OneNote is a note-taking tool. You probably knew that. It’s in the name after all.
But OneNote is so much more. This is a powerful productivity application. OneNote harnesses cloud and Microsoft technologies, and when properly applied, it simplifies the often arduous tasks of capturing, storing and sharing information.
OneNote at a Glance
OneNote allows for instant capture of a wide variety of data types, including:
Media like photos and videos
The captured information is then organised into segments, such as notebooks, sections and pages. As a cloud-based technology, OneNote can be accessed on different devices and at different times with the document remaining intact – you can simply pick up where you left off. There are endless team collaboration, software integration and organisational applications too.
Benefit #1 Seamless Collaboration
OneNote users can share files with other team members or clients in real-time. Any contributors can view and edit the document simultaneously for seamless collaboration. The track changes feature highlights what changes have been made by whom, allowing for team transparency. There is also an option to restore the document to a previous version in the event of a mistake, a potentially massive time-saver to say the least.
In all, OneNote allows people working in disparate locations to work on the same project at the same time without the need for other communications. This obviates the trading of emails or messages with suggested edits or comments, which in addition to wasting time, is prone to error.
Benefit #2 Software Integration
OneNote is a part of Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 suite, allowing for superb Microsoft application integration capabilities. OneNote and Outlook can be synced, for example, so that email information can be sent directly to OneNote, or vice versa. Similarly, tasks or reminders that are captured in OneNote can have a corresponding Outlook task or reminders created.
Non-Microsoft applications can be integrated too. Plugins for Slack, Dropbox, Salesforce, and more allow you to be synchronised across all platforms, thereby fully leveraging OneNote to the max and boosting the productivity of your team.
Benefit #3 Secure Information
Notes can contain potentially sensitive material. There may be proprietary business information that cannot be disclosed. Sometimes personnel or human resources data is noted that should only be seen by other parties. Additionally, there are legal liabilities, competitive edge considerations, and other business sensitivities. That is to say nothing of private data such as personal events, diary notes or family information should only be seen by the note’s originator.
Fortunately, OneNote has a set of outstanding security features designed to protect your data from being exposed to third parties. Sections of or entire notes can be password protected. These documents are automatically locked if they are inactive for an extended period of time, further protecting you from data leaks.
Benefit #4 Primo Organisation
Fully leveraging OneNote means taking advantage of the organisational features, such as:
Tags are a fantastic method for prioritising and categorising notes. Simply click on the text and select tag from the drop-down menu. Multiple tags can be added to the same note. Tags can be searched at a later time to retrieve all relevant information.
Subpages allow for grouping notes into related but separate categories. For example, meeting notes for a project can be organised with the kickoff meeting as the main page, and all follow-up meeting notes as subpages.
The search feature can be used in other ways besides crawling through tags. Simply select the magnifying glass and type in the word or phrase. The search includes typed text, handwritten notes, and words captured in pictures. There are also options to narrow the search parameters for refined results.
Page templates create a uniform appearance for your OneNotes. This lends for consistency in branding, as well as making it easier for others to digest information since the layout is the same time and again. Built-in templates include to-do lists, planners and page backgrounds. Templates can be created or customised from existing samples.
Archiving notes allows you to access old content. Rather than deleting a note permanently, the archive feature ensures information is not lost. These archived files can also be crawled for.
Benefit #5 Project Management Powerhouse
While OneNote can be applied to virtually any business use, it is particularly powerful for project management.
Rather than creating separate documents for every status report, meeting, agenda, or task relating to a project, the information is integrated into OneNote. This greatly improves continuity in accessing and visualising information. Project bottlenecks, communication delays and team misunderstandings can be mitigated or completely alleviated thanks to information synthesis in OneNote. Project managers can easily track all critical data – such as updating timelines, checking off tasks, and assigning new deadlines – on an individual and team level.
Fully Leverage OneNote for Your Team
Note-taking and information sharing are essential to all working teams. Streamline this process by fully leveraging OneNote.
If you need help harnessing the full power of this application, reach out to us today! We specialise in training on Microsoft applications and tailor all seminars to your working group to ensure you reap long-term positive behavioural change.
The original article can be found on our corporate website here.