OneNote Use Case – Successful Meeting Management

A member of the OneNote for Professionals community on Facebook, Shannon D., asked:

“Does anyone have any good ideas regarding how they use OneNote for meetings, including creating and managing agendas and notes? I’d love to hear how everyone uses OneNote to better manage meetings!”

This is a great question and one of the most frequent ways I show people the benefits of using OneNote. Rather than doing the normal examples this time I thought we’d do the life of a meeting through OneNote.

Before the meeting

Getting meeting agendas together and organized can be a difficult task with juggling emails, schedules, and last minute changes. I use a OneNote notebook for recurring meetings and a page in the notebook for each meeting. On that page goes the meeting agenda, attendee list, action items from previous meetings, and reference files and links.

If you’re an Outlook user there is an option to connect a OneNote 2016 notebook to a meeting for taking meeting minutes and an option to send emails to OneNote for eassier follow up, but for now I’m sticking with the basic uses for my meeting.

By creating the agenda in a shared notebook parked on SharePoint (same can be done with OneDrive) everyone attending the meeting can see the agenda in advance and add their own items as needed. Because synchronization is automatic everyone involved knows when changes are made without having to add to our daily pile of emails.

During the meeting

While the meeting is going on everyone has a copy of the OneNote notebook open on their laptops (for those reaping the benefits that is) and can see as we work our way through the agenda. Meeting minutes are captured on the page as well as future action items and follow up reminders. Anyone can add notes to the page as needed greatly reducing the chances of things getting missed. If someone makes changes the History view shows who made the changes, when, and allows the changes to be rolled back if necessary.

I’ve used OneNote to create and deliver presentations during meetings with the added benefit of changing those presentations in real time. After the session there’s nothing to send out because everyone already has the presentation notebook in hand.

After the meeting

The shared OneNote notebook makes short order of keeping follow up items together and actionable. Since the’re all captured in one place prepping for the next meeting is no more complicated than a few copy and pastes into the next meeting agenda. Links to tracking system items are added as well as connections to project notebooks for review as needed. The cycle begins again with the prep for the next meeting being much more efficient because of the easy access to the previous meeting information.

Collaboration at it’s simplest

Organizing meetings and discussions through OneNote is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep things on track and demonstrate the core benefits of using OneNote to improve your productivity.