Microsoft OneNote available for iPad

Last week, Microsoft released the OneNote app for iPad in the app store. It is the first version of the app, and still lacks some functionality I would like to see added, but it is a great first step. These are the things you should know:

  • the app is free, but is limited to 500 notes; if you want more, you can unlock this limitation with an 11,99 EUR in-app purchase. I consider myself a heavy OneNote user, and I am currently at 320 pages. So with some management, you can stay under the limit.
  • Notes are synced with Windows Live Skydrive, so you will need a Windows Live ID to use the app. Advantage is that you have an online backup of your notes, and you can even edit them on Skydrive in the web app.
  • If you use formatting extensively in OneNote, you will be disapponted that a lot of these features are not supported in the iPad app. You get plain text. There is some room for improvement here.
  • Written notes (ink on a tablet pc) are not visible in the iPad app. Sometimes the app crashes on pages that contain a lot of written notes.

There is also an iPhone version of the application. And if you are thinking about converting your entire Evernote archive to OneNote, my colleague Frank pointed us to a conversion tool. Although you might want to wait with that until the 2.0 version of the OneNote app is released…

 

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Sharing a OneNote notebook: always a good idea!

For a lot of people, Microsoft OneNote is the electronic alternative of their
“little black book” that they take to meetings, to write down their action items
and notes. But it is much more than that. One of my favorite features is the
sharing of notebooks. This allows you to store your notebook on
a central location (e.g. a SharePoint site, a file share, or even on Windows
Live Skydrive), and use it with multiple people. Why would you and your
colleague carry your own little black book if you are working on the same
project?

Even if you do not want to share your notes, it is still a good idea to store
your notebook on SharePoint or Skydrive. If you put it on a location where only
you have access, this will create the perfect backup of your
notes, because your notebooks will automatically synchronise between your pc and
the shared location. You don’t want to lose your little black book, do you?

The video below shows you how to setup a shared notebook. Tip: maximize the
video and watch in HD for a better viewing experience.

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Password expiration in Office 365

I have been a very happy Office 365 user since day 1, but yesterday suddenly my e-mail stopped working. And it was only when I tried to log on using OWA that I discovered that my password expired and that I needed to enter a new one. It seems that by default your password expires after 90 days.

As I do not want to reconfigure all the devices that use my 365 account every 90 days, I decided to disable password expiration. The only way to do this is via a PowerShell command, explained in every detail in this blog post.

Security is a good thing, but it would have been nice to get a little reminder e-mail that your password is about to expire. I am on the P1 plan, which is the “dummy” plan for individuals and small businesses; if I need to change a setting, I want to do this via the portal, not via PowerShell.

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Office 365 – first impressions

This week, I migrated all of our personal mailboxes to the Office 365 for Professionals and Small Businesses program (also called the “Plan P1”). These are my first impressions:

  • pricing is very good; I already had some Exchange mailboxes, and for about the same price I get more storage (25 GB mailbox!), SharePoint and Lync;
  • there is a one month trial program; however, in the trial, you cannot link your own domain to Office 365;
  • you can add multiple domains to the same account; the fact that you have to point the name servers of your domain to Microsoft was a surprise to me. I expected that it would be enough to point the mx records to Office 365, but apparently in this plan this is not the case. There are some rumours that it works, but it is not supported;
  • you can configure A and CNAME records in the Office 365 DNS manager; it took me a while to figure out that you can use an @ to create a record for your root domain (https://mylearning.be)
  • the Office web apps are included in the package, and are very useful, e.g. if you need to edit Office documents on a mac and have no Office installed;
  • the primary support channel is the Office 365 community; content is relatively good, but sometimes it is difficult to filter issues from the beta program or from the enterprise subscription if you are looking for a specific issue; I filed a service request and got a response within 24 hours.

I’ll post more experiences once I explore the possibilities of the SharePoint part of Office 365, but for the moment I am very happy with it.

More info and trial on http://www.office365.com.

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