How can we improve OneNote for Windows?

Local vs Cloud Storage

Having OneDrive integrated with OneNote is definitely a plus, but it would be nice to also have it saved locally for when an Internet connection is unavailable.

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Nathan Sokalski shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I used to use OneNote 2016 as an engineering notebook that could be uploaded to our PLM system upon project completion, so it could be rev controlled.

    Now that OneNote 2016 has been abandoned, and there is no function to save a local copy of a OneNote notebook, I'm left searching for a new tool.

    Not having the ability to save an offline copy, even as a backup, is a frustrating decision on the part of MS.

  • Dale commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    this latest office update broke my ability to open onenote files that already exist for my machine. What are you thinking Microsoft? This was done with no warning. Not everyone wants or needs to put everything in the cloud. We need to option to have local only copies as well.

  • Shelly commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have 10 years of systems administration notes that I have collected. They are all in local notebooks because sometimes the network is down. I'd REALLY hate to have to export that stuff to another program because I refuse to put my notes in a place where I may not have access to them.

  • Nicole Gardner commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    There is still such a thing as needing to work offline, many places that I take my work do not have public wifi, such as medical offices for patient security. I need to be able to save any file to my hard-drive

  • Ches commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Furious that I can not store my OneNote files on my local drive. Hello - PRIVACY????

    Looks like I will be now have to search for yet another app to store this type of information. Microsoft - you have made a huge mistake with this change. I will NOT be moving from Office 2016 until Microsoft has addressed this.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Are you joking? win10 app is not much, but I would use it and look for new features and updates. But I will not put the most sensitive data into the cloud. I want them with me.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    If i can't do it entirely offline, i don't do it at all. Guess I'm looking for a new solution. Relying entirely on 'the cloud' is beyond stupid.

  • T S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would add as well, in addition to my previous comment, that my previous job in the US had similar restrictions when dealing with anything that might touch financial data; we were required to store everything inside the company. Those who believe the "world has moved on" as the first comment notes perhaps misunderstand that truly high legal data security standards make external online storage simply impossible in a number of contexts. Even if we'd like to do it, the legal and reputational risks are too high.

  • T S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thoroughly agreed. I'd add too that this isn't just about general security issues; I work in Europe where, due to GDPR and the general security perspective, Microsoft server security levels are often considered inadequately protected from a legal standpoint even in instances where the technical security is regarded sufficient. This means we're legally restricted from storing things, particularly anything that touches customer data, on external servers. If the current trend continues, when Onenote 2016 support drops in 2020 we'll have to switch to another non-Microsoft solution.

  • David Simmons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    First SharePoint is a PITA, now OneNote is becoming restricted and crippled for use as a enduring content wiki-system authoring tool. All while Microsoft is embracing OpenSource technologies at an amazing pace. Both SharePoint and OneNote teams and PM planning are not in alignment with industry direction for content management, collaboration and authoring tools.

  • David Simmons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I actually thought my Enterprise permissions were wrong at a client site when working on new OneNote. I then thought I maybe had something installed incorrectly. The help was useless and incorrect relating to EXPORT. I ended up not being able to access all my OneNote content I had spent 3 weeks building for a report. This is making OneNote not a viable tool.

  • David Simmons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    WTF, I don't want cloud notebooks most of the time. This is a terrible direction. Cloud should be an option for some use cases, not a requirement.

    Re-enable UI for save/create/restore DESKTOP notebooks. It obviously still works as I can access all my 2016 content. I also find the cloud based app buggy for some things, and less feature/fluid capable. This is a ****** decision and making me strongly consider moving away from using OneNote at all, and going to other alternatives.

    I maintain a lot of enduring content and the key thing is to be able to both manage my content and integrate it will with a wide range of technologies some of which, duh, no surprise are NOT from Microsoft or a Microsoft Partner Integrator. Arggh, as a former Microsoft employee and architect I think this whole decision stinks.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I AGREE! I just updated yesterday to the latest OneNote for Windows 10 Version 16001.11629.20028.0.

    We use OneNote as a knowledge base and to be shared among many other users in the company and I'm not able to open the KB on the network anymore. Our company is restricted from using OneDrive to store it using sharepoint so this is the only option.

  • GavriYashar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't know what to say about the fact that this post was posted more than a year ago with now aprox. 800 votes and yet the "onenote-research-team" (@OneNote Team) does not even comment on this "new" idea.

  • Scott Sampson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It appears that the onenote team and the office team exist in separate galaxies - UI consistency is paramount (in this case 'file' area) - with options that INCLUDE file locations

    I have no issue with the cloud for some files - but I want them in my onedrive hierarchy - and I want to be able to place them where I want to (shareable and non) - I prefer to group my notebooks in folders relevant - i.e. my development notebook for app 'X' is I the folder with all my relevant files for that application - and my personal notebook for household maintenance is in my personal\household folder with relevant files ( this shouldn't be even surprising.... I'm pretty sure most people do it in a similar way - sarcasm intended)

    Also - I keep client files LOCAL - as people mention - for compliance - this is mandatory - especially since I deal with clients internationally that have laws that prevent me from keeping anything on servers located in the US (EU rules) ..... For example one medical company can't have patient data on servers that can be compromised by the US government at all... let alone without required notification prior ....

    Finally, backup and delete - while I know I can find copies in appdata, I much prefer organizing my backups without constantly having to pick folders out of the incoherent mess that is appdata .... I also like to know where EVERY copy is kept so I can delete as needed - not just for security, but to prevent versioning accidents ..... (and to ensure - as needed - there are no residual copies of ANY data residing with MS in the US)

    In my case I am relatively new to onenote - I've been using it lightly for years, but never sat down and took it seriously (although I knew it had massive potential .... just busy being lazy I guess ....) but recently I've had client interest which means I need to get on it now.

    In the current form I must recommend against it for security/compliance issues. That is really sad.

    These issues must be resolved -

  • Nancy Hawley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Local storage is critical. I can't risk losing my notes or access to them because it only resides in the cloud.

  • Kris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I travel often and Internet accessibility varies. What was wrong with storing OneNote files locally and synchronising with the cloud whenever convenient? Also, I do not want some of the data inthe cloud, because it is either bulky or confidential. Removing local OneNote storage option is unacceptable.

  • Eduardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Have you heard about compliance? Some notes cannot be stored in the cloud. Whatever the security you use.

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