. If you are using OneNote 2003 please create a zip file of your notes that you would like to submit to us. If you are using OneNote 2007 please use a OneNote package (learn how to create one). Please include your email address in the filename so that we can know who you were : ) For example I would upload my notes with this filename: "email@example.com - Class Notes 2005.onepkg".
How: You can upload your notes on this site: https://sftus.one.microsoft.com/choosetransfer.aspx?key=d435d48b-9481-4d14-8665-c39605fb6d9e but you need a password to do so. Since I can't email out the password please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the email button @ the top of this page and request the password. Once I get it from you then I will send you the password and you can upload the file. You can also email me the file directly but email attachments are capped @ ~8megs and this site will support files up to 1.9gigs so it is a better location.
Note: Don't upload private or sensitive data!
We will only be using these notes internally for the product team, but don't send us anything that you aren't comfortable having other people read.
I hope the Star Wars reference isn't lost on people; using the Force to help you want to send your notes. Maybe it has just been a wacky day for me : )
© Lucas Films for all of the images