Tablet PCs and OneNote – The Writer’s Never-ending Notebook and Research File (Part III of V)

May 20, 2008

Many writers find comfort in the jumbled mess of half-used yellow notepads, crumbled paper and sticky notes cluttering their desks.  The psychosis lies in the fact that we actually know where everything is amidst the chaos.  Admittedly, this was me before OneNote.  This software is what makes the Tablet PC a perfect tool for writers.

OneNote is a brilliant software program created by Microsoft specifically for the Tablet PC. This application is a never-ending notebook that never runs out of paper or files or even ink for that matter, as long as you have your trusty digitizer. This fantastic software is not just for current notes and research. 

Other OneNote Uses:

  • Musings
  • Sketching
  • Event Planning
  • Random Ideas 
  •  Inking Websites and Pictures
  • Creating and Recording Audio Files

And so much more!

How does it work? It’s really simple. Create your category and start inking, importing pictures, snippets of full web pages, hyperlinks and even record audio files.  You can create endless folders and endless sections within those folders and endless pages within those sections! And yes, you can search your handwritten notes.  The program recognizes your handwriting and finds the handwritten notes that apply.

Choices are abundant as to what your writing surface will look like. For example, you pick your paper (college rule, blank, grid, etc) and your writing tool (pen, marker, highlighter, etc.)  Did I already mention the best part is you never run out of paper, ink or colors!(?) I love that!

Example: How I layout my OneNote when beginning a new screenplay

Screenplay Setup OneNote

Are there other applications similar to OneNote? While OneNote offers the most features, you may also like Agilix GoBinder and GoBinder Lite (free and included in Microsoft’s Education Pack).  There is EverNote which uses categories instead of folders.  InkSeine also has some really unique features and compliments OneNote.  The one big drawback to InkSeine is that it does not support text.

Software Resources Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edt.  Microsoft also offers two free software application packs for the tablets – Experience Pack and Education Pack. A great resource for Tablet PC applications is TabletPC Post.


Five-Part Series

Tablet PCs – A Writer’s Infinite Desktop (Part I of V)

Tablet PCs – Choosing the Perfect Form Factor for Writers (Part II of V)

Tablet PCs and OneNote – The Writer’s Never-Ending Notebook and Research File (Part III of V)

Tablet PCs and Mac Users (Part IV of V)

 A Wrap-up – Tablet PCs – A Writer’s Infinite Desktop (Part V of V)



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim B. May 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm

You could do an entire series just on note apps but those are the main ones. Anyone just starting out with a tablet would be good to stay away from EverNote. It’s frustrating for newbies.

FYI – The Inksein experience is actually better on Vista.


Robin May 20, 2008 at 5:53 pm

“FYI – The Inksein experience is actually better on Vista.”

Yes, because of the handwriting recognition within the search feature.

I agree about EverNote. I have tried it and didn’t care for it, but to each his own.


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