I’ve been trying out Microsoft Office 2007 for quite some time now and I should say that like most of the restaurants I’ve been to, they are still putting premium on how they present their ‘food’. Functionality and ease of use are still subjective for me (matter of preference or getting used to the functions, icon placements, etc.?) plus the Excel 2007 that can’t multiply is a really big blow to Microsoft reliability (but didn’t we expect that?). But there is One program that, after discovering it, I don’t think I could part ways with pretty soon: MS OneNote.
This preppy nice little program lets you do lots of thing. And it follows no rules! It’s free-form writing enables you to jot ideas, append them to things you’ve written somewhere, categorize them in tabs and pages in your virtual notebook, and pack several notebooks in your ‘backpack’! It’s a wonderful experience writing blogs, scratch/draft reports, creative brainstorming and working with lots of stuff at the same time — which I do most of the time.
I don’t usually focus on one task at a time. I work in little bits so I don’t get bored to death doing work while blogging. At times though, there are things that require my full attention. But using OneNote makes this an ‘enjoyable’ task with all the color and options and ‘customizability’ power it offers. I’m not restricted by Word’s top-down typing. I can jab key words beside a paragraph in OneNote, highlight it, mark/tag it, search for it quickly and easily, come back to it, write a few lines and then move on to the next bright idea that just popped up in my head and write on the other notebook i have! (whew!) It may seem to be a long task but it is actually exciting and enjoyable, this jumping from one idea to the other. I am having fun with this!
However, being a Microsoft product, this ‘joy’ comes at a steep price. The search for the alternative is on! And EverNote is pitted to be OneNote’s open source alternative. Good point: FREE! Don’t we all love free stuff? 🙂
Tried it for about one week now and it does basic stuff: take down notes and categorize them, put them in categories (you can assign icons to your categories! cute!) but the difference is that it’s a bit restrictive much like a wordprocessor with a top-down, chronological approach. It isn’t free-form writing. Stuff you write is in one long scroll of virtual paper. Backtracking would require you to search for it through the date you wrote it. That may be a plus or minus for you, depending on which method you prefer. Also, the loading time is quite fast (well, maybe because I have few notes on it for now). System resources, I think it just has a tiny advantage over OneNote. And since it’s not a Microsoft product, dragging and dropping from MS Office apps is a bit of a lost cause… specially with tables. THAT one I definitely need in writing reports.
So right now, I haven’t made a final decision yet. I mean the functions present in both programs are the things that I need for work and play. I’m having fun with OneNote but am I really missing out on something with not exploring EverNote yet? I’m also looking forward to OpenNote, the next open source project meant to have a lot of the functionalities of (if not exactly the same as) OneNote.