I’ve realized something. I need all my posting tools, content creation ideas, and storage of all this to be online. While I currently do most of my writing offline in OneNote, I’m finding that I would prefer to have my tools online in some way.

A lot of work I did months ago was in Writely – and I’m starting to return to this tool instead of locally installed software. The nice thing about Writely (and Zoho Writer among others), is that your data is stored online, available from practically any browser. The online tools like these also have the basic formatting and all-important spell check (for me at least) features that make writing blog posts a simple task.

What’s missing from these types of online tools are research features. Now, I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for here, because of course there is no shortage of places to look for information online. This is the place where OneNote shines, because you can Cut & Paste, clip, and copy all types of information into your OneNote notebook in all types of organizational structures. The online tools don’t have something like this.

However, even the abiltiy to aggregate the research notes for a post or article don’t make it easy to form that into a readable format. Of course that is where the creativity in blogging (or any writing for that matter) comes in.

The reality of things as I start to work on more and more writing chores comes into focus, and I believe that I’m going to end up with two different methods for blogging. One online with the Writely’s and Zoho Writers of the world, and one with local software like OneNote & Word. The reason for this is because of the differing styles of posts – long & short. Long posts really need supporting information like links, definitions, pictures, and more. Short posts are really in the conversational form that blogging has long been associated with and simply requires that I stay on topic – though it would be nice to spell things correctly. 😉

The really dirty secret of blogging with OneNote is that the HTML output from both OneNote and Word is horrid – even the 2007 versions that are in beta. Hopfully this will improve over time, but as nice as it is to create a long post in OneNote, the work involved to clean up the HTML is lengthy and not easy. Several posts have ended up in Writely anyway so I could work on the HTML before posting the damn thing on my blogs.

I’ve had some great hints, tips and tricks from several people on the OneNote development team & forums, but for blogging, the product has a long way to go. The biggest problem with OneNote/Word is that Microsoft (it seems) just can’t get deal with the fact that other products and developers can handle presentation as good or better than they can. Fonts are the worst part of OneNote/Word posting – every damn paragraph definition, they have to embed the font being use in the product. Hint – every blog handles the default font for the blog.  Oh well, the reality is that I’m moving back towards online tools that I can reach from almost anywhere – I think this will work best for me going forward.

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