Ah, love. It’s what makes the world go round. If you have ever been in love – I mean really, truly in love – you know what I mean. The birds sing a little sweeter, colors shine a bit more brightly, and you feel more…everything! Well, guess what? I am head over heels in love with Microsoft OneNote. I have been talking about OneNote since my first post, and today I am pleased to deep dive into why I love it – and why I am certain it loves me back. For some of the more experienced writers out there, this may be old hat or rudimentary, but for the rest of us, I got your back.
Remember when I said that OneNote is a TrapperKeeper for adults? Well, I stand by that statement, but OneNote is so much more than that. When you open OneNote, you can create a new notebook, and you can have as many notebooks as your little heart desires. Remember: OneNote is for anybody, so you can use this to create a grocery list, plan a vacation, organize gardening ideas, track your Tinder dates, WHATEVER you want to do. Within each notebook, you can make new tabs to organize your work, and each tab can contain as many pages as you need. Here’s a basic look:
You can see that there are tabs containing the outline, takeaways and tips, worksheets, research and more. There are also tabs that you can’t see here for other work but you get the gist. To the right of the main tab are the various pages I mentioned, where you can get more detailed or keep other information. This is basically a blank slate – you can make it whatever you want it to be and customize your notebook to work for you. In other words, you’re the boss, Tony Danza, and your wish is OneNote’s command. No more trying to squeeze your size 8 writing process into a size 6 designer shoe at a sample sale.
CONJUNCTION JUNCTION, WHAT’S YOUR FUNCTION
So let’s talk about functionality. There is a box in the top right of OneNote where you can select icons to go into your notebook. Here, you can add to-do’s, contact information, ideas, sources and links, important items, etc. This is fantastic because if you are researching and adding items as you go, you can quickly organize and plan information to circle back to and elaborate on later.
Here’s an action shot of to-do’s at work. I am a big fan of SkillShare (we will talk about that later) and made a list of classes I want to take. So, for the classes related to writing, I added a tab to my notebook to make sure I get to all of them:
SAVED BY THE BELL
One of the best things about OneNote is that it automatically saves your work across all of your devices. That’s right, you can have OneNote on your computer, smartphone, AND tablet, and whichever you are working off of, OneNote immediately saves your edits and additions on all platforms. Easy-peasy.
INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLATE OF DOOM
There are TONS of template options for OneNote – but right now, they are only for Windows users. I have a Mac, so I am S.O.L. However, Windows friends: you lucky ducks can learn how to use templates here. This is the worst thing you will ever hear me say about OneNote, and I am already ashamed of myself.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
There are some really fantastic tools out there for OneNote. Personal fave? The Clipping Tool. This is fab because it lets you clip whatever you find out there right into your notebook. You can clip a full page, region of a page, or article and select where you want it to appear, down to the page and tab of your notebook. This page shows you exactly how it’s done.
You can also easily embed video and audio, or insert files, graphs and charts into your notebooks.
OneNote also offers a multitude of apps and plugins, because, of course it does. There is even a handy-dandy plugin for WordPress that can publish your OneNote pages directly into your WordPress posts!
I am very aware that I have not even come close to covering all of the things OneNote can do for you, and I also understand that I am not good at ‘teaching’, especially in a blog post. But, I wanted to try to spread the word at least a little bit and hope that the links provided may be useful to someone. Our friends at Microsoft are out there – they have a great blog and Twitter account that keep it funky fresh with updates and tips.
Do you use OneNote and have any advice or tips? If not, what system do you rely on to stay organized?
As always, thanks for reading!