Below, we’ll look at five ways you can use OneNote to get more done at work.
1. Use Quick Notes to Save Your Best Ideas
Like many people, you probably get some of your brightest work-related ideas at the most unexpected times. Maybe they pop into your head during a commute or when you’re in the shower. Work is something individuals think about a lot.
Fortunately, OneNote has a built-in feature to collect the thoughts that matter. It’s called Quick Notes. Think of Quick Notes as one of the many capabilities that help you take better notes with OneNote.
When using OneNote on a PC, press the Windows key + N. Doing that opens up a small typepad within OneNote.
Just type out your idea and close the window.
When you want to view your Quick Notes later, you can do so by using the notebooks drop down tab at the top of your screen.
Are you tired of jotting points down on scraps of paper and then losing them? Quick Notes is a better option. It automatically saves whatever you write, keeping your good ideas all in one place.
2. Integrate With Outlook for Project Management
Most people think of OneNote as a digital notebook, but it also works well as a project management tool.
To use the software in this way, you should first integrate it with Outlook. That program already has a project management feature via the Tasks section. You can open an individual task and write a note about it, but the note-taking abilities within Outlook are quite limited. Luckily, integrating Outlook and OneNote for project management only takes a second.
In Outlook, go to the File menu on the top left, then select Options. You’ll then see a corresponding panel. Look on the left side and select the Add-Ins option.
Then, find the Manage section on the bottom of that window that includes a dropdown list. Change the dropdown to choose COM Add-Ins. Click the Go button to the immediate right of the dropdown.
You’ll then get to a screen with lots of checkboxes. They’re all under the Add-Ins Available header, and OneNote should be part of the list. Find the one that says OneNote Notes about Outlook Items and click the box to the left to make a checkmark appear in it.
Finally, click the OK button to the right. You should now have a OneNote button at the top of the Outlook tasks pane.
Next, open OneNote and create a new notebook for project management tasks. Select to store the notebook on My Computer and give it a descriptive name.
Next, create sections for the different kinds of project management tasks you over see on a day-to-day basis. Just right-click on any existing section tab in the notebook and select New Section. Then, make a name for it.
Doing that puts a tab at the top of OneNote for each section in your notebook. It also makes separate sections in OneNote’s left pane. Now, just start adding tasks to each one as needed.
So, what about using OneNote and Outlook together? Start by creating an Outlook Tasks entry as usual.
Click on the task to highlight it, then click the OneNote button at the top of the Outlook interface. OneNote then asks where to place the task. Select one of the sections in your task management notebook. Then, click OK.
Just remember that each section represents a project in your task management notebook and that each page is a task.
You can now freely make notes in OneNote that have relevance to the Outlook tasks.
3. Use It to Transcribe Audio
Maybe you work in a doctor’s office, law firm, or another place where you record audio notes to transcribe them later. There are many unique ways to use OneNote for this. One of them involves using it as your media player.
Begin by finding the desired audio clip in your File Explorer. Open OneNote, then drag and drop the file into the OneNote interface. If necessary, arrange the file so it won’t interfere with typing.
Then, click the play button and start typing what you hear directly onto the OneNote notebook page.
The audio file becomes part of the OneNote page as you work, allowing for hassle-free transcription.
4. Use OneNote to Create Your Own Cliff Notes
Perhaps you read a lot of critical documentation for work. Or maybe you’re earning continuing education credits for your career. Maybe you’re taking a night class at a community college that relates to your job. When you need to get the most out of work-related books or documents you’re reading, turn to OneNote.
Remember the Cliffs Notes supplements that made high school reading assignments easier? You can compile your own Cliffs Notes in OneNote.
Start by creating a notebook to reflect the book’s title or choose another name to help identify it. Then, look for the New Page button on the top right side of the OneNote window. It has a plus sign (+) to the left of it. Make each new page reflect a chapter in the book.
Alternatively, create subpages for topics covered in a chapter and depend on the parent/child organizational structure.
Look on the right side of the OneNote screen and click on the chapter page. Find the small arrow next to the New Page button. Click it to create a new page below the current one.
Then, right-click on the new page and click Make Subpage.
Now you can easily save and organize everything you learn!
5. Use It to Make All Your To-Do Lists
Not surprisingly, OneNote is a fantastic list app. You can even use keyboard shortcuts to make checklists swiftly. These useful lists guide you through your workday, reducing the likelihood of forgetting something.
Get started by typing a line of text that’s the first task on your checklist.
Then, highlight it and press Ctrl + 1 on your keyboard. That shortcut adds a checkbox to the left of what you typed.
Want to call attention to an especially important step? Press the Ctrl + 2 at the same time. Those actions add a star instead of a checkbox, though you can keep both the star and the checkbox if you prefer.
You also might want to separate tasks into bulleted lists.
That’s a particularly handy method if you feel pulled in all directions and need help focusing. Use Ctrl + . (period) to create a bulleted list.
There are many other ways to work with lists in OneNote, but these keyboard shortcuts alone get you off to a strong start.
How Will You Use OneNote at Work This Week?
OneNote is a multifunctional tool that offers abundant potential regardless of your job or workplace.
When you apply the suggestions above, you will be well-equipped to rely on OneNote for improved productivity.
What will you use OneNote to accomplish at work this week?