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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Using Microsoft OneNote Effectively

Microsoft's OneNote program is an excellent program for keeping details, notes, and data together in one place. Onenote also keeps itself synced to other computers - meaning all your data is always with you.

When you first open OneNote you're met with an excellent introductory "notebook." Be sure you go through this so you get a good sense of how robust the application is.

You'll notice that your notebooks run along the left hand side of the screen. Think of each notebook like one of the three-ring binders you used in high school. Open a notebook and you'll see tabs running along the top of the screen. These tabs are like the dividers in your three-ring binder. Look along the right hand side of the screen and you'll see another set of smaller tabs. These tabs are like the sheets of notebook paper in your binder.

Microsoft has done a really good job with Onenote - this format is intuitive and easy to use. You'll quickly get used to it.

If you have a very big project you can allocate a whole notebook to it. Or you can allocate one notebook to work notes and one for personal notes.

Set the divider tabs of each of your notebooks to what makes the most sense for you. For instance you can have a general notes tab in your work notebook, then have a tab for each big project you're working on.

Onenote has a great search feature so you'll be able to search quickly and easily through each section, notebook, or the entire program if you can't find where you've stored a piece of data.

You can also nest a whole series of tabs inside one notebook. Say you have a very big project inside your work notebook. It's outgrowing just one tab and you want to give it more tabs - without creating a new notebook. You can make this a sub-notebook, contained within your existing notebook.

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