As is probably pretty obvious, I'm a huge, huge fan and advocate of OneNote.
The promise of OneNote is a good one:
I used to have many half-filled notepads in addition to notes in different places on my computer. Now, with OneNote, all of my notes are captured in a single place. Information is easily available to me, which means I can work much faster and be confident that I am making the most informed decisions for my clients.
— Darrin Bishop, Senior Technical Specialist Sounds great, right?
The only problem is that I use OneNote on three different machines on two different networks - my home desktop, my Tablet PC, and my work PC. As a result, I not have the digital equivalent of a bunch of half-filled notebooks. Those of you who do GTD know the virtues of reducing the number of inputs....
I've tried a number of things to help this as I'll discuss below, but the common problem with all of these solutions seems is that everything is file-based. OneNote .ONE files, however, are a single file for the section, so it becomes an all-or-nothing thing.
Because my Tablet PC and desktop are (at times) on the same network, I use Windows XP's Offline Files features to keep everything in sync. (See here for specific stuff with using OneNote and Offline Files). This works pretty well, but I need to remember to synchronize every night and, as mentioned above, I can only make changes in one place at a time.
The work computer complicates things even more. Not only is it on a different network (unlike Microsoft, we can't just put our personal computers on the work network!), but because I use my Tablet throughout the day, I am taking notes in two places at once...
I've discussed my experiences with Sharepoint in the past. As I said, the real problem that the document-centric Sharepoint model doesn't translate well to OneNote. It's not uncommon, especially with Inked notes, for my file sizes to exceed 2MB. That's not conducive for keeping things in sync over WiFi links, especially since there's no real "disconnected" mode.
More recently, I've tried using my USB flash drive as the master notebook. This has obviously worked well, but it's a bit of a pain in the ass to remember to plug it in everywhere.
Hopefully OneNote SP2 will address some of these issues - at the very least, by adding an Exporter API. Maybe this summer I'll take a look at the OneNote binary format and implement something over HTTP(S).
In the meantime, I'll have to be content with the fact that ThreeNote is better than what I had before.
Syndicated from When OneNote becomes ThreeNote
from Loosely Coupled