OneNote is a terrific note taking application from Microsoft. I use it for a variety of things, including keeping my personal life organized. I use it to maintain my family medical history, purchases, serial numbers, software keys, and more. It is a great application and one that, for some reason, Microsoft does not promote much. They also did not make it available on anything other than Windows and Windows Mobile. To fill in the gaps, I have used Evernote, but my love affair with Evernote is a rocky one at best. With my recent purchase of the iPad, I resigned myself to Evernote once more due to its cloud based sync. Well, that’s changed once again.
The iPad has a surprisingly complete application library already. One of those applications, MobileNoter, was developed as an iPad OneNote client. It can faithfully render all of your OneNote notes. Oh, and it will sync with the native OneNote application on your desktop computer.
There are two ways you can sync: WiFi and Cloud. I downloaded the WiFi version as I will be using the iPad, primarily, at home. The $15 desktop application sits on your Windows computer and is paired with the iPad version. You can then open the desktop client and select the OneNote notebooks you want to sync to your iPad. Once you do that, go to the iPad and tap the sync icon. Syncing is quick and will depend on the number of notes it needs to sync. It about five minutes to sync four notebooks with about six hundred notes total.
Browsing through the notebooks is easy with a drop down listing of all of your notes. Tap an entry and the note appears on the display. All of the normal iPad gestures are there, like pinch and zoom. Unfortunately, you cannot edit the notes but you can create new notes.
You can create and edit Quick Notes which will sync up to your OneNote database. Quick Notes will accept photos as well.
This is the best solution I’ve seen for taking your OneNote notebooks on the go. The inability to edit the existing notes is not as big a limitation as you might think. You can make your changes on a Quick Note and sync them to your desktop. Later, you can merge them on the desktop. A little clunky, but workable. I imagine this makes the sync operation much simpler.
MobileNoter is a terrific solution for taking your OneNote notebooks on the go. There are iPhone and iPad versions available. The iPhone/iPad clients are free, but the desktop sync utility is $15 for the WiFi version and the cloud version is actually a subscription. The subscription is reasonable: $15 for a year or $5 for three months. That gets you a standard subscription which includes 100mb of online storage, free support, free upgrades, unlimited bandwidth and secure data transfer.
The iPhone/iPad clients are available in the App Store and the desktop sync utility is available here.