In your pursuit for an efficient, flawless, and perfect workflow, you’ve probably tried a lot of different ways to keep track of all the things you need to do and know. You’ve most likely also worked with a couple of applications to help you.
Most likely, you’ve encountered Microsoft’s note-taking application, Microsoft OneNote.
Microsoft OneNote is an essential tool that is sure to enhance your productivity in business, education, and even for your own private uses (like keeping track of how well you’re doing with your own fitness program).
It doesn’t end there, an effective use of Microsoft OneNote makes certain that everything you need to remember and manage is all in one app.
In this article, we’ll explore what Microsoft OneNote can do and how its features can help you, your business, and those you work with.
What is OneNote again?
OneNote is a digital note-taking application that never runs out of paper. It provides you with a single space where you can keep all your notes, research, and plans. The notes you make are also easy to organize, share with others, print, and easily searchable.
It also runs on cloud-based systems, which means that anything you wrote down on OneNote is stored online and can be accessed just as easily on any of your mobile devices while you are on the go.
Main Features of OneNote
Organizing your ideas, plans, and notes is what makes OneNote “the one note-taking app” to use. It is easy to learn how to use it especially if you have experience with Office 365 applications.
OneNote is also compatible with a wide range of digital multimedia formats, which means it is possible to add images, recordings, and many more multimedia documents to make sure that your notes are as simple as you want them or as comprehensive as you need them to be.
What is OneNote used for?
These are the two most important uses of OneNote:
1. Organize Information and Notes
There are three keywords you have to remember when organizing your notes:
OneNote notebooks are designed to be easy to use, navigate and organize. Each notebook you make is organized into sections that also have pages that you can fill out. This means that you can separate your notes according to how you want to group them.
You can keep one section for all your hobbies while you create another section for your work. You can even create one entire notebook for your work-related notes and each section will be your notes for each of your clients or customers.
2. Share Your Notes With Others
You can decide to use OneNote for yourself or create notes to share with your friends, family, co-workers, classmates — or even with your boss, to collaborate with you in a shared notebook.
Everyone you shared your notebook with can add their own text, images, files, and anything else.
What are the benefits of OneNote?
Using OneNote comes with a number of benefits when it comes to staying productive. It also helps that the interface is user-friendly and familiar if you’ve worked with other Microsoft applications.
To list down a few, here are some of the main benefits of OneNote:
- Easy navigation and organization of notes
- Secure storage of information
- Easy access from any device
- Cloud storage
- Capability to draw annotations
- Supports a wide array of multimedia formats
- Cross-platform compatibility with other Microsoft apps
1. Organizing Your Notes Has Never Been This Easy
The familiar interface of Microsoft OneNote makes navigating through your notebooks and going through your pages on each section a whole lot easier. OneNote also has a great quick-search feature where you can look up a phrase no matter where you jotted it down.
You can also use tags to categorize and prioritize notes that you want to keep track of.
Adding to-do tags on lists you make is also an available feature that you can utilize. A feature to assign a color to your sections is helpful in making sure that you can visually recognize how you categorize your notes.
2. Collaboration and Coordination
OneNote allows collaboration between people you’ve shared your notebook with. Your collaborators can make changes to your notebooks in real-time, which means that multiple users can make edits and immediately see the changes made.
Although the opportunity to work on the same page is convenient, this can also be a prime reason for accidents when multiple users are making changes to the same file since a conflict in changes made might come up.
OneNote has a solution for this though as it saves both changes made. You can check for these revisions and decide which version to retain as the final change or create a new version that takes into account the changes made from previous versions.
3. Securing Your Pages With Sensitive or Confidential Information
With collaboration and sharing of information in mind, OneNote makes sure that sensitive information stored in your notebooks is protected and secured. You can password-protect individual sections so that only those to whom you gave the password can access them.
Even if those with access leave their OneNote inactive for a specified period of time, OneNote ensures to automatically lock password-protected sections to keep them private.
4. Vast Collection of Multimedia Compatibility
From text to images and even audio files, it is possible to embed those into your notebook with OneNote. A feature to scan handwritten notes and automatically rewrite them for you in your notebook is a great feature for those times when you wrote down a note without your device.
It’s also possible to record audio and video straight into your notebook. The great thing about this is that OneNote can recognize spoken words, which means that you can also search your notebooks for audio files that contain the word you are looking for.
5. Jot Down and Record Information Anytime and Anywhere
Since OneNote is cloud-supported, you can access your notes anytime and on any device.
You can synchronize your OneNote across multiple devices so you can access your notebook even if you are on the road. Like marking off that “Buy a cake on the way home” checkbox on your to-do list immediately after buying it.
6. Integration With Other Productivity Software
Microsoft has plenty of applications that work well with OneNote. Office 365 applications, for instance, work perfectly like clockwork. You can also embed Word and Excel files to make available for viewing and editing on OneNote and the changes made to them are also saved.
OneNote can also work well with plenty of other applications that are not from Microsoft. Some examples are Trello and Slack which you can add their functionalities to make your notebook more effective and increase your productivity.
7. Great Partner in Education
If you’re on your way to learning a skill or are a student yourself, OneNote has you covered. With all the benefits listed above, it shouldn’t come off as a surprise how OneNote can supplement your learning endeavors.
If you’re having trouble with Math, one great feature that rolled out is the capability to read mathematical notations and even create a graph for it. This is useful for both teachers and students alike.
As for teachers, you can create a notebook where you assign each student to their own section where they can jot down their notes. If you want to distribute a handout, a feature to send a copy to each section of the notebook will make it easier for you.
What possible problems are there in using OneNote?
After looking at all the benefits, it makes you wonder if there are any drawbacks to using Microsoft OneNote. For the most part, the problems and complaints that some might have with using OneNote are few to count.
The more common ones are:
- Compatibility issues when using OneNote with other applications. By other applications, it mostly means applications from Apple softwares or other operating systems. This is not entirely always true as even if the documents were made using Microsoft products, such problems still come up from Mac users.
- Microsoft Office 365 environment might be complicated for new users. If you’re a new user to Office 365 applications then it can be tricky to navigate the user interface. Nothing a few tutorials can’t solve, but it may take a bit more time to get used to.
At the end of the day, Microsoft OneNote offers excellent tools for your note-taking needs. It provides solutions to anyone who needs to organize their work, collaborates with colleagues, and shares ideas.
If you’re experiencing any of the problems described above or any concerns regarding Microsoft OneNote, feel free to drop a comment down below or send me a private message on my contact page.