This Week in Mobile Tech Manor #81: Size Doesn’t Matter

The end of the week is here so time to share the past week at Mobile Tech Manor with you, my friends. It was a typical week full of gadgets, software and good e-books. I used a different notebook each day and it went well.

Carry OneNote Workbooks on the iPhone — MobileNoter

Heavy users of Microsoft’s OneNote have been left out in the cold unless they also use a Windows Mobile phone. That’s no longer the case due to MobileNoter, an iPhone app that syncs OneNote notebooks on a PC with the iPhone for reference on the run.

OneNote Data Compatibility and Conversion Questions Answered


Folks are getting excited about the new OneNote 2010 and I can’t blame them. I’ve said for years that I believe OneNote is one of the best, if not the best, piece of software from Microsoft (s MSFT). Not only will OneNote 2010 be included in all Office 2010 versions, but we know it will be usable over the web and through Windows Live Sync as well. But one question that current OneNote users keep asking is: What happens to the OneNote 2007 data? Can it be used with OneNote 2010? What about data from the new version in old versions?

Dan Escapa from the OneNote team comes to the rescue again with these key points on compatibility:

  • OneNote 2010 will fully read & write OneNote 2007 format notebooks, no need to convert a notebook
  • There is a new OneNote 2010 format to support new features (such as versions)
  • OneNote 2010 can convert notebooks from 2007<–>2010 formats and back

Dan reminds us that if you plan to share OneNote data with 2007 users, you need to convert your 2010 data into the 2007 format before sharing it. Eventually, I’d like to see Microsoft release a converter for OneNote 2007 owners. That would be helpful if they inadvertently get OneNote data in the new format but still have the old software.

OneNote Gets More Mobile in Office 2010

inking_hqThe news that OneNote will be included in all versions of Office 2010 was welcome, and as more information appears, it seems OneNote will be getting more “cloudy” too. David Rasmussen, OneNote product manager at Microsoft (s msft), has blogged details about the next version of the note-taking app, and it’s sounding pretty good for mobile users.

  • Sync to Cloud (Windows Live): Your notebooks sync and are available anywhere from any machine. Of course, this is in addition to all the existing ways you can sync notebooks — file shares, SharePoint, USB drives, etc.
  • OneNote Web App: You can access and edit your entire notebook from a browser. This is even supported on a machine that doesn’t have OneNote installed.
  • OneNote Mobile: A more complete OneNote version for Windows Mobile phones. Syncs whole notebooks. Syncs directly to the cloud. No need to tether your device. Richer editing support.

This is especially good news for Windows Mobile users, as the mobile version of OneNote has been very restrictive. This ability to cut the cord for syncing to OneNote Mobile is very good news, indeed. David’s details about the full OneNote to come are promising, and show a lot of improvements will be coming to a notebook near you.

OneNote Included in All Versions of Office 2010

OneNote iconThe announcement introducing Microsoft Office 2010 got a lot of attention, especially information about the Web Apps. Office is a big money-maker for Microsoft (s msft), and every new major version is an attention-grabber. One little fact fell by the wayside during all of the hoopla, however: OneNote is to be included in all versions of Office 2010.

This is big news for OneNote users who previously had to buy a premium Office suite to get it, or pay extra for OneNote. The OneNote Blog gives us the straight scoop:

I thought you all would like to know that OneNote is now included in all Office editions! That means no matter what Office box you buy or what you company purchases OneNote will be on the disc!  I remember when I first started on the team OneNote 2003 was a stand alone version of and even though we were a part of Office but wasn’t in the box.  I would tell people what product I worked on and people would ask “is OneNote in standard?” or “I have pro I don’t see OneNote”.  Then when we found that we were included in the Home & Student and Enterprise editions we were overjoyed and excited to be in the box.  But now I can tell people that no matter what version of Office they buy they will have OneNote!  I feel like we have really come along a long way from a standalone app to being a core part of the Office experience.

The OneNote team is understandably excited about this “promotion” at Microsoft. OneNote is a fantastic application that is not promoted heavily by the folks at Redmond. Maybe this means more people will get exposed to OneNote.

Send To OneNote Fix for 64-Bit Available

microsoft_onenote_logo1Over a year ago, we commiserated in your Microsoft (s MSFT) OneNote frustrations. A key feature, the “Send to OneNote” function, simply didn’t work if you were running a 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows Vista. We heard from the OneNote team way back then and although I understand the technical challenge involved, it still left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Pity too, because I still believe that OneNote is one of the most impressive bits of software to come out of Microsoft.
We later heard of a workaround that involved snapping and sending an image of captured data; the image file was then sent into OneNote. That’s a partial help but the ability to read and convert any text or ink data was lost in translation, i.e.: not ideal.
Yesterday I got a tweet from Bhavishya telling me about a newer workaround that appears to be a far better solution. It’s not perfect, but pretty darn close and should carry OneNote users through the issue until the next release of the software. David Rasumussen developed the solution in his spare time and you can find it right on his blog. Essentially, his code uses Vista’s XPS printer driver and monitors a specific folder for new XPS files. Note that this isn’t an official solution from Microsoft, and as such, isn’t supported by them. Thanks Bhavishya!

Microsoft Prototypes a Useful Canvas for OneNote

Fans of Microsoft (s MSFT) OneNote, listen up! If you’re running the productivity software on Windows Vista, you’ll want to download Canvas for OneNote. The prototype application comes from the Office Labs team and provides all new ways to organize your notebooks spatially and find information fast. The above demo vid I saw on Dan Escapa’s OneNote Blog explains it far better than I could.

You can easily move pages all around the canvas, group them, resize the groups and more. Simple zoom controls allow you to see your pages in more detail, so you can verify the information you’re looking for. There’s also a useful Activity View that highlights content you created during a specific period, using a time-frame slider. Very nice!

Web Work 101: New Web Worker? Who’s Got Your Back?

One of the things that can really help you when you’re starting out as a web worker is having a “safety network”  of mentors in your field.

The ideal situation is to have access to a few people with freelance experience whom you know well enough to be able to lean on a little, people who will gladly share their wisdom and let you pick their brains. You should have at least one mentor whose expertise you can draw on for tips, tech support, quality control — and even reassurance. Read More about Web Work 101: New Web Worker? Who’s Got Your Back?

Indirect Marketing: How Well Does it Work?

indirect-routeAlthough it may not be a new concept, indirect marketing has experienced tremendous gains in popularity in recent years. Chalk this up to the growing influence of the social network as a culture-shaping force. That said, does marketing through these channels in an indirect fashion actually pay off? Is there even a way to accurately measure the influence of that kind of promotional effort?

As web workers, we’re no strangers to social networks. In fact, they’re probably part and parcel of what you consider your active working time every day. But how do you use them? Take Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki), for instance. He’s fairly direct when it comes to marketing via those channels. In fact, he’s often accused of spamming because of his approach.

The indirect approach, which one might attribute to someone like John Hodgman (@hodgman), basically involves being so interesting, funny, useful, or bizarre that people can’t help but try to find out more about you, and, as a result, the products or services you offer. Key success factors for indirect marketing include not looking like you’re trying to actually sell anything, the art of which is described well in this article at

Read More about Indirect Marketing: How Well Does it Work?