OneNote for Mac is for real and it is free

Microsoft not only released a version of OneNote for the Mac OS X, they made it free as well. It is free not only for the Mac, but for all platforms. There is still a business edition that is a paid for product, but all of the rest are completely free.Onenote

I have downloaded and installed the Mac version, but have not yet used it, so I cannot yet compare it, but from what I have seen, it looks and works just like its Windows counterpart.

Finally, our Apple friends can now use what is, perhaps, the greatest piece of productivity software ever to come out of Redmond’s software factory.

Not only did Microsoft make OneNote available for free, they have added features.  An improved API, LENS for Windows Phone (which turns the phone into a scanner), enhanced the OCR ability and released a library of plug ins.

Go here for a list of apps and services that work with OneNote.

With OneDrive, you can now keep all of your Notebooks in sync.  You can even protect your notebooks and all of the various versions (except for the Windows Store version) will be able to access the protected notebook.  Even the web version. Yes, you can even use the web version with YOUR notebooks.

If you are an EverNote user, you can easily migrate your data to OneNote. The easiest way is to save your notes out as HTML and then import them into OneNote. You can also PRINT TO ONENOTE each of your EverNotes, but that could be quite an involved process.  You can also email your notes to your OneNote mail address. (To set this up, goto the site, scroll down about midway and look for ‘Send Mail’. Click the Setup email link. It will show a list of email addresses that you have linked to your Live account. Select the one to use with this feature. From now one, you can send mail  from that account to ‘’ where ‘me’ really is the word ‘me’ and NOT your name. The email will then go into your default notebook and section.)

I am a huge fan of this software and have written several posts about it. Click here to check them out.

OneNote is available for Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone, Android, iOS and, now, Mac OS X. You can download the package for your device here.

Windows 8.1 Preview Released…what’s inside and other news from Build

Microsoft’s developer’s conference, Build, began with the keynote from Steve Ballmer. Ballmer began by talking about hardware, new phones and tablets (there will be an 8 inch form factor, beginning with Acer) but quickly got into Windows 8.1, which was released today in a preview build.

Among the changes, a more functional Start button that includes the ability to shut down the computer-something that was a complete surprise. Also in the build, the boot to desktop-another feature we didn’t think would make it into this build. 

There were tons of goodies either shown or talked about. They include a Windows 8 style Office release for 2014, Outlook for Windows RT that looks really, really nice. A new version of OneNote is also in the works.  XBOX Music is not only gaining a cloud version, but has been completely re written and includes RADIO, a free streaming service.  It, too, looks good. 

win81searchPerhaps the biggest surprise was from Bing. Bing is now the in-built Windows search engine. Not only that, but Microsoft has released a set of tools for developers that gives them very tight integration with Bing.  This, to me, is probably the biggest news yet, from Microsoft.

Another surprise was an announcement from Dell that they will be selling a Windows RT tablet, giving credence to the notion that Microsoft has not abandoned the struggling operating system.

Sprint is, finally, going to be carrying two Windows Phone 8 devices, one from HTC and the other from Samsung.

Two other announcements of note: Windows 8.1 includes built in support for 3D printers and high resolution, retina like, displays. 

If you want to read more in depth reviews, the Verge has a really nice write up and MIcrosoft’s preview site has a video the explains many of the changes. You can also download the preview here. (If you are already running Windows 8, the download is an update to the Store, which is where you actually download the preview.)

I’ll have more on the preview once it is installed on my tablet.

A Qool OneNote competitor or a Qool OneNote companion

qoolWhile I am a huge OneNote fan, I use it everyday, I am always on the lookout for a decent or even a superior competitor. Evernote comes close, even in its sub-par form today.  Windows 8 has ushered in a new set of applications, including a slate of OneNote like applications.

The latest I have seen is called Qool.  Qool is really more of an organizational tool than a note taker like OneNote-it does not have a complete set of editing tools like OneNote-but it has many basic features that make it more than usable AND…it qoolmainhas a tremendous sync tool.

When comparing features, it has most of the core set: embed audio, video and photos; note taking; embed other filetypes; organize your notes and present them in one of many ‘dashboards’. What’s lacking are all of the editing features. I’ve not found any way to bold text, change fonts, or any of the formatting features found in other similar applications.

qool5To create a note, simply double click or tap and a blank note appears. Type your text and then press ENTER.  Viola! Your note is saved.  Like OneNote, there is ‘SAVE’ button, changes are saved on the fly. Right click or swipe up and you reveal context sensitive menus.  The basic menu lets you qool4change the current notes backcolor; Pin to start; Organize; Remove; Clean; Upload a file; record audio or video or take a picture.

Organize gives you several preselected layouts for your notes and files. Clean removes selected items.  Remove removes the selected item. Pin to Start creates a tile on your Start Page that will take you directly to your note.

Other context menus allow you to select your Dashboard layout, change your note color and more.

qool7Dashboard is simply a nicer way to present your dataset. Whereas OneNote is more of a database with various notebooks, QOOL is more of a project management tool. When a note is no longer needed, you clean to remove it (or them, depending on how many you have.)  So, being ablqool8e to present your notes and items in an organized fashion is a huge plus. There are several pre-selected layouts, but you can create your own.

The big feature, though, is the sync. I have the trial version installed on three machines. I could make a change on one of them and the change would show up, almost instantly, on the others. Very nice, indeed.

While OneNote need not quiver in its boots, I see that QOOL not only has some use, but could be a great adjunct to OneNote or even Evernote. I will be using to product, which is currently free, and will be reporting back on how well it works, so stay tuned!

Qool is from 598 Studios and is available in the Windows App Store. Open the store, click the Search charm in the charms bar and search for Qool.


MobileNoter for Android and a way to get your EverNote notes into OneNote with one click

As I have previously stated, I am a huge fan of Microsoft’s
OneNote note taking application.  OneNote is a terrific database whose sole
purpose is the art of taking notes. You can arrange your notes any way you wish
and you can include multimedia in them as well.  Handwriting recognition and
audio notation are included. The application, however, has one major drawback:
It is Windows centric.

Microsoft has released a somewhat limited iPhone client. While

MobileNoter for Android

MobileNoter for Android

it works, it is lacking in many features that make OneNote so great.

Last year, I wrote a mini-review of an application called MobileNoter. MobileNoter was an iPhone/iPad
application that also had a Windows piece that allowed syncing of OneNote
Notebooks with your iDevice.  The application worked very well.

MobileNoter now has two additional components: an Android
client and the awesome Ever2One converter.

First, the Android client works very much like the iDevice counterpart.
I won’t go into a lot of detail here on how it works. Click the link to go to
the product page for screenshots and a video.  Suffice it to say that it is a
tremendous way to get your OneNote Notebooks onto your Android device.

The second companion piece is more exciting for me
since I also use EverNote.  Ever2One is an EverNote to OneNote converter.  Once you
install the software, you give your EverNote credentials and then select your
EverNote notebooks to copy to your OneNote Notebooks.  While it is no speed
demon, it is a great way to your EverNote Notes into your OneNote Notebook. If Evernote to OneNote convertor
you are like me and use EverNote on the go but would like to incorporate them
into your OneNote repository, this is a godsend. My notes came over intact.  No
more manual copy and paste.  If you are moving from EverNote to OneNote, this is
the easiest way to do that.

MobileNoter does have a cost. The Android Standalone client,
which works directly with your OneNote files, is 6.99 and the standard
application is $15.00.  The Cloud Sync version is also $15.00. If you are a
heavy OneNote user, this software is a must.