One of the best features I have found with OneNote is not in the application itself, but rather an extension of the application. The Web Clipper extension for Chrome has become an invaluable tool for me in capturing and managing information from around the web. I use the extension multiple times a day and have doubled the productive use of OneNote because of it.
The web clipper is a Chrome extension that is added the same way you add any other Chrome extension. Once it is loaded, you will be asked to log into your Microsoft account. When you trigger the extension to save some content from a web page, you’ll get a pop-up showing:
- Full Page – Captures the entire web page and a link to the original page
- Region – Captures a section of the page determined by click and drag
- Article – Captures the content of a page reformatted for easy reading
- Bookmark – Captures a link to the page
Personally I use the Article, Full Page, and Region options most frequently. The Bookmark option works well, but since you also get a bookmark when you save a clipping or a full page, I’ve found it a bit redundant.
One of the powerful side features of the capture is any images captured are searchable within OneNote. The text is scanned and can be located the same way any other text is available. This makes it easy to locate information from pages without having to spend an exceptional amount of time tagging and annotating.
An interesting, if obscure, feature of the clipper is if you capture a page containing a recipe, it will recognize the page is a recipe and replace the Article option with Recipe. This cleans up the formatting of the page to make it easier to read and follow the recipe. Not necessarily a feature for everyone, but still a nice perk. This same effect occurs if you are capturing a page that contains a product, such as on Amazon.com. The product capture includes a link back to the product page, making this a great way to manage your holiday planning.
Using the web clipper either personally or professionally will result in a more organized and productive approach to content from around the web. Give it a try and see if you’re not having more success being productive with OneNote.