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Microsoft OneNote is a Great Productivity Enhancer and Organizational Tool

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Microsoft OneNote (part of Microsoft Office Home and Business) has a variety of features that may be useful to you. It’s hard to describe exactly what OneNote is and also incorporate all its functionality briefly, but I’ll do my best. It’s basically an electronic notebook. Think of Microsoft Word with tabs and sub tabs. You can click anywhere and start typing and can add a large variety of content to the notes. There are also a lot of useful shortcuts that work with OneNote. While the program may not be for you, I highly recommend downloading a trial, or if you already have it just open it up. If you look through the tabs that are already built into the program, it will highlight a lot of the useful features of the program. I’m going to go through some of the features I think are most interesting.

OneNote features hotkeys that work outside of the program to help you quickly gather data.

  • Windows Key + N will bring up a note window.

Whatever you type, draw, or drag and drop into this note will be added to an Unfiled Notes section of your notebook. Next time you’re in One Note you can move these to a relevant location.

  • Windows Key + S will allow you to select a portion of your current display to paste into your notebook. A popup will ask where to add the content.

You can put almost anything into your notebook: video, links, pictures, Excel docs, working checklists, or audio. You can also search your entire notebook. You can draw in the notebook, and if using a tablet you can takes notes by hand directly into the notebook. OneNote can convert handwritten notes to searchable text. OneNote can email a page using Outlook, Outlook can push tasks or emails to OneNote.

You can record audio or video inside of OneNote. Any notes taken while recording will be time stamped against the audio or video. This way you can reference what was being said while you took a specific note. This can be a great tool while taking notes in a meeting or class.

OneNote also has built in sharing and collaboration tools and is designed to work within SharePoint. You have version history, can see who made changes, and changes you haven’t seen yet will be highlighted.

Every time I look at OneNote I find more interesting features. As I said before, I highly recommend you download the trial and try it out for yourself. This is a program that has a lot of potential to increase your productivity.



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