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OneNote has been one of the most popular note taking tools for Windows for some time now but more recently, Microsoft brought OneNote to Mac.

OneNote for Mac is a powerful productivity tool allows you to capture thoughts, discoveries, and ideas in a digital notebook. OneNote is ideal for those that want to improve their productivity, brainstorm ideas, plan a big event or just have a more structured way of collecting masses of clippings you want to save online. OneNote for Mac is fully integrated with all other versions of the software for PC and mobile so not matter what device you use to save clippings, OneNote brings it all together.

For business purposes, OneNote isn’t nearly as powerful as other collaborative project management tools like Wrike, eXo Platform, or even Zoho Docs, but its ease of use makes it a worthwhile addition to your arsenal of Mac productivity tools.

Accepts notes in any shape or form

OneNote is basically an open canvas that allows you to type anywhere and rearrange content on the page in any way. You can format your notes with different fonts or colors, and organize your content with tables. You can add pictures, PowerPoint documents, PDFs, links, articles, diagrams, annotations – just about any kind of content fits into OneNote.

Taking snapshots of articles and web pages on the internet is made even easier in OneNote thanks to a clippings extension or add-on which allows you to save pages instantly to OneNote. It can even extract text from photos and pictures and copy them into your notes although the accuracy depends on the quality of the image.

OneNote can even copy text from pictures into your notebooks.

OneNote can even copy text from pictures into your notebooks.

In place of spreadsheets, OneNote uses simple OneNote tables to make sense of information. Start on a new line of text by typing a word, phrase, or number, and then press the Tab key to create the next column and press Return to create a new row. Alternately, you can click Insert > Table on the ribbon or on the menu bar.

Tag, you’re it!

You can edit your clippings in many different ways. You can create, rename, search, sort, color code, and copy pages, sections and notebooks to organize your content as you’d like. Or you can tag notes to highlight them, compile and track to-do lists, flag questions and more.

The Tags gallery on the Home tab lets you visually prioritize or categorize selected notes. Tagged notes are marked with icons that prompt you to follow up on your important action items, or to check off completed tasks on your to-do lists.

OneNote offers several different tags to helps organize your notes.

OneNote offers several different tag icons to helps organize your notes.

Customization and color coordination is a big part of OneNote. For example, when you first launch OneNote, a default notebook with the Quick Notes section is created for you, but you can easily create additional colorful notebooks for the subjects and projects you want by clicking plus sign (+) in the Notebooks list or by clicking File > New Notebook on the menu bar.

OneNote for Mac gives you a choice of notebook styles when you open a new notebook.

OneNote for Mac gives you a choice of notebook styles when you open a new notebook.

Adding new pages or notes to notebooks is also very easy. To create a new page in the current section of your notebook simply click (+) Add Page over the page tabs, or click File > New Page on the menu bar. To create a new section in the current notebook, click the plus sign (+) next to the section tabs, or click File > New Section on the menu bar.

OneNote automatically saves all of your changes as you work. If you want to see when OneNote last synced your changes, click the name of your current notebook, and then click the arrow next to it in the Notebooks list and it will show the time of the last sync.

When it comes to collaboration, OneNote allows you to edit the same workbook at the same time as another colleague or friend whether they are on PC, mobile or Mac. Notes are automatically synced to OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or Microsoft SharePoint, making it easy to switch between devices. Note, however, that Apple’s iCloud is not supported.

Conclusion

OneNote is a very well organized and clinically executed tool which is one of the main reasons why it has been popular for so long. However, you will find yourself doing a lot of clicking as there are very few keyboard shortcuts and when you’re cutting and pasting a lot, this would certainly help.

It’s also a bit frustrating when you can only open one notebook at a time especially if you need information from another notebook to add to the current one you’re working on.

OneNote is great for jotting down ideas or managing your personal projects, but if you’re using it for business within a team, check out a cloud-based collaboration application or project management solution, as these are much more robust and generally work seamlessly across Mac and all your other devices.

Despite being the world’s largest software company, Microsoft has somewhat of a bad reputation when it comes to software for the Mac. Ask anyone who has ever to endure using Microsoft Entourage for any length of time and they’ll likely tell you its the only software package in existence that violates almost every human rights act there is.

Microsoft has had a remote connection app for Mac users to remotely access Windows workstations for some time, though it was so old and infrequently updated that system requirements even stated it was not for use with Mac OS X Lion or later.

Thankfully, Microsoft have been taking the Mac and iOS platforms a little more seriously and their latest remote access tool, Microsoft Remote Desktop, is not only a complete reworking of its ageing predecessor, it’s actually really good.

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Browsing through back issues of PopSci in the early 2000’s in a musty garage, I spotted the first cellphone I really wanted to own: a Nokia 3600. With its crazy circular keypad and a rudimentary smartphone OS, it for whatever reason captured my imagination like no tech gadget had yet. I never managed to get one, instead relying on the seemingly indestructible Nokia dumbphones that made their way through our family before getting my first quasi-smartphone: an HTC Windows Phone with a BlackBerry-style keyboard.

Once Apple launched the iPhone, it was only a matter of time before I got one — opting first for a cheaper iPod Touch to compliment my rapidly aging Windows Phone, and finally buying my own off-contract iPhone. There was never any question in my mind about which phone to get; I’d never even consider anything other than an iPhone since the App Store opened.

Only one other line of phones has caught my attention in recent years: Nokia’s Lumia phones. I’d stop by Nokia stores in the mall to try them out and see how they felt and worked, and jumped on the opportunity a couple months to get press loaner Lumia 520 to review.

But then, I never had the heart to write the review.

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If you were a SkyDrive user before April of last year, you probably got that free 25 GB storage bump, or if you’re an Office 365 user, you may have a chunk of storage sitting around. Even with a new SkyDrive account today, you’ll get 7 GB of free storage. Pony up $10, and you’ve got yourself an additional 20 GB for the year.

In fact, with a whopping 100 GB only running you $50 per year, SkyDrive is probably one of the least expensive cloud storage and file synchronization services out there. What do you get for your money, though? We’ll take a look at the SkyDrive app for Mac and see how well it compares to the competition. (more…)

With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has been far from subtle in its vision for the future of operating systems. Opting to radically change the default desktop to the same style as Windows Phone and the Xbox 360, Microsoft have changed up some of the fundamental aspects of Windows, as well as adopting new features like an App Store.

On the strike of midnight, October 26th, I bought my copy of Windows 8 and got it up and running on a MacBook Air. In this article, I’m going to share some of my initial impressions with the rival operating system, and compare it feature-by-feature to Apple’s latest OS, Mountain Lion.

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Microsoft isn’t usually the first company on our radar as Mac users, but with their upcoming release of Windows 8, they seem to be actually thinking different, for once. Windows 8 is easily the most dramatic change Windows has ever seen, taking it quite far away from its original Macintosh-inspired design. At worst, it takes some inspiration from the iPad in being a touch-centric UI, but otherwise, everything new in Windows 8 is a Microsoft-based design.

New innovation is always cause for excitement, and even if we love Apple, we’re always excited to see other companies pushing the bounds and making great new products. Windows 8’s new square and typography centric design is at least an interesting step in a new direction. It might be one that leaves most PC users behind, but it’s also one that piques our interest, at least a bit.

Has Windows 8 caught your interest, and are you looking forward to trying it out? Do you think it could tempt you away from OS X and iOS? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Fresh off the presses, here is Mac AppStorm’s weekly app news roundup.

Happy reading!

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Windows 8 will be chock full of shiny new features, among which is of course a centralized app store. Let’s put aside our feigned shock and awe at this announcement and discuss whether or not this represents a potential threat to OS X or if it’s merely the technology industry doing what it does best: following wherever Apple leads.

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Happy birthday, OpenOffice. Believe it or not, it’s been ten years since the mighty “other” productivity suite—the open-source uncle of Microsoft’s ‘Monopoloffice’—began the slow fight for recognition. How far we’ve come.

Of course, it’s been slightly less than ten years for us Mac folks, but in any case the milestone merits a re-evaluation of this streamlined suite of apps, especially in light of Microsoft’s recent release of Office 2011 for OS X.

At the end of the day, the question has always been whether or not OpenOffice is able to sufficiently replace Microsoft Office. Has it reached this stage today? Read on to find out…

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I remember when I used to have computer classes in school—we all used to spend our class time in MS Paint creating cool drawings. Later, I found out Paint was useful for other things, and I started using it as a quick image editor for tasks like adding captions to an image. Like me, there are a lot of people that don’t need to use a full-featured app like Photoshop or GIMP to make and modify their images.

That’s where Paint-like apps come in. Like their original Windows counterpart, they tend to be simple and very easy to learn and use. The problem is, there are no bundled apps with your Mac that do what Microsoft Paint does (at least not any more).

If you too are looking for a MS Paint equivalent for Mac, then check out some of the options we are presenting to you today!

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