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.

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