Products I love and actually use – OneNote

by David Spark on March 7, 2009

Here’s my second installment of “Products I love and actually use.” I started this series to go beyond just reviewing a product or a service, but rather explaining why I actually use certain products and how they’ve enhanced my life and productivity, both personally and professionally. Last week’s installment was on RoboForm2Go, the password memorization program that you install on a USB drive.

This week’s installment.

Use Microsoft’s OneNote for all your note taking and research

A word processor is a highly inefficient way to manage all your notes. Prior to adopting Microsoft OneNote, that’s what I and probably everyone else did. It’s highly inefficient.

I’ve found Microsoft OneNote to be incredibly efficient to take notes, organize projects, and conduct research for articles.

Microsoft OneNote

Advantages of OneNote

First, OneNote provides huge advantages over taking notes with a word processor, such as Microsoft Word, but I’ve also just found it a great productivity tool. Here’s why it’s become so useful:

  • No need to start a new file every time you want to write down something.
  • No need to name a file, save it, and place it in a folder somewhere.
  • Great for multi-tasking across multiple projects. All of your note taking and research is available at once. It’s not stored in multiple files that you have to keep searching for, opening, saving, and closing.
  • Application opens instantly, unlike other Microsoft applications.
  • Everything is managed logically in folders and tabs. Simply organize what you work on logically. For example, have one folder for clients and maybe another folder for potential clients. Every time one of them calls you on the phone, you can simply jump to that folder and tab, see the past history of notes and continue taking notes.
  • Really really easy to search content. Yes, Windows has a search function that will look across all your files, but it’s not nearly as fast and efficient as OneNote is. The search has come in incredibly handy when I think to myself, I remember at one time I talked to someone at that company. I type it in OneNote search and up it pops.

Honestly, I don’t even have the most recent version of OneNote. I’m using I believe the first version, OneNote 2003. I know there are tons of enhancements in OneNote 2007, the most recent version. One of these days I’m sure I’ll pick it up and give it a whirl, but for now, I’m very happy with the 2003 version.

This news item is for the Spark Minute week of 3/9/09 which can be heard daily on Green 960 and 910 KNEW in San Francisco, CA.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Campbell March 8, 2009 at 12:42 am

David, No doubt – OneNote is a fantastic tool. And the 2003 version is really v1, which is really impressive.

It’s not over-engineered, very simple but extremely useful.

Thanks for the review – I like this format.

Nchemuya July 31, 2010 at 6:48 am

i agree with you; i love onenote… i use it for setting and following up on my goals. it started slowly, over time i clearly see my progress very easily. forget about one note 2007, go for 2010 – it's even better

David Spark July 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm

So what's new and cool in 2010?

onenote review September 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

OneNote is one of the best pieces of software available for use with Windows. The latest version OneNote2010 with advanced features over the previous versions (OneNote 2003 and OneNote 2007) is its ability to sync over the web. You can have password protect a section. You can also add tags to any part of a page and search for the tags later across a single notebook or all notebooks. Its is user friendly than others.

David Spark September 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for the tip. :) Much appreciated. Syncing over the web would probably be the number one reason I'd want the latest version.

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