Mac software usually looks beautiful, I’ve noticed. Much slicker, cleaner UI than software I’ve used on PCs. This is true for Microsoft Office’s Word for Mac, at least with regards to the notebook layout, which is a unique feature offered in the Mac version that is not anywhere to be found in the PC version. (Perhaps this is because the PC Office suite already includes OneNote which uses the notebook theme as its primary interface?)
Something about the notebook view THRILLS me. And the fact that you can customize the desktop background and the notebook style – that was the icing for me. I’ve looked at Circus Ponies Notebook 3.0 and Aquamind’s Notetaker, and though those applications offer way more functionality and fit better with the Mac OS platform than Word, I still find Word’s notebook layout to be cleaner, simpler, more minimalist.
But but but. When it came down to actually using this feature, I didn’t find it all that uniquely functional, since my newfound habit is NOT to do most of my work/writing on the Mac in Word. I would rather use other software to jot down notes and ideas and draft pieces for work and for myself. And as it turns out, Word, in general, doesn’t play that well with other Mac software, so it a bit harder to integrate with a workflow than, say, Writeroom. I could see that if I kept a running research file, or a journal, in Word, then I might actually save the files in Word notebook layout (it seems to save in a different format than the regular Word doc files).
Anyway, it is beautifully designed and kudos to the Mac Office team for thinking of it. They have an entire blog post devoted to explaining the concept behind it. I think I would use it as a stand alone application, more than as part of the Office suite. Did I mention that I really miss MS Onenote since making the switch?