Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Advertisement

Note-taking apps are a dime a dozen Which Is The Best Note-Taking App Out There? [MakeUseOf Poll] Which Is The Best Note-Taking App Out There? [MakeUseOf Poll] Last week we asked you which devices (desktops, laptops, tablets) should be available for children at school. While not many of you chose to answer this poll, the discussion that ensued in the comments was... Read More . Some are too simple for anything but the simplest of tasks. Others are abundant in features that are locked behind premium accounts. Can’t we have the best of both worlds?

For a while, the cross-platform note-taking app Evernote How To Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual How To Use Evernote: The Unofficial Manual I see so many advantages to Evernote and we will explore some of them in depth later. But basically it all comes down to this: we are all becoming digital packrats. Read More was the de facto standard. That’s not true anymore. While Evernote is still a remarkable app, Microsoft recently upped their game when they announced that OneNote would be more free than ever before.

Sounds like a funny statement, doesn’t it? But it’s true. OneNote has never been more free. Does that make it the ideal note-taking app for you? It might!

The Appeal of OneNote

The primary selling point for OneNote is its sense of organization. Take one look at its interface design and you’ll notice that it’s incredibly sleek, clean, and minimal. There are no distracting elements at all. You have your notes, your hierarchy of notebooks, and that’s it.

That kind of compliment isn’t typical for Microsoft, who is often known for clunky designs and unwieldy layouts. OneNote is their biggest exception and I have to say, I’m impressed. It’s truly one of the best apps on the market.

And I’m not the only one who has praise for OneNote.

Advertisement

onenote-overview

We’ve looked at OneNote for Windows 8 The Perfect Modern Notetaking App: OneNote For Windows 8 The Perfect Modern Notetaking App: OneNote For Windows 8 Microsoft finally did something right! OneNote turns your Windows 8 tablet into a handy notebook. Quickly scribble down notes and pick them up anywhere. Syncing via SkyDrive automatically makes them available on the desktop. Read More and seen that it’s perfect for tablets, laptops, and desktops. We’ve remarked about OneNote on Windows Phone 5 Ways To Use Microsoft OneNote On Windows Phone 8 5 Ways To Use Microsoft OneNote On Windows Phone 8 Windows Phone users don't need Evernote; they have OneNote! It can handle images, voice notes, transcribe audio to text, sync to your desktop, and others can add to your notes. Care to learn more? Read More and how easy it is to use. We’ve even compared OneNote for Android Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which Is Best On Android? Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote - Which Is Best On Android? At one time, people actually had to carry around notebooks if they wanted to take notes - remember the once-big fad of Moleskine notebooks? Nowadays, smartphones have made most pocket objects obsolete. Why carry around... Read More against other note-taking apps and concluded that it’s a worthy contender.

Which brings us to another huge point: OneNote is cross-platform. Windows and Windows Phone are obviously supported, but it can also be used through Android, iOS, Mac, and the web with OneNote Online How SkyDrive And OneNote Web App Can Help Your Online Research How SkyDrive And OneNote Web App Can Help Your Online Research I was really excited to learn was that SkyDrive provides you with a free OneNote web app that you can use to do just about everything you do with your desktop OneNote application. When it... Read More .

Thanks to built-in synchronization with OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), you can access the same notes on all of these devices.

Is It Really Free?

When OneNote first went free in 2014 Microsoft Releases OneNote 2013 As Free Download for Mac And Windows Microsoft Releases OneNote 2013 As Free Download for Mac And Windows Microsoft's OneNote is now completely free and also available for Mac, meaning OneNote is now a cross-platform app available on Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Read More , it was only cause for semi-celebration. Sure, it meant that anyone could download it and start taking notes right away, plus it was also made available for Mac at that same time.

But there were still a few killer features that were held behind a premium version only available to Office 365 and Office 2013 customers. With their most recent announcement, Microsoft has removed all restrictions from the free version of OneNote.

onenote-advanced

So which restrictions were lifted?

Sections can be password protected. What’s great about OneNote is that each notebook is split into sections and each section contains multiple pages. Rather than locking notebooks, OneNote lets you lock sections for more control.

Revision history for pages. Version control for writers Not Just For Coders: Top Version Control Systems For Writers Not Just For Coders: Top Version Control Systems For Writers The mention of version control or revision control makes it seem like something for geeks. You will be surprised to know that version control systems have their place not only in academic writing but in... Read More is incredibly important. Not only can it double as a system for data backups, it can help you retrieve past drafts that no longer exist on file. OneNote now has built-in version histories for all notes.

onenote-features

Audio and video notes. Audio and video notes are nothing new, but OneNote lets you take notes that are linked to specific timestamps in the recordings. That way, you can quickly jump to certain sections on demand (e.g. lecture notes).

Audio and video search. OneNote can even find certain sections of audio or video based on a text search. If your corporate manager mentioned “renovations” in the last meeting, but you don’t remember when she said it, you can literally search for it.

Embedded files. Feel free to embed files directly into notebooks. OneNote can handle them without a problem.

Become a OneNote Master

As you can probably tell, OneNote is simple but powerful. There are plenty of other features worth learning about in order to maximize your note-taking productivity 5 Ways to Get Productive With Microsoft OneNote 5 Ways to Get Productive With Microsoft OneNote Do you feel the need for an offline organization tool that also exists on the web? Surprisingly, Microsoft has come up with the perfect solution - OneNote. Read More . Done properly, OneNote can make your life so much easier.

Not sure where to start? Check out these OneNote tips for beginners 5 Ways to Take Advantage of Microsoft OneNote 5 Ways to Take Advantage of Microsoft OneNote Read More . And if you’re still yearning for more, keep going with these advanced OneNote tips 10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows] 10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows] I am going to ruffle a few feathers here by saying that Microsoft OneNote is just as good as Evernote. Evernote is probably more barebones and easier to handle, while OneNote is the digital equivalent... Read More .

Do you use Microsoft OneNote? If so, how does it compare to other note-taking apps you’ve used? If not, will these new free features be enough to pull you in? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *