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I've got OneNote running on all computers in our house, using it all the time with several people and computers.

The only drawback: I want to keep the copies of OneNote in sync without having to run a dedicated server myself. Right now one of my computers has a folder share, where all others sync to, but this is highly impractical since the computer is not always running.

So my question is: is it possible to put the notebook files on a (private) SkyDrive Folder and have all the computers sync to there? This way all computers could keep in sync whenever they got access to the web.

Can this be done? and, of course, How?

[Update] Maybe I should not have taken knowledge about OneNote as granted: OneNote uses a propietary file format, but has a very good in-file-syncing, working on network shares. Generic 'just sync the complete file' won't be useful at all, because I'd just have 'file has changed on server and on client' conflicts all the time.
The sync needs to know OneNote files and be able to sync the content - eg. OneNote itself needs to sync the files, not some generic sync tool.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Objection noted, but according to one of the developer's blog, OneNote 2007 natively syncs to a WEBDAV server, so you can host the master notebook there and sync to many machines.

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Yep, but last time I checked, SkyDrive was not supporting WebDav - does DropBox support WEBDAV? –  Sam Mar 11 '10 at 8:47
    
No, DropBox doesn't, but apparently box.net does, or try SwissDisk or another free WebDav provider. –  moioci Mar 11 '10 at 19:31
1  
Uuuhhh, you made me search, and look what I've found: mikeplate.com/how-to-connect-to-skydrive-with-webdav SkyDrive has some hidden WebDav Access. Tried to use it with OneNote, worked!!! –  Sam Mar 11 '10 at 20:14

Kind of. Thing is, unless it has changed since I last looked, SkyDrive doesn't have anything in place to automatically sync files. There are 3rd party tools like SDExplorer that do, though.

However, I've done what you're after both with DropBox and Windows Mesh. With those two, you designate a folder (or folders) to keep synced and then save your OneNote stuff in that folder. The rest just happens magically :-)

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Maybe I should not have taken knowledge about OneNote as granted: OneNote uses a propietary file format, but has a very good in-file-syncing, working on network shares. Generic 'just sync the complete file' won't be useful at all, because I'd just have "file has changed on server and on client" conflicts all the time. –  Sam Mar 7 '10 at 10:16
    
As mentioned, I've done what you're after using both Dropbox and Live Mesh. The "proprietary file format" was not an issue for me. –  Chris_K Mar 7 '10 at 14:36
    
Cool - but what happens if two people edit in the same notebook (happens here all the time)? Using file shares OneNote shows conflicting pages so I can merge them by hand, does this work with DropBox/Mesh, too? –  Sam Mar 7 '10 at 16:55
    
I don't know :-) Until this moment I'd never considered sharing my OneNote files with anyone besides me! Dropbox/Mess sync fast enough that I never ran into conflicts when using two machines at roughly the same time. –  Chris_K Mar 7 '10 at 18:56
    
We need to use this with up to three people at once, editing parts of the same tabs at the same time. This will create conflicts faster than you could say "refresh sync" four times in a row. I'd need a way to get OneNote access the internet folder, so OneNote itself can sync it's notebook, since OneNote does know about the problem and has features to resolve conflict. –  Sam Mar 8 '10 at 10:05

Apparently it works with Dropbox, according to Lifehacker.

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Well, if you read the comments of the article you linked, you'll see that OneNote Diff Sync is not supported by the lifehacker szenario. These DropBoxSync is nice as long as you are the only one editing in OneNote, but add a 2nd person and your data is toast. –  Sam Mar 8 '10 at 10:03
    
Even with just a single user, if you open or edit your notebooks from multiple computers, the changes will be overwritten. Similar to Access databases, syncing the OneNote files is definitely a fragile proposition. Just opening the notebooks causes a change in the file, and your other copies which are the most recent get clobbered. –  Howiecamp Jun 15 '10 at 1:02

I just tested OneNote 2010's native ability to sync with office.live.com and it seems to work nicely. When working on OneNote notebooks you are always working against a cached copy - this is the case even when working against a local notebook. In the case of syncing with Office Live, you make make changes to your notes as usual and they update the local cache. They sync in the background to their copy on Office Live. Since the sync is native, your changes are nicely preserved from any computer where you make them, or from the web if you choose to do it from the browser.

You create an Office Live-synced notebook by selecting the Web option upon new notebook creation.

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does that work with OneNote 2007? –  studiohack Jun 15 '10 at 1:24
    
Cool. I really need to install 2010 soon! –  Sam Jun 12 '11 at 7:00

OneNote 2010 has enhanced sharing capabilities. Just save your book in a Dropbox folder and then continue working. I checked and it is possible to modify the same note simultaneously in two computers and it gets updated at the same time in both. If the changes become in conflict, then a new section will be created with the deconflicted situation.

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