Microsoft OneNote

Without diving into merits of various note applications and functionality, have a free questions specific to Microsoft OneNote.

  1. Any way at all to use this application WITHOUT cloud or syncing, ideally without signing in at all? Like the app and do NOT want notes on any cloud, no need to sync across devices etc

  2. In a contraction to the statement above, out of curiosity, is there any way to sync with a personal webdav instead of OneDrive? Still no signing into a Microsoft account

As far as I know, there’s no way to do anything you want with OneNote offline or without a Microsoft account signin.

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Short answer, “no”.

Years ago I used OneNote on a work PC. I was overjoyed when Microsoft offered a Mac version. But then I was underjoyed when I discovered that it wouldn’t open the local OneNote files, and, of course, my work PC couldn’t be connected to Microsoft’s cloud.

Having used OneNote for well over 10 years very actively for all of my notes, including master’s research, it’s a definite no (sadly). (Not using it actively very much now but keeping an eye on the developments as my archive is there.)

Not to defend Microsoft on #1 as the Windows version used to provide offline-only mode (but the Mac version never had that), however on #2 the issue seems to be that OneNote uses a priprietary syncing mechanism to sync changes to OneDrive, including differential syncing, and to resolve any conflicts, which is unlikely to be supported by any other syncing mechanism. This works well in practice when you edit the same note from couple of different devices but requires OneNote to talk to OneDrive.

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