One of our absolute favorite apps here at HackCollege is Microsoft’s OneNote. It’s flown below the radar for over a decade, but the Office team is dusting it off and now prepared to send it out into the world to fend for itself as a standalone app.

Not only is OneNote now a standalone app, though, its full version, OneNote 2013, is now free on Windows and available on Mac for the first time. And that’s not just a big deal for Windows users looking to take advantage of the most advanced note-taking app without an Office 365 subscription, but for the millions of college students who use Macbooks as well.



But OneNote is more than just a note-taking app for college students. It’s also the ultimate organization tool for keeping your school life in check.

Unlike any other note-taking app, you’re not limited to simply typing line after line of text, perhaps creating bullet points and highlighting important information with bold text, you can develop your own style and really breathe life back into the art of note taking.

Now, all that news is incredible on its own, but there’s much more to discuss. OneNote is now a fully-functioning platform that connects with other apps to create new uses. In fact, there are way too many new features to detail in this one news post!

Here are the most important things you need to know about the new OneNote:

  • Office Lens can be used to capture documents and whiteboards from multiple angles on your Windows Phone, using a newly-released app, or Windows RT/8 tablets using the Windows 8 version of OneNote.
  • Connect OneNote to a variety of apps and services with recipes from IFTTT.
  • OneNote Clipper works across multiple browsers to store web pages for offline viewing directly in OneNote.
  • RSS and blog aggregators Feedly, News360, and Weave can be used to send blog posts and articles to OneNote.
  • Use a Livescribe Smartpen to write notes by hand and send those notes to OneNote.
  • Scan handwritten notes and other documents using apps Genius Scan and JotNot, and have them sync with OneNote.

While we sort through all these new features, be sure to visit to download the app for Windows or Mac.


Full Disclosure: HackCollege is partnered with Microsoft as a part of its Windows Champions blogger program. As a participant, I receive news and products from the company in order to better report on Windows software and become acquainted with the latest and greatest PC hardware.