I know I am a late comer to Microsoft OneNote, and I can not say what has taken me so long. Regardless, I do use it everyday now and wish I could also use on my Macbook Pro, iPhone & iPad. But alas, no.
So I focus on my work life, since it is Windows based. I keep all of my "Notebooks" on a network drive so that no matter which Windows computer I use, I have access to all my Notebooks. And since it keeps a local copy, even if I have no network, I can still use. And to be a little meta, I am writing this blog post in OneNote. Integrate Windows Live Writer and it would be just that much better.
For work and business purposes, note taking during meetings is taken to a new level. The ability to Tag enhances my workflow so much, I wonder how I lived without it.
It is very well integrated with Microsoft Office, especially Outlook. It allows inserting and attaching supporting documents, pictures, audio, video, screen captures, etc… with each note. You can also share the notebooks via SharePoint for collaboration purposes.
My current "Notebooks" are Meetings, Personal, Projects, Conventions, Acquisitions, and HRIS. I can drag and drop stuff from one Notebook to another. Link items between them and add shortcuts.
As stated earlier, there is no real multi-platform analog that I have found. Evernote is what comes to mind for most people, and is similar in many ways and is very workable.
I use it, and I know people who rely on it as much as I rely on OneNote. My perspective of Evernote is more a repository of miscellaneous stuff, pdfs, scans, receipts, etc… more a way to organize a junk pile than a productivity powerhouse. I can only pray somehow Evernote will become OneNote compatible. Not sure if Microsoft will allow such a thing, but the ability to use Evernote on my iPhone and have the info show up in OneNote could be a great solution. Evernote does allow for a OneNote2007 import, but I am using 2010 and would miss to many of the OneNote features to use Evernote exclusively. Maybe I will give it a try just to see…
Stay tuned for possible follow-up.