Law School Discussion

Microsoft One Note?

Microsoft One Note?
« on: June 23, 2006, 01:47:05 PM »
I've heard too many comments about this package recently to totally ignore it.  Has anyone used the Microsoft One Note software?  It is listed for $45 through the Bevoware purchase program thing.  I am just having a hard time imagining it being significantly better than using Office for all my notes.

The MS site indicates we can download it for a trial period, so I'll probably find some time to test it out.  I'm just looking for some more opinions on it.

Re: Microsoft One Note?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2006, 04:40:17 PM »
I have onenote on my Dell... i REALLY like it. I heard it was great for law school so I practiced a little taking notes on it in undergrad. It worked well for me but the same basic things can be done with Word, I guess.


Re: Microsoft One Note?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2006, 04:51:59 PM »

Re: Microsoft One Note?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2006, 11:07:39 PM »
I've started playing with it a bit.  I can see why there are mixed opinions on the software.  It definitely feels like there has only been one or two releases of the program.  I've played with it for about 15-30 minutes now, and I can see the advantages, but I feel that the interface is a bit clunky.

It has an interface that allows you to keep documents organized.  You open up the software and it acts like a Trapper Keeper (for lack of a better word).  Inside you then have your folders for various topics.  They start you out with a classes folder, personal folder, and general folder.  These folders then have sub-folders.  So inside classes, you could make a folder for Torts, another for Criminal Law, and more for your other classes.  Inside those folder you create notes.  Those notes are date and time stamped so you know when they were created.  Each note may be multiple pages.  Only the original note's creation has the date/time stamp.

The notes feel like a mixture between a paint and a document program.  You can free-hand draw with the mouse.  You can write in text messages on the page.  You can also import data from files such as pictures.  The text and drawings can be placed anywhere on the page.  That's how it is like Paint.  You can take the mouse and click the cursor somewhere to create a new textbox.  Each item you create can then be moved around afterwards, as well as modified.

It is this heirarchy structure of notes that I see as being the advantage of One Note.  You don't have to make up your own folder system.  With One Note, it is more difficult to save class notes in some strange place you can't remember.  The searching feature is also nice.  When writing things in Word Docs, they are saved as binaries.  I don't know of any way to search for specific text in multiple word documents without opening them all and doing individual searches.  There might be a way, but I don't know how.  With One Note, you can perform a search across the entire "Trapper Keeper."

The interface doesn't feel right at first.  As I said, it feels like a clunky combination of Paint and Word.  I had to force myself to sit down and use it for a while before I got over the interface feel.  Even at that point, I could only do basic things.  I've tried controlling how the thing is organized, and the interface is just not intuitive about how I get back the notes that I "Closed."  I don't know if it is possible to get them.  But they use "Delete" all over the place, so I didn't think that Close was the same thing.

I think that the organization it provides, and ability to search across documents may make this worthwhile.  If you're going to be getting this for note-taking, you definitely want to buy it and play around with it a week or more before class starts, so you can keep effective notes, and don't accidentally permanently delete some important notes.

Re: Microsoft One Note?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2006, 11:18:04 PM »
After testing it some more, I personally will not be using One Note.  Sure it has some nice features, but the interface is still too clunky for me to use on something as important as school notes.  Maybe once they've gotten another 5 years of bug fixes and improvements on the software it will be ready for use.  For now, I'll stick with Word and Paint.

Re: Microsoft One Note?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2006, 01:38:49 AM »
I'm going to hold out and use my apple, hoping the exam software test goes well (we'll hear about it during orientation).  if it goes well, I'll probably use my buddy's dell laptop for the first round of exams and then use my apple in the spring.

Brave:  why don't you just get BootCamp, then you can run windows on your apple.

Re: Microsoft One Note?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2006, 08:25:19 PM »
Two things: 

1. Brave, what do you mean a Mac version will be available before BC version?  BC is supposed to be able to utilize any XP program. (Im not an expert, but this is my understanding.)

2. We were talking about onenote for mac on another post & I just realized that the MSOffice for Mac Word program has a notebook feature that according to the above description is exactly like onenote.  That is pretty cool.