Syncing heaven: Video Blogging OneNote for Windows Phone 7

As a student, many might be surprised that I don’t use Microsoft Office OneNote that often. I use and prefer Word, or even better, Livescribe’s Pulse Smartpen. However, on Windows Phone 7, the OneNote integration is easy to use and seamless when combined with the latest 2010 version on the desktop. Its main strength is that it uses your Windows Live SkyDrive storage (25GB) to store and sync your notebooks back and forth between the phone and desktop applications.

If you currently use Evernote or an equivalent product on other devices, OneNote’s functionality is probably good enough for most scenarios given how tightly integrated it is with its desktop counterpart. I’ve put together a video blog on how it works below:

OneNote video blog–filmed 3rd December 2010

Of course the weakness with the other Microsoft Office applications on Windows Phone 7 is that they don’t feature SkyDrive syncing at all, instead relying solely on SharePoint Server 2010. That’s fine if you’re in a corporate setting which has SharePoint, but for average consumers this doesn’t make any sense given how OneNote does SkyDrive syncing so well. Furthermore, getting documents (other than notebooks) is made harder by this limitation – it means you have to email Word, Excel and PowerPoint files to yourself in order to open them. Yeah, it works but it’s inelegant and inefficient as you have to deal with multiple copies of the same document.

Also limited are the formatting options. You can use boldface, italics, underlining and strikethrough, as well as highlight but only with the colour yellow. You can’t change the fonts at all. I suppose nobody will be doing complex document manipulation on their phone but even the paid third-party Office apps on the iPhone, including Documents To Go and QuickOffice, provide better formatting options.

Chalk those up on the to-do list for the next Windows Phone 7 update.

2 thoughts on “Syncing heaven: Video Blogging OneNote for Windows Phone 7

  1. hey, great video! i handle EVERYTHING of my life in onenote, and i am thinking on getting a WP7 to work with that on the go… thou there are iphone and android onenote apps i don’t think its the same…

    btw, i do have some questions about the WP7 onenote app…
    1. Does it handle tags?… you know the desktop feature of “Search/Show Tags” which displays all the tags on the right… can WP7 do something like that??

    2. Can WP7 Sync with desktop via USB??? (a noob question, i know, but i’m just starting my research)

    well, hope you answer, and thnx for everything!

    • Hi Antonio

      1. As far as I’m aware the OneNote app on WP7 doesn’t handle tags just yet.

      2. WP7 can only sync photos, music and video with the desktop – it has no USB syncing capability with Microsoft Office. Basically, the easiest way to get syncing is to sign in with your Live ID in the office products and save to your SkyDrive. Incidentally – SkyDrive now behaves much like DropBox so just save everything in your SkyDrive on the desktop for instant access on your Windows Phone.

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