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I thought I’d share a post about how to use Dropbox to share OneNote Notebooks across mulitple PCs. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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So…the trick is determining what to do with OneNote across the Internet.  How can you share it amongst geographically dispersed PCs?  Well, if you’re trying to share it within your organization, OneNote will allow you to collaborate across a file share or other domain-type resource (built-in functionality).  But, if you’re trying to share with a personal computer, a work computer, or a friend’s computer in Timbuktu…you need an external solution.  That solution for me was Dropbox.

Dropbox is an application that you attach to a particular folder on your PC and it will syncronize it with the web and any other PC attached to this folder.  It’s got good security, speed, and not too much overhead on your CPU.  When you make changes to file, particularly large ones, it will only push out the difference (as opposed to the entire file) – thus saving on time and bandwidth.

How do we go about connecting these two?  Below is a pretty straight-forward step-by-step for setting up OneNote to work over a Dropbox file share.  I’ve been using this between home and work for a week or so now, and it’s been great.  The beauty of it, is you can collaborate with the other person…and within a few seconds of making a change on one PC, it will be seen on the other PCs!

Step 1:  Install Dropbox on PC #1

(http://www.getdropbox.com)

Step 2:  Make sure you haveOneNote on PC #1

If not, you can download a free trial using one of the links here on http://www.iheartonenote.com

Step 3:  Open OneNote

Step 4:  Create a New Notebook

Step 5:  Name Your New Notebook

Give your new Notebook a name.  Aside from the name displayed in OneNote, this will also become a sub-folder within Dropbox.

Step 6:  Set Folder Location to a Dropbox Folder

Most Vista users will have a Path structure similar to this for Dropbox.  I’ve decided to put it in my “Private” Dropbox folder, and created a “OneNote” folder to include any and all of my OneNote Notebooks.

Step 7:  Set the Type of Sharing You’d Like to Have

My understanding is that the option I’ve chosen here allows multiple people to make changes to the Notebook simultaneously.  This is where the magic is.  Even if you have OneNote open on multiple PCs, changes on one will cause Dropbox to send updates to other machines.  When the other machines get updates, OneNote will make adjustments and display those changes on-the-fly.  It can take a few seconds, but it certainly works!  Of course, if you only use one of them at a time it will show the updates when you open at the other PC.

Step 8:  Repeat Steps #1 and #2 on your Second (Third, Fourth, etc…) PCs

Step 9:  Open the Shared Dropbox Folder on PC #2 (3, 4, etc…)

Step 10:  Start Taking Notes!

It’s really pretty much that simple!

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