Updated: 9/12/2005; 2:03:02 PM.


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  Thursday, July 28, 2005

  OneNote for research: first experiences

So, I'm experimenting with OneNote for my research. I did some background work, reading lots of tips at Chris_Pratley's OneNote WebLog and watching Channel 9 video next to browsing through the menus and options... Some things work, but there are others that I can't figure out so far.


I tried recording interviews and it worked well (even without any external microphone), but there are a few problems.

  • During one interview the recording stopped after a few minutes. I didn't notice what happened - may be I switched to somewhere or had a pause long enough for the laptop to start going in a sleeping mode. The problem is that I didn't notice in time that it wasn't recording and switched it on only 15 min later :( Wondering how to avoid it in the future.
  • Somehow with that recording the cool feature of jumping to the text to get the audio playing from that moment didn't work. Again, I could do something wrong, but I have no idea what it was.

Inc input

So far OneNote tries to recognise all my inc input as I write and I hate it. I'm still not happy with "one the fly" hand-writing recognition Tablet does and I prefer not to use it. I'm perfectly fine with storing my notes as handwriting and converting them into the text if/when I need it. I looked at all options I could imagine, but didn't find how to keep OneNote away from recognising my handwriting.

Knowing about this problem I ended up typing my notes instead of handwriting them. This takes more energy than handwriting, so I can't listen as attentively as I want to. On the top of that the main reason I bought this Tablet is avoiding the visual barrier and intrusiveness of typing that an open laptop creates.


Since I started this study I'm reading increasing number of weblogs by Microsoft people. One of the things I started to do is collecting relevant quotes from weblogs to use as a background info for interviews with bloggers. I use clipping feature of OneNote that allow selecting part of any screen and adding it to OneNote page with link to the original document (loved this - I don't have to copy link/post title with the quote).

There are a couple of things I can't figure how to do:

  • OneNote automatically adds clippings to SideNotes page and then I have to move them manually where I want them to be. Would be much easier if clippings would be added to the current page/place I'm editing.
  • References to the original from where clippings come are added under those clippings and I want them above. Didn't manage to find a way to edit it as a setting...

The bottom line

In spite of all those things so far I'm pretty happy with using OneNote. Just have to figure out how things work and what is a good way to organise all my notes in pages and folders...

  Still scary...

I was looking for something else in my referrer logs when I saw that someone came from Google search for reflexive ethnography. I was curious to look for the results and couldn't believe that the first link was leading to my posts in April.

Funny enough, my feelings are not that much different from those in similar case in October 2002 - it's scary to find link to my weblog on a search for something that I'm not an expert, but just someone who starts thinking about it.

More on: blog ecosystem 

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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