Posts tagged OneNote

DROE Tool now supports EverNote, and much more!

I just released a new version of the Daily Record of Events (DROE) note taking tool.  This release adds support for EverNote and text-based DROE files, as well as enhancements for the OneNote DROE.

From the README file, here is a summary of what changed in v0.4 (Beta). For complete details, download the README file. To get your own copy of the tool, see the Downloads page.

  • NEW FEATURE: Added support for a completely text-based DROE without the need for OneNote. This includes a quick edit window.
  • NEW FEATURE: Added support for EverNote… DROE Tool can send text notes to EverNote using EverNote’s auto-import feature
  • NEW FEATURE: The amount of white space between notes is now configurable in the INI file.
  • NEW FEATURE: “Clip Mode” causes any selected text to be clipped and included in the DROE entry. For OneNote DROE files, selected images are also sent to the DROE.
  • NEW FEATURE: WIN+LeftArrow now summons a new control panel that makes it easy to update settings in the INI file and reload the tool.
  • Bug fix: Fixed issue with cursor being stranded 3-4 lines below the date stamp.
  • Bug fix: The CTRL-SHIFT-K and CTRL-SHIFT-M shortcuts were not working when the Outlook window was active. This is fixed.
  • Updated and re-organized this README file. Switched to PDF format to significantly reduce the download size.

Handwriting Recognition in OneNote 2007? Well, kinda…

In my post on EverNote vs. OneNote, I mentioned handwriting recognition as one of the shortcomings in OneNote. I also mentioned that the implementation in EverNote is a bit disappointing as well because it uses a “shotgun” word approach. By that I mean that EverNote sets up an XML database of sorts where many possible words (most of them completely wrong) are attached to each handwritten word. If you search on any of those words, it will come up as a hit on that part of the image. You may be initially impressed when it magically finds the correct word when you search on that word, but the excitement fades when you realize lots of other words that aren’t even close will match as well. As I mentioned before, I do give the EverNote team a lot of credit for even attempting this, it’s just not quite good enough yet to be useful.

Having said that, the EverNote implementation did give me an interesting idea. Even though I capture a good percentage of my notes electronically using the DROE Tool, I still find it impossible to move away from handwritten notes entirely. There are too many situations where I either don’t have my laptop, or it’s not convenient or polite to use it. (I’m also too cheap to invest in a fancy image capture pen or tablet PC.) So here is my poor man’s solution…

I scan my hand-written Daily Record of Events (DROE) pages into a PDF file using the office copier. I then print these to OneNote, and I store them in my DROE Archive (@DONE section) as described in my post on “Bending OneNote and Outlook to Fit my GTD System“. I then add a >> READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>

Setting up OneNote 2007 for GTD

As I promised earlier in my post on “Bending OneNote and Outlook to Fit my GTD System“, here are the setup details for OneNote 2007 along with some screen shots. For each of the screen shots, you can click on the image to open it full-size.

The options panel is accessed from the “Tools” menu in OneNote. The options are divided up into several Categories. I’ll walk through the changes that are important for my setup, and you may find other areas that you will want to tweak as well. Experimentation is usually better than the help menu when it comes to figuring out what some of these settings do.

On the Display tab, I prefer to have the page tabs and navigation tabs appear on the left. I also like the note containers visible since it makes it easier to see when you’ve accidentally split a note, or when you’re trying to grab text to copy or move it.

On the Save tab, the main thing you want to change is the location of the Unfiled notes section. Get rid of the separate section and have it point directly at your “@DOING” section. This will also give you another quick way to jump to your @DOING section by clicking on the Unfiled notes button.

On the Outlook Integration tab, change all of these to >> READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY >>

DROE Tool Now Supports Outlook

I just posted an update to my Daily Record of Events (DROE) Tool, please check out the Downloads page. Version 0.3 adds some additional shortcuts for fast Outlook task and message creation, as well as easy creation of PigPog tasks. (Note that the Outlook shortcuts have only been tested on Outlook 2003). Version 0.3 also fixes an ugly bug that blocked the time/date stamp from working in Windows Vista.

Here are the details from the latest README file:

This is a configurable tool built using AutoHotkey. It gives you a handy shortcut to quickly open OneNote, jump to the top of your Daily Record of Events (DROE) page, insert a time stamp, and begin capturing thoughts before they slip out of your head. The tool replaces the standard Sidenote shortcut (Win-N) with the new function. You can still open OneNote in full/normal mode using Win-Shift-N. Note that the tool is a compiled executable, so you do not need AutoHotkey installed to use it.

In addition to the OneNote shortcuts, the DROE Tool also provides some handy Outlook shortcuts. You can now use CTRL-SHIFT-M and CTRL-SHIFT-K from anywhere to create a new Outlook Email Message or Task. These shortcuts already exist in Outlook, but this script will save you the trouble of having to switch applications and find Outlook before using the shortcut. You also have the option of having new tasks be created as “PigPog” tasks, as well as displaying the Outlook Categories dialog box every time so that you don’t forget to set a category. Note that these have only been tested in Outlook 2003, so all bets are off for Outlook 2007.

But wait, there’s more! With the DROE Tool you’ll also get:

  • The ability to paste without formatting (clipboard formatting stripper),
  • the ability to use the Mac-like shortcut (Alt-W) to close a window,
  • additional shortcuts for bullets and manual time stamps,
  • this set of Ginsu knives! (ok, not really)

Each of the features can be individually enabled or disabled through the INI file.

I hope you find it useful! I have many more updates & features planned, so stay tuned.


DROE Tool Update

I posted a minor update to the DROE Tool, now at version 0.2 (Beta). There are three changes in this release:

  1. The download now includes a detailed README file with installation/upgrade instructions, screen shots, and troubleshooting tips.
  2. The check to make sure that the OneNote DROE page successfully opened is now case insensitive, so it’s a bit more forgiving.
  3. Toggling the tray icon now also displays the version information for the tool.

You can download the latest version on the Downloads page. Thanks especially to Tripp Castell for helping to troubleshoot the previous version.