Is OneNote for Mac Worth Writing Home About?

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.


Summary

Powerful note taking and productivity tool.

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