Hello World, It’s OneNote

Hello World, It’s OneNote

I’m writing this post using OneNote. This isn’t very interesting and I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that just about every blog post I’ve made over the last decade originated in OneNote. I’ve used any number of editors over the years, the content almost always originated in OneNote.

What is special about this post is that it is actually posted from OneNote. To be more precise, this post was pulled directly from a OneNote Notebook into WordPress (the platform I use for this blog). This was done using a WordPress Plugin developed in partnership between WordPress and the OneNote team at Microsoft.

I really like the workflow this plugin enables. Unlike blogging from Word or LiveWriter, I am not posting directly from the editor. While this may seem like the most efficient workflow, it presents some challenges. I often found myself having to side-step the default workflow so that I could ensure the intended formatting carried through to WordPress cleanly. Most often than not I ended up having to teak links, images, etc. before I could publish the post.

With the OneNote plugin I am instead importing from my Notebook into the WordPress editor. This cleanly separates the creation process from publishing process. It may seem like a trivial change in workflow but I finding it surprisingly impactful.

Is it perfect? No, of course not. I still had to mess with the paragraph formatting a bit and I’ve had a few issues with some images not importing properly. Even with these issues, I find it quite usable. It may note be as seamless as LiveWrite was when it first launched but it is certainly more capable than LiveWriter today.

Stop! Hammer time…

For lovers of hyperbolic technology predictions, 2011 was a banner year. Based on media coverage one would assume that right now I’m sitting in front of my 3D TV while I write this blog on my phone. Meanwhile my ceiling is checking the weather while my refrigerator is busy posting to Google+ that I’m low on coconut water.

My favorite of 2011 was the predicted death of the PC. What makes this one so interesting is that people were eager to jump on the bandwagon, there was little agreement as too why. Some said the Smartphone would replace the PC. Others said we’d all switch to using tablets. Meanwhile we saw millions of PC ship during the holidays.

This boils down to the old adage that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The reality is that there are screws in the world. And they don’t interface with hammers very well.

While it would be nice to have a 60″ resizable 3D touch-screen device that I can put into my pocket and expand while sitting on the couch to better see Angry Birds, it just isn’t going to happen any time soon. Instead we’ll have different devices for different tasks. There will be room for your hammer in the tool box, but it won’t be your only tool.

My wish list? A Smartphone in my pocket, a 30″ monitor docked to my Laptop on my desk, a Tablet on the end table and a big whopping 70″ TV in the living room. On top of that, I’d like the Cloud to sync content between all these devices. It would also be nice if they all shared a common interface.

I already have a lot of this. Okay, I don’t have a 70″ TV (if anyone knows of a foolproof Wife Acceptance argument for such an item, please share). As I look around the house right now I do see most of this coming together.

I have a Windows Phone 7 in my pocket. It syncs my documents, photos and OneNote up to the cloud. I’ve got Windows 8 Developer Preview running on my Laptop which is docked in the office. Next to the Couch is an Asus tablet, also running Windows 8 Developer Preview (I use this Tablet quite a bit, it comes to every meeting I attend and every flight I take). On the TV is my XBOX 360 playing a movie. All of these devices sync to the Cloud, they all run a Metro Style UI. I’m able to share content between them, editing on one and consuming on another effortlessly.

Now all I need is my fridge to acquire an IP address while I look up what the heck coconut water is and why I’m suppose to care that I’m out of it.