Today is my two year anniversary switching from a corporate Dell to the Macbook Pro, and my wrists are still very much enjoying their luxury aluminum resting places.
But you know what I do still miss?
Sure, I know there are Mac apps designed to catch those notes and links and information clutter that pile up. I regularly have my Mac friends point me towards Evernote or trendier or even nerdier options. And of course there’s the Mac Notes app itself—now with less faux torn paper than ever (thanks Mavericks!)
But for me, keeping organized in a Notes app is more than the essentials of a instant-save, searchable and sync-able notebook (though all of those are musts). It’s about the tiniest keyboard shortcuts or convenience options that make recording that note just a little bit more friction-free.
OneNote still has these features that I haven’t found elsewhere:
Quickest Tables Ever
To create a table in OneNote, you press TAB. That’s it. You type a word, hit TAB, and you’re already in column two. No need to define how many rows you want in advance, shading preferences, or spacing details. Tables aren’t a special graphical feature in OneNote, they’re part of the normal thought flow: as easy as typing a sentence.
Once you get used to the idea that you can type 3218+340= and the answer automagically appears… you start getting frustrated with every other text editor on the planet that isn’t as smart. OneNote had become my quick shopping notebook: I was constantly pricing out tech equipment or software apps (okay, I need 3 users for our team, at $35 a month, plus a fee…), and quick addition plus quick tables makes cost comparison charts faster than Bruce Lee in an ice factory. Now I have a calculator app open all the time too. Ugh.
Smarter Bullet Points
- Bullets and quick notes go together like tabasco ‘n eggs
- In OneNote, you type an asterisk (*) and then just hit space.
- In Evernote it’s Shift-Command-U.
- Maybe it’s just me, but the first one is way more intuitive
The more keyboard friendly, the more likely my mile-a-minute brain will actually jot it down in my notes system, which keeps me more focused on working than trying to remember. So while I love my Mac, I sorta wish I had a PC back for a perfectly integrated OneNote for faster, intuitive note-taking that just works.
PS — Yep, I know I can run OneNote in Parallels (and did for a long while!), but the constantly running a heavy virtual machine for only a note-taking app has made it not worth it. Efficiency was the point after all.
What are you using for notes app on your Mac?
(maybe you can convince me something else is better!)