Microsoft Testing Cortana Notebook Redesign in Windows 10

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 15 Comments

Cortana’s Notebook could soon be getting a new look. Redmond is A/B testing a new design for the personal assistant’s Notebook with a small group of Windows 10 users, although it is yet to officially announce anything regarding the new design. This is actual A/B testing, by the way.

The feature was initially spotted by a user on Reddit (via MSPU), although I was “lucky” enough to have the new design on my Windows 10 PC with the latest Redstone 4 Insider build.

The new Notebook design for Cortana isn’t too different from the current design. Rather than putting everything on a single page, Microsoft is separating the options into two different sections within the Notebook to make things, well, less confusing. Cortana’s Notebook has always been a confusing mess, combining things like your reminders, music providers, package tracking, accounts, integrations, and more — all on one single page.

By separating things like your to-do lists and reminders into the Organizer section and everything else into the Manage Skills section, it’s actually much easier to find things within Cortana’s Notebook than ever before. Notebook’s Manage Skills section displays the Cortana Skills you’ve enabled, and then all of your other Cortana-related settings. This includes the music providers you have enabled, or other integrations like LinkedIn, Office 365, or Uber are separated into the Connection settings. Other actions are separated into sections like Productivity, Lifestyle, etc.

Cortana’s Notebook redesign may not ever make it to all users, though. Microsoft’s believed to be working on a major revamp for Cortana in Windows 10 to make it work much more like macOS’ Spotlight search feature, and the Notebook feature might get a completely different look next year with the Windows 10 Redstone 4 release. Still, it’s possible Microsoft will this new design out to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update users in the coming months, as well as users on Android and iOS since Microsoft uses the similar web-based UI for Cortana on Android and iOS devices.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Microsoft Testing Cortana Notebook Redesign in Windows 10”

  1. Althalus

    Would be nice if they have a section where they show the apps that can be invoked using Cortana.

    • snow.steve22

      In reply to Althalus:

      Boy, how I've been looking for that and information like it! Just the correct phrasing to get the desired result would be a great help. There are tantalizing suggestions around the edges of the Web but need something definitive like a "Cortana Owner's Manual". And, for extra points, how to extend that to other applications without pulling out what's left of my hair...

      Desparately need this in the car, especially.

  2. Tony Barrett

    Microsoft still flogging that horse? Guess they've not got much choice.

  3. dcdevito

    Cortana isn't bad, but I just don't have room for more than one virtual assistant - and right now that's Google's. I use it on my phone, my home devices and I even wrote a script that invokes GAssistant on my Windows PC. Sorry Cortana.

  4. Martin Sjöholm

    While Siri is presenting useful usage scenarios for me, Cortana is not even considered to be made available in my language. It's like they don't really want to...

  5. Lewk

    Has anyone else lost the ability to add tracked flights into Cortana's notebook? You can still track flights, just not save them which is what I did for the past 3 years and as I fly all the time it was super handy. But the option disappeared a month ago and I'm disappointed. I've added it to the feedback hub but no surprise that nobody else is upvoting or Microsoft responding.

  6. Jules Wombat

    Cortana still stuck in Beta over here ? How about making it a global service, before these minor tweaks.

    What a total flop Cortana has been

  7. Bats

    How about Microsoft improving Cortana first?

  8. Singingwolf

    Cortana, like a lot of Microsoft ideas has potential to be great. I had assumed with Cortana being on phones for many years now and many PCs for a few years too, that it would be really useful. With excitement I purchased a couple of Invokes. And although the sound quality and Bluetooth streaming are great, Cortana is severely hobbled. Which is a shame. With a little work, it could be great. All the foundations are there. But, I feel this will be another DOA product. They had the time, the experience, the usage to perfect this before launch. Nup. You cannot change settings via the Invoke, it understands very little, cannot send a text, read an email, do cross device notification. So yeah, that's my 2c for the day. Over and out.