why do you want OneNote on your Mac?

I've been noticing several requests for us to add OneNote to our Mac product portfolio. I have some questions for those of you who want OneNote. Tell me how you have used OneNote. Where is it especially useful? How would you compare it to the Notebook Layout View in Word:Mac 2004? Be as explicit and detailed as possible!

I should say that, as a non-Windows user, I've never used it myself and have no personal opinion about it. I've heard good things about it from both Windows and Mac users, though, so I'm curious.

Comments (61)

  1. Joshua says:

    I’ve used OneNote on the PC (mostly beta). I haven’t used the Notebook layout view (mainly because I haven’t needed to). I would say that the collaboration (notebook sharing) and the simple way to add any type of note (sound, screenshot, website, clipping, visio, etc) made it really useful. This was done in a research environment. I think the biggest detriment to OneNote is that it is a resource hog.


  2. KenLoe says:

    I was first exposed to OneNote when I started at MSFT 16 months ago. Skipping over the period in which I tried using the tablet features to hand-write (block print) and recognized that I type faster, I’ve really loved OneNote and find it to be the app I use most frequently other than Excel (I’m an accountant) and Outlook.

    I’m struggling to figure why I like it better than Word and have to start with – all of the folders & documents & projects, etc. are "open" in OneNote all of the time. It’s simple to zip back and forth. The ability to create a OneNote doc directly from an Outlook appointment is very handy and I use that multiple times per day.

    I created a template for meeting notes for my staff meetings and it was very simple. The default "new document" in my Staff Meetings directory is to use my template. Putting that directory into a network directory so all of the team could find it was also simple.

    It’s simple and low overhead but integrates seamlessly with Outlook.

    Why do I want it on my Mac? So I can leave my work laptop at work.

  3. M3 Sweatt says:

    Because AFAIK none of the current crop of note taking applications for the Mac (such as Aquamind’s NoteTaker, Circus Pony’s NoteBook) go beyond the personal note / organizer idea.

    I like that you can quickly make a list with NoteTaker, and organize all the points. Real-time voice sync annotation with your notes as you type is very slick in OneNote, and I like the UX with the availability of tabs, the ability to share electronic notebooks with a workgroup, sync between two computers as I do with my PC workstation and TabletPC at the office, send pages via Outlook, search, export Web pages from Internet Explorer and most of all: embed files right on to a OneNote page.

  4. someone says:

    Because it is cool app which rises up productivity in intuitive way.

  5. OneNote, meh.

    now, the Mac BU using the new XML file formats in Office 2008, and figuring out a way to allow folks to embed OmniGraffle diagrams in Office documents? That would rule. Totally Rule.

  6. aelman says:

    I love the integration of OneNote and Outlook — being able to mark something as a "to-do" in OneNote and have it show up in Outlook.  I also like the ability to drag in selected text from a web site and have it show up in OneNote *with* the URL from which the text was grabbed in the first place.

    That said, the main reason I’d like to see OneNote on my Mac is so I can use it for personal stuff as well as work stuff without having to have Parallels running all the time. 🙂

  7. someone – If you could go into more detail about how it improves your productivity and why you find it so intuitive, I’d love to know more.  

    KenLoe – What kind of information are you putting in the OneNote docs that you’re starting from an Outlook appointment?  Is it mostly just meeting notes?  If so, why would you prefer to use OneNote instead of the alternatives?  Off the top of my head, a couple of alternatives are a new note in Entourage (which you can link to your appointment) or a notebook in Word (where you could create a new project in the Entourage Project Centre, and then associate both your staff meetings and the notes to the same project)?  I’m not saying that you’re doing anything wrong, I’m just trying to get a full understanding of why you prefer to work this way. 🙂

  8. Michael Pitt says:

    When WIndows was my desktop OS of choice, I used OneNote intensively.  It is perfect for capturing those kind of things that you might just open notepad for, or create a small word document for, or bookmark etc.  I used it for things like capturing useful snippets of code from the web, keeping addresses or phone numbers or other info that I use on a regular basis (e.g. our company VAT number, our accountants address…).  I didn’t find it to be a resource hog at all – and that was one of the big attractions – you’re on the phone to a customer, you need to jot down what they are saying – a quick click of the OneNote systray icon and you’re off.  I wouldn’t like to have to wait for Mac Word to load up before I could carry on chatting to a customer… 🙂

    OneNote is a great product because everything is just there in one searchable place ,but you can also bring some good organisation to the madness of your everyday notes through the main tabbing and then pages within tabs system.

    I have struggled to find anything like this for my Macs.  I would love OneNote for the Mac – and it would be proper cool if it integrated with ,Mac too!!  

  9. Thomas says:

    I would consider myself to be a fairly adaptable person.  I would think that there is no single program that would allow you to jot down notes in exactly the way you would need it in a particular time/moment.  Probably the reason for this is that people tend to do things differently depending on circumstances given at a particular moment in time, and programs tend to: a) have a fixed way of doing things, or b) have too many ways of doing things that most people don’t know about because we do not read manuals.  Even if you did (read manuals), then you are faced with choosing one “ideal” way o do things and then you are basically back to one way of doing things (I hope I am making sense).  So, in the end, I think I would adapt to a particular programs pros and cons; I could live with word notebooks (which I did not know existed, by the way), as well as One Note.  I have been using OneNote and I am finding that I have to force myself to actually open the notes and do things there, and most of the time I don’t so I am not fully taking advantage of it.

    From what I saw in the notebooks, it looks to be much more structured (fixed) than OneNote, and this may be a good thing (depending on whether this structured way is the way you like… I do).  I will give it a try and comment some more…

  10. I saw this blog post and it caught my eye: why do you want OneNote on your Mac?   I own a Mac and

  11. John says:

    We use it for daily logging of our work at our Biophysics Lab. These notes are kept on the server and shared across several researchers. The ability to post screenshots, *visio* and other objects easily makes this the ideal choice.

    I’ve played with the notebook layout in word 04 but it seems sluggish, doesn’t handle image objects smoothly, and is not compatible with OneNote. Thus there’s no real value for us in it.

  12. six strings says:

    because OneNote is the OneReason I still use Windows — none of the other note apps on Mac come close — Zoho Notebook is looking promising but still OneNote is way out ahead

  13. Michael says:

    I use OneNote on a Tablet PC to teach at a University. My main office computer is a Mac (love the tablet for teaching, but that’s it) and it would be great to be able to open my note files on my Mac, make edits/corrections, print them, etc.

  14. Andy says:

    About 18 months ago I had a macbook forced on me as my work computer.  I quickly grew to love the mac, but the application I regret most leaving behind is OneNote.  I miss being able to document stream-of-conciousness research on technical problems, etc.  I used it to more or less replace Word as a document writer, for the few times I need to write documentation, etc, I found that it was simpler to use and was less of a resource hog than Word.   Also I miss the ability to mark any block of text with flags (specifically, the todo flags) – I would take notes in my deprartmental meetings and be able to flag any bullet point as a todo for myself or someone on my team.

    Right now I am using VoodooPad, which is kind of like a localized Wiki, but would switch back to OneNote for Mac in a heartbeat if it became available.

  15. Wentworth3 says:

    I would LOVE to have OneNote on my mac as a native mac application.  I actually do have it on my Macbook, but use it via bootcamp or parallels.  I am a patent attorney and I use ON all day at work and sync up with my macbook when running in windows mode.  I have told anyone who will listen that I could entirely go mac at home if they would just come out with OneNote for the mac.  Please!!  

  16. Ben says:

    I used OneNote to take notes in high school for one year, and it is far and away the best note taking program on any platform.  There’s nothing on the Mac that has the same organization capabilities, easy formatting and open canvas aspects of OneNote.  Being able to type anywhere on the page is only one of the incredibly useful features that doesn’t exist in Notebook Layout.  Sure, you can use a textbox, but OneNote tried to replicate the feeling of using a notebook while adding advantages only available on the computer and not getting in the user’s way.  

    This is the only program I have ever missed since I switched to Mac.

  17. Jamie Wright says:

    I want a ModBook and One Note on that without Parallels would be freaking amazing.  Even if I didn’t have an active digitizer, it would still be really cool to see One Note on a Mac.  It is the best application to come from Microsoft.

  18. I myself feel that Mac users have a great selection of these note taking and search and organizing applications already. But, since I spend my daytime at an office that’s PC only, I would love to be able to share my notes, clippings, graphics, audio, video, and attached docs and spreadsheets between two totally compatible applications on the two platforms.

    After saying that, I would hope that if MacBU every decided to make OneNote for the Mac, that it would be 100% compatible and interchangable with it’s PC version with an option to share an online database between the two platforms.

  19. Onenote User says:

    Well, let me say I recently opted to get a Windows tablet for two reasons – one, Onenote is not available on Mac, and another Mac is not a tablet. Other than those, I would have gone with a MacBook.

  20. asiriusgeek says:

    I find Word very unfriendly, with OneNote just the opposite, and a terrific place to store all those otherwise miscellaneous items where I will be able to FIND them again easily.  And as someone else wrote, I love that OneNote grabs the link for info pasted from a URL.

  21. ArchiMark says:

    Posted this over at JKOntheRun’s…but wanted to note this here too…

    One reason I’d like to see a Mac version of OneNote besides the fact that it’s a great app, is that I use OneNote every day at work on my TabletPC and would to have the option to use it on my MacBook (and maybe one day on a Mac TPC…).

    Obviously, would want a way to move OneNote file back and forth between Mac and PC….



  22. Mashtim Bakir says:

    I just recently bought a Macbook. It is my first Apple computer. I still use Windows machines in my office.

    Until now, I have been able to use OneNote on my office desktop, home desktop and business/personal laptop. I did so by utilizing Sharepoint. This way, wherever I was using OneNote, I had the latest information possible. I also didn’t have to lug my laptop back and forth to the office. Currently, I use OneNote through Parallels and lug the Macbook daily.

    OneNote is probably the best piece of software Microsoft has ever produced.The value of having ALL my notes, information, etc in one easily searchable place is immeasurable. Its versatility is unmatched. I use it for things that someone else might never think of and vice versa. OneNote is one of the few programs in existence that can truly be all things to everyone.

    The only thing keeping me from replacing all my Windows boxes with Apples is my dependence on OneNote. (Well, that and the fact that Outlook 2007 for Windows is vastly superior to Entourage 2004 as far as Exchange environments go. But that is another issue for another time.However, I must say that if I could make Contact Notes with one click from Entourage, I would grit my teeth and bear it.)

    I never thought I’d ever see the day where there would be a Mac version of OneNote, but if there is, I will purchase it the day it hits the store shelves!

  23. cleser says:

    One Note would be fantastic as a mac application. I attempted to use one-note on a tablet and it failed miserably – most due to the poor interface on the UMPC.

    I transferred the program to my PC and use it to capture meeting notes and sync with Outlook.

    As I am now using my mac with Parallels, a Mac-native version would provide better usability

    sign me up!


  24. Steve says:

    I’m an avid OneNote user on the PC but find myself using OS X about 80% of the time these days.  I still use OneNote in a VM running under Fusion on XP but would absolutely love a native OS X version!

  25. Jim Golden says:

    I use OneNote to keep all my notes from meetings orginized by project then add in clips from the web or email into the collection.

    If MBU is going to have a OneNote product it should be file compatible with the windows version so it can be shared across platform. The more the mac can work with the windows versions the easier it is to expand into the office environment.

  26. skramer49 says:

    I’m using OneNote in Parallels on a MacBook but wish it were OS X native. The reasons have been mentioned above….ability to integrate multiple document types in a single note, organize work, notes and documents in sections and separate notebooks, integrating voice notes with written notes, integration with Outlook (it would be nice if it integrated with iCal so I could synch it with my iPhone, etc.  There is really nothing like it on either Windows nor OS X to compare.

  27. CSmith says:

    Honestly OneNote is one of the best, full featured organizational tools I have seen.  I have been using endnote for years but with 2007 and the ability to sync/network notebooks between my multiple computers it is even more indispensable.  that being said I have to use Parallels on my Mac at the office to retain it’s usefulness which is so so, I would much rather use it in a native manner.  One of the most important features is the syncing of audio recording and note taking.  I was first drawn to OneNote by the tablet bug – but like so many others find that I type so much better that messy handwriting doesn’t really have any advantage.  Now I am using it for the plethora of features.  I am yet another vote for bringing it to the mac platform.  By creating as much parity between the Mac/Windows platform you will strengthen the Microsoft brand and remove the competing from the other office suites (iwork, open office, star office, etc).

  28. Ozone says:

    I used to use a Tablet PC extensively and OneNote was the MOST useful application for digital ink that I found. I am a professor: I teach, do research, serve on multiple committees, and administer several large university programs.

    My workflow consists of organizing my notes, scribblings, etc. into folders. In hindsight, I did not organize my OneNote folders the best I could, but it worked reasonably well. The ability to easily mix handwritten notes, typewritten snippets, scans, etc. was tremendous. Then, I would sync the OneNote file with my other computers, and I would my complete Notebook with me anytime, at any computer. I realized that I really only used the tablet at work, and rarely at home.

    Other Mac products seem reasonable, but it is the Tablet integration that really made OneNote indispensable. If Apple never produces a tablet, I would purchase the latest and greatest Windows tablet, use OneNote, and then sync with my Mac OneNote at home. Interoperability between PC and Mac (as with any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file) would be crucial.

  29. Sarasin says:

    Key Benefits of OneNote over Notebook Layout View.

    1. Write without having to save the file.

    2. A place to throw, paste, save anything.

    3. Ink capability.

    4. Write anywhere without having to conform to line by line structure demanded by Word.

    5. Capture a screenshot quickly by hitting Win + S. You can’t do that with a Word document.

    A long list can go on. The point is that NoteBook Layout View in Word is still a Word document.

    OneNote in Mac would allow users to take advantage of many great capabilities only available in a great one package called OneNote.

    Why is it sorely needed in Mac?

    There are going to be some people that still use Mac.  As far as the notetaking goes, OneNote is the best without contenders.  Why don’t you bring that to the Mac platform so that Mac fans can use and benefit (and pay you $$)?

  30. Sarasin says:

    Key Benefits of OneNote over Notebook Layout View.

    1. Write without having to save the file.

    2. A place to throw, paste, save anything.

    3. Ink capability.

    4. Write anywhere without having to conform to line by line structure demanded by Word.

    5. Capture a screenshot quickly by hitting Win + S. You can’t do that with a Word document.

    A long list can go on. The point is that NoteBook Layout View in Word is still a Word document.

    OneNote in Mac would allow users to take advantage of many great capabilities only available in a great one package called OneNote.

    Why is it sorely needed in Mac?

    There are going to be some people that still use Mac.  As far as the notetaking goes, OneNote is the best without contenders.  Why don’t you bring that to the Mac platform so that Mac fans can use and benefit (and pay you $$)?

  31. Ellis says:

    I was a daily user of OneNote for a long time.  Then, along came Office 2007.  It upgraded my OneNote files.  While I liked OneNote 2007, I hated the rest of the Office suite.  I "upgraded" back to Office 2003.  Unfortunately I could no longer use my OneNote files.  I haven’t touched OneNote since then.  I’ve learned to do things differently now.

    If it comes out for the Mac, I’ll try it.  I’m a bit bitter about Microsoft’s latest product releases which seem to cost me money and offer very little benefit so forgive me for being cautious.

  32. This is interesting. Microsoft’s Mac Unit is hearing from users that they’d like to see OneNote

  33. Joshua Joens says:

    I am a huge OneNote fan it is by far the most used program on my computers after Outlook.  OneNote is one of the greatest programs that Microsoft has made.  If it were to be ported to mac the file format MUST stay the same so I could share files.    I would love to be able to use OneNote without having to boot up windows on my Macs.  Plus I really would like to start pushing OneNote with our Mac laptop sales team.

  34. Dave Van Dyke says:

    I’m switching from Windows (Thinkpad X41 Tablet) to iMac and MacBook this Fall– finally got exasperated with all the hassles with XP and Vista.  I’m a pastor & do lots of research & notetaking for my sermons– OneNote has been the greatest & the main reason I haven’t made the switch before this.  Mac OneNote would be a definite purchase!

  35. Ben Skelton says:

    Our information architects use OneNote for all their note taking and interviews, it would be great to be able read the OneNote files they create and send. In addition the ability to create tasks and have them emailed to different people is wonderful. Amazing program — would love to see it on the Mac.

  36. The lack of a Mac version of OneNote is one of the only things stopping me from switching (back)to Mac. It’s that important to my workflow.

  37. I am a hybrid mac user – running parallels for programs such as visio, outlook and One-Note, and mac applications for occasional word/excel stuff. I’m an information architect and LOVE using One Note to document my copious notes for interviews, requirements sessions, idea generation and status reporting.

    I blogged about it a while back (http://ueblog.habaneros.com/2007/02/13/mac-vs-pc-or-should-i-say-mac-and-pc/). Since then, I’ve been exploring notebook sharing and have an even more profound appreciation of the search (finding an obscure quote from an interviewee in 3 seconds flat is impressive).

    I would use One Note in Mac because it would be faster and easier for me than having to deal with parallels to open the program.

  38. Alan Coughtrey says:

    I’m an avid tablet pc user and OneNote is my daily core application; its less structured approach really makes this knowledge worker more productive.

    When I’m not using my tablet pc my desktop replacement laptop and the machine I use for creative tasks (video editing etc.) is a MacBook Pro.

    I already run OneNote on the MacBook using Parallels and a Windows install.  The notebooks here and on my tablet are synchronized to a server so I always have the information I need and my favourite work environment with me whichever machine I’m carrying.

    A native version of OneNote for Mac would obviously bring this great application to wider audience and, presumably, integrate even more smoothly than it does for me now.

  39. Justin says:

    It is a great program for taking notes. The integration with Office would be a plus.

  40. Gideon says:

    How can you even ask?  It’s the single best piece of software Microsoft ever produced.

    Look.. let’s put aside the Word notebook setup – it is not even CLOSE to the level of functionality OneNote has, so it’s not even fair to compare.  Onenote has wiki functionality, Onenote can post to a blog, Onenote has a billion tags and links and amazing little things built in that makes using it an absolute joy.  It works beautifully with Outlook, making the two together the single best productivity suite in the universe (if you bring Onenote over, getting it to play that well with Entourage would be a must.)  What I’m getting at is it’s not even a comparison.  If Onenote was just about putting notes in, it’d be one thing – but it’s not.  It’s great for collecting, storing, and sorting information.  It’s the best whiteboard you’ll ever have on a computer (and I’ve tried them all!).

    And the Mac?  It doesn’t have anything quite like it.  Curio is close, but it’s kind of like TextEdit compared to Pages (no offense to the guys at Zengobi, it’s an amazing piece of software still.)

    And finally.. with this delay, and iWork 08 being such a nice alternative, I had absolutely no plans to buy Office 08 now.  If Onenote was included?  I’d buy two, instantly.

    The trick here is not to critically wound it in the process.  If you can’t make it 99% like the Windows version (dropping files in, etc) don’t even bother.

  41. Gideon says:


       Here’s a recent link from Lifehacker about productivity between Outlook and Onenote.

    <a href=http://lifehacker.com/software/microsoft-outlook/getting-things-done-with-outlook-and-onenote-2007-293963.php>Getting Things Done With Outlook and Onenote</a>

    I’d also like to echo the sentiment by others…  Onenote/Outlook are the ONLY reasons I miss a Windows PC.  But there are times I seriously, seriously consider going back even though I love my Mac experience so much more in every other capacity.

    Unfortunately, using these programs through Parallels or VMware doesn’t really work.  The beauty of these programs is their level of integration, and when all your life is on your Mac, these options just don’t fly.

  42. Peter Norman says:

    (revised from my comment on Dan Escapa’s blog):

    Spreading OneNote’s reach would be a good thing! Its a great program; discovering it was the second reason (after TabletPC devices themselves; I have a Motion LE1600) that led me back to Windows after 13 years with a Mac on my desk at work. I’m in the middle of the transition so emotionally I’m still very fragile, rationally I’m manic. I keep wondering if this is all part of the characteristic mid-life crisis, only I’m not divorcing, buying a sports car, or dating girls half my age…

    Anyway!  Other than supporting any and all efforts to port OneNote to Mac, I wanted to point out a small thing that defies explanation in my usage of OneNote 2007.  When using the ‘Send to OneNote’ PowerToy in Internet Explorer 7, why does all the text lose its line feeds/carriage returns (not sure which)? Paragraphs run together and make a mess of imported text. The same thing happened in OneNote 2003. Is there a reason this behaviour continues, some technical reason why it cannot be corrected/improved? Is anyone else also experiencing this?

    The Mac is a consumer product that, with time, effort, and money can exist in a business environment, whereas Windows is a business product, first and foremost. Its a fact that Enterprise business influences Microsoft’s OS decisions more than any other factor; Home computer usage influences Apple’s OS decisions more than any other factor.

    The ModBook (from http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ModBook) looks soooo cool. But given my experience with Tiger’s and Panther’s Handwriting Recognition, I wonder if Axiotron added any improvements to make it more robust – in the same way Microsoft added the features collected together in the TIP for Vista and WinXP TabletPC Edition? Some further handrails are necessary.

    Whatever the case may be, its the first step in what I hope turns out to be a successful product roadmap – it has the potential to make so many inroads into previously uncharted territory for the Mac, not the least of which is the Business Enterprise, which OneNote for Mac could also help precipitate.

    Microsoft’s strategy is all about Collaboration, yet effective use of a Mac in a Windows-based office’s ‘collaborative workflow’ is very poor. Until Mac users have Outlook, Groove, and OneNote its way too much trouble. I know, I’ve been trying; using Parallels takes me closer but the overhead is just too much work. By overhead I don’t mean the speed and memory required for the Mac to operate well with both OSes; rather, Mac users coping with two file systems is, itself,  sufficient to make this unworkable for anyone but the most committed Mac user – no one else would put up with all the crap! Also, IT departments are faced with the lack of Mac client backup support on Microsoft’s Servers (eg: Small Business Server). Though the Windows profile participates in the backup schedule just as it would if it weren’t running under virtualization on a Mac, a separate backup solution must be provided for the Mac. There are further workflow problems: text formatting/styling between Word for Windows and Quark for Mac; Tasks synched to Exchange are unsupported in Entourage 2004; Windows-to-Mac image conversion in Powerpoint and Word 2004 for Mac is inconsistent at best; PDF conversion of Word/Powerpoint files doesn’t maintain embedded URLs. On and on; death by a thousnad paper cuts.

    Assimilation is the overarching strategy and I can see no other course unless the business has loads of money to throw at the workflow problems but even if they do, it would only work if the Mac users were sufficiently committed to making the effort themselves to overcome the problems – money isn’t the answer, unfortunately. This means, sadly, that businesses generally won’t buy a Mac over a Windows-based PC for an employee. Anyone unfamiliar with Macs will find it too much trouble in the kind of collaboration scenario I indicated earlier. Its trouble enough getting it to work in a Windows-only environment, for Pete’s sake!

    Cracking the business market is very hard for Apple but if there was feature parity between Mac and Windows versions of Outlook and other Office collaboration applications, things would be much easier.

    For this to happen, given Microsoft’s strategies, small steps will be the only hope we have, like pressing for a Mac port of OneNote. But that won’t be enough – Outlook and Groove will be necessary, the rest of the Office suite would be great.

    However, I’m not going to live long enough to see it (I’m not even 40!). I’m interested in making my job easier, not harder; the older I get, the clearer it becomes that the world I dream about will not come in my lifetime, so assimilation it is! Rather than stand by and wait, I’ve had to step in and use the tools that are available to make my own and my coworker’s jobs easier. But the difference between us is, I get to go home to my Macs! I can catch glimpses of a better world in the midst of all the crap; but what do my coworkers see, if they glimpse anything? If they’ve never used a Mac, then theirs must be grim dreams, indeed! More likely, they don’t think about it at all! Lucky them!

    I’m sorry to have gone off on such a tangent. Yikes. I wish I could buy everyone the extra-strength Tylenol you must be reaching for now!

    OneNote rocks! Macs rock!


  43. Caustic Dave says:

    OneNote is one of the most useful Window’s apps.

    Having it available on my Macs along with the ability to share them between platforms would be of great use to those who use Windows at work, Macs at home, etc.

  44. Bill says:

    Oh come now, OneNote lovers – it’s not bad at all, in many ways quite impressive, but AquaMinds NoteTaker does most if not all of the same things (and can also be shared over the Internet, using NoteShare). Although I love the free-mapping aspects of OneNote (and the new drawing tools), I still find it a fiddly, Microsoft-typical product (like the ghastly Outlook – can’t believe the enthusiasm shown here for Outlook!). There are elegant alternatives out there, people (especially you Mac users – you should be aware of them).

  45. William Hern says:

    Please do port OneNote to the Mac! I use OneNote 2007 today via Parallels Desktop and it beats every Mac-based notes application hands down. To have the same product available, and integrated with, Office for the Mac would be awesome!

  46. MiniMage says:

    I’ve been using Penabled Windows computers since 2004. I stated using OneNote only this year, but before that, it was Agilix’s GoBinder for the same things (mentioned at http://miniaturemage.blogspot.com/2005/01/tabletpc-agilix-gobinder-and-this.html). At work, when we reload or replace users’ PCs, we have to sign checklists that detail the applications and data we back up and restore; our users must sign them, as well. In the interest of using less paper, I do these on my Tablet PC or UMPC. These can be emailed from OneNote to my management, but Macs can’t read them in either of the two formats OneNote uses. As a result, I have had to jump through hoops to email these to my boss. That boss has gone on to other duties, but now I’M looking into buying a MacBook, and I’ll want to have access to my OneNote files. Now, of course a Mac can’t be my main machine, because it hasn’t got a digitizer, but I was thinking it would replace my desktop at work. I will have to be running Parallels to get along at work, but I don’t want to have to run Parallels just to use OneNote. I can’t compare ON to anything currently available on the Mac, because I don’t have much recent experience with Mac apps.

  47. GM says:

    I’m in law school, and half my class uses OneNote.  It’s absolutely amazing for taking notes in class.  I’m using the notebook option on Word 2004, but it just doesn’t compare in terms of functionality and features.  I’ve tried a few different Mac note-taking programs, but they all come up lacking compared to OneNote.  Please make OneNote a part of the Mac Office 2008 suite!

  48. Peter Norman says:

    "Oh come on now" Bill,

    I’ve used NoteTaker for years on my Macs. I settled on it after trying out most (if not all) of the similar products. I’ve revisited most of those products every year to see if they’re worth moving to from NoteTaker. Comparing NoteTaker to OneNote is comparing apples to oranges.

    With respect to OneNote vs. anything available on the Mac, I can’t agree with your claim that "There are elegant alternatives out there, people (especially you Mac users – you should be aware of them)." OneNotes differs from anything available on the Mac in two important ways: 1) OneNote’s Pen-based input: its searchable even if not converted to ink; the background conversion works flawlessly; the Mac’s pen-based input is so far behind Microsoft’s as to be useless by comparison. 2) Collaboration: NoteTaker’s notebook sharing is cool for casual users but OneNote’s multi-user NoteBooks are mature business tools; unfortunately this can, in some cases, require a lot of Microsoft infrastructure (like SharePoint Services) but for more casual users, OneNote’s NoteBook sharing is easily as good or better than NoteTaker’s.

    Its interesting that you refer to the ‘fiddly’ feel of OneNote since I always felt NoteTaker didn’t sit well with my Mac somehow and your term (fiddly) is the best characterization I’ve come across. NoteTaker feels fiddly whereas DevonThink does not. NoteTaker has the feel of a badly ported app – mostly due to its UI, though, as it runs solidly.


  49. Michael Nelson says:

    1.  Great place to store and organize information collected from the web.

    2.  Already used it on the PC.  Now that I’ve switched to a Mac it would be great to have easier access to all of that information.  Parallels is great, but ultimately I would prefer not to rely on it.

    3.  Great for storing and organizing non-web information as well.  The key features to include in a version for Mac (in my opinion) are the multi-folder and multi-notebook structures.

    4.  Fantastic UI.

    Note:  I used OneNote almost daily on my PC even though I did NOT have any way to use pen input.


    (an academic)

  50. Fred says:

    Actually, I already have it – it’s called Circus Ponies NoteBook ( http://www.circusponies.com ).  NoteBook was originally written in 1992, and was what the "innovators" at Microsoft copied when they wrote OneNote.  Not to be outdone, innovators in the MacBU took a stab at copying NoteBook when they rolled the Notebook outline view contraption into MSWord.

  51. Thanks to Gideon for his comment above regarding Zengobi Curio. We first saw OneNote as we were wrapping up Curio version 2 and, as former Windows users, we agree that it’s one of the best apps we’ve seen on Windows. While Curio and OneNote have different primary goals — brainstorming vs. note-taking — we do have a number of Curio customers who have migrated to us from OneNote when they switched to the Mac. Check it out (http://www.zengobi.com/curio/) and please let us know if you have any questions.

  52. Jesse says:

    I’m involved in optical physics research. We use both Mac’s and PC’s in the lab, and we need to be able to organize our data, with various images, text, and data files all together. Notebook and OneNote both work well enough for these purposes. But obviously they are incompatible. So it would be great to have one program that I can use anywhere to organize my work.

  53. thomas says:

    No other software I’ve used is as friendly about just letting you type whereever/however you want, and organize ALL of your notes for various projects one click away.  Creating separate word docs or similar just doesn’t even come close to how cool and useful this is – individual docs on a harddrive become stale and lost in a way that one-note sections don’t, because they are always there for review and updating.  

    I echo the opinion of many here who say OneNote is far and away MS best app.  It’s the only MS app I enthusiastically encourage other developers to check out.  It and MSDEV/VStudio are the only apps I can honestly say just don’t have any competition on other platforms.  

    I want it on my macbook because it’s one of the most useful pieces of software I own (and I own a lot; I develop software for a living.  I got a macbook for some cross-platform scientific-viz work, and having OneNote would rock.

  54. Gonzague says:

    Well I use Onenote on my Windows laptop and I need to have my data on my iMac too 🙂

    It’s obvious that this kind of tools, which is meant for business,  should be available on both platforms

    ..my two cents 😉

  55. Olivier says:

    OneNote is probably the hidden treasure of MS (lack of marketing on it?). Each person that i know who tried OneNote more than one day can’t go back : they all become addicts. Why? A lot of people already explained in comments why we all love OneNote 😉

    And the only reason why people like me stop to use it is because there is no Mac version, and using a virtualization stack to run OneNote can be a little too much for mac users.

    Does the lack of native onenote on Mac is enough to make people stay on Windows? I don’t think so. So why not provide to us, the users and customers, what we request and are ready to pay for? Native OneNote for Mac 😉

  56. Scott Hervieux says:

    I tried Onenote after seeing my manager use a 6 month trial of an academic version, that he acquired,  for a major project we were working on.  Being curious, I did a lot of reading on it and decided to buy it for my PC.After 2 weeks of using it, I was hooked.  I converted all of my PDF files (mostly with bad names, which was making the information hard to find)into nice organized notebooks.  I now have 3 notebooks (about 4 gig each, multiple tabs, multiple sections) with all my notes, books, etc for my ministry/church work and research.

    I have one notebook just on computer programming languages, 2 notebooks on an older platform I support at work (Mumps on OpenVms), one notebook for my Microsoft books and notes, and one for my MAC notes.

    I am hooked on the product.  I never used such an easy tool and it keeps everything straight.  I just wish my employer wasn’t so cheap and would buy it for us.  I need it at work.

    Lately, I am looking to switch to MAC because of iLife and graphical needs for video production at my church.  Truthfully OneNote is the only product by Microsoft that I cannot live without.  Most schools are requiring Macs and I know a lot of College students and artists who use MACS who love OneNote, but do not want the problems of Windows OS.

    Please port OneNote to the MAC and make it compatible so that we can just drop in the .one  files, so we can share files from both Windows and MAC users.

  57. mauro says:

    i have been yearning to swtich to mac because i am sick and tired of the xp interface and vista is absolute garbage….i do love one note 07 though and if it were to be on a mac, i would love my new mac 100% as opposed to like 80% it would just really help as a student and i a mcertain a native one note on the mac paired with the mac ui would be stellar….plus the macs are being targeted towards college students and young people like crazy, why the heck would they not make a note taking program?

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