OneNote: A hidden gem in Microsoft Office
Gavin Livingstone, Bryley Systems Inc., January 2016
Microsoft first introduced OneNote with Microsoft Office 2003; since then, it has gone through five iterations and has become a useful utility to record free-form ideas and collaborate with others on any device, from Windows to iOS to Android. (See Wikipedia’s write-up on OneNote.)
Microsoft says that OneNote is “…a digital notebook for your to-do lists, lecture and meeting notes, vacation plans, or anything you want to organize.”
- Use anywhere, on any device
- Work collaboratively with others
- Keep all your ideas, notes, images, everything together in one place
I have been using OneNote for the past two months to replace my old, spiral-bound notebook. I setup my major groupings by Tabs (Executive, Meetings, Archive, etc.) and I then setup Pages within each Tab for my major task-groupings (Planning, Setup KPIs, ToDo, etc.). Within each Page, I setup a task list with task items.
For example, within my Executive Tab in the Page named “Planning –2016” I have:
- Five-year plan:
Each item within a task-list has a checkbox (called a To Do Tag), so that I can check it off when completed. When all items within all task-lists are completed, I move the Page to my Tab that I named Archive.
Within OneNote, I move Tabs left-to-right to arrange by priority. Likewise, within a Tab, I constantly shift higher-priority task-groupings (Pages) upward as their urgency increases.
I can include emails, documents, handwritten notes, and graphics within each Page.
Because it syncs securely and works with different devices, I have OneNote on my Ultrabook and on my Android tablet to allow use anywhere, anytime.