Windows 10 OneNote app sucks.

I don't understand why we are being steered toward this app and away from the desktop version which had so many more features.  You can't slap a more vivid shade of purple on a stripped down app and call it OneNote. There's so many note-taking apps out there and none of them comes close to OneNote 2016.  The OneNote app is definitely creating alot of space for those apps to grab a larger share of the market.   

Scrolling through several pages of Word printouts is painful on my computer; slow and choppy.  Not to mention, I can't just drop a Word file onto the OneNote page and have it printout.  I now must convert it to a PDF, insert it, then make it printout from there.  

How about the Outlook functions which are now gone?

I'm not going to go on and on about what's wrong with the app since so many before have done that already.  I'm just adding my voice to those who know that the OneNote app is an inferior product and it's important for Microsoft to hear it.    

The OneNote app should offer everything that the desktop version offered, and I would assume even more.  Microsoft, you are slowly taking away the things that keep me from buying a Mac.  This isn't an upgrade when you give us something with less features than its predecessor.  

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HA! First off, thanks for the laugh -- I enjoyed that!! :o) Secondly, sorry about that -- though I'm sure you get the idea behind the reference. ;o) Thirdly, thanks for your thoughts on "toddler-level toy" -- but I can only take credit for the "toy" part. In one of these OneNote posts (this exchange or another) -- I saw someone use "toddler-level" and thought it was BRILLIANT, so I thanked him and I've been borrowing it ever since. ;o)

Speaking of borrowing, I doubt that there's anyone who's been hammering Microsoft on this to the degree that I have -- and I'm nowhere near done. If I had the time, I'd go out to Redmond and protest outside their headquarters. ;o) But since I can't do that, I've got another plan in mind. I hate Twitter but I have used it here and there -- including sending Tweets to Microsoft people (with screenshots from these posts). To make that process more efficient, I'm going to take screenshots of every single post on this issue (and there are several threads -- so I've got plenty of work from). And I'm going to develop and application that loops through the screenshots files and randomly sends Tweets to as many Microsoft employees that I can find. It's not going to be every day or anything -- just here and there to keep reminding them of this madness. And besides, even if it doesn't make any difference (and it's highly unlikely that it will), it's good development practice for stuff I'm studying. So I can't lose. ;o)


Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and outrage at this. :o)

P.S. This is what started it all for me -- when I did a search last year for the exact words of "I hate Windows 10 OneNote" -- and was DELIGHTED to find that some lady started a post with exactly those words. :o)

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_onenote-mso_win10-mso_365hp/i-hate-windows-10-onenote/6f0d508d-7ff0-43e4-b1ed-f730fa78f41d?messageId=ff27c674-8c10-44e2-b69c-647b48a6acb4&page=1

Hey! I'm an accountant, don't lump me in w/the idiots that designed the new app! I'm much smarter than that! =)

Love the "Windows 10 toddler-level", it really is a toddler version of One Note, so ridiculous. 

I too enjoyed the "toddler level toy" characterization of OneNote.

OneNote UWP is completely in line with the carpy design of most UWP <cr>applets. Look at what they have been doing with the "settings" dialogs that "replaced" the control panel apps. Every one is dumbed down. But not to the amazing bad extent that OneNote has been degraded in this putative "upgrade".

Personally I suspect that someone at MS won a bet on how bad an app they can get away with shipping. I too hope that a bunch of people lost their jobs for doing this. But I doubt it.

"Stay together, by staying apart"
Covid19
.
Computer Haiku
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
.
ꙨပꙨ

It's all about the money and making things easier for Microsoft. Nobody behaves this stupidly without ulterior motives.

Good stuff on your outrage below -- we need all we can get!! :o) And I'm glad you enjoyed "toddler-level toy." :o) What also infuriates me is that they could have just left OneNote exactly as it is on the 2016 version and never touch it again -- and that wouldn't bother me one bit. Why on Earth would you screw over your OneNote loyalists to push this piece of junk -- when they could do whatever they want with the app and just leave OneNote alone?? It's maddening in the extreme -- that they built one of the best tools ever created, and they throw it all away for this pi$$-poor OneNote knockoff.

Have you ever read this piece below? It's from the previous project manager over OneNote (to my knowledge, anyway).

It's a masterpiece of self-delusion -- as it has absolutely no bearing on reality: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/The-best-version-of-OneNote-on-Windows/ba-p/183974

I too enjoyed the "toddler level toy" characterization of OneNote.

OneNote UWP is completely in line with the carpy design of most UWP <cr>applets. Look at what they have been doing with the "settings" dialogs that "replaced" the control panel apps. Every one is dumbed down. But not to the amazing bad extent that OneNote has been degraded in this putative "upgrade".

Personally I suspect that someone at MS won a bet on how bad an app they can get away with shipping. I too hope that a bunch of people lost their jobs for doing this. But I doubt it.

Have you ever read this piece below? It's from the previous project manager over OneNote (to my knowledge, anyway).

It's a masterpiece of self-delusion -- as it has absolutely no bearing on reality: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/The-best-version-of-OneNote-on-Windows/ba-p/183974


No I hadn't seen that particular piece of delusional marketing propaganda. It would be funny if it wasn't being sold as the "truth" by one of the largest companies in the world. If it really was written by a software project manager, I'm aghast.

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I have seen some of the phrases reused in other propaganda. Clearly it was written by some marketing weannie who has no contact with reality, at all. He is obviously someone who has to carry bags full of pennies to keep his feet on the ground. The pig characters in George Orwell's "1984" would have been proud to write that double speak.

.

"Stay together, by staying apart"
Covid19
.
Computer Haiku
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
.
ꙨပꙨ

Yep, I confirmed it:

"William Devereux is a program manager on the Edge team. Prior to that, he was a PM on OneNote, where he led all of OneNote's apps on Windows, as well as integration with key first-party initiatives and the core user experience across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and web. Before joining Microsoft, he was one of the youngest recipients of the company's Most Valuable Professional award for his contributions and commitment to technical communities worldwide. In his spare time, he hosts a weekly podcast where he reviews multimedia for one of the largest entertainment franchises."

I just posted a reply to his piece -- you should do the same. We all should:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/The-best-version-of-OneNote-on-Windows/bc-p/805075#M1703

Have you ever read this piece below? It's from the previous project manager over OneNote (to my knowledge, anyway).

It's a masterpiece of self-delusion -- as it has absolutely no bearing on reality: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/The-best-version-of-OneNote-on-Windows/ba-p/183974


No I hadn't seen that particular piece of delusional marketing propaganda. It would be funny if it wasn't being sold as the "truth" by one of the largest companies in the world. If it really was written by a software project manager, I'm aghast.

.

I have seen some of the phrases reused in other propaganda. Clearly it was written by some marketing weannie who has no contact with reality, at all. He is obviously someone who has to carry bags full of pennies to keep his feet on the ground. The pig characters in George Orwell's "1984" would have been proud to write that double speak.

.

I added a comment to that article at the same time I replied to you earlier.

So this guy is a young turk who (probably) has not worked for any other company. He's a smartphone addict rather than a PC user, which is why he favored the UWP version, even if it was massively worse than the desktop version.  Shame.

I still think that blog was written for him by marketing. It just has too many happy words.

"Stay together, by staying apart"
Covid19
.
Computer Haiku
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
.
ꙨပꙨ

That's a really good point about his background. People like that don't grasp that you can't just make everything universal simply because they're fine with how they use it. Their needs are totally different. A great example is that I'm very happy with the OneNote app on my iPhone and iPad -- but I never create content on it (it's all created from the desktop and I use it for reference when needed). It's not often -- but it's nice to have. But I can't operate within an environment like that -- MOBILE SHOULD STAY IN MOBILE!

As you no doubt know -- that's where the fiasco of removing the Start button came from. What I also find maddening is that they chose OneNote to do this. What do you think would have happened had they pulled this stunt with the rest of Office?

Oh yeah -- OUTRAGE that would far surpass the Start button. The only reason there's not more outrage over OneNote is because it never caught on like the rest of Office. I partially blame Microsoft for terrible marking on that -- because a lot of people just didn't get it. But I also blame users for being stuck in their ways.

Case in point: When I saw a colleague using OneNote, in a split-second it was self-evident that OneNote was a mighty powerful tool with all kinds of possibilities. Mountains of material in over 40 notebooks later -- I could hardly function without it. As I've written before -- i'd love to see these apologists try to navigate through that amount of material on their piece of junk.

You could very well be right about that piece as marketing material. ;o) "happy words" is right on the money (which is what this is all about in the first place).

I added a comment to that article at the same time I replied to you earlier.

So this guy is a young turk who (probably) has not worked for any other company. He's a smartphone addict rather than a PC user, which is why he favored the UWP version, even if it was massively worse than the desktop version.  Shame.

I still think that blog was written for him by marketing. It just has too many happy words.

I'm old school, I never found a feature in OneNote that was awesome enough to move me from note keeping in Word. But I do understand that many people do find OneNote works perfectly for them. Great. I've got 50+ docs with many MB of notes and data.

My great fear is that this is the thin edge of the wedge.  They start with OneNote, then (dis)"improve" the rest of Office later. They'll claim that they have stats the "prove" people like the new OneNote better than the old one.

"Stay together, by staying apart"
Covid19
.
Computer Haiku
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
.
ꙨပꙨ

Oh my goodness, I've been pulling my hair out with this damn app all night. I'm a teacher. I've been using the class notebooks function in the REAL program for years. I'm the expert on OneNote on my campus and have been championing it's use as an interactive notebook for all students in all classes. After trying to use this damn app tonight I'm now horrified and have no idea what I'm going to do for my class this year. This app is an atrocity. I have every assignment and activity my students do for the entire year arranged in folders and subfolders that I can distribute out to every student notebook in my class and the only setup I have to do is at the start of the year, I copy the original folders from my previous years notebook in to the new years notebook. In what world is it appropriate to make me scroll through EVERY FOLDER AND SUBFOLDER IN EVERY STUDENT NOTEBOOK I'M CONNECTED TO IN ORDER TO FIND THE ONE I'M TRYING TO COPY TO?!

And then I discover that when I want to distribute a new folder out to all my student notebooks, there's no way to choose where it goes?! It just gets dropped at the top of their notebook? What? That's not where I want it to go, I want it to go to a specific place, because the folders should be organized by semester and unit of study, but I can't do that? Why?! Now I have 129 student folders distributed to the wrong damn place!

And then I find out that it no longer integrates with excel. Well there goes all the data tracking and graphing I used to have my students do in their notebooks. I did a whole professional development last year to show other teachers how they could use the excel integration, but I guess all that just went right out the damn window.

Microsoft DID market OneNote to teachers. They designed it so it integrates with our LMS systems. The student pages show date and time stamps for all their answers so I know if they actually did their work on time or not, and that they can't just cut and paste answers, or even better, they can't just change the name and submit the same file as another student. I can use it for coloring, labeling, graphing, sorting and drag/drop activities so it's not all just worksheets and answers. And when it's time to grade I can lock their pages, and then pull all 129 assignments at the same time and just comment directly on the page, and sync the grade directly to my gradebook. The program was absolutely phenomenal as an interactive notebook program, but they've ruined it for my classroom with this app. I'm completely at a loss. I'm looking at having to completely redesign my classroom because of how terrible the functionality for the app is.

I feel your pain -- as there is no measure for my disgust in this toddler-level toy that shamelessly takes the name of "OneNote" -- an app that butchers the brilliance of the ONE AND ONLY OneNote.

But fear not, for you can still get the REAL DEAL:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/install-or-reinstall-onenote-2016-for-windows-c08068d8-b517-4464-9ff2-132cb9c45c08

As they are trying to steer people to their abomination of software design, Microsoft does not advertise that you can still get OneNote 2016 (for free). It's confusing to a lot of people (and purposely so) -- because they make people think that they have no other choice (because they removed it from Office 365 and Office 2019).

Anyway, lemme know if you have any questions. Great post, by the way. I totally understand, as my world revolves around OneNote, both personally and professionally.

Note: I borrowed "toddler-level" from another poster -- but "toy" is mine. ;o)

Oh my goodness, I've been pulling my hair out with this damn app all night. I'm a teacher. I've been using the class notebooks function in the REAL program for years. I'm the expert on OneNote on my campus and have been championing it's use as an interactive notebook for all students in all classes. After trying to use this damn app tonight I'm now horrified and have no idea what I'm going to do for my class this year. This app is an atrocity. I have every assignment and activity my students do for the entire year arranged in folders and subfolders that I can distribute out to every student notebook in my class and the only setup I have to do is at the start of the year, I copy the original folders from my previous years notebook in to the new years notebook. In what world is it appropriate to make me scroll through EVERY FOLDER AND SUBFOLDER IN EVERY STUDENT NOTEBOOK I'M CONNECTED TO IN ORDER TO FIND THE ONE I'M TRYING TO COPY TO?!

And then I discover that when I want to distribute a new folder out to all my student notebooks, there's no way to choose where it goes?! It just gets dropped at the top of their notebook? What? That's not where I want it to go, I want it to go to a specific place, because the folders should be organized by semester and unit of study, but I can't do that? Why?! Now I have 129 student folders distributed to the wrong damn place!

And then I find out that it no longer integrates with excel. Well there goes all the data tracking and graphing I used to have my students do in their notebooks. I did a whole professional development last year to show other teachers how they could use the excel integration, but I guess all that just went right out the damn window.

Microsoft DID market OneNote to teachers. They designed it so it integrates with our LMS systems. The student pages show date and time stamps for all their answers so I know if they actually did their work on time or not, and that they can't just cut and paste answers, or even better, they can't just change the name and submit the same file as another student. I can use it for coloring, labeling, graphing, sorting and drag/drop activities so it's not all just worksheets and answers. And when it's time to grade I can lock their pages, and then pull all 129 assignments at the same time and just comment directly on the page, and sync the grade directly to my gradebook. The program was absolutely phenomenal as an interactive notebook program, but they've ruined it for my classroom with this app. I'm completely at a loss. I'm looking at having to completely redesign my classroom because of how terrible the functionality for the app is.

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Last updated July 9, 2020 Views 3,300 Applies to: