Friday, October 01, 2004

Note on OneNote

Microsoft Office Online: OneNote 2003 Home Page

So I was reading a copy of the State News during my lunch today and read a quick blurb that a group had been on campus yesterday (did that make it yesterday's news?) giving away free copies of Microsoft OneNote. I'm always interested in better ways of doing things, and the article described the software as being useful for students.

So I went to the MS website for OneNote to check it out, thought it might be a bit useful, and downloaded a 60-day trial to see what I thought of it.

Thus far I've only been fooling around with it a little, but I can see it being a great tool for students like myself. Many times I've wished I could make notes, drawings, images, and reference with web sites or link. Or make a voice note for a record and connect that with a project I was working on. Looks like MS already produced some software that can do all that. I've been fiddling around with it for an hour or two, and I think it would be perfect for use in research and publication of scientific results.

I read it described as a "pre-writing" type of application, allowing for one to put things together and then polish it all up in Word or whatever other Office application one uses. I probably wouldn't be so impressed if I hadn't read a short article in the NY Times about a program where students were given Tablet PCs and used those for taking notes. The students and teachers seemed very positive about the results, and commented that it wasn't more difficult than using old style notes on paper, but made organization much easier. Pull that together with my learning to use the handwriting recognizer on the PocketPC, and I'm starting to realize that the idea of electronic paper is getting closer to reality.

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