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Is making a to-do list on your to-do list? Set it up in OneNote to make getting things done as straightforward as possible.

A to-do list can be a great way of ensuring you’re making progress 5 Ways to Get Productive With Microsoft OneNote 5 Ways to Get Productive With Microsoft OneNote Do you feel the need for an offline organization tool that also exists on the web? Surprisingly, Microsoft has come up with the perfect solution - OneNote. Read More — but it’ll only serve that purpose if its set up correctly. Building a to-do list inside OneNote offers a host of advantages over pen and paper Why Your Finger Will Never Replace a Pen: Refuting Satya Nadella Why Your Finger Will Never Replace a Pen: Refuting Satya Nadella Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, was asked by ABC News what he expects to be obsolete technology in ten years. As the commander of the technology juggernaut, he ought to know. His quick answer... Read More . Use these tips to make an actionable list that makes sure the important things in life get done on time.

Use Shortcuts to Make Checklists a Breeze

It’s easier to stick to a to-do list when you have the option of ticking off completed tasks — it’s not just helpful in an organizational sense, it’s a very satisfying way of quantifying just how much you’ve accomplished. OneNote makes this easy, with a simple keyboard shortcut Windows Shortcuts 101 - The Ultimate Keyboard Shortcut Guide Windows Shortcuts 101 - The Ultimate Keyboard Shortcut Guide With so many shortcuts built into Windows and its software, it might seem impossible to learn them all. Here's the ultimate guide to the most useful keyboard shortcuts. Read More that can make a checkbox for any purpose.

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Just highlight some text and press Ctrl + 1 to pair it with a checkbox. You can combine this shortcut with some others, too — Ctrl + 2 adds a star, while Ctrl + . starts a bulleted list. Using these three shortcuts in conjunction with one another, it’s quick and easy to set up a detailed checklist for a particular task on the fly.

Embed Files to Keep Your Materials Handy

A disorganized hard drive can result in wasted time when you’re working on the computer. However, OneNote 2013 features the software’s broadest support thus far for embedding files directly into your notes. This is great if you want to use mixed media for your note-taking, but it can also be used to get you straight into tackling your to-do list rather than searching for a missing document.

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Whether it’s a PDF you’ve been meaning to proofread or a video file that needs to be edited down 3 Ways To Do Video Editing From Within Chrome 3 Ways To Do Video Editing From Within Chrome If you're on a budget and need free video editing options, look no further than these three Chrome apps, compatible with both your browser and Chrome OS. Read More , just drag and drop it onto a page in OneNote and you can add a link to its location on your hard drive. Be sure to open the original document via the respective right-click option. Changes made on your hard drive won’t sync to the document embedded in OneNote.

Link Tasks to Outlook

OneNote is useful as a standalone program, but it really comes into its own when you use it in conjunction with the rest of the Office suite. The ability to import Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations Make a PowerPoint Presentation That Doesn't Put Your Audience to Sleep Make a PowerPoint Presentation That Doesn't Put Your Audience to Sleep PowerPoint presentations, when done right, can be an engaging way to provide an audience with information. When done poorly, however, they can quickly put the audience to sleep. Read More  can help out with certain tasks, but if you’re looking to set up a to-do list, OneNote’s links with Outlook are going to be of most use.

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If you’re at an appointment you had scheduled in Outlook, you can use the intertwined Office suite to create an actionable OneNote to-do list based on what you find in the meetings. Better yet, it works both ways — you can use OneNote to schedule dated entries for time-sensitive tasks via your Windows Calendar.

Never Forget a Task

The problem with a physical to-do list is that it takes up space. Whether it’s in a bag or your pocket, it’s yet another thing to keep on your person — and the alternative of a full list at home, and a myriad of scribbled notes waiting to be added to it once you and it are reunited isn’t much better. In the digital age, there’s no reason to make such a compromise unless you prefer pen and paper.

As part of an increasing push for device agnosticism with Windows 10, Microsoft offers versions of OneNote for all major platforms. That means as long as you have a smartphone to hand, you can access your to-do list, whether you’re using a Windows Phone Got A New Windows Phone? Get Up To Speed With These Tutorials Got A New Windows Phone? Get Up To Speed With These Tutorials Suddenly found that you're the owner of a new Windows Phone? Switching to a new mobile OS can be something of a culture shock. Fear not, we're here to introduce you. Read More or an iOS device. There’s even a web-based version for when you find yourself in need of your notes while using an unfamiliar computer.

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Take advantage of this easy access by adding tasks to your to-do list as and when they come to mind. Get the gist down before you forget it, and worry about refining it later on. If it’s easier, just take an audio recording rather than typing it out — you’ll be able to use OneNote’s powerful search functionality to find the entry you’re looking for just as easily as you would with a few sentences of plain text.

Experiment with View Options

The standard OneNote view does a great job of presenting easy access to your various notebooks without overloading you with information. That said, for maintaining a to-do list, a full-screen display isn’t always the best use of space.

Instead, head to the View tab and see what else is on offer. If your to-do list is restricted to just one page, you can click New Docked Window while that page is open, to temporarily separate it from your notebook and allow it to take precedence over a certain amount of your display. This can be useful if you’re working on a task in another application, but still want to keep the bigger picture in mind as you do so — it can also be a good way to make sure you stay on task if you’re easily distracted Use This 3-Tier Communication System to Resist Distractions Use This 3-Tier Communication System to Resist Distractions The need to constantly stay connected is distracting. To manage your relationships and time, also manage the way you communicate with the world. Create a smart 3-tier plan. Read More .

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Customizing your view like this allows you to take advantage of Linked Notes How To Link MS Word 2010 To OneNote & Use It For Writing Linked Notes How To Link MS Word 2010 To OneNote & Use It For Writing Linked Notes MS Office 2010 adds another by letting you link MS Word 2010, and MS PowerPoint to OneNote 2010. This linking allows you to refer back to either the note or the main document by clicking... Read More . OneNote automatically supplements any notes that you take while it’s docked with a link to the Office document or web page that you were looking at while you made the entry.  To make sure that this functionality is enabled, click the link icon at the top of the docked OneNote window and browse through Linked Note Options.

Have you got a great tip for using OneNote as the foundation for your to-do list? Let us know about it in the comments section below.

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