back to article Spend zero notes to take all notes with OneNote: Microsoft makes app free, builds it for OS X

Microsoft is making its Office OneNote application free for all users, creating a version for Apple's OS X, and opening up key parts of the API so developers can hook it into online cloud services. "Today is a huge step forward for OneNote. We’ve made it easier to use OneNote no matter what platform you’re on, and easier …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tried it - it's shite.


    1. IHateWearingATie


      Use it for work. Love it.

      People are different - who could have guessed?

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: YMMV

        Same here. It is really great. I used to use Evernote, but now I swear by OneNote, especially with a tablet and a wacom digitizer and stylus for inking.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: YMMV

        Use it for work.

        Does work know you're storing company data with an untrusted 3rd party of US origin? Just asking..

        1. BlinkenLights

          Re: YMMV

          "Does work know you're storing company data with an untrusted 3rd party of US origin? Just asking.."

          Classic "concern troll". Well done.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: YMMV

            Classic "concern troll". Well done.

            You may want to read up on corporate compliance requirements with Data Protection. Especially the latest EU decisions make using US resources questionable.

        2. big_D Silver badge

          Re: YMMV

          Stored locally on file server...

          You can store it in the cloud, but with the business oriented version, there are many options, including local drive, file server and SharePoint.

  2. Stu 18

    pro priortary

    Come over here and put all your important stuff in yet another format that will lock you in.

    Which is why we have never let it install at work. I don't trust Microsoft, so I protect my users from them, if that means some ok ideas don't get through then that is a necessary price.

    Is it paranoia, maybe, it has been mostly downhill since XP. Then again, it does support my theory that the world (and by extension programmers at MS) are getting dumber. Perhaps a bit like financial inequality, there is the super rich and the vast horde. Similarly there is the 'smart' (which is not necessarily tied to university degrees) and then there is the vast majority which now spend all their time watching tv and picking sticky things from their own noses.

  3. hplasm Silver badge


    Beware! The clutching continues!!

  4. Eric Olson

    Too late for me...

    Through the home-use program, I picked up Office Pro for $10. While most of my OneNotery has happened at work where it's nice to link meetings in Outlook to the agenda and whatnot, I have found home use for it. Making a checklist is easy and it's pretty decent at helping me collate stuff around the house. Not quite as useful, but still worth the $10 for home use.

    And yes, I will invalidate this post by saying I like the Ribbon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too late for me...

      Exactly what he said, except I paid $15.

  5. SMabille

    Big Fan

    I'm personally a big fan of OneNote, easy to cut and paste web pages, screenshots, etc...

    Perfect as a sophisticated clipboard and available on iPad too.... I prefer it to Evernote.

    Advantageously replace/complement the loose papers on my desk use to quickly take notes.

  6. Eddy Ito Silver badge


    So will I be able to get the notes directly from my phone to my PC directly without going through the cloud? Can I delete a note from my phone even if I'm unable to to sync to the cloud? Why, what is the point since I will get a warning that deleting a note removes it from both the phone and the cloud?

    I'll keep using word as my note taking app on my phone even though I can't see files transferred directly from the PC to the Documents folder until my phone syncs with the cloud. Seriously, the stupid thing gets its directory information through the cloud, WTFIT?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok

      And in the case of Microsoft's OneNote, it ain't just any kind of cloud... it's Microsoft's very own Skydrive (Onedrive). No thanks.

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Ok

      If anyone knows, when I'm at work and transfer an Office file from my work PC to my work phone, a Lumia 620, how do I open said file on the phone without first syncing to the cloud? Don't say, 'just sync to the cloud' because that's shite as I have absolutely no signal in my office building and files I've moved directly via usb to the "Documents" folder on the phone which is really on the phone and not the memory card. Now edit an existing note or create a note in OneNote and try to delete it without syncing. I'd like a tally, down vote this post if you can do either but at least have the human decency to tell me how you did it because it doesn't seem possible on my phone.

  7. chris lively

    I haven't felt the need to try onenote. But that might be because they've done a crap job defining what it is. Someone asked me the other day. I told them it was just another icon they should delete. Seems safer that way.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Apart from the delete comment, I agree. OneNote is an unsung hero. I looked at it for years without having the time or the will to look into it; then I discovered exactly what it could do and there was no looking back.

      It is a very useful app for storing different sorts of information, using handwriting, web clips, typed text, images etc. all mixed in together can be very useful, especially for note taking in meetings.

  8. Glen Turner 666


    OneNote isn't popular with students for its note-taking, it is popular because it lays out bibliographies perfectly. That's a concern for students as bibliographic referencing is their main defence against the claims of plagiarism made by automated essay checkers. The days when you wouldn't reference material well known to a practitioner in the field are well over (Illich's "Deschooling society" had one reference). Lesser academics focus on the presentation aspects of bibliographies rather than their content, so OneNote is highly valued by students for its ability to churn out a variety of formats correct down to minor details of quotes/italics, comma/full stop.

    The major competitor is Zotero. It's a fine product and well worth a look. It works quite differently -- being a extension to a web browser -- but the workflow of simply whacking the Z button every time you read something interesting works well and makes OneNote seem rather clunky.

    1. Eric Olson

      Re: Bibliographies

      I believe you're thinking of EndNote, unless there is a function of OneNote that I'm not aware of. It was the same mistake I made after I picked up Office Pro through HUP. Then my wife started a Master's program last summer, mentioned EndNote, and the repressed memories of my college days bubbled up through the alcohol haze.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Charges for premium features?

    That's equivalent to those 'Freemium' games certain companies unleash on us. Crippled version until you pay for the DLCs.

    1. dogged

      Re: Charges for premium features?

      Not really. The home user is unlikely to want to integrate OneNote with Sharepoint or Lync.

  10. Simon Redding

    Was excited for a moment. Tried it out. It doesn't link up to notebooks on Office365, where I store all my OneNote stuff. Epic fail, Microsoft...

  11. David Lawton

    Again Microsoft is late to the party.

    I use Evernote now because they have a Mac version, Microsoft did not. Too late for me.

  12. Scott Wheeler

    No local storage on Mac version

    You have to use Microsoft's Skydrive on the Mac version - no way avoid your content going on to their servers. I can't use it for this reason. While I prefer OneNote on the PC to Evernote, at least Evernote allows local storage.

    Mac OneNote also missing a significant amount of other stuff which I happen to use - for instance the "Print to OneNote" function has gone. On a PC I'm in the habit of printing large docs to OneNote, putting the image in the background, then writing notes over the top. This won't be used by everyone, but it was important to me.

  13. Financegozu

    Used it in the office ...

    and found it very practical. Now i'm using GrowlyNotes on the Mac

  14. Paul 98

    It's growing on me.

    Best thing I've found so far:

    Copy a screen shot in to OneNote, right click -> "Copy text from image"

    Totally awesome!

  15. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Not for XP

    I use onenote under win7/msoffice for drafting documents. Its sections and pages mean I can gather ideas in scatterbrain mode.

    I then see this article and think, yes this would be nice for my other machines running XP. But no, the MS web site says the free one is for Win 7 or 8 only (or for mac, or "telephones").

  16. Glen Turner 666


    Arrrgh, you right Eric. EndNote was the nightmare I lived through.

  17. RobHib

    OneNote Freebie Requires Online Install--I don't do that!

    This OneNote freebie only downloads a loader!

    Yuh have to be mad to do online installs, and I've not yet been certified.

    Next please....

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