OneNote to rule them all!
IT News

Taking notes, it’s inescapable.

You need to get that thought out of your brain and into your notes. But how? Pen & paper? On a device? Which app is best? So many questions!!!

It can sometimes be tough to track, collate and generally organise notes when you have just about enough time to write something down before you move onto the next thing, so picking the right environment for your crucial chunks of information can actually be more important than you think. Overlooking how you process information in this regard can occasionally make things more difficult, and it’s likely that even the most organised of us have at some point had to fret over where and how a note has been captured. Picking the right program to use though is less tricky than it might seem. With plenty of choice, you’re spoilt in terms of picking between features and ease of use. There is, however, a stellar solution hiding in plain sight – OneNote. One of Microsoft’s more long running apps, OneNote forms part of Office 365 to allow you to easily bring together all your thoughts, snippets and general information into one easy-to-use interface, which you can tweak to your liking. Not only that, it’s available on a wide array of devices, meaning that your notes stay with you, regardless of where you are, or what device you are using. Which, let’s be honest, is kind of important.

OneNote is fantastic because at it’s core it allows you to take notes (duh), but the way in which it liberates you to freely add content wherever you are on the page means the potential barriers are removed from existence. Often, when creating a new note, it can be troublesome to jump through all the hoops to get everything setup before you can even prize a piece of information out of your brain. With OneNote, you can literally click or tap and start note taking. Gone are the frantic chases trying to find something to write on before you forget a minute detail, OneNote provides simplicity first. Branching out from this core ideal, OneNote actually has plenty of complexity in the form it’s tool set. You can draw, as well as type, on your notes, so if you have a touch-enabled device, you have a choice as to how you store notes. OneNote allows for a wide variety of content: images, video, links, text, all sorts! This again means your notes have more life to them. Rather than typing some text and then adding a link to a website that contains an image, you can copy & paste the image directly into your notes. This means in the visual sense your notes are a lot easier to digest and mean you can take a note how you want, focusing on the methods and content that provide the most meaning to you.

Functioning as part of Office 365 makes OneNote an even more powerful tool. You can link notes to documents, meetings and other content to bolster the quality of life across Office 365. It means notes taken regarding particular topics have context and are relevant to their counterparts, rather than being lost in a quagmire of notes from all sorts of differing locations that together, make little sense or lack cohesion. This makes things ten times harder to locate and ultimately negates many of the purposes of taking notes in the first place. OneNote gives you plenty of choice in relation to how OneNote functions with or without other parts of the Office ecosystem, but when you do take advantage of it’s capabilites in respect to it’s Office counterparts, it’s of added value, not a detriment.

OneNote also syncs (as you would expect without question in this day and age) between devices. This really does make your notes truly mobile. As well it’s mobility, OneNote also features a few handy tools that anticipate the type of content you’ll be taking notes around. For example, you can complete mathematical equations in OneNote thanks to it’s built in functions. This means that if your doing complex equations or simply taking text notes, OneNote has you covered in all capacities. We’ve already discussed the flexibility of OneNote, and this comes mainly in the form of it’s context boxes. When writing a note in OneNote, you can start adding content anywhere on the page. OneNote then wraps whatever you’ve added in a container so that it’s easier to manage in terms of moving and organising content around the page. This is crucial in unlocking the freedom within your note taking and OneNote does an excellent job of managing the user experience to make it slick and intuitive, yet powerful and capable of your requirements.

Although differing on various note taking clients, OneNote allows you to create “Notebooks” and within them, “Pages”. This translates the analogue paper notebook structure into a digital manifestation that maintains all the benefits of a traditional notepad, but boosts them with super useful digital transformation tools. You can add bookmarks, highlight parts of the page, add colour coded labels, the list goes on.

From the many benefits we’ve listed previously, you can see how OneNote gives you an excellent platform to alleviate the stresses of note taking, giving you a stellar and uncompromising solution for bridging the gap between your brain and your notes. An excellent companion to the Office suite, OneNote has a fully featured tool-set as well as integrations that cleverly intertwine with Office & your existing document library to make it a standout option if you’re on the fence in relation to picking an app for your notes.

If you want to take advantage of OneNote, but are unsure where to start, or would simply like to learn more, contact us on 01843 572 600 or email us at, or visit us here. We also have an online platform, BCS Education, where you can access a variety of e-learning content.