Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Resurgence of OneNote via the iPad? Hmm…..

This morning in Computerworld, “Microsoft's OneNote’s Strategy: Battle Evernote or something bigger?” brought back all my memories of using OneNote for 5 years or more - as well as the frustration.

The writing by Gregg Keizer points to a number of reasons' and potential thoughts on why Microsoft could be pushing OneNote onto the iPad. At the end he does make the comment that to use OneNote you must have a Microsoft account as all data is stored on Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Note: you can get a OneDrive account by just having an Outlook email account and you get 7 GB storage for free.

Gregg does state that the FREE OneNote for the Apple environment can only be used at Home or School (not for business) whereas Evernote can be used any where – even the FREE version.

Evernote does have a business package now which adds better collaboration tools.

As for me: I am a prolific note taker and for years I used Microsoft Word for this. When I was introduced to OneNote in 2003 I became one of it’s biggest fans. I was an evangelist for OneNote. I had notebook on notebook on notebook. What a fantastic tool. I gave seminar’s on OneNote and taught it.

I started synching OneNote on all my devices (at that time devices were Desktop and  2 laptop’s – circa 2003). I began using Microsoft’s Mesh – (now ‘OneDrive’), when it became available. Most of the time the synchronization worked well however was not perfect. Occasionally I would have multiple copies of my notebooks.

Sometime around 2008/2009 I was introduced to Evernote in it’s Beta form and, although not as powerful as OneNote, it’s synchronization was better - and I could access it on the web from any computer. It did everything I needed and I opened a FREE account. For awhile I used both Evernote and OneNote.

With my acquisition of a smartphone Evernote suddenly became the only way for me. OneNote was not available and I did not see a benefit to using two tools. Evernote was it. I stopped using OneNote completely. When OneNote did become available for the Android phone it was not easy and did not sync well for me. It was like having two different version's of the app.

Forward to today; I have an Evernote Premium account (pay) and it sync’s with my Samsung Galaxy S3, my iPad, my Nexus 7, my HP Desktop, my HP laptop, and this device, my HP Omni 10 and it sync’s very well between all devices.  Evernote is also on my Google Glass and performs exceptionally well with voice recognition.

The desktop, laptop, and HP Omni 10 tablet are all using Windows 8.1. The phone and the Nexus 7 are Android, and the Apple iPad is running the latest iOS 7.

I can share folders within Evernote and collaborate with others – which I have done. I have many folders as one might have notebooks in OneNote.

I am also a user of Skitch by Evernote for making sketches as well as annotating pictures and drawings. There are also handwriting tools like Penultimate (by Evernote), which on the iPad works very well. Evernote has voice recording and well as a camera connection.  Handwriting is now good within Evernote for the Windows user.

There are many other tools in the Evernote portfolio as well as many web extensions for the Chrome browser. 

Yes there are only (?) 80 million users of Evernote at this time and a billion users of Microsoft Office. I use Microsoft Office (Word and Excel can’t be beaten) however I just can’t see my way back to OneNote.

In the end I am not sure that by providing OneNote as a FREE tool it will bring many people to the table when Office arrives on the iPad. The many users of the iPad already have something that they use to take notes. I think OneNote is very powerful however does everyone need all that power to take notes?

Just sayin’…..

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PewResearch Predicting Life in 2025

Digital Life in 2025. This is an interesting report by PewResearch and one, if you have some time, you might want to read. The report was put together to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Happy to say that I have been there for most of it.

Reading through the various contributors is quite interesting. You can see where we have been, maybe (opinion) where we are, however where we are going with the Internet can be mind boggling – depending on who you read. The opinions vary greatly with one exception – we are going somewhere and life as we know it is changing. Perhaps more rapidly than we can see. At least one contributor won’t really predict.

An idea that appears to be common is that the Internet and our lives will be seamless. It will be everywhere, integrated into all aspects of our lives – and the lives of our devices.

The one thing constantly in my mind is that they are not talking 2050, they are talking 2025 -  eleven years out. Where will you be in eleven years? Where will your children be? My favorite thought; where were you eleven years ago and what were you doing? Where did the Internet fit in to your life eleven years ago? Where does the Internet fit into your life today? Where do you think the Internet will fit into your life eleven years from now?

Today, when someone stares at me with my Google Glass, what will they do when they see me (or someone) riding in a car that is driving itself? What will happen to modes of transportation as we become more adjusted to working when and from wherever we like? The Internet is not yet everywhere however the world is working on that.

I read a tech journalist yesterday that was laughing at the fact that going paperless was a failed idea. His opinion appeared to be that this cannot happen. I am not sure that he is very current with his technology. Paper companies are having serious problems because the printing, publishing, industries are losing to the digital world. His own way of life could be threatened. Ironically I did read his post on my computer.

A large number of people are in self denial. Are you with your job? Do you think your job will be the same in the next eleven years? If not, are you doing something about it? Problem is that the people I am speaking to are not reading this blog. Hmm…….

Things change, times change, the weather changes. We change!

I will leave the philosophy for now to go find new things on the Internet. I need to check the news, find out why my back is hurting, and maybe discover a new recipe. Our problems may still be the same however how we get to answers is going to be different.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Google Glass Is Mine!

I have waited a number of days to write this so I could look back at my feelings and respond appropriately.

googleglass002On February 28, 2014 I received an email from the Google Glass Explorer Program asking if I was still interested in Google Glass. My Invite had arrived! This is the day that I, with consultation with my wife, added to the debt limit and, at the same time, decreased our son’s inheritance. Sorry kid, I love ya’ but Google just got some of your money.

Story: About 12:05PM on Friday I received an email from Google wanting to know if I was still interested in obtaining Google Glass. I think I read it about 3 times and then called my wife. A little too much excitement here. You know there is a problem when you have someone my age giggling and cannot contain the laughter.

After much deliberation, some Starbucks coffee, at 3:40PM I placed the order. Next major problem; what color? I love Red but would draw too much attention. Next was Blue – hmm, my favorite color – next to Red, but again an attention getter. I want to do this but would like a little less attention. Black and White were out of the running so I settled for Grey.

Ironically I now wish I had gone with the red, hang the attention. Oh well.

All that was Friday the 28th. On March 5th they were in my hands. At the WalterGlasslast moment I was asked to teach an Excel class on March 5th (the due date) so I had to wait to pick them up at UPS that evening. Oh the excitement.

Now the long learning process begins. I did take pictures of the un-boxing however they were not much compared to my wearing them for the first time. Way too much excitement here.

It has now been 5 days since the unboxing and I have figured out how to;

  • Turn them on and off as well as adjust how they wear
  • Take a picture and a video (going through the car wash was funny)
    • I am impressed with the 5MP camera
  • Reply to email – which blew me away, It was an accident
  • Send pictures to people on purpose as well as in error
    • Took a picture of a gift basket and sent it to Leo Laporte – sorry Leo
  • I’ve learned to check the battery, the temperature, and the time
  • I have been in a Hangout

I have learned much more however I have a long way to go until they are part of my normal routine. I have to admit I have had no trouble wearing them, I adjusted very quickly. I can also wear out the battery very quickly.

I am mind boggled by what the potential is. I have been through a number of discussions since receiving the glasses as to area’s where something like this could be of great advantage. So much to do. Picture and Video taking with Bluetooth connection to my phone. I can screencast what I see to someone else and be involved in a Hangout. And I am only an Egg.

More as I go.