As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am currently a dialy OneNote user.
One immediate difference between the applications is Google Notebook and Zoho Notebook are hosted, Web-based services while OneNote is an application that typically is installed on the client.
Google Notebook Screenshot – After I added help content, and an additional note
- Color Scheme – Light blue – personally I like it. No current method for changing the color scheme.
- Interface – Clean and simple like the Google search interface we know and love.
- Links to create and manage Notebooks in the Left Hand Notebooks area.
- Topics / Content are the main portion of the screen.
- Create new notes, and format content using buttons above the Notes area.
- A Tools drop-down menu allows notes and notebook management such as printing, deleting, exporting and renaming.
- Audio and video content cannot be added to notes.
- Accessing Help – No direct help on the Google Notebook page. To access help use the Google Accounts page > Click Help > In the Search Help Center text field enter Google Notebook > Click Search > Click Looking Looking for help with Google Notebook? > click Google Notebook FAQs. It takes 5 steps to access help from the Google Accounts page.
- I found the 3 page Google Notebook tour lacking, and not very helpful in getting me started.
- When I am first using a program I want help to be easy to access. The first note I created was a copy of the Google Notebook FAQ so I could easily refer to the content. I will admit that this program was so easy to use, I was able to use the program without help very quicly.
OneNote Opening Screenshot - with Getting Started wtih OneNote content displayed
- Color Scheme – Integrates with with Windows Desktop – personally I like it. Ability to add new sections and notebooks with varying colors.
- Interface – Inline with other Microsoft Office Applications.
- Tool Menus on Top, Tool Bars underneath, Topics are in main window in middle of application.
- Use the icons on the Tool Bars for quick access to functionality. Tool Bars can be customized to reflect the options the user uses most frequently.
- Use the drop-down Tool Menus for additional options.
- Notebooks and Sections are outlined in the left hand Notebooks area. This area can be collapsed to display additional content area.
- Sections are displayed under the Tool Bar menus. Sections are used to organize topic pages.
- Audio and video content can be added to notes.
- Accessing Help - Extensive 12 topic Getting Started notebook. Accessing help displays a wide range of help topics from both local and web based sources.
Zoho Notebook Screenshot - I was unable to find any written help content, so I just added my first blog post as content
- Color Scheme – Light green – personally I don’t like it. No current method for changing the color scheme.
- Interface – Left hand Navigation area – Add Content – Notebooks, Pages, Navigate Books
- A variety of content can be added – text, images, audio, video
- Note – I was unable to successfully save an embedded video.
- Main area is the topic area.
- On a blank page content is added in a sticky note fashion.
- A writer page must be saved before a new page is selected.
- Accessing Help - YouTube Demo Video, good getting started video, but I was unable to locate any written help.
OneNote has an advantage, as it has been around since 2003, and Google Notebook and Zoho Notebook are new products.
Google Notebook has a very straightforward interface and would be good for creating text oriented content. Collecting content from the web was easy, simply highlighting content, right clicking and selecting Note This (Google Notebook).
Zoho Notebook I found to be a little buggy (it is still a beta product). Highlighting and right clicking content, did not always achieve consistent results to add content to a page. I could highlight and copy content from a page, but I would have to <Ctrl>-V to paste the content into a page, right mouse click paste was not always affective.
Another issue associated wtih Google Notebook, and Zoho Notebook is Internet connectivity must be available to access the applications. Also I see a security issue adding content in development using these web-based tools.
My initial impression is that I will continue to use OneNote as my day to day content aggregator. Keep in mind, it did take me 3 starts to actually start using the product. I think that Google Notebook and Zoho Notebook show promise. Zoho seems to have a lot more functionality than than Google, but at this time I found Google to be faster and more stable.
One more important note at this point is that Google Notebook and Zoho Notebook are both free to use – the cost is that someone behind the scenes will have access to your data.
I will continue to use these 3 products, and I will devote further posts to testing functionality between the 3 products to see how each fairs.
Update – Elsa Wenzel had a similar exeperience with Zoho Notebook here – Zoho Notebook ate my Homework.