How to sync files like notes and tasks on your Windows Phone 7

As I noted in my post with tips on moving from an iPhone to a new Windows Phone 7, I also touched on how to sync several files – namely notes. A number of folks asked how to sync notes and files with your new Windows Phone 7.  There are different ways to sync files on your phone, depending on the type of file and where i’s stored. To learn more, take a look at the article on syncing files with your phone.

I’m a huge OneNote fan and OneNote Mobile lets you take notes and sync existing OneNote notebooks with your new Windows Phone 7. It integrates easily with Windows Live SkyDrive (I love having 25GB of free online storage in the cloud).

To sync a notebook on Windows Live SkyDrive for the first time

  1. On Start, flick left to the App list, and then tap Office.
  2. Flick to OneNote, and then tap All .
  3. Tap Refresh.

  4. Tap Yes in the Sync with SkyDrive? message box. Wait while you’re signed in with your Windows Live ID.

  5. Afterward, a personal notebook named Personal (Web) will be created in your My Documents folder on Windows Live SkyDrive and synced on your phone.

  6. Type your notes.

For more info about saving Office documents to Windows Live SkyDrive, see Save a document to Windows Live from Office 2010 on the Microsoft Office website. For more info about getting started and using OneNote Web App, see Introduction to OneNote Web App on the Microsoft Office website.

You can also read Notes on Office.Live.Com – there’s more than one way to skin a cat (so to speak). An easy way to view Outlook Notes on my Windows Phone is by using my folders on In Outlook, I can click on a Notes file and save as a .txt file, which in turn I can post to my SkyDrive (aka, and view on my phone.


For information about syncing notes between your phone and SkyDrive, see Use Microsoft OneNote Mobile.

Also see this post from Julie, one of our MVPs, on on sync’ing tasks with Remember the Milk.

Windows Phone 7 does not include a tasks application and there’s no way to sync Outlook tasks to the device.  Even if there were a way to sync tasks, there’s no place to store them once they get there.  This to me is one of the greatest deficiencies of windows phone.

A few years ago I signed up for a free “Remember the Milk” (RTM) account.  At the time I didn’t have a prevailing reason to move my tasks to the cloud and there was no windows mobile support for RTM, so I didn’t seriously consider using it. 

But now with windows phone 7, I had a strong incentive to find a different way to work with tasks on my phone, so I rummaged around and found my RTM login credentials and took another look at this well known, well regarded, cloud-based tasks application.  I figured I could at least have access to my tasks through RTM’s mobile website.

Then last week, I discovered WinMilk in the Marketplace (in the Productivity category). I downloaded it to my phone, set up my Remember the Milk login credentials and all my tasks information synced beautifully to my phone.


Tags: articles, what I read, blogs, Microsoft, travel tips, Windows Phone 7.

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7 replies on “How to sync files like notes and tasks on your Windows Phone 7”

You can do this with pictures taken with the WP7 camera, as well.  Syncing new photos to Skydrive is one of my favorite features.

I agree! I like the ability to automatically save your photos to SkyDrive – it makes it easy to view and share them from anywhere. I think that the WP7 team did a great job on the first release integrating with Windows Live. A couple of things could use some more polish, but generally very slick.

Im completely blown away that Win Phone 7 does 3 of the 5 things that both Outlook and Exchange have done for years – mail, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks.  These 5 things are the core of two of the biggest most important business productivity tools ever, how the Win 7 Phone team decided they'd just go ahead and shave two off is beyond crazy.  "Here's a cool new UI that would be really awesome if we hadnt decided to delete 40% of the core functionality you care about"

And by the way – my Blackberry could sync all 5 items with Exchange and was flawless in that.

I think I messed up.  On my pc I created a new OneNote on my SkyDrive > Office Live Documents.  However it's not sync'ing to my phone.  When I perform the steps above (I do see the note that it's First time) there is no "Tap Yes in the Sync with SkyDrive? message box" it refreshes the default note that was picked up some how a while back.  I only have 1 OneNote on my phone now (no Personal (Web)).  I don't know what to do now.

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