For the first time in a long time, I had some time away from work and did NOT write an addin for OneNote. For the record, the Gutenberg addin was written on a plane to and in a tent in Korea. The text importer was written on a flight to Orlando and during a poorly planned day in which I wound up working remotely instead of vacationing. I had the chance to go to Sacramento last week and took it.
Instead of creating and addin, I tried to use OneNote as a paper replacement for the trip. I printed my itinerary to OneNote, kept a list of important phone numbers on a separate page and planned my daily activities in OneNote and Outlook. I used my browser to get directions to the different places I had to drive and printed them to OneNote. I installed Streets and Trips on a whim. All this work paid off when the battery in the rental car died: I had my tablet with the emergency phone number and gave them a call. Also, during the two times I took a wrong turn I was able to use Streets and Trips to straighten myself out.
Keeping track of my eticket numbers for the flight also worked, but not as well as I had hoped. While it helped with the self checkin kiosks, I did not want to simply type in my confirmation number. I could not get the laser scanner to read the bar code off the screen, though. And yes, I looked silly trying to get it to work like that.
The point is that I couldn’t quite go on a paperless trip despite my best efforts. In our lingo when we talk about the competitors to OneNote, we use the phrase “Paper sometimes wins.” The best example of that is a developer I with whom I spoke who said he uses OneNote for everything except debugging. He writes on paper at that point. We talked a bit about why he found that easier, and finally decided the nature of the information he writes is very temporary, with a life of only a minute or five while he makes changes and renders the last data meaningless. It’s pretty easy to understand why paper wins in this case. It’s easy, cheap, portable and transitory. No need to archive the data written on it.
Comments, concerns, questions?