Posted in Techniques, Tools

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.

Posted in Techniques

New Ways to Use OneNote in your Personal Life

Recently I asked the OneNote for Professionals community on Facebook for their favorite ways of using OneNote in their personal lives, outside the professional uses. The classic recommendations were made (bullet journals, personal journals, recipes, etc.) but there were a number of less common and interesting suggestions made.

I have a notebook for everything about my home- measurements, projects to be done, to do lists, paint colors, shopping list of items needed for the projects. I love having everything I need in one place – Barbara W.

I’ve been using OneNote to track projects for a number of years now with one my most recent being the replacement of a sink faucet and filter.  While it sounds mundane, the ability to take photos of the process, pictures of the products you’re considering buying, receipts for purchases, and model numbers for replacement items easily fall in the strengths of OneNote.

 I have sections for various areas (home, rental/tenants, etc.) with one main “Reminder” page where I store all my to-do’s including shopping lists. I take pictures throughout projects so I can go back and see it from beginning to end. Luckily I did this with a piano I’m converting into a bar, or I’d never be able to figure out how to put it back together! – Carolyn G.

While I’ve never tried to reassemble a piano (good luck Carolyn!) this is another great example of how the combination of checklists, images, and sections can be put together to make home projects easier.

Crochet and cross stitch patterns – Katherine S.

I’ll admit I’m lucky I can do more than basic Boy Scout knots so anyone who can do this type of work has my admiration. That being said using OneNote to organize patterns for easy reference is a logical use of a natural feature.  I could see taking this to the next level and sharing patterns with others using the online version of OneNote.

I keep a media calendar, via Onetastic, with new shows, movies, and social events. I have a Moviepass, so it’s been helpful. – Michelle V.

Why this never occurred to me before is beyond me.  Being a big movie buff this just makes perfect sense. Create a template in the desktop version of OneNote and enter the information from the movie for reference.  I can even see ordering the pages in the notebook based on how good you think the movie was.  Pass the popcorn please.

OneNote is awesome for so many things, so it’s hard to pick faves. But two of my top likes are my style section for my wardrobe inventory & also my book club notes section. – Kandi V.

The style section is a fascinating idea to me.  Now granted I’m no fashionista, but I’ll admit I have a section in a notebook on different ways to tie a tie, fold a pocket square, and other style tips. There’s an old saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” I can see OneNote being a great tool in making that happen.

The most important aspect of using OneNote for non-professional reasons is making it a habit. The more often you capture content into OneNote, whether it’s at work or at home, the more likely you are to trust the tool and your system. Now OneNote isn’t for everything but you’ll be amazed how many things it can do with just a little bit of creativity.

How do you use OneNote for your personal life? Come tell me in the OneNote for Professionals community on Facebook or even better, in the Productive Professionals community.—New-Ways-of-Using-OneNote-in-your-Personal-Life-e1mh3c