I have been using the PC version of Microsoft’s OneNote in my law practice for the past five years. OneNote is a versatile virtual notebook that has allowed me to organize my case files and to minimize the amount of paper that I need to carry as a travel the country in my national litigation practice. See http://hytechlawyer.com/?p=95. Since I began using the iPad, I have been using the Application MobileNoter to sync my PC OneNote notebooks to the iPad. MobileNoter will accept embedded files (PDFs, Word documents, Spreadsheets, video files, etc.) and allow some minimal editing on existing notes, but will not allow the creation of new notes or notebooks. MobileNoter also allows you to take handwritten notes on existing notebook pages, but you cannot add new pages.
Given the limitations of MobileNoter, I have eagerly awaited the release of the Microsoft OneNote Application. Now that it is out, I am sorry to say that the application is a disappointment. I have tested the free version which is limited to 500 notes. My first issue is that the embedded files do not sync over to the iPad—this drastically limits the usefulness of the App for me. Also, you cannot create new notebooks but can only add pages to existing notebooks. Finally, there is no ability to take handwritten notes.
On the positive side, the ability to add new pages is one advantage the OneNote App has over MobileNoter. Also, the Windows Live sync function seems to work well, although the test was not very strenuous since my extensive embedded files did not sync. You can also add pictures from your iPad camera roll to existing iPad notebook pages—and they sync over. This demonstrates that Microsoft could add the embedded file functionality to this application.
When they update this version, Microsoft needs to add at a minimum (1) the ability to add new notebooks, (2) the ability to sync embedded files, and (3) the ability to take handwritten notes on the iPad and sync the notes back to the PC. Come on Microsoft—you can do better.