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Using MobileNoter on several computers

Tuesday, 12/01/2009, 10:07 PM by Vitaly Gorn

Its quite typical scenario when someone has OneNote installed and uses it on several computers. And it is natural that they want to see notebooks from several machines on iPhone. This blog post describes how to achieve this with the current version of MobileNoter and what we plan to improve in this area in the future versions.

Synchronizing OneNote data across several computers

First of all, MobileNoter is not intended to synchronize OneNote notebooks across several PC. MobileNoter is iPhone-to-PC sync solution, not PC-to-PC. There are good solutions that allow syncing OneNote notebooks across multiple computers. If you do not like DropBox, you can use any other service that allow sharing folder across computers, for example Microsoft LiveMesh or SugarSync. Of course you also can use SharePoint or network share if both your computer can access it.

How the current version of MobileNoter works when you use it on several computers

As MobileNoter stores data snapshot on the server, there should be a way for user to control what data is currently stored. A list of notebooks in the Sync client shows what notebooks are currently on the server and allows you to delete some (you should uncheck particular notebook and run sync to delete it). At the same time, this list displays only notebooks that are opened in OneNote on a particular computer. All notebooks that are not selected in this list are deleted from the server on sync. So, if there were Notebooks on the server that were not found on the current computer, they will be deleted.

If you have MobileNoter Sync client installed on two machines, use the same MobileNoter account in them and have different notebooks in OneNote on these machines, then notebooks will be overridden on each sync.

For example: you have Notebook1 and Notebook2 on PC1 and Notebook3 and Notebook4 on PC2. When you sync MobileNoter on PC1, there will be Notebook1 and Notebook2 on the server. When you sync PC2, Notebooks from PC1 will be deleted on the server and Notebook3 and Notebook4 will be uploaded.

A OneNote notebook is identified by its ID number hidden from a user, it is unique for a notebook on a specific machine and opened in a specific version of OneNote. This means that if you have notebooks with the same Name on different machines – they are different.

How to sync notebooks from different computers to the same iPhone app

Solution is to sync your notebooks across your computers first and then use MobileNoter Sync client on one of them.

For example: you have Notebook1 and Notebook2 on PC1 and Notebook3 and Notebook4 on PC2. You want to see Notebook1 and Notebook3 on iPhone and want MobileNoter to run on PC2. In this case you should setup a shared folder using DropBox or other service(see above). Next you should put Notebook1 into this shared folder and open it on both machines from this folder. You will end us with Notebook1 and Notebook2 on PC1 (as before) and Notebook1, Notebook3 and Notebook4 on PC2. Now you can just select Notebook1 and Notebook 3 in MobileNoter Sync Client and sync it.

How this will be improved in the future versions

We constantly hear users are asking to improve this. We consider changing Sync client in the following way in one of next versions:

In the list of notebooks in Sync client, we will show not only Notebooks that are currently opened in OneNote on this machine, but also all other notebooks that are currently stored on the server. A user will be able to select what he/she wants to do with a notebook on sync, either delete it or keep. By default it will be selected to keep ‘unknown’ notebooks.


11/27/2009 9:30:52 PM #

I had figured out that I needed to use DropBox to sync within my network (2 desk - 2 laps) and now only use 1 desk to actually sync up to MobileNoter (as you said Vitaly - DropBox is definitely preferred).
My Question Now: -- Is there a sequence when syncing to MobileNoter that I need to be aware of?? Is there a task I need to do first?? second??  etc...?
I just lost 2 pages of "field notes" on a notebook using the system suggested.  
a) added page to mobilenoter on iphone
b) 1 hr later - worked on laptop - made changes to pages OneNote
c) 2 hr later saw that change was on desktop (DropBox did its job) (also on MobileNoter sync 10 minute intervals
d) activated sync on iphone
e) original note erased on iphone and not synced to desktop
My Question:  what is the best sequence to ensure that pages are not lost??
Thanks - As I have said before - Good Program - Definitely Needed - but scary to sync.....

cosmos labische |

11/28/2009 1:04:54 AM #

I use Live Mesh to synchronise notebooks across my desktop and laptop computers.  You can read how I organise things at

It's a little simpler for me than the scenario Vitaly describes.  I like to keep all the notebooks on all the computers (including iPhone) but only work with one device at a time, depending on where I am.


tom |

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