Webopedia describes Microsoft OneNote as a note-taking and personal information management (PIM) application for collecting, organizing and sharing digital information. Basically, it gathers your typed or handwritten notes, drawings, screen captures, and audio recordings and makes them available to be shared over the internet or a network. OneNote is available as a standalone application for Windows, OS X, Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS and Android, and is also included as part of Microsoft Office and Windows 10. Via OneDrive or Office Online, users can edit notes by means of their web browser.
With OneNote, users can enter text, create tables and insert pictures as they would with a normal word processor. The difference between OneNote and word processors is essentially that word processors tend to be aimed at publishing in one form or another, whereas with OneNote, users can write anywhere on a document window by just clicking there. All notes are saved automatically, so there is no need to continually save work. The information is saved in pages arranged into sections within notebooks. An electronic, tabbed ring binder is available for notes to be made and material to be gathered from other applications. Pages in the binder can then be manipulated by the use of a stylus or drawing/word processor tools and embedded multimedia recordings and web links can be included.
Its multi-user capability allows different members of work groups to work on the same page simultaneously. Members can also edit work offline and merge and synchronize their work online at a later stage. In March 2014, Microsoft released the OneNote cloud service application programming interface (API), allowing third-party developers to incorporate the service into their applications.
The latest OneNote upgrades and improvements for the different interfaces are as follows:
An audio recording feature has been added, ideal for students wanting to record lectures, or people wanting to capture speeches or other memorable events on audio. On the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, 3D Touch is also available, allowing the user to create a new note by merely tapping the OneNote icon to create a new file.
Floating badges will be displayed on the device’s screen once OneNote is launched, thereby granting easy access to the program while multitasking on Android.
YouTube, Vimeo, and Office Mix videos may now be embedded into your notes, with more video sources to be added over the next few months.
The web version of OneNote now also supports audio recordings, and users can attach any file to their pages simply by clicking “insert” and then “file attachments.”
Microsoft also announced a number of new features in OneNote that use the service API:
OneNote Clipper uses the OneNote service API and allows users to save a screenshot of a webpage to OneNote along with the link. The text in the screenshot is made searchable using Optical Character Recognition. When you open Clipper, you can choose to clip an entire page or part thereof and then choose what notebook and section to clip it to.
Email to OneNote enables users to send emails to the address firstname.lastname@example.org from pre-specified email IDs to have the contents of the email saved to OneNote
Office Lens is a free app for Windows Phone for capturing images of documents and whiteboards. It automatically trims, enhances and makes the pictures readable, cleans up glares and shadows and auto-corrects colors. Pictures are saved to OneNote and also to the camera roll. The text is recognized using Optical Character Recognition and can be searched and edited. Similar functionality is available in OneNote apps for iOS and Android and will be built-into Windows 10.