OneNote Integration

By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-11-27 Print this article Print

OneNote Integration

OneNote is on the fringe of what most users are accustomed to in the Office suite, but that may change with Office 2007: In the new suite, OneNote has some useful integration points with Outlook and SharePoint beyond task management.

One of the main areas of improvement is integration with the Outlook calendar, as mentioned earlier. Office OneNote 2007 installs a toolbar item (in Outlook 2003 or 2007) that allowed us to take meeting information from an invitation—such as time, attendees and agenda—and prepopulate a Notebook page with that information. Within OneNote, the information is organized in a form that includes a link back to the calendar item in the Outlook calendar.

OneNote includes two new features that simplify sharing and collaborating on data beyond whats available through Windows SharePoint Services. With this release of OneNote, we could compile a group of pages and share them by creating Notebooks. We could share these Notebooks from a local copy, from a copy stored on a network drive or from an Office SharePoint Server site.

Unlike earlier Office updates, the new suite does break new ground. Read Jim Rapozas column. Sharing a Notebook proved relatively easy in our tests—all we needed to do was designate the share location, either locally or on a server, and OneNote created an e-mail message with links to the shared Notebook to be distributed to other users.

This feature could also be used to synchronize copies of Notebooks on multiple computers. When sharing a local copy, we did need to ensure that we granted appropriate rights to the recipients, a task that required administrative privileges on our test Windows XP desktops. With Office SharePoint Server 2007, we could create a specific OneNote document library to manage these shared folders.

The sharing method isnt exactly seamless. OneNote has a synchronization menu item that users have to use to copy changes across different versions. In addition, OneNote doesnt have a mechanism for arbitration of changes, so the most recent change will overwrite any earlier changes in a document. Problems can occur because OneNote constantly writes to a Notebook when a user edits the Notebooks content. We could mitigate these problems—although not conveniently—by bringing a Notebook offline while we edited it and then synchronizing it once we had finished.

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