My new favorite app

Jim Forbes, formerly the host of DemoMobile, asked me last month if I had tried Microsoft’s OneNote, part of the Office 2003 suite. I hadn’t, so I checked it out, downloaded a two-month trial, and after a month of use, felt happy enough to pay for a full license.

The app is ostensibly for note-taking, and follows a tabbed file-folder structure. I can see how it would really rule on a pen-based laptop, but being a better typist than penman, I more than happy with it without the handwriting feature.

The sweet thing about OneNote is that it is by far the best web-scraper I’ve used. You can drag URLs, full pages, and block-saves of web pages very easily. Performing research and trying to compile emails, file attachments, URLs, images, into one page is difficult. Microsoft Word is funky and while html friendly, not the best place for pulling together projects.

Any how, my endorsement. Good app that came out of left field. There’s a research functionI discovered today that points searches to MSN and Encarta along with some third parties like Thompson. Chris Locke needs to push the folks at Highbeam to get integrated there. My main beef with highbeam is how to saves documents and leaves open firefox windows all over the place. Sucking highbeam directly into OneNote would be a good thing I think.

Update 2.17.05:
Steve Weir from Highbeam emailed this info:

“Issue #1: Do we work with MSFT OneNote? We are actually integrated into all Microsoft Office products in their research pane. Unfortunately, to our continued annoyance, our old brand name (eLibrary) is still showing up instead of our new name. If you want to search HighBeam in Office, just use the research pane, and select “eLibrary” as your resource, it should work just fine..

“Issue #2: Strange blank window in Firefox. I think I recreated this on my PC, but, I want to be sure. Did this happen for you when you clicked on our “export to Office” feature? I found a similar bug, and we are working to take care of it (our Firefox compatibility isn’t where it needs to be – yet).

Thanks Steve.

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