The other day I got an email from an old high school friend, Rob who uses OneNote and reads this blog (hi Rob). It was pretty cool to get in touch with someone I knew because of OneNote and to hear that they liked it was even better! It got me thinking about something that we are thinking about on the OneNote team: bridging the gap. Let's look at the current OneNote users:
#1 Avid Fans – people who grok OneNote
One great think about working on this team is that we have a large amount of users who are in love with OneNote and use it all of the time. We know based on the customer improvement program that OneNote is open longer than all Office apps except for Outlook. Just think about it from my own usage as well as talking with customers they leave Outlook and OneNote open all day long! I can't live without those apps open, whereas I only open Excel or Word occasionally (though I tend to keep Word open for a while as I write specs and such).
The avid fans already love OneNote and know what it is all about. They can see the value in keeping track of things, using tags, taking meeting notes and more (heck people use OneNote in so many different ways).
#2 People who use OneNote because they have to
Then there is a second class of people out there, albeit much smaller who are 'forced' to use OneNote. These are people who are using OneNote because they have to so that they can be part of a community or share with others. Some people on their team are using OneNote and they too do because they need to use it. For these people we have found that they only use OneNote occasionally and don't really use it much for their own personal information or research.
#3 People who used OneNote and rejected it
These are the people who knew about OneNote, installed it and still didn't like it. Maybe they evaluated OneNote for a collaboration project on their team or maybe they just wanted to see what this OneNote program actually was installed on their computer. They ran the application took a look around and said to themselves, "This isn't right for me." They closed the program and never used it again. More on these people later…
#4 People who have never used OneNote
Then the final classification of people out there who have never used OneNote before and maybe they haven't even heard of it before. I guess when you think about the world population as a whole this bucket #4 is pretty big, eh? But there are a large amount of computer users who just haven't heard about OneNote before and therefore they haven't used it even though they may or may not have a need to use OneNote.
Okay now that I have outlined what I feel the main 4 buckets out there I wanted to touch on a couple of them:
Telling more people
With regards to bucket #4 I wish that more people knew about OneNote. Often times we hear from customers who say that they wish OneNote was marketed more to them. Interestingly there were marketing campaigns (for example: stationeryisbad.com) and it was given to college students across North America during recruiting events as well as partnership with laptop manufactures (such as Toshiba). However there still isn't a lot of awareness about OneNote which I hope is solved now that OneNote is part of a SKU. Still though we need to reach out to more people so that they know what OneNote is and that they have a great tool for their needs.
Bridging the Gap
Lastly we need to bridge the gap. How many people out there are in buckets #3 & #2? How many people use OneNote and just reject it? And from our standpoint why are they rejecting OneNote? I am sure there are a large number of people out there who just don't use OneNote because it isn't for them. They don't want to keep meeting notes and maybe they don't keep things and file them away. I get that and I wish them well even though I still think OneNote would make their lives better : )
There are still people for whom OneNote would be a great solution but they don't use OneNote. Why? Is the question that I want to know! Was it something small like when you typed it didn't act as you wanted? Did you want a save button? Was Word really better for you? How come?
Call to arms for fans: when you tell people about OneNote, why do they reject it? What is their feedback? "I just don't need that" or was it "I didn't like X feature" or "Y feature was missing so I couldn't use OneNote". Or if you yourself rejected OneNote let us know why (though I wonder why you would be reading a OneNote blog, hehe). If you have feature ideas please submit them to our OneNote Connect site. If you have testimonials about why you don't like OneNote or how your coworkers/friends didn't like OneNote please email those testimonials to me or post a comment below.
If any of you have read Crossing the Chasm (Amazon) there is a lot of discussion about this from moving from early adopters to mainstream usage. I firmly believe that OneNote is a tool for everyone and we just need to bridge that gap and cross it.