“Notes quit unexpectedly” on macOS

notes-iconSince the new Notes app on macOS has a sharing function, I am planning to use it much more often. But today I shared a note with someone else, and since then, the Notes app systematically crashed when I opened it, with the message “Notes quit unexpectedly“.

This is how I managed to solve it:

  • In System Preferences, navigate to iCloud
  • Turn off the Notes synchronisation
  • In the Finder menu, click Go while keeping the Option key pressed, and select Library
  • Open the Containers folder
  • Move the com.apple.Notes folder to the trash
  • In System Preferences, iCloud, turn the Notes sync back on
  • Start Notes again.

My Top 10 learning tools for 2016

Jane Hart has a long tradition (10 years, congrats!) in gathering the world’s Top learning tools and I am happy to contribute again this year.

Some changes: there will now be a top 200, and a split on education, workplace learning, and personal and professional learning.

Here we go, in random order:

  • Twitter: the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects. (personal & professional learning)
  • Microsoft OneNote: still the best note-taking application on the Windows platform. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint or OneDrive, and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen (like the Surface). It is fully cross platform with a nice and stable client for OS X! (personal and professional learning)
  • Office Lens: a Microsoft mobile app (Windows, iOS, Android) that “scans” about everything with the camera of your phone. I especially like the way it “straightens” pictures of documents, whiteboards, flipcharts…
    Invaluable for capturing the notes of a meeting. (personal and professional learning)
  • Office Mix: the top tool to “convert your PowerPoint to e-learning” (even if that is not always a good idea), almost dropped out of my list because Microsoft suddenly removed the support for SCORM export. But I give it the benefit of the doubt for another year, there is still LTI compatibility. (workplace learning)
  • Pocket: with the “read later” button in your browser toolbar, you can save interesting articles for later, and read them afterwards. Love the fact that it is available on and syncing with my e-reader. (personal & professional learning)
  • WordPress: excellent blogging platform. Recent releases have been focussing on the usability for the writer, and it is setting the standards for usability. Administration is now a piece of cake, even for non-tech users, with e.g. the auto-update feature. (personal & professional learning)
  • Fever: this “self-hosted Google Reader” is still my main information hub, gathering hundreds of RSS feeds that would otherwise be impossible to follow. Fever is exceptionally easy to install and very stable. (personal & professional learning)
  • WebEx: a very reliable, easy to use and complete web conferencing tool.  An international company could not do without it. (workplace learning)
  • Microsoft Snip is a “garage project” that goes beyond the functionalities of the traditional “screen capture” tool. Love the fact that you can easily annotate your screen captures to document your findings, and the idea to let you record voice annotations is very useful for support purposes. And it is free. (workplace learning)
  • Office 365: the “swiss army knife” of productivity tools: enterprise-grade e-mail and calendar, SharePoint sites for collaborating or storing knowledge, and OneDrive that has 1TB of storage and that is a serious competitor for tools like Google Drive and DropBox.
    Some nice extensions became available, like Sway and Flow, but for me it is too early to mention them separately …(workplace learning)

Snip, a free screen capture tool

If you occasionally need to take a screenshot (or a screen capture of your screen), recent versions of Windows provide you with the Windows Snipping tool. It works well for simple jobs, but a recent Microsoft Garage project called Snip takes it to the next level.


It offers a number of advantages:

  • it runs in the background and is always available
  • it stores your screenshots in a “library” without having to save manually to a file
  • you can annotate your screenshot with various drawing tools. Especially useful when you are using a tablet
  • you can save your annotations in a video file and add voice-over to it (very handy for describing an issue)



Microsoft Surface Pro 3 hangs on black “Surface” boot screen

On several occasions, I had my Surface Pro 3 freeze up on me on the boot screen. When I would turn on the surface, it would get to the black screen with the Surface logo, but it would not get any further. No spinner, no activity, nothing.

The following procedure fixes my issue every time:

  • if the Surface is turned on, turn it off by holding the power button for at least 30 seconds
  • press and hold the volume up button and the power button simultaneously for 15 seconds, then release the buttons
  • screen will flash and the Surface will shut down (sometimes it gets stuck at the bios screen, just exit then)
  • turn the device back on. Things should be ok now.

Check the following link for more troubleshooting tips.