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Apr 08 2008

Cool stuff review: Microsoft OneNote

I read a post this morning that sorta irked me more than it should have. A political post. That is the polar opposite of my political views. A post (and comments) that had me gnashing my teeth in frustration.

But instead of raising my blood pressure discussing that particular post, let’s discuss a wonderfully fun piece of software I’ve been playing with for the last several months.

Microsoft OneNote.

Hmmm…how to describe, how to describe…

Ok. I’m assuming you’re at a desk. And if your desk is anything like mine, there are stacks of paper that need to be dealt with at some point. Now, I work to keep my desk pretty cleared off because it’s in the corner of the kitchen and God and the whole world can see it. I do have a basket hanging above the desk full of more paper that needs to be dealt with, but that’s beside the point. I’m talking about the paper piles on the desk. Do a quick flip of them. I’ll bet a lot of the paper is printouts of things that you didn’t want to forget. I’m sure there’s quite of bit of crap from the schools, cut out recipes, that sort of thing.

Is it stuff that you printed off the internet because you didn’t want to lose it? Receipts for online purchases, recipes, a cool article?

What if you could have more of a paperless home office?

What if you could access all the information that comes across your desk (which, let’s face it, is mostly available on the internet anyway) quickly and easily on your computer.

OneNote can help with this.

It’s a series of “notebooks” that allows you to collect your information and keep it easily accessible on your computer. It is a part of the Microsoft Office 2007 software. If you have that program on your computer, you have OneNote there and shame on you if you haven’t played around with it. It is so easy to use, so intuitive, and has great instructions within the actual program (no going to “help” and having to guess at which secret passwords will actually get you to the information you need). And I can’t figure out a way to do a screen capture to show you what it looks like, drat it all.

I have notebooks for my business, my blog, household, scrapbooking, and SPD. Within those notebooks are individual tabs, just as if you had a physical 3 ring binder sitting on your desk. You file within those tabs just as you would with a regular ole’ notebook. For example, in the household notebook, I have tabs for recipes, travel (this is where I put Tom’s travel schedules when he has to go on business trips…no paper on my desk to lose!), gift ideas, and home improvements…as well as many others. Then, within each tab are pages…just like in a regular notebook. And within the gift ideas tab, for example, I have pages for every person in my family and write the gift ideas on that page. And here’s the super duper uber cool part! If I find something wicked awesome online that would make a great gift for, say, Tom, I can copy and paste that information, including pictures, onto his page in gift ideas, and the website I copied from is automatically added to the paste so I can find it again! Same with recipes. Same with travel receipts. I have, under my blog notebook, tabs for various things related to my blog, including tabs for memes and individual pages for post ideas.

OneNote is a lot of fun, and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the things I can do with it. I do know there’s a way to have shared notebooks with others, but I haven’t played with that function yet. You can password protect certain notebooks or tabs or pages, so you can keep sensitive information there as well…such as your list of online passwords.

I believe you can add audio files as well. You can sync information with Outlook. If you’re running IE (bleh), you can hit the OneNote button up on the toolbar and the information is automatically sent to OneNote. It works very well within the whole Office Suite.

I haven’t yet found any downsides to OneNote, but I’m also not terribly familiar with the full workings of the program. What I have been using rocks. I love being able to keep information nearby without having to print it out and cluttering up my desk. Oh, and that whole reduce/reuse/recycle thing too. ; )

That said, if iMac has a similar program, I would love to know about it. Right now, this is the only program of this sort that I know of and I’ll miss it when the time comes for me to make the switch to an iMac.

If you have OneNote and haven’t used it, go play with it for awhile. It’s a lot of fun. If you don’t have it, go upgrade to Office 2007. OneNote is on there, as well as an awesome upgrade of Word. Hope my Cool Stuff Review piqued your interest!

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4 comments

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  1. karen (Pediascribe)

    Gosh, now I wanna know where to go to read that post that irked you!

  2. Denise

    haha…My exact sentiments Karen. Aaah..I use a Mac, so I basically tuned out with the start of the Microsoft review.. but please, share the angry post, i’ll leave a comment for ya!

  3. HRH

    It is best just to move on to fun stuff after such a reading…I know it happens to me all the time. The note thing sounds really cool and I will have to investigate…

  4. tendrils

    i’ll have to check it o ut! Sounds WAY COOL! 🙂

    We need a new computer at home so hopefully we’ll get that soon……..along with the office update! 🙂

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