OneNote – A List Maker’s Dream

Guru Anne is our guest poster for this month’s Bells & Whistles article. Anne has used the following app to enhance her productivity here at Guru HQ.  Here is her story:

I am a list person.  Keith can tell you I have lists everywhere: grocery lists, thank you note lists, and especially to-do lists. Most of the time, a Post-It Note serves my purpose. But when I started working for the Gurus, I realized a needed a serious tool.

I needed to keep track of my training classes, different categories of tasks, upcoming conferences and more. I was getting pretty frustrated with the slim little task list available in Outlook. But then I discovered another product in the Microsoft Office suite that fit the bill: One Note.

OneNote lets you sort your ideas into tabs, called notebooks. Each tab’s color-coded title is easy to spot at the top. I use separate notebooks for each of the categories of projects I’m working on: ConnectWise, SQL Server, Disaster Recovery Planning, etc.  Logically, each notebook can have multiple pages of text, images and/or links.  So when I have several tasks within my “SQL” notebook, I can expand those pages to separate out my work plans.

I love this format because it allows me to group my data in ways that make sense to me. Most of the time, I prefer an outline-style format, but if you like to do more of a pin board or scrapbook approach, you can do that too. There’s no worry about making too many pages or notebooks, because the whole thing is searchable. Best of all, the information is stored “in the cloud,” so I can access it from any PC with Microsoft Office.  In the near future, I will also be able to access it from the new Windows Phone 8 that Keith is getting me for Christmas (hint, hint).

So, no Post-It Notes or flat task lists for me. After you get organized on OneNote, there’s no going back!