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OneNote and Stupid People

Yes, OneNote, the excellent notetaking program part of Microsoft Office, does indeed increase your IQ:


This from Office Online, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite online comics.

October 24th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Office, Humor, Applications | no comments

Xobni: Turn Outlook Into A Social Network


Xobni is one of the cool startups to come out of the TechCrunch 40 conference, and after installing their software, I’ve come off pretty impressed. Xobni produces a free Outlook add-in (Xobni is inbox backwards) that appears as a sidebar while reading emails in Outlook.

The sidebar analyzes all your previous conversations with that contact, pulling out that person’s phone number from email signatures (if you don’t already have it) and linking the number to Skype so you can call that person. It also builds a list of people connected to that person (based on CCs and forwards), previous emails you’ve gotten from that person, and a list of files you’ve received from that person, as well as tracking who your most popular contacts are, what time they tend to email you, and how much you’ve been emailing back and forth lately.

All in all, there’s a lot of power here, and a lot of smart touches (like the fact that when you click on a past email, it opens in the sidebar, not taking you away from your current email). I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to see a list of your most popular contacts (currently, it just shows you a number when you click on an email, and I’ve only found my #7).

You can get a list of people you haven’t talked to into a while and it thinks you should get back in touch with. There’s a seperate analytics area it opens up that shows you how long it takes you to respond to emails (I’m up to 18 hours!), summaries, mail traffic, stats on your unique contacts over a period of time and other things.

There’s a lot of good stuff in there, and if you’re always looking for ways to improve Outlook, or you’re just bad at keeping track of your social relationships, be smart and go check it out.

Xobni runs on Outlook 2003 or 2007, and requires a beta invite code, which you can sign up for here.

Here’s a YouTube video of Xobni:

I’m also playing around with TechCrunch 40 winner Mint, a finances tracking site. I recommmend it as well.

September 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Applications | 2 comments

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OneNote Web Exporter PowerToy


If you love OneNote, Microsoft Office’s amazingly innovative note-taking app, you’ll love this web exporter PowerToy. It lets you, with a single click, export a notebook as a folder of webpages, complete with the same tabs and formatting you get in OneNote itself. This allows you to share your notebook with anyone, even if they don’t have OneNote, or use OneNote to create some amazing tabbed documentation that you publish to the web.
(via Daniel Escapa)

July 9th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Applications, General | no comments

OneNote Search and Replace PowerToy

Daniel Escapa released a new PowerToy for OneNote that adds a great search and replace feature. The PowerToy adds a new button to your toolbar, and when clicking it you get this dialog:


Not only do you use it to find all occurences of a word or phrase and replace them with something else, but you get a preview window that lets you see what the changes will be before you commit to them. I’ve never seen that sort of thing anywhere, and it’s a great idea.

June 28th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Applications, General | no comments

OneNote Success Stories

It’s no secret I love OneNote, the most innovative application added to Microsoft Office in many years, and don’t hesitate to show off how great it is. Don’t believe me? Daniel Escapa has a bunch of links to people who have said some great things recently praising OneNote.

Some examples:

I’ve used OneNote since Friday and already I’m addicted. Everything I want is right here in this one, handy dandy little program.

This leads me onto my now-favourite-application


this app is stunning, it blew myself and colleagues away with hand writing search and recognition. I could write/scribble something on the screen, and my friend could scribble it in and OneNote would find it.

But the fancy content is not the killer feature (although they are sufficiently rich and easy to use that I don’t secretly pine for wiki markup like I used to). What’s killer are the sharing capabilities; specifically in three areas:

  1. Between computers: I take my laptop to meetings, but it’s obviously much more comfortable typing on my desktop (where I have a lot more screen real estate not to mention an ultra-comfy keyboard). So I keep copies of OneNote open on my desktop and laptop, set my notebook to be shared between computers, and it automatically keeps in sync between the two in near-real-time.
  2. Between colleagues: instead of a wiki page, we can share a notebook that’s stored on a SharePoint site. We can work on the notebook offline, and when we’re online it periodically syncs to the server, marking who made what changes as we go.
  3. Live sharing: in a meeting, if we want to collaborate on note-taking, one of us just has to mark their notebook for live sharing, then sends each of us (e.g. via IM or e-mail) their IP and some password they make up. We connect to their machine and voila! real-time collaborative editing of the full-featured notebook!

I’m sure there are other tools out there that do similar things like note-taking (Google Notebook), or realtime collaborative editing (SubEthaEdit), but I was impressed that one cohesive package Just Worked.

Microsoft One’fuckin’Note is the future!

I want to start a family with my new love: Microsoft OneNote 2007

Tell me how cool this piece of software is!

There are plenty more of these. People who use OneNote extensively tend to love it, so why don’t you?

June 13th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Applications, General | one comment

Microsoft Doesn’t Card; Office “Student” Goes To Businessmen

Joe Wilcox has an article with a surprising fact: Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition made up 80% of all office suite sales over the last year. Apparently, not only is the Student edition really cheap (sold at a “special offer” price of $150, an offer that has not been rescinded for over 5 years), but it can be installed on up to three computers, making it very attractive to all sorts of people, including business users.

“They don’t card at the door,” said Chris Swenson, NPD’s director of software analysis.

Microsoft’s no-buyer-check policy, coupled with aggressive pricing and rebates, makes Student and Teacher Edition the defacto retail productivity suite standard. During the 2006 back-to-school season, rebates put the software’s price around $100, or about $250 to $300 less than Office Standard.

This generation around, what used to be Office Student is the new Office Standard (with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook), while Office Home and Student 2007 drops Outlook for OneNote, making it less attractive to business users. Because Microsoft does not offer a package that has both Outlook and OneNote (besides the $540 Ultimate Suite), users like myself, who consider both essential software, will have to weigh the cost of losing OneNote versus that of paying extra for Outlook. The odd pricing scheme means these are the two ways to get both by buying a suite:

  • Office Home and Student ($150) + Outlook ($110) = Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote for $260, OR
  • Office Standard ($240 upgrade) + OneNote ($100) = Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote for $340
  • Individually: Word ($110) + Excel ($110) + PowerPoint ($110) + Outlook ($110) + OneNote ($100) = $540

I’ve long argued this is a weird hole in the Office Suite lineup, that there is no SKU that contains Outlook and OneNote at a decent enough price. The best bet might be to hope for a rebate on Home and Student and maybe a slight savings on Outlook to bring the cost of the first package down to $200. I wish Microsoft would let you “Build Your Own Office Suite”, because I would swap PowerPoint out of Home and Student for Outlook in a second.

Anyway, the main point of Joe’s article is that Student and Teacher is taking all the customers away from the other suites, and its low price can’t be helping Microsoft’s bottom line. However, it could be argued that Student and Teacher (and now Home and Student) are targeting the “piracy market”, making money by getting people to plunk down some cash for software they might otherwise steal. Still, for the legit customers, there might still not be enough options.

I would almost argue that the best solution is to pay for Home and Student, and pirate Outlook. Hey, it could work…

January 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Outlook, OneNote, Word, Office, Applications, General | no comments

OneNote Upgrade Coming

The OneNote Extensibility blog has a bit of good news for OneNote 2003 users: There will be an upgrade version of OneNote 2007, complete with upgrade pricing. Give that OneNote 2003 retails for $100, expect an upgrade to 2007 to be cheaper (I’m hoping for $59). There is some bad news: The upgrade won’t be available when Office 2007 ships in a few weeks. You’ll have to wait a little longer for it to show up, and hopefully that will be before Office 2007 Beta 2TR expires on March 31, 2007.

December 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Applications, General | no comments

OneNote and Outlook 2007 Are In Love

Chris Pratley, founder of the OneNote team, writes about all the different and wonderful ways the 2007 versions of OneNote and Outlook work together. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, including sending emails, meetings and contacts to OneNote, and taking notes on those items.

Those notes and Outlook items are always linked to each other, even if you move them around or rename them. You can schedule a meeting in Outlook, then, when in that meeting, click a button to start taking notes in OneNote, and then later, browse through your calendar and click to see the OneNote notes for those events.

You can also share Tasks between OneNote and Outlook, with two-way sync between them. You can email notes from OneNote (you can even email them with any MAPI mail program, not just Outlook). Notes can be sent as PDF files. There’s plenty of cool stuff in there, so be sure to read it if you love OneNote as much as I do.

May 24th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Outlook, Office, Applications, General | one comment

Multi-Post 3, featuring Xbox Live Terabytes, Windows Live WiFi, Blogging From Word, Music Videos In URGE and Media Player Search Tips

Here’s an attempt to get out a lot of news stories at once, rather than have them fester in open tabs for the rest of my life:

Over the week of E3, Xbox Live delivered over 600 terabytes of downloads, a total of 5 million (over 20% of the all-time Live downloads). The biggest download, of course, was the Halo 3 trailer, but, surprisingly, the number 10 download wasn’t free, but a purchase of the new Uno game (a good sign).
(via Digg)

LiveSide talks up Windows Live WiFi, which helps you manage your wifi connection and find hotspots on a map. It also has the Live Safety Center, to protect you when using WiFi.

Lots of people have been talking up Microsoft Word 2007’s blogging feature, which lets you write a blog post in Word, with all the advantages of the Word interface, and Word posts it to your blog using the metaweblog and ATOM APIs. Joe Friend introduced the feature, and here are the rest of my links:

Eric’o'theque / Alex Barnett / Don Campbell / Dare Obasanjo / Kirk Allen Evans /

The feature supposedly creates really clean HTML for your benefit, unlike previous versions of Word. Chris Pratley reveals that the feature is also present in OneNote 2007.

Did you know that MTV’s URGE service has some 700kbps streaming music videos? Sean Alexander says, “look for the little film icon to the left of songs to see if a video is available”. I can’t tell yet, but I assume you can’t buy them or sync them to a portable device. Will try later.

I didn’t really get into Windows Media Player’s search function in my review, and I probably should have. Suffice to say, it has instant search as you type, and it works extremely well. Jake Ludington goes over the advanced search operators you can use.
(via Digg)

May 18th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Word, Live, Xbox Live, OneNote, Office, Xbox, Applications, Media Player, Windows, General | no comments

Catching Up: Closing Up

I’m nowhere near caught up in Bloglines, but, thankfully, this will be my final tab-dump…

Microsoft last week launched 10, a technology enthusiast site. Basically, what Channel 9 is for those who create technology, 10 is for those who want to use it. It certainly is friendlier (especially for consumers) than 9 is. It even uses MP4 in some places more than regular Windows formats, which is kind of a pissoff since Quicktime formats are far more proprietary and less useful, and require the install of extra, crippled software that tries to load on startup.
(via Steve Rubel)

There’s a very strong rumor making the rounds that Microsoft has retasked the excellent team behind designing and marketing the Xbox 360 to making a handheld device. It would be a PSP-like device, designed for gaming, music and video, competing with the PSP, DS and iPod.

J Allard, Greg Gibson and Bryan Lee are said to be heading different aspects of the project, and all were instrumental in the 360s (arguable to a level, but undeniable) success. Their roles on Xbox were heading the hardware and software teams, system designer, and finance chief, respectively. Microsoft has considered making a handheld in the past, but shelved the project on more than one occassion.

The article also mentions Alexandria, which would be Microsoft’s new music service to compete with iTunes. We’ve seen some idea of Alexandria running on the UMPC in recent weeks.

While the system would reportedly be targeted to take ports from the original Xbox, I think a huge part of the strategy is the XNA framework announced yesterday. The Xbox 360 has made a lot of money from smaller, but addictive, games like Geometry Wars, arguably the only true hits on the console, while the PC has thousands of smaller games made by smaller developers. If Microsoft lets developers use XNA to port .NET games to the XPlayer (or XBoy, or whatever), then it could have thousands of downloadable games, some free, some $5-10. And that option looks a lot better than the lack of useful PSP content.

There’s a video of OneNote 2007 in action by Darren Strange. They’ve added multiple notebooks, but I worry the interface is starting to bloat. You’ve got notebooks on the left side, tabbed sections on the top, and page tabs on the right side. A good feature, though, is you can drop a notebook on a server and share it with a whole bunch of people, a great way to collaborate.

For integration, in Outlook you can click a button to take notes in OneNote linked to that specific calendar item. You also get that option in emails and contacts, which links the information in the email or contact to OneNote, lets you take notes in OneNote while showing data from Outlook, and Outlook knows about and can get to that information.

In IE, you can click a button to send to OneNote. In a shared notebook, you could drop webpages in, write notes on it, and your collaborators would be able to see it. There’s a new system printer called Microsoft OneNote Import, that means that anything you can print, you can send to OneNote (very smart).

You can very easily create hyperlinks to other notebooks, or just hit the tab key to instantly create a table. There’s a built-in calculator that you can activate simply by hitting enter, so if you type in an equation anywhere, OneNote will print the answer in your notes. OneNote also has OCR, so if you drop in a screenshot, it can find words in the image.

You may not be aware, but Microsoft has a lot of Express editions of its developer software, perfect for small coders to do some serious work. You can get lighter versions of Visual Studio, SQL Server 2005, Visual Web Developer 2005, Visual Basic 2005, Visual C# 2005, Visual C++ 2005 and Visual J# 2005.
(via Digg)

Microsoft outlined at Mix its developer strategy for Windows Live, unveiling an MSDN site for Live and positioning it as a serious platform that can be built upon. From Mary Jo Foley:

Microsoft is still thinking through the business models and licensing models that will be permitted in the Windows Live world, Arbogast said. But the company has decided that a few key principles will prevail.

Users must be in control of their own data at all times, Arbogast said. Windows Live services should be designed to support any platform, browser, language or device, and Windows Live services should make use of simple, standards-adherent HTTP-based application programming interfaces, he added.

Dean Hachamovitch has the IE7 t-shirt with a cool logo you’ll likely never see… unless someone gets it on CafePress soon enough.

The Windows RSS platform, in its final stage, will ship without secure feed support. Are you freakin’ kidding me? Bonehead move! Undo, undo!
(via Findory)

Finally, Miel sent me a link to a funny video of Steve Jobs keynote bloopers over the years. Hilarious. Where’s the Microsoft equivelant video?

13 tabs open, 1431 Bloglines items to go…

March 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Outlook, OneNote, Developers, Xbox 360, Xbox, Applications, Blogs, Internet Explorer, General | no comments

Microsoft Office OneNote Live

Taking the ball from TDavid, I’ve posted on InsideGoogle my vision of an online version of OneNote, a program I already love in its offline version. I didn’t want any MS watchers to miss this, so I’m cross-posting:

    Yes, OneNote, the most innovative document editor program I’ve ever used, lets you do real-time collaborative document sharing and editing. Right now, it requires all participants to have copies of OneNote, but…

    Microsoft has a lot of powerful web-based editing tools in Office Live. Some of the components used in there are incredible and clearly took a lot of work. Why not set a small team loose to create OneNote Live? All they’d have to is take the text editing tools from Office Live and create a hosted place for sharing and creating documents online. It would link up with the OneNote desktop client, so owners of it would have their documents whereever they went and could edit offline, but could collaborate as well with anyone they needed to.

    Imagine this scenario: At the beginning of a college semester, the teacher says, “Our shared workspace is located at″. Everyone in the class would be given login credentials to this shared workspace. During class, if you have a laptop and wifi, you could write your class notes directly into a shared document, and anyone else could do the same, creating very comprehensive notes, wiki-style. In another document, the teacher would post the class assignments, and answer questions about them. In yet another section, students would post their homework (obviously, kept private from the other students).

    How much easier would this make college life? You’d have a one-stop shop where students could get so much more work done, keep up on changes in the class, post their work and set up meetings with other students. And it would be a great reason to buy the OneNote client, since with it, you’d be able to use all of this offline, and integrate it into the other Microsoft Office clients.

Hey, Scoble! Give me three talented coders and I guarantee I could have this up and running by June. So why not beg the Office Live team to get on it?

March 10th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Live, Office, Applications, General | 2 comments

So, What Can’t I Live Without?

Another post written in the past: Last week, I had to reformat my Dell laptop, since the crappy hard drive died on me. So, what programs absolutely had to be installed on the fresh system?

  • Microsoft Office 2003 and OneNote 2003
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Opera (browser of choice)
  • Microsoft AntiSpyware
  • Windows OneCare Live
  • Nero suite (for burning and recoding disks)
  • SmartFTP
  • DVD Decrypter (for “backups”)
  • ISOBuster
  • AIM Triton
  • Windows Live Messenger Beta
  • Google Talk
  • uTorrent
  • Handset Manager (for my cell phone)
  • Microsoft Calculator Plus
  • Baseball Mogul 2006
  • Football Mogul 2006
  • The Movies
  • Quicktime 7 Pro (so I can save movies and watch them offline and full-screen later)
  • Portable Media Center drivers
  • Yahoo Music Engine (for my DRM music)
  • Sound Blaster Live 24-bit External drivers
  • Semagic (which I discovered can recreate copy and pasted HTML code better than anything else)
  • WinRAR
  • GetDataBack for NTFS (since hard drives always fail)
  • Mount VD
  • Plaxo
  • I8kfanGUI (allows me to control the poorly-set Dell laptop fans)

Stuff I’ll probably eventually reinstall:

  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer 7 beta 1
  • WindowsBlinds
  • Cursor XP
  • WinAMP
  • Windows Media Bonus Pack
  • Sphere XP
  • An outdated, but less-bloated version of RealPlayer
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Office 12 beta

God, I hope I didn’t forget anything. What should I have, that I don’t use?

January 9th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Messenger, Office, Firefox, Live, OneNote, AntiSpyware, Internet Explorer, Applications, Security, Windows, Yahoo, General | 7 comments

Microsoft Releases Office 2003 Service Packs

Microsoft has put out Service Pack 2 for Office 2003, OneNote 2003, and Visio 2003.

The Office 2003 SP2 contains security fixes, a phishing filter for Outlook 2003, improved Tablet ink recognition, updates for regional features, and Smart Tag restrictions.

Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains significant security enhancements, stability improvements, and performance improvements. Some of the fixes that are included with OneNote 2003 SP2 were previously released in separate updates. OneNote 2003 SP2 combines the previously released fixes into one update.

Visio 2003 SP2 has a security update, and an update for the French spell checker.
(via Neowin)

- You know what I like about Neowin? Even though they use Feedburner, they have a link to the post at the end of the article, so you can right-click on it and link to it. No more linking to the Feedburner feed. More feeds should do that.

UPDATE: Bink notes several other SP2s:

Project 2003 SP2
Windows Sharepoint Services SP2
Office 2003 Service Pack 2 for Proofing Tools
Outlook Live 2003 Service Pack 2
Outlook 2003 Junk E-Mail Filter update: September 2005

September 28th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Outlook, OneNote, Office, Security, Applications, General | no comments

Easy Screen Clipping With OneNote

Simon Guest notes that OneNote has a quick and simple screen clipping function.

With the OneNote Quick Launch running in the background, simply hit {Windows Key} and S. Select the screen region you want and click to paste into OneNote.

The shot comes complete with the window title and date. I was wondering what the Quick Launch utility did, now I have a good reason to use it.

July 14th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Office, General | no comments

Develop For OneNote, Win A Tablet

Microsoft wants you to make some cool PowerToys for OneNote. As encouragement, the 5 best ones gets its author a Tablet PC. Now, if you haven’t been following along: OneNote is cool. Tablets are cool. Oh, and if your programming skills suck, you can still enter to win one in a random drawing. Whay are you waiting for? Check it out.
(via Weblogs)

May 22nd, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Tablet PC, Office, Applications, General | no comments

Check Out OneNote

Microsoft’s got a nifty new website to promote OneNote, their excellent note-taking application: Besides watching the great animated opening sequence, you can download a 60-day trial (which will certainly convince you to purchase it) and get a chance to win one of 5000 free copies. Good deal, even better software. I love using OneNote, and it has to be test-driven to be believed.
(via Weblogs)

May 8th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Office, Applications, General | 2 comments

Microsoft Readying Educational Bundle

Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft is releasing a beta this week of Microsoft Student 2006, an educational software bundle designed to expand Encarta into an even more useful product. Student 2006 is an add-on to Office, and will include:

  • Encarta Premium 2006
  • Graphing Calculator, which solves algebra, statistics and graphing equations
  • Online Math Homework Help, a program that allows students to find online textbook pages and problem numbers, as well as to view the impact of changing variables
  • Learning Essentials, technology co-developed by the Educational Products and Office groups, which aims to provide quick access to Microsoft Office homework templates developed jointly by Microsoft and Pearson Education, SchoolKiT International and Houghton Mifflin Co.
  • Web Companion, an applet that provides relevant encyclopedia content based on web searches
  • Dynamic World Atlas
  • Thesaurus
  • Chart Maker
  • Dictionary

I suspect that any integration with Office doesn’t work with Microsoft Works, which far more families use. Hopefully, the bundle will work without Office, or at least without specifically Office, since that would lock out a lot of consumers. Second, I would recommend adding OneNote to the bundle. It is a spectacular product, one I love using, and one that is hugely popular among the few students that I’ve noticed have actually been exposed to it. It deserves to be distributed more widely.

Oh, and I would love to be in the beta…

May 7th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneNote, Applications, General | 2 comments

A Look At PowerToys

Raymond Chen takes a look back at the history of PowerToys, and lists all of the different systems PowerToys are available for. The PowerToys are little programs that add useful little features to Windows and other Microsoft programs. Originally, PowerToys were just little programs written by programmers while they were working on Windows 95, but they proved so popular that programmers made new ones for each successive version of Windows. Over time, other Microsoft teams started making them. Now, besides for Windows XP, you can get PowerToys for Tablet PC, Pocket PC, OneNote 2003, Media Center, Windows Media Player, Visual Studio 2003, and some fun packs. There’s also the Internet Explorer PowerToys-type pack, called Web Accessories. The best PowerToy of all time? Tweak UI, of course.

February 2nd, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | XP, OneNote, Internet Explorer, Windows, Applications, Media Player, General | no comments