OneNote Tip of the Week – Full Page View

One of the ways to get more out of OneNote is to use it to focus on the work at hand. A quick method of getting the other stuff out of the way and concentrating on the page you’re working on is to use full page view. By clicking on the double arrow in the upper right, you can hide all the unnecessary OneNote buttons and bars until you need them again. I use this option all the time in meetings and when writing to help me stay on task.

Posted in Planner

Microsoft Planner is almost worth it. Almost.

I’ve been using Microsoft Planner for a while now for various projects and have found, while useful, it is severely lacking in two key areas: custom fields and labeling.

Labeling is an approach Planner uses as an alternative to tagging you would find on other platforms to help with categorizing tasks for organization. Planner includes labels but only six of them to be used across all the cards in a plan. You can assign multiple labels to a card but can still only define six labels total. It’s an unfortunate state because if you have more than six categories you want to apply to your cards you’re forced to use buckets in their place and that restricts you from using buckets for process management. It’s an unfortunate oversight in the application design and needs to be addressed.

Custom fields are the other missing piece of the puzzle. In applications like Trello and Notion you can create multiple fields for storing data on a card. This ability to customize makes these platforms far more powerful for targeted organization than Planner. It should be a simple enough matter for Microsoft to add additional fields to the Planner platform with it’s closer association to the SharePoint platform. Until that happens Planner is going to be a second-class product when it comes to project management.

If Microsoft is serious about the future of Planner in the enterprise they need to step up their game and improve the tool in the ways that matter. It’s a good start but it has a long way to go.

Notion tip of the week – toggle list

If you are using Notion to create lists of content, toggle lists are a great way to focus on certain areas at a time while also keeping everything at your fingertips. You can either create a toggle list from scratch or convert a list of items into a toggle list. In either case, the toggle arrows make quick work of showing and hiding content on a page.

Sample of a toggle list in Notion

Being prepared to complete a task

It’s amazing to me how often I run into the situation where I’m all ready to do a thing only to discover I’m missing something I need to do said thing. Taking time to mentally walk through what you’re about to do and make sure you have the resources available for a successful completion is an excellent use of time.

Think about it this way…if you’re going to Aldi for groceries and forget the quarter to get a cart, it just throws off the whole trip. Stopping and reviewing for even as little as one minute can make all the difference.

The Power of Little Tasks

There’s a lot to be said for the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing little tasks, especially on the weekend. These are those tasks that sit around on your list, annoy you every time you think of them, and generally are a mental nuisance.

Set aside a few minutes each day to take care of a couple of little tasks to get yourself back on track if you’re feeling unfocused.