By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2003-10-06 Print this article Print

OneNote OneNote is a notepad and organization application that supports typed and handwritten notes as well as voice recordings. OneNote lets users annotate recordings and insert them into documents, along with related typed or handwritten information.

From within OneNote, users can gather or create information in Office and on the Web. It lets users organize, edit and search different types of data whether it be text, audio or a photocopy of a Web site.

OneNote, which will retail for $199, is not included in any Office 2003 suite. IT managers trying to justify the purchase of OneNote licenses should therefore consider the way their users work.

Companies should consider the type of hardware on which they plan to run the application because OneNotes innovative support for pen input and handwritten notes makes the Tablet PC the most obvious device for the application. Although Microsoft executives stressed that OneNote is not only for Tablet PC users, the applications efficacy for laptop and desktop users is difficult to discern and really a matter of work habits.

Some enterprise users not yet on the Tablet PC bandwagon are also weary of spending extra money for OneNote. For example, eWEEK Corporate Partner Bruce Brorson, associate professor and IT program director at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, said that after testing Office 2003 for seven months, he still has yet to determine how non-Tablet PC users will benefit from the application.

"So far, I havent really determined if laptop and desktop users will be able to get as much out of OneNote as users with Tablet PCs," Brorson said. "We are now evaluating whether or not Tablet PCs are something we should consider acquiring in our next round of leases."

For IT managers who support knowledge workers in the field, eWEEK Labs believes OneNote will be a solid, very useful application that takes full advantage of the capabilities of the Tablet PC. Mobile staff armed with tablets will likely find that the application provides a quick, useful way to write notes on documents and then organize those documents in a manner that is easily searchable.

On the other hand, cubicle dwellers may not find OneNote to be as groundbreaking. While running the application on a desktop, we saw no discernible advantage as we typed in notes for an interview. In fact, it would have been just as easy—and as convenient—to do the same task using Word.

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at

Also in This Feature:Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel