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Career lions

10 #Careerlion Reasons to Use OneNote

10 #Careerlion Reasons to Use OneNote

I am not sure I ever thought this day would come, but I am hooked on OneNote. I have known about its existence for a long time and have frequently used it for our common team meeting notes over the years too. However, I never really got to the point to use it myself on a structural basis until now. Part of the reason is that I only recently discovered certain features that have turned this into a real game changer for me. Assuming that some of you also aren’t regular users yet and may not even know about some of the hidden gems, today’s blog is dedicated to OneNote.

So, why do I finally feel the need to become an ambassador of OneNote? Here is why:

AutoSaving and Previous versions

One of the initial reasons for me to start using OneNote at work was its autosaving functionality. Over the years I have become much wiser when it comes to saving my work, but you can never be too careful. Nothing is worse than having to redo work, where I usually have already forgotten what I did exactly. Although maybe having done the work, changing it, and then deciding that a previous version would have worked better is a close second. Luckily, OneNote is there to the rescue again with its previous versions functionality.

Drawing

Another reason I started to use OneNote again is because I bought a pencil to use with my Ipad. Not an Apple pencil, but a cheaper version that was rated really well on the internet called the Adonit Mark. When I tried out the pencil, it quickly became apparent that it works very well with OneNote. I can make drawings on my Ipad and they sync automatically to all my devices. Allowing me to share my thoughts easily with colleagues as well. 

Search function

Admittedly, I used to spend a lot of time searching in my notes trying to find what I was looking for. Then when my notebook is full, I leave it at home and the odds are that I need to find those notes in the old notebooks. With OneNote you can easily search through all of your notes or a specific one.

Even better is OneNote's functionality to make the text in pictures searchable. Another game changer that could save a lot of time for when the occasion arises.

Docking

I used to think that keeping notes on your laptop was impracticable as you would have to switch from one screen to the other. Little did I know that OneNote allows you to dock it to the desktop. Even better, when you are working in that mode it is possible to automatically link your notes to the file that is open beside it. Making it even easier to retrieve information at a later point in time.

Tag Finding

Using OneNote in the past, I never really understood the need for all those tags. They seemed like something I could get wrapped up in only to lose lots of time picking out a nice one. Again not knowing why this is actually absolutely brilliant. By using the find tags functionality, OneNote is able to gather all of the (open) to do items and notes with a certain tag across the notebooks you specify. It even allows you to extract a to-do list.

Outlook Integration

The integration with Outlook is another game changer. It works together with your outlook tasks, but more importantly when I take minutes from meetings I am able to extract all the details from a meeting request as a header. Including for instance the attendees and the documents linked. Also, from your calendar you can also take notes and easily share them with the other attendees. Notes can also easily be emailed, allowing you to prepare emails in detail or share analysis and notes including attachments.

History

Sometimes, I can't remember where the time went: "what was it exactly that I worked on anyway?". Well, the good news is that OneNote will be able to jog your memory using the history tab and specifying the scope and time span of your search.

Sync

In today's world it has become a true standard to have access to everything at all time. To be able to find information in a heartbeat whenever and wherever. OneNote doesn't disappoint here either. With the apps, you are able to access and edit your notes from all your devices syncing up perfectly. It is great to have all my carefully drafted notes ready for retrieval on my smartphone at all times.

Collaboration

It is not just practical to be able to share it easily with myself across my devices, the possibilities to share and collaborate on notebooks with colleagues are very useful as well. I very much appreciate the way OneNote keeps track of the notes' editors. It also allows you to edit notes simultaneously and syncing at a speed where you can even work efficiently together virtually.

Templates

The templates offer great opportunities for productivity gains. Not only are there many great templates readily available, it is also very easy to create your own templates. That way you can save time by having templates that support your work and help you perfect the structuring of your notes. Also making sure for instance that you don't forget to jot down the action points at the end of a meeting.

What are your thoughts on OneNote? Have you become an enthusiastic user like me? Or do you keep your use to the bare minimum? Any tips and tricks that I missed and should check out? Please do share it with us in the comment section below.

 

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