I'm a relatively new Habanero, having just joined the team in December as an information architect. Before I came on board, Ben asked me which platform I'd like to work on: Mac or PC. Now, I'm completely bi-platform; for the past 10 years of my professional life I've been using a PC while at home I've been a Mac user since Dad brought home that funny looking thing in 1985. But, to have the opportunity to use a Mac all day at work? well, sign me up! I had read and heard all about the wonders of Parallels and thought that seamless integration between Mac and PC worlds had arrived. And guess what? It's pretty darn close.

With the latest version of Parallels, I can easily tab between applications, regardless of the OS. This way I can tie into all of the scheduling features of Outlook Exchange Server that Entourage can't handle, but maintain the easy networking, connectivity, and usability of the Mac. Within the Microsoft Office suite of products, it's all very easy-peasy and the integration has made my (work) life run extraordinarily smoothly. PC-only products such as Visio are only a click away.

But the killer application, which I would never have discovered if I hadn't tried the Parallels world, is Microsoft's OneNote. In Microsoft's words, "Office OneNote 2007 is a digital notebook that provides people one place to gather their notes and information, powerful search to find what they are looking for quickly, and easy-to-use shared notebooks so that they can manage information overload and work together more effectively."

There are many really great things about OneNote:

  • It's searchable.
  • You no longer need to keep unorganized notebooks full of unfiled notes on your desk (come on, I know you do it, too).
  • You can share it online.
  • You can output it as a word doc to share with non-OneNote users.
  • It integrates with Outlook for tasks and calendar events, which is great for meeting notes.
  • You can set it up to backup automatically to your server (mine does it hourly).
  • It's a great tool for IAs (for notes, research, interviews, screenshots, images, etc).
  • You always have *all* your notes with you

So, I encourage Mac users to keep an open mind and see that there are benefits to the "other" way of doing things. As far as the user experience goes, you can have your cake and eat it too!