Chris Pratley's Office Labs and OneNote Blog

A blog about Office Labs and OneNote from behind the scenes.

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  • Blog Post: OneNote PowerToys contest update

    Many people have been asking me about the PowerToys contest . We got over 1000 submissions, which was a little overwhelming and quite a bit more than we expected. We went through them all and selected 12 semi-finalists who we contacted. We have now received their PowerToys and are evaluating them. Evaluating...
  • Blog Post: OneNote 2003 SP2 details

    Last week we released Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Office System 2003. This includes OneNote 2003. Although most OneNote users today started with "SP1", a few of you who got the original version of OneNote may remember that SP1 added a lot of functionality to the original release of OneNote and may have...
  • Blog Post: Setting up your OneNote notebook

    A discussion I had today reminded me of a design conundrum we went through with OneNote when we were preparing it for first release. A guy I was talking to today said that he thought (for his web site storage product) it would be lame to put example folders on the site to try to show how to use it, since...
  • Blog Post: Anticipation....

    It's a funny time of year. We're approaching our first beta of Office12 and OneNote12 in the next few months (no news here - just standard procedure). My mind is all full of this new release of software, but I am not able to speak about it publicly. That makes it pretty hard to blog on our current products...
  • Blog Post: Using OneNote on two or more machines

    One question I hear pretty often is: "hey, I have two machines with OneNote - how do I keep my notes in sync?" There are a lot of ways to do this. In some ways it depends on what your needs are. After all, what doesn't? First, be certain that you have Sp1 of OneNote. Use Help/Get Updates to check...
  • Blog Post: OneNote PowerToys Redux

    Ok, I've posted about OneNote PowerToys before, back when we released SP1 which made PowerToys possible. Now the marketing folks have started up a contest to see who can make the coolest PowerToy. You can win a new Tablet PC from Toshiba (and you don't even have to write a PowerToy...) Listed below...
  • Blog Post: Getting organized using OneNote note flags

    I've written recently about some of the more exotic capabilities of OneNote, but I thought I would spend a little time on Note Flags. Note Flags are one of the fundamental features of OneNote that makes the power of having an electronic notebook apparent. Oddly, although we consider Note Flags one of...
  • Blog Post: OneNote for Audio and Video Notes

    I thought I would share with you some of the more interesting things people are doing with OneNote - especially with media. In the course of my job I get to interact with all sorts of OneNote users, and some of them do some pretty interesting things. People are using OneNote media recording for all sorts...
  • Blog Post: The best ways to show OneNote to others

    I often hear from fans of OneNote that they are frustrated because they can't explain to others what it is they love about it. they explain for a few minutes and then their friend just says they can’t see why it is better than Word, or Notepad. (Notepad!) It is tough with a new product in a new category...
  • Blog Post: OneNote Shared Sessions

    It's been awhile since I have had time to update my blog, but it looks like I may be able to spend a little time on it for the next little while. I thought I'd try to do a series of posts on good or clever or original ways to use OneNote. Please feel free to share your stories with me - I LOVE hearing...
  • Blog Post: New Pricing for OneNote

    Today (Monday) Microsoft announced that we are going to a unified price worldwide for OneNote 2003. Until today, OneNote was $99.95 in Japan, and USD$199.95 everywhere else. In the US and Canada there was a rebate coupon for USD$100 off (CDN$150), which effectively made the price $99.95, but you had...
  • Blog Post: New PowerToys for OneNote 2003 SP1

    Better sooner than later - the first PowerToys are already here and available for download. Bear in mind that “PowerToy = hobby project”, so these are not necessarily the same robustly designed and high quality things you should expect in the main product, but that said, many of us use them all the time...
  • Blog Post: Final bits of OneNote 2003 SP1 are now available

    Here's just a quick note to say that the final bits of OneNote 2003 SP1 (discussed in my last post) have now been released as a patch available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=07408348-26C9-43BB-9E7E-6151CF15D415&displaylang=en If you have not seen or heard of...
  • Blog Post: OneNote 2003 SP1 has wrapped

    Today we had our ship party for OneNote 2003 SP1 down at Sammamish State Park (at the south end of Lake Sammamish in Issaquah for those who might know the greater Seattle area). Although we have signed off on the code, the process of building a patch, verifying it, and creating international versions...
  • Blog Post: How do you use OneNote?

    Although we have several different ways to collect information about how OneNote is used, I am always interested to hear how people use it. And this forum provides an opportunity for a dialog that our other data collection systems don’t really provide. So, let's hear it. How do you use OneNote...
  • Blog Post: OneNote PowerToys

    Since there are a lot of developers reading this, how about a brief moment to discuss extensibility in OneNote SP1? First, there is a draft of the some documentation available now. Check it out here . Now, the first thing many of you will say is "That's all!? Don’t you understand that...
  • Blog Post: OneNote Service Pack 1

    Service Pack 1 (SP1) of OneNote is available in preview form starting today. This is not your typical service pack, as you have no doubt read already. I've already blogged a bunch about what making a version 1 product is like. We're pretty happy that our first release was received so well (and the awards...
  • Blog Post: Designs, anyone?

    Excellent. Lots of feedback. But almost all from developers it seems. Having an API for OneNote is certainly the plan, so it is good to hear how people hope it would be used. No need to convince me that it is necessary. And I agree with all the sentiments about bloat, etc. The add-in argument I think...
  • Blog Post: Design a blogging feature for OneNote

    I thought it might be fun to try a little interactive design experience. There's been a lot of discussion about blogging from OneNote, and how it would make a good tool for managing posts, etc. So it is easy to say "hey, add support for blogging to OneNote!". But if you've read my previous posts on how...
  • Blog Post: Awards for OneNote

    We've had a good week here last week on the OneNote team. First, we heard that we had won a Microsoft internal award for “Best Software User Experience” at our Design Day 2004. This is an event that is held each year as a kind of internal conference on design. One of our users had entered...
  • Blog Post: Avoiding typical pitfalls

    So, how to make sure we didn't have a typical "v.1" product with OneNote? As I mentioned last post , it isn't as simple working on the product until it is "perfect" in design - that approach doesn’t work. Takes too long and you don’t really understand what "perfect" is until after you ship...
  • Blog Post: Schools of development

    I was thinking to write about how software is made. First, I'll start by describing three methods of developing software. I am sure there are more, and someone has probably written books on this, but hey, this is an informal medium. Here they are: The "wait until its perfect" school. This approach...
  • Blog Post: OneNote and Version 1

    Let's say you manage a development team that has a few developers, a few testers, and a handful of Program Managers. You've already laid out a "vision" for a product you plan to build, and most everyone privy to the plan seems to think the idea is solid enough to be valuable and maybe even successful...
  • Blog Post: Field Trial

    We built OneNote in relative secrecy during 2001-2002. Well, it wasn’t cloak and dagger stuff - we just didn't make any effort to talk about it outside of Office - although rumours that Office was building some "TabletPC app" did spread to other parts of the company, a misconception which until...
  • Blog Post: OneNote and Journal

    Those of you who have a TabletPC are probably familiar with the built-in note-taking application called Journal. You're probably also confused as to how Microsoft could release two programs (OneNote and Journal), that seem to behave so differently, and don't even interoperate well. The answer to that...
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