Over the last couple of years we have seen some apps for Mac (iA Writer) or Windows (FocusWriter) and even WordPress that gave us a new writing UI – well, almost no UI at all. Compared to the well know Microsoft Word with it’s ubundance of features and icons this was the complete extreme. This new approach was called “distraction free writing”. Many apps do have some basic formating using special syntax or shortcuts. iA Writer even has a feature to highlight only the current paragraph and dimm out the others.
Well, Microsoft had an almost distraction free mode already since Office 2003 – by using OneNote in full screen mode (just hit F11) you could have quite the same experience. Even though OneNote is part of the Office suite since 2003 it didn’t get much attention until version 2010. And that mostly because of competitor products such as evernote. In my view OneNote is the best note taking app out there due to it’s versality and integration into Outlook (I’ll cover that later)
So, going back to distraction free mode, this is how it looks in version 2010.
Now, Microsoft did go even further to reduce even more elements in OneNote 2013 preview and I’d say this is a great improvement. And fit’s well into a OneNote based workflow.
For those already familiar with Office products or even OneNote, there should be no need than to buy/install another app for distraction free writing if you don’t need the special features such as dimmed paragraphs.