Several people have pointed to Mark Voorhees’s article Worth Noting, which highlights the potential that some, including me, see in the use of Microsoft OneNote by lawyers. OK, he even quotes me.
As I’ve mentioned to many people, the light first came on for me (and I still think that this is the best way to think about OneNote) when I heard a Microsoft rep, Allison Gay, describe OneNote as a simpler tool for writing meant to fill the gap created as Word became so feature-laden that many saw it as overkill for writing simple documents. If you have begun to see Word as a tool for “processing” words, or even as a desktop publisher, you’ll appreciate this description and distinction. For example, for several years I’ve had a tendency to write quick first drafts in WordPad and then move in Word to clean-up and format the documents.
Last week, I was in a couple of conference sessions with only a tablet of paper. I took a bunch of notes and saw that a page of my notes could have easily been a screenshot from a OneNote ad – diagrams, boxes, drawings, boxes of text placed on different parts of the page. One look at that page would prove to you what I mean when I say that I am not an “outliner.”
Mark, as usual, writes a great article – one I thoroughly recommend.
The money quote:
“Microsoft may have finally written a program for lawyers, although it isn’t aimed specifically at the legal market. Microsoft OneNote helps people take notes on their computer. Note taking is not rocket science, but it occupies a fair chunk of billable hours by lawyers.”
Memo to Microsoft: It’s time to come back to the legal market and show lawyers what they are missing when they stay away from current Office programs.