Friday, 27 June 2008

Is OneNote a Cul de Sac?

There has been a lot of buzz around the office recently about Microsoft OneNote 2007. For the uninitiated, this application is basically a collection of notebooks for jotting down information. Notebooks (e.g., Work, Personal) have sections (imagine dividers in a traditional notebook) which contain pages. It's possible to create free form text, drag and drop image, links etc.

All in all, a very nice application that I'm looking forward to getting stuck in with.

My only reservation is that it uses a proprietary file format to store the notebooks, and it appears to be very single-user focused. There are ways of sharing notebooks, but these seem to be limited to placing them on file shares.

In some ways, it's a bit like SharePoint - easy to setup and load stuff into, but more difficult to untangle yourself from should you decide to migrate away from Microsoft. Perhaps that's the plan...

Zoho has a Notebook application on the cloud which is very advanced, but I'd be more reluctant to trust a small company with my data than managing it myself.

If only someone could come up with an application that does everything OneNote can do, but in a true client/server model, with offline capabilities, web access, and an open source licence. Any takers?

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