Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Professional response and some interesting software

with 18 comments

I sent an email to the Microsoft store to complain about the unavailability of Microsoft OneNote in Office for Mac, and when would OneNote be ported to the Mac. (There is nothing like OneNote for rapidly taking notes in all directions and sorting them as you go, more or less.)

I immediately got a response that included:

Thank you for taking the time to email us at the Microsoft Store. I understand that you have come to enjoy OneNote on your PC, and have been unable to find the equivalent version of OneNote for your Mac. I can see how inconvenient this would be, and would be glad to assist you.

At this time Microsoft has not released a Mac version of OneNote, as I see you have discovered when looking at purchasing Office for Mac Home and Student 2011.

As an online retail store, the Microsoft Store does not have advance information about future product offerings, such as a Mac version of OneNote. I have searched using my resources, and have not found any mention of this software. It would be speculation that there will not be a OneNote for Mac in the 2011 release, as Office for Mac 2011 has been out now for some time. I understand how disappointing this would be.

I have found on Bing, a search listing for an alternative to OneNote, for use on a Mac. This listing can be found here .

At the link I found quite a bit of interesting software addressing (with varying degrees of success) the OneNote functionality and niche. One in particular is interesting: according to one of the reviews, it’s from the same shop that created OneNote.

I thought this was a highly professional response that addressed the need I had expressed as well as possible. I’m impressed.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 February 2011 at 8:09 pm

18 Responses

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  1. Impressed, yes….but you still don’t have OneNote! 🙂

    This is the Mac curse. Last week I tried to interact with a Quebec government web site for some corporate registrations. When I tried to fill in the on-line forms, a warning came up saying, “At this time, the Quebec government web site does not support the Apple OSX platform”.

    I still have to run several essential business programs on the “Windows” side (painfully).

    But I do like the Mac, despite this.


    22 February 2011 at 7:11 am

  2. Yeah, and I also cannot get useful add-ons for Firefox for the Mac. I am just now upgrading to the beta of Firefox 4.0 just so I can install Undo Closed Tab.

    OTOH, I recall how annoyed I was flying First Class (in an almost empty plane, back in the glory days of flying) and asked for a Martini with an olive. They were out of olives, so I took it with a twist, and glared out my window at the mountains below. No olive! I was feeling angry and sorry for myself, and then realized I was looking down on land that had once required months to traverse, if you made it alive, and how the trails that the wagons took were in places cluttered with wrecked burned wagons from attacks, or household goods discarded because they had to lighten the load—treasured pianos left beside the trail. And I was annoyed because I didn’t have an olive for my Martini.

    I felt very very small and ashamed. So it’s good to remind ourselves that, on the whole, we have it pretty good. And to picture ourselves explaining our troubles and problems to someone struggling to live on the trail until he can try to build a home in a strange place, using his hand tools and sweat.


    22 February 2011 at 8:03 am

  3. I’m not impressed with the intro video of Notebook. It doesn’t support my phone or my iPad. EverNote does iPhone, iPad, Mac OS and the web–and syncs them all, of course. To my mind, that’s a killer feature.

    Also, it’s far easier to be a Mac user today than it was a decade ago, lemme tell ya. You noobs have it good! 🙂

    Besides, things are tough all over. My father is constantly working with photos, video and DVD creation on his Windows PC. When he sees the gorgeous products I make so easily on my Mac he always wants to know how I do it: Sorry dad, it’s Mac only. Same story when colleagues see my Keynote presentations: how’d you make Powerpoint DO that? they ask.


    22 February 2011 at 8:54 am

  4. Yeah, nothing matches OneNote. The Mac has always been strong for those who work with images, moving or still. I’m very much a text-oriented guy, and OneNote is the ne plus ultra for people who work in text.

    Yes, I was careful to wait until the Apples were polished. 🙂


    22 February 2011 at 8:57 am

  5. BTW, the one I’m trying out (30-day trial) is NoteTaker:


    22 February 2011 at 8:57 am

  6. I think it would be very helpful if you would kindly explain
    why ONENOTE is better than EVERNOTE. EVERNOTE works fine on my PC and reasonably well on my BLACKBERRY. I will be counting on it whenever I switch to MAC.

    Bob Slaughter

    22 February 2011 at 11:41 am

  7. They are really aimed at different tasks:

    Evernote: An easy way to clip things (from emails, the Web, etc.) and keep those clippings organized in different sections. You can also take notes, but that doesn’t seem to be its function.

    OneNote: Mostly for taking notes (it seems to me), but you can also clip, cut, and paste. You can begin typing anywhere on a page. Notes are readily moved around: within a section, to a different section, to a different notebook.

    There is overlap in functionality, but OneNote seems to be more polished in its approach to notetaking.


    22 February 2011 at 2:46 pm

  8. I think I understand. I first became very frustrated with EVERNOTE when I discovered it was difficult to give it much organized structure. I finally became satisfied when I thought of it as a wastebasket from which I could retrieve anything that was in it.

    Bob Slaughter

    22 February 2011 at 6:59 pm

  9. Exactly. In the early iterations, Evernote simply kept web clippings in chronological order, period. James Fallows was an early adopter, and it was due to his discussion that I got a copy. As he said, one often has a fairly good idea of when one saw an article, even if he doesn’t remember where, and so it can be quickly tracked down in Evernote (assuming you clipped it).

    James Fallows also introduced me to OneNote, and he consulted a lot in the design changes that produced the current version (and perhaps worked with them on the earlier version as well). As a result, it is wonderfully tuned to a writer who’s collecting notes, whipping them out and easily organizing them, reorganizing them, adding to them, etc.

    Scrivener is closer to OneNote (though totally different purpose) in its “philosophy” than other Mac programs I’ve used (very few to date, let it be noted).


    22 February 2011 at 7:08 pm

  10. The thing I like about OneNote is that it lets you organically develop the level of organization that suits you. I actually assumed it had been developed for the Mac in the first place, because it has done the direct manipulation interaction so well. It gets completely out of my way and lets me record the same way I think, which is pretty non-linear.

    the wife

    22 February 2011 at 9:54 pm

  11. Great to read all these responses. Bottom line: Tools must fit the intended use. While the Apple and PC platforms have been slowly coming together over the years in closing their respective functional gaps, each platform has certain strengths and weaknesses, largely based on legacy issues of why their respective users bought them in the first place. Today, the Mac remains a superb piece of technology with many user advantages, but some significant gaps for inveterate business users. Over time and with a growing user base this will surely change. Hey, Mac users finally got Outlook late last yer…even though it still can’t synch with an iPhone or iPad…boy do I feel stupid carrying an iPhone, iPad and a wad of paper sticky with my various calendar appointments!

    Of course, as in shaving, YMMV. Form follows function.


    23 February 2011 at 9:14 am

  12. Mac users had Outlook many years ago. For some marketing reason or other, Microsoft began calling it a different name and now has switched back. Whatever you call it, it has always had a varying degree of feature parity with Outlook for Windows.

    And I do my Exchange calendaring on my iPhone and iPad every day. I can’t imagine why you’re unable to.


    23 February 2011 at 9:29 am

  13. Scott: Outlook doesn’t sync with the iPhone or iPad yet, although they’ve promised it for mid-year. Are you using Outlook 2011? If you can tell me how to do it, much obliged. It is however, according to Apple and Microsoft, not yet possible.


    23 February 2011 at 9:34 am

  14. It seems to me to be wise to work as much as possible in “the cloud”. Hoping that “the cloud” would be equally accessible to both MAC and PC. I do all my calendaring and e-mail in GOOGLE CHROME and G-MAIL, which synch great to my BLACKBERRY. Hope this holds true if I ever get a MAC.

    Bob Slaughter

    23 February 2011 at 9:59 am

  15. I’m a little uneasy about turning over all my data, documents, and photos to some company that may decide simply to pull the plug. Google in fact has hit some bumps along the way. Cloud backup is okay, but even with DropBox the actual files continue to reside on my computers.


    23 February 2011 at 11:33 am

  16. Ah, I see the misunderstanding. When you said “sync to Outlook” I heard “sync to Exchange,” the corporate email/messaging system that one typically uses Outlook for. Exchange serves my Outlook software, my iPad and my iPhone and keeps them all “synched.” But just using Outlook as a standalone program? Maybe you’re right that it’s not possible to sync it directly to one’s iOS device.

    If you’re just using Outlook as a standalone application, I’d say…don’t. Apple’s Mail and Calendar applications are perfectly adequate substitutes. And they sync with iOS devices like gangbusters, naturally.


    23 February 2011 at 11:45 am

  17. Yeah, but I have a TON of stuff in Office documents, and iMail and iCal, while okay, don’t play nicely with the Office formats. My hope is that OpenOffice will.

    You guys who work in big organizations work in a different IT environment than us individual independent practitioners. You not only have an IT staff backing you up, but a whole data center, etc. We *have* to use Outlook as a standalone program. And we often want more capability than the Mac offers with its (somewhat lame, it seems to me) iCal and iMail and TextEdit programs. We want a capable suite, like Office (and, I hope, OpenOffice).


    23 February 2011 at 12:29 pm

  18. I’m a little lost. I can see why you might want to have high compatibility with Microsoft Office and the documents others may send you (also your legacy documents). I myself have Office 2011 for just this purpose.

    That does not, however, mean that you need to use Outlook for your email/calendaring needs. Not if you use an Exchange-based email service, and not if you *don’t* use one. Mail, though it looks simplistic, isn’t. It’s fully Exchange-compatible. iCal is also deceptively attractive, but is a very capable program.

    TexEdit is lame, yes. But Preview isn’t! I recommend TextWrangler for text, if you have a need for plain-text editing as I do.


    23 February 2011 at 12:42 pm

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