Recently we mentioned Evernote as a great note taking app that is supported across multiple operating systems and mobile devices. We compared it to Microsoft OneNote as a lighter alternative that is easy to set up and sync across a plethora of devices. However, die-hard fans of OneNote probably don't want to make a switch to a completely new platform. Today we're going to talk about ways to mobilize your OneNote notebooks as well as some other features that are exclusive to OneNote that you might not know about.
Quick keyboard shortcuts to open up the application (Windows Key + Shift + N) or to open up a Quick Note (Windows Key + N) make it easy to launch in a pinch when conferencing or when you need to take quick notes while on the phone. Typically your Quick Note gets stored in the Unfiled Notes section, and from there you can drag it into the appropriate Notebook Section.
You can take a note in OneNote and kick it over to an Outlook Task, email a page of notes through Outlook, and attach a OneNote page to an Outlook Meeting, all from the Home tab in OneNote.
Evernote allows audio recording, but new to OneNote 2011 (Office for Mac version) is video recording you can take with your web cam. Both recording options are time stamped, and you can have multiple recordings in a single note. Click on the insert tab in OneNote to access your recording controls.
OneNote lets you create tables, insert images, attach files, and use highlighter and pen tools to review and organize your notes. Find these tools on the Draw tab. You can even type out mathematical equations right into your note and OneNote will solve them on the fly. This is fantastic for crunching numbers quickly in a meeting.
For small businesses, this is what makes OneNote stand out - You can take a OneNote Notebook and store it on a shared network location (such as your file server or a Microsoft SharePoint Server) and let other users access it. The notebooks will sync and be accessible, and OneNote will highlight alterations that aren't your own so you can clearly see when other users collaborate. Microsoft also offers online hosting for OneNote through Windows Live, called Skydrive. Click the Share tab in OneNote and click Share This Notebook. It will let you choose a location to store the Notebook on the network, and then give you an email you can send to other users so they can access it. This allows you to access your OneNote Notebooks on multiple devices as well.
Storing your Notebooks on the backed-up company server is a great start to protecting your notes from data loss, but OneNote also includes a backup feature. Click File and go to Options, then click Save & Backup to set the default directory for your backups. You can also set how often the backup runs (you'll want to have it run at least once a day, if not more) and how many versions to save. That way, if multiple users are working on notes and something gets replaced, you can restore to earlier versions.
You can password protect individual sections of notes (sections are the tabs at the top you can define, each Notebook is broken down into sections which contain all of your note pages). Right click on a section and select Password Protect This Section. You'll be able to choose a password, locking down all of the notes in that section so only those with the password can view it.
Microsoft has developed OneNote for iPhone and Windows Phone 7 devices. This means you can use and sync your notes from your desktop and laptop over to your iPhone or Windows Phone 7 device. With OneNote 2010, you can also sync your Notebooks over to Windows Live Skydrive and access them in a fairly functional web app. However, there is no official support for Google Android devices. OneNote should already be available on your Windows Phone 7 device, and for iPhone users you can find it on the app store. The easiest way to sync with these devices is through the Skydrive feature.
As mentioned, there is no official support for Android devices at this time, making a lot of users choose Evernote even if OneNote has some cooler features. There is hope, however. The app MobileNoter is showing the beginning signs of a seamless OneNote to Android solution that will let you view, manage, and edit notes on Android smartphones and tablets. After trying the app, there is still a ways to go before it is a viable solution - currently you can view and edit notes, but not create new ones, and there are issues with syncing that are still being worked out (the app is expensive as far as mobile apps go, and depending on how you want to sync, you could end up paying a yearly fee).. For anyone who can't see themselves moving away from OneNote or Android, you will be in limbo until a good solution is developed unfortunately.Looking to establish OneNote throughout your company for taking and sharing notes? Give us a call at 360-528-6017.
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