What is OneNote and why should I use it?

Over the next few days, I’m going to introduce you to OneNote. As the name suggests, it’s designed for note taking, but it’s actually quite helpful anytime you have lots of information to organize. And it’s great when used with Outlook – or sharing notebooks with others.

Remember how easy it was to take notes in college? You could write notes wherever you had empty space. Suddenly switching from written words to drawing diagrams or graphs was never a problem. And if you got bored, you could always doodle spacemen in the margins.

You can do all of that in OneNote. You can type freeform notes and insert graphics, screen shots, and the like. You can even doodle if you have a TabletPC or are really artistic with a mouse; though OneNote is super valuable even without a Tablet.

Unlike your college notebook, however, OneNote makes it easy to organize those notes. You can have several notebooks, divide them into sections, and have unlimited pages in each of those sections. You don’t have to give any thought to the organization as you’re taking notes. You can organize everything later by dragging and dropping.

You could have individual notebooks for work and pleasure. Within your work notebook, you could have sections for each of your projects, another section for brainstorming, and another for progress toward your performance goals.

What’s the first thing you do when you need to take notes during a meeting? Start a Word doc? That’s what most people I know do.  But there may be a better way – not that I don’t love Word; but OneNote is specifically designed to help you connect your meetings – which are in Outlook, to OneNote, without needing to go elsewhere.

More details to come!