Juggling files and OneNote


What is New in Tablet PCs has posted on a subject that is often on the minds of Tablet PC and UPC owners.  Many owners of these devices have other computers, desktops or laptops that they also use and need to keep important files synchronized between all of them.  OneNote users especially can feel lost if important notes are taken on one computer and not present on another when you need them.  Lora Heiny says in her post that she has taken to use a USB flash drive to manually move files around her PC ecosystem, a route taken by many.  I use my 40 GB iPod to do the same thing but there needs to be a better way.  I have threatened to try and keep all my OneNote files in particular copied to public folders on my Exchange Server so they are always available from any computer I might be using but I am still confronted with the prospect of trying to automate that so I don’t forget to copy them regularly.  What methods are you using to deal with this nagging problem?


Paul Phillips

Having just tried a couple of methods tonight I think the route cause of the problem here is the fact that onenote saves in sections not pages. The chances of me adding a new page to the same section on 2 PCs before they have sync’d is too great, so the only way to do it I think is to move the storage not the files ie use USB and move between PCs. The only alternative I think would be to synchronise all PCs at a set time each day without fail.

Paul Phillips

Apologies the last link isn’t working for some reason, if you click on the Onenote community (on the left hand side) and search the topic “sync” you’ll get lots of discussions on this topic

Paul Phillips

Wow, my favourite subject!

The Onenote microsoft community has debated this a few times, main potential options discussed there are ifolder from Novell or synchronization manager. With synchronization manager apparently you need to be careful not to edit the same section in 2 pcs before they have synchronized. I’ve not tested this limitation and would be interested if anyone else has experience of this

Personally I think transferring a memory stick between devices is the easiest way



Bus Server would work but not many of us have access to it. And you still have a big problem if files have been changed in two places, something that’s too easy to do, especially with OneNote.

Tim, Bluetooth would seem too slow to me if the total file size moving back and forth was too big. Might work though.

Tim Marman

I just mentioned in an update that I haven’t been good about actually using the USB flash because it requires extra steps.

I’ve been thinking that the answer lies in my smartphone, which has Bluetooth capabilities. If I can have Bluetooth on all devices and use the phone as a repository, that definitely scales better. Most importantly, I won’t have to remember to do anything but have my phone with me….


We use Small Business Server 2003; the My Documents folders of all our business PCs are synchronised with the server using Windows XP’s offline files feature.

Provided you’re not trying to work with your OneNote files on two machines at the same time, it works well. This is how I sync onenote files from my tablet onto my desktop.

A secondary benefit is that the network copy of My Documents gets backed up in the overnight tapes :-)

Keep up the good work, jk.

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