OneNote for Mac

Microsoft announced OneNote for Mac today, and also made the program free on all platforms.

Any OneNote fans out there who’d like to talk about how it compares to Evernote and similar cross-platform notetaking tools?


I’ve downloaded it and played with it briefly.

Compared with what I remember of OneNote’s functionality on Windows when I left the platform seven or eight years ago, the Mac version feels very thin. Perhaps that’s inevitable for the launch edition. But I don’t think Evernote or Curio should feel threatened just yet.

It should fit right in with the latest iWork release, then. :wink:

How does it look? The text engine on Office for Mac 2011 is incredibly pixelated on my retina screen. I’m hoping it looks magical so that it’ll give me a nice warm fuzzy glow of optimism for when they release Office for Mac 2014 later this year.

Hmmm… screenshots I’ve seen on the web look just as pixelated. Grumble grumble.

It’s not pixelated. It is Microsoft’s design style at its finest!


I’ve just checked and there’s an update I was missing which improves matters immensely. Surprised that it wasn’t implemented in screenshots I’d seen then.

Hmmm. Maybe they were just bad pics.

MacWorld has a review that might help some judge whether they want to use OneNote for the idea-collecting, note-taking stage of writing. The plus is that it’s free, synched, and multi-platform. … rnote.html

The negative is that it’s yet another app to fuss with and means still more documents to track. I find that it’s often better to use Scrivener for the idea/note collecting stage of writing, so I’m not troubled with using too many apps and can migrate those notes straight to writing in Scrivener. That also leaves me with fewer document files to lose.

But alas, while Scriverner plus Dropbox does make for a multi-device, multi-platform (OS X and Windows) writing, we’re still [he sighs sadly and looks down at the floor] waiting for that iOS version to magically appear over the horizon.

Does anyone know if, when Scrivener for iOS arrives, it’ll allow for iCloud synching between the OS X and the iOS versions?

I’ve not had any problem synching files with Dropbox, but it does force me to put files into its special folder. I’d much rather keep my notes for a book the dedicated set of folders where I keep every other file for that book. Having iCloud sync would allow me to seamless flow from notes to a Scrivener draft to the InDesign final in one compact folder family, with nothing going missing. That’d be most nice.

–Mike Perry, Inkling Books, Auburn, AL

A thread here on about OneNote for the Mac: It points out that the new free Mac edition is effectively not much more than a come-on for the online subscription version, which is where a proportion of the functionality resides that will be familiar to those who’ve used the previous paid-for Windows version.

iCloud does not handle Scrivener’s package format correctly, making it unreliable for Scrivener projects. iCloud is also only accessible by software purchased through Apple’s App Store, which excludes both our direct sale customers and our Windows users.

So while I can’t say what is or is not in the works for the iOS edition, I would guess that iCloud is not a particularly high priority.


Yeah, Microsoft look has always been irresistible :smiley:

That’s OK. I can manage with Dropbox. Moving a file to a different folder when a book moves into the InDesign stage won’t kill me.

You might want to take a look at Cubby. It behaves like Dropbox but with two advantages:

(1) you get 5GB free space;
(2) you can designate any folder on your HD to be a Cubby, you’re not tied to a single specific folder.

I’ve been using Cubby for the translation project I’ve been collaborating on with a Windows using friend. It’s worked flawlessly — with the usual caveats.

If you decide to give it a try, can you use this download link? Introducing you will give me 1GB extra space.

I’m another Cubby fan. I have found to be stable and reliable and love that any folder can become a “cubby”. I typically make a cubby for courses I’m teaching, then remove it from Cubby at the end of semester. If security is an issue, you can pay for advanced encryption.

The only downside with Cubby is that it doesn’t do block level changes, and so will upload entire files if even 1 byte is modified. Although there are arguments about whether this actually makes a difference for most users, for me and the type of large Keynote files I make for lectures I think it does.

Note: if xiamenese runs out of invites, feel free to ask me for one… :wink:

Another cubby fan (thanks I think to a suggestion from you, nom). But hell, I really really hate the lurid green.

Thanks for the Cubby suggestion. I may look into it for my InDesign long-term, off-site backups. That’ll be one folder with subfolders with ID’s packaged versions of all the files needed for each book. That only change when a new edition of that book comes out, which isn’t that often.