Microsoft’s OneNote is a program that is perfect for outlining, note taking, and capturing ideas. It allows users to enter free form data like notes, images, screenshots, and audio input. It has easy Internet sharing tools, and its tabbed binder design is great for organization.
There’s just one problem. Microsoft’s OneNote application for iOS is seriously lacking in features (such as the ability to create new notebooks), making it nearly unusable on tablets. That’s where Outline+ comes in. This app is the ultimate OneNote reader and editor, designed to work beautifully on the iPad.
Outline+ is a pricey app, but if you use OneNote and have an iPad, it’s almost essential. It doesn’t matter how you use OneNote – for personal tasks, for class, or for work – Outline+ is the best way to take all of your OneNote notebooks with you wherever you go.
When you open the app, you’ll be prompted to create a new notebook. You can also import content from iTunes and Dropbox, which is what allows you to sync with OneNote. Starting a notebook from scratch lets you add a title, add a notebook cover (there are a range of fun and distinct covers, both patterned and solid), and decide on sharing options (local or Dropbox).
You can create new notebooks in this way, or import and edit previously created content, whichever you prefer. It’s all interchangeable.
Once a notebook has been created or imported, it’s time to get down to business. The first thing you’ll notice is how well designed the app is, with crisp graphics and a fantastic layout.
With the included tutorial, you can learn the ins and outs of the app. Basically, navigation and notes come in different sections (aka subtopics), and each section has a number of tabbed pages, which is an efficient method that keeps all of your writing and your thoughts perfectly organized. The hierarchy goes Notebooks to Sections to Pages.
You can use a long tap in any place to begin adding content. Added notes can be edited with a single tap, and another long tap will allow you to move previously added notes. It’s a solid organizational system that translates well to the iPad.
In this note taking app, you aren’t limited to writing. You can also add in images from the web along with photos, and text can be fully formatted. The best part about all of these features and the deep organization is that it’s simple to use. It’s not complicated whatsoever, and even those who have never seen OneNote will be able to use Outline+ with no problems.
Everything that you create can be uploaded to Dropbox, and it will sync automatically with OneNote. The app uses rich text notes that are compatible with OneNote on the PC, so you don’t have to do any kind of formatting or hassle with file transfers.
Outline+ is a good standalone note taking app, but it really shines when you use it in combination with Microsoft’s OneNote, turning your iPad into the ultimate platform for capturing thoughts and ideas. Microsoft could actually take a few cues from Outline+. If the OneNote app looked like this, it would get a lot more downloads.
What I liked: This app is designed to integrate with Microsoft OneNote, but you don’t need to use OneNote to use the app. It can be used on its own as well.
What I didn’t like: The app only works with OneNote 2010. If you have the 2007 version, you get read only support, and if you have the 2003 version, it doesn’t integrate at all. I also experienced some crashing.
To buy or not to buy: Outline+ is a must have for those of you who use Microsoft OneNote and are looking for a solution to access it on your iPad.
- App Name: Outline+
- Version Reviewed: 2.1
- Category: Productivity
- Developer: Gorillized Corporation
- Price: $14.99