Yesterday I put up two versions of online handouts I'm considering for my March 27 webinar on e-portfolios--one using Google Notebook and the other using Zoho Notebook--and asked for reader votes and feedback on which version to use. As usual, I was richly rewarded.
The majority of readers (67%) voted for Zoho. Like me, they were attracted to its look and feel. Claudia Escribano thought it was more "digestible." Mike Taylor thought the navigation was "super-simple" and he liked how you can embed items into the notebook, something I thought was cool too.
But, there are two major issues with Zoho. First I heard from Britt Watwood, who sent me this screencast of his walk through Zoho where he discovered that the commentary I'd added to one of the sample portfolios I embedded in the notebook was floating on top of the portfolio, like this:
This didn't happen for me, so I'm guessing that it could be a browser issue. Regardless, it obviously gets in the way of Zoho's effectiveness. One fix would be to remove the text object I embedded in the Notebook page and make my comments on each portfolio using Zoho's comments feature. The downside of that, though, is that comments aren't readily apparent--I would have to make sure that people knew to read the comments.
The other biggie, which may be a deal-breaker is the fact that you can't print a Zoho Notebook. One of the great things about Zoho is that you can embed objects into a page, so you can have text, a video, a website and audio all in one Notebook page. To do this, though, you're using frames, and of course frames don't print well.
I'd actually discovered this several days ago and decided that if the interface was good enough, I was willing to do a print version of the handouts in a PDF. But I'm having second thoughts about this--do I really want to add one more thing to my work load? Technology should make things easier, not add another step in my process. One major advantage of Google Notebook is that you can easily print it, so I only have to do the work once.
I'm still in the decision-making phase here, although leaning toward Google, much as I love Zoho. I think it's the combo of floating text AND printing issues. One or the other I could deal with, but not sure I want to deal with both. That could change of course.