While 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 has 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.
To 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 change 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.
Dashboard 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 able 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.