“OneNote … I wonder what that’s all about,” I said to myself.
I’d finally upgraded my Microsoft Office suite, leapfrogging from 2007 to 2013 in one fell swoop. I figured a lot of features must have been added during those technologically fruitful years, and I was looking forward to taking advantage of it all.
“You must set up OneNote first,” was the message I received after hitting the button.
“Ok,” I thought. “How do I do that?”
Eventually I discerned that I had to go into the Microsoft Office application folder and run OneNote as a separate program (which, though integrated, it is). After I did, I watched the tutorial and started to get excited. “This,” I thought, “may be what I’ve been looking for.”
You see, when it came to organizing emails, I’d gotten pretty good, with dozens of folders in my Outlook, but when it came to gathering other types of information to go with those topic-centric emails, things got a bit hairy. I found that if I wanted to combine documents with them, I’d have to save the emails in a folder with the other documents, or paste the documents into an email and send them to myself. If I wanted to add Web pages or portions of Web pages, it involved saving HTML files or cutting and pasting the content, along with a lot of formatting I didn’t want.
While the jury is still out, OneNote become my one source for information collection, largely because its tentacles reach into the pools I fish. Take, for example, gathering information for potential Webinars. Under a specific topic, I may want to include some emails, some Web stories, a PDF, a jpeg, and perhaps a sound bite or two from our Podcasts. For this, OneNote seems especially promising.
To give the product a real college try, I’ve even switched my preferred browser from Firefox to IE, as IE offers a direct “send” to OneNote. And when using IE, one can highlight any text, right click, and do a Bing search (it’s not Google, of course, but saving a few steps is worth something). Also, Outlook emails can be “sent” to any existing folder in OneNote, and the whole application can be accessed and updated from my iPhone using the OneNote app; all of which is synced automatically with my desktop version through SkyDive. Not bad.
I found it interesting how one cool product (OneNote) changed my browser usage (to IE) so I could get the most out of it. It felt like the gravity of a large planet pulling bodies towards it. I recall that, over the last few years, I’ve felt that pull from Apple, with the iPhone acting the role of Jupiter. At this point, there are two Jupiters in my world: Microsoft Office (especially Outlook) and my iPhone, and it’s fascinating to watch each tug at my technological heart.
I got to thinking about push, pull and the gravity of large bodies, during a recent (and soon-to-be-published) interview with Joel Vengco, VP and CIO at Baystate Health. Vengco talked about how he’d recently sat down with his Cerner reps, trying to make them understand what it was like to be one of their customers in an Epic-heavy region.
There was a significant pull, Vengco said, toward the Jupiter that is Epic, and Cerner needed to factor that pull into its customer service equation. Of course, the reason for such a pull is not that having the same system will facilitate chit chat for Baystate executives at local events, but rather to foster information exchange among the region’s health systems. If everyone you interact with speaks German and you’re only tongue is Russian, it’s tempting zu Deutsch lernen.
Vengco acknowledges that making such a move would be tantamount to a very expensive and multi-year pit stop on his organization’s IT journey, so the pull will have to be irresistible if it’s to be indulged. “We want this partnership with Cerner to work,” he added.
And so the push and pull of Cerner and Epic will continue for now at Baystate, as the push and pull between Microsoft and Apple continues for me.
In each case, the outcomes will be based on value — both the potential of the “other” and the costs of transition. In the end, it’s about finding the most effective tools for the job and realizing that, at any point, gravity might pull you in a different direction.