About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

May 6, 2014


I have mentioned OneNote by Microsoft several times in recent articles.  I have had many emails asking me to do an introduction column regarding this application.  So here it is.

In my opinion OneNote is one of the most overlooked and enigmatic applications in the Microsoft stables today.  MS has not mentioned it much until the last year or so and many people do not want to learn a new program.  However, if you gather information for columns, presentations, or thoughts for anything, OneNote could be your new best friend. 

image First off, you get OneNote from Microsoft.  It is available for most any platform that you have.  So you can install it on a PC, MAC, Android, iPhone, Windows phones, etc.  There is also an excellent version available on the web which will work in any browser.  To download it and learn more about it (I have covered only the tip of the berg) visit  Costs vary from free to whatever your Office version costs since it is part of MS Office.

OneNote uses an organizational process you may be familiar with. Picture a regular old spiral notebook like you used in school…well sort of.  Your notebooks consist of Sections and Pages.  For example, here is the way I use it for article research. 

I have one notebook labeled Columns.  This is where I keep research on articles I write.  I only have one notebook for my published articles; however, you can have as many notebooks in OneNote as you want – until you run out of space on your hard drive.  I then create a Section which is represented by a "tab" at the top of the notebook pages.  For example, for this article I have a tab titled "OneNote."  In that tabbed portion of my notebook I keep all of the information I have thought of and read about related to that tab. 

Next, I have created Pages which also have labels running down the right side of the notebook.  I have one labeled "Thoughts" which are the things I think about writing regarding OneNote.  I have another page titled, "Microsoft" which is information I have found about it at their site.    

When I am finished gathering information on a topic I open OneNote and write about what I have found.

OK, now for the best features of OneNote.  When I read a site that has information regarding something I want I can select text and drag it into a OneNote notebook page.  It copies it over exactly as it appears and adds a link to the webpage so that later I can click that link to return to the original site for more info.  Depending on which browser you use (everything is obviously built for Internet Explorer) you can send the entire webpage to OneNote.  This copies all of the text, graphics, and clickable links over, too. 

There is much more you can do with OneNote.  Along with typing you can draw diagrams, write in your own hand, insert spreadsheets or existing files, share notebooks for collaboration, email entire notebooks or just small portions, etc.  

If you gather anything for business or even recipes you find online you should really consider OneNote.  There are other similar apps online like Google Keep and Evernote but in my opinion none of them compare to the features available in OneNote. 

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: