Tip o’ the Week 320 – Give Modern OneNote a chance

clip_image001OneNote is an application that inspires love from some of its devotees, even drawing one to start a  “IHeartOneNote” site (now defunct – maybe love knows some boundaries after all). Still, the OneTastic addin has enough to keep the true disciples busy.

If you really embrace note-taking when having meetings or phone calls, OneNote is an awesome way of collecting your thoughts for future recollection. Sometimes, reading back your notes might seem like jibberish, but at least you wrote something down.

There are basically two versions of OneNote on PC – the full-fat, Office app with all the menus and ribbons and clip_image002toolbars and stuff, and the modern app/Windows Store version which is now a Universal Windows Platform app (store linky), so runs on both PC and Windows 10 Mobile, and is also more usable for tablet-toters. [What will come of those when the sugar tax hits, who knows?]

Most hard-core OneNote users would default to using the Desktop version since, from the outset, the trusted/modern/metro version was considerably less functional. Over time, however, successive updates to the Store variant have improved its feature list, and added elements that have never been applied to the Desktop version, even if the overall look and function of the UWP app is lighter.

So, if you’re a OneNote user stuck in the world of Desktop OneNote, there are a few reasons to give the Modern version a whirl, if you haven’t recently.

  • It’s a rather good application. Now with >15k reviews on the Store, it’s averaging 4.4, which isn’t shabby
  • clip_image004It’s got automatic shape conversion – if you like to doodle on your screen with your stylus/pen/pencil, you’ll be able to get it to turn your vague approximations of geometric shapes into more defined ones. There’s still a bit of a lack of editing capability (like straightening squinty sides), but it’s neater than the alternative.
  • It’s not an either-or decision – you could run both Desktop & Store apps against the same notebooks
  • You can use the Modern app as a target for Sharing in other Windows apps. Remember the Windows 8 “Share” charm? It still lives to a degree in some Windows apps – like the Store. If you want to send your friends a link to a cool Windows app you’ve discovered, clip_image005for example, there’s a Share option within, and OneNote is one of the target apps you can send links to. Quite handy, really.
  • It’s been updated. There are new Mobile versions of Office apps, like PowerPoint, Excel and Word, and OneNote too

To to see if you’re running the latest version, try going into the Mobile/Modern app and click clip_image006the hamburger menu, choose Settings | About, and you should see 17.6769.1776x.0 if you’re running the current release (at time of writing, obvs). If you’re not seeing that release (or later), then try going into the Store app and kicking off the check for updates process.

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