Sharing Notes – Google Notebook, OneNote, Zoho Notebook

In an earlier post I gave my initial impressions of these products concerning color scheme, interface and accessing help.

Rob from Digital Crosswalks in a comment asked about sharing content using OneNote. I will compare how to share notes using the different applications.

Sharing notes using Google Notebook

Google Notebook like the rest of Google applications is very simple and straightforward to use.

To initiate sharing, on the Notebook page, click Sharing Options in the top right corner.

On the My Notebook: Sharing Options page, see screenshot below, you have the option to invite a specific set of collaborators by email address, or make the page public. If you make the page public, you send users the URL given so they will be able to access the page.

Sharing Options

Sharing Notes Using OneNote

There are quite a few options for sharing notes using OneNote. Initiate sharing using the Share menu option. From the Share menu there are a couple of options:

Create Shared Notebook – This creates a notebook on a server such as a SharePoint site, or on a share of some kind that other users have access. All users will be able to contribute to the notebook and notes taken will be displayed to all who have access. Create Shared Notebook can also be used to create a notebook on a site to be shared by the same user on multiple computers.

Live Sharing Session – This enables you to initiate shared notes session or join an existing Live Sharing Session. All users will be able to contribute to the session real time, with the notes visible to all participants in the session. 

After content has been shared, the user that created the share can stop sharing the content at any time.

Another way to share content using OneNote is to send another user a ‘copy’ of the content in email. This content will be separate on each users system, and the copies will not synchronize when changes are made to any of the notes.

Sharing Notes Using Zoho Notebook

You have the options to share different items using Zoho Notebook. You have the ability to share a Book, Page or Object. I like the granularity of what you can select to share.

Sharing is straightforward, click the Share drop-down list and select what to share.

After selecting what to share, you add users to share the content with and assign a set of permissions associated with the user.

Watching the demo vidoe that Zoho posted on Notebook, it seems that sharing works very well.


All of these applications have methods for sharing notes with others.

Sharing with Google is quick and fast, but doesn’t have the ability to set permissions like Zoho. Zoho has a setting that allows a user to view content, but not change it. OneNote has similar functionality being able to email a user a copy of the notes. This will allow for viewing the content, but not being able to change the original material.

One additional issue is to share content using Google or Zoho, all users must have accounts on the appropriate service. To share content using OneNote, all computers must have access to the site that is hosting the content.

Zoho also has the ability to be more ganular with the content that is shared.

Sharing content for a single user, using multiple computers is no problem for Google and Zoho, any computer with Internet access will be able to access the notebooks. Sharing notebooks for a single user on multiple computers using OneNote needs a little more configuration, but is relatively easy to set up.


3 Responses to “Sharing Notes – Google Notebook, OneNote, Zoho Notebook”

  1. Travis Spencer Says:

    One thing about using OneNote that is not an issue with Zoho or Google is that sharing OneNote notebooks over the internet isn’t viable (to my knowledge). You can use a file share (fine for intranets), SharePoint (also OK for intranets), and Webdav (if all participants are using Vista). Sticking the notebooks on the Net isn’t a solution that’s recommended by Microsoft. For this reason, when sharing over the Internet is a necessity, Google and Zoho are better choices.

  2. Albert Says:

    Google Notebook does not supports IE 8, Opera, Chrome. It only supports Firefox.

    Some the feature you can not use in those browsers.

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