OneNote LogoMicrosoft’s OneNote is the note taking & productivity tool. It works on most devices and all – fully featured – versions are free to both download and use; no licence required.

It can not only help you free-up space in your brain, but it is also a perfect base for life planning, list writing and generally making you productive.

I have been using OneNote for over 10 years. My life is indexed within my notebooks and I’d be very lost without the system that I’ve slowly built for myself, which I now use to run my life and my business.

OneNote is really good. Good enough that I’ve dedicated this section of my blog to share some of the things that I’ve learned over the years. I hope that it will help more people discover the power that is available to them for their organisation and planning (amongst all of the other things it is also good for).

A Productivity Tool Based on OneNote

I’ve been meaning to launch a productivity tool that hooks into Microsoft OneNote for some years now.

I got really far a few years back. I taught myself C# and made a good go of writing a windows desktop app which utilised the OneNote COM API to talk directly to notebooks and pull the specific information out that I needed.

I was also working on a mobile helper app using Ionic & Cordova that was 90% finished; it even had a website.

The desktop app was hard work. The documentation was minimal and nobody else seemed to be working on OneNote extensions so I was having to learn everything on my own, reverse engineering things as I went. I was also having to traverse the steep learning curve that is the C#/.NET/WPF/XAML/LINQ ecosystem.

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OneNote on OSX, first impressions

Recently I moved to Apple’s OSX as my primary operating system. It has gone very smoothly with me taking a Macbook Air on holiday (with no work or email loaded onto it!) so I could get used to it and when back I had a few transition days where I did productive work with both old & new machine side by side.

One thing I was extremely nervous about was what the brand new OSX OneNote would be like, just how limited would its feature set be compared to the amazing Windows desktop version?

In turns out that the OSX team have got it just about right for a first (well, second as there was a small update recently) release and the version is useable, even for a hardcore OneNoter like me. Below I’ll quickly list out some points and highlight some hopeful areas for urgent improvement.

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Unable to programmatically download a Onenote file from Skydrive

ImageThis is not a how-to it is more of a how-do-i? The thinking is that if I distill the problem into words I may figure out where I’m going wrong.

Also, there’s always the outside chance that someone else might have the answer and put me out of my misery.

I’ll map out the problem in detail below with some background for context. If you want to cut to the chase then the summary of the problem is here.

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Strikethrough keyboard shortcuts in MS Office

I use a lot of strike-through during my day (well, hopefully I do as I get things done!). Here’s a couple of keyboard short-cuts for strike-through on MS Office products:

  • OneNote: Ctrl + –
  • Excel: Ctrl + 5
  • Word: Ctrl + D (font menu) then Alt + K (tick strike-through) then Enter

Not exactly consistent, but useful nonetheless.

Update from comments below:

  • Lync: Ctrl+T
  • Sticky notes: Ctrl+T


Enable OneNote 2013 logging

Untitled-1I’m trying to develop an MS Onenote add-on. This hard because I’m a web developer with LAMP skills so the world of C#, Visual Studio 2012, COM, Registries, DLLs and installers is all new to me. To make things worse it  seems that Onenote doesn’t qualify for a VSTO and its file format is still closed and binary where all the other office file formats are open and easy to parse.

Anyway, my addin wouldn’t load. So I thought I’d try and enable logging after seeing this post.

I eventually did get it working, of sorts using the following:

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