Tag Archives: OneNote

Microsoft OneNote, Redux

Okay, I admit it: I’m a program hoarder. Back in the CP/M heyday, I had over a hundred disks with software on them. To be fair, these were only 390Kb disks, but still. In the end, I donated them to my local public library.

But I still look for new, different, and exciting software. The programs I like best are useful, elegant, do the job I need them to do and do it well, and best of all, are free.


Since my previous post about OneNote, I’ve been researching ways to use it. I’m definitely an information junkie, especially when it comes to using a newly-discovered tech tool like OneNote. So I Googled “OneNote tutorials,” and discovered a nifty little add-on called OneTastic. If you use OneNote, or even if you think you might use it someday (and what are you waiting for? It’s free! Stop right now and go get it!), you need OneTastic.

Why? Because it’s free! Duh! Okay, let me be serious for a minute. OneTastic is like putting OneNote on steroids. Seriously. It greatly enhances OneNote to the point where I find myself using it more than I use my beloved Evernote.

Omer Atay is a developer on the OneNote team, and he created OneTastic in his free time. Here’s what the official Microsoft OneNote development team’s blog says about it:

Onetastic [is] an add-in to enhance OneNote functionality with a set of built-in features and an extensible macro processor that allows you to download and modify macros and add new ones yourself.

Here’s a brief list of some of the things OneTastic can do for you:

  • Automate routines tasks with macros.
  • View your OneNote pages in a calendar view.
  • Crop or rotate your images and printouts or select and copy text from them.
  • Customize styles in OneNote just like you can do so in Microsoft Word.
  • Access your favorite pages from a menu or pin shortcuts to them on your desktop.

In short, OneTastic elevates OneNote to a whole new level of usefulness and productivity. And while I stay believe that it will never replace Evernote—at least not for me—the three products—Evernote, OneNote, and OneTastic—together form a complete set of information-gathering, organizing, and managing that can’t be beat.

Besides, I’m so impressed with OneNote and OneTastic that I’ve created an entire Pinterest category for them!

Want more information? Watch the recording of a Webinar held last year by Microsoft.

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Microsoft OneNote

While I’m still not ready to forgive Microsoft for the bug-ridden operating system Windows 10 they have inflicted upon its unsuspecting users downloaded as a free upgrade, still I do have to give them credit for something they did right as part of the upgrade: along with links to MS Office 2013, they installed OneNote 2013.

Why is this work mentioning? Because not only did they fix a lot of bugs in the original version, it’s now free…or at least as free as Microsoft has ever made anything: it’s free to download, free to install, and free to use on all of your devices. Laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, all regardless of the operating system you use. Well, all except for Linux. While Redmond doesn’t mind if you run OneNote on your Android or iOS devices, they still seem to fear any operating system that is free in the truest sense of the word.

But then again, if you’re a Linux/Unix purist, you probably don’t want any of Microsoft’s offerings on your machines anyway.

Wait, Wait—What About Evernote?

“But Robyn,” you ask. “What about Evernote? I thought you were this great Evernote lover, and it was the be-all and end-all of note taking programs?”

Relax! I still swear by Evernote. There are still a lot of things it does better than OneNote. But I have to be fair and honest and admit that OneNote outshines Evernote in some areas.

Notes comparison

Clipped from: http://ergonotes.com/evernote-vs-onenote/

What I like best about OneNote is that when it comes to editing and formatting notes, it outshines Evernote. If you can format a document in MS Word, you can do the same thing in OneNote, using the same tools. In fact, if you have a document in Word that you’d like to add to OneNote, you can cut and paste it with no loss of formatting. Evernote has fewer formatting options, and not all of your formatting will copy over from Word.

Still, for custom filing that’s more like a database, Evernote is the way to go.

Bottom Line

I’m using OneNote more than I ever did before. I use the Web Clipping tool in Evernote more than I use it in OneNote for the simple reason that it’s available in Firefox, my browser of choice. OneNote’s clipping tool is only available in Chrome, Internet Exploder Explorer, or Edge. And I prefer having clipping supported in Firefox.

So my conclusion: I use both Evernote and OneNote, taking advantage of each program’s strongest points. I doubt that either one will completely replace the other.

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