DOING COMPANY RESEARCH:
Before I visit any prospective new customer I know that it pays big dividends to do some background research. I trawl the internet for news cliipings and visit the companies website to find out about the management profile as well as their financial performance. Annual reports are another great source of information about the company. It makes my intial meetings with a new customer very productive and they usually apprecaite the fact I have gone to so much trouble to understand their business situation. Thats where OneNote is a real life saver. I have a NoteBook titled SUSPECTS. I then have sections for each new prospective customer that I am researching. I love the fact that OneNote allows me to take website clippings or send an entire webpage into OneNote. I use the date stamp on the pages tab to keep an eye on the how the opportunity is progressing and I flag in Outlook tasks to quickly identify if its stalling. OneNote is simply the best and simplest opportunity management tool I have used.
USING HYPERLINKS AND THE STACKING ORDER
One really great feature in OneNote is the ability to HYPERLINK and to CHANGE THE STACKING ORDER. What this means is that you could import relevant images/pic
tures into pages of your sections as a Visual Clue or Description of your topic and then place a text description as on overlay over the picture. Firstly you need to understand that OneNote allows you the option to change the stacking order of multiple images or texk boxes – you decide whats on top or whats on the bottom. By simply right clicking the image and selecting ORDER you can the image to the background and overlay the Text onto the foreground as a labal. Finally you can HYPERLINK the text label to any relevant webpage, PDF or anything else for that matter that delivers the provision of additional detail to support the main point you are making. Wonderful for making a simple point but being able to recall or action the ‘on-demand’ access to further supporting detail where appropriate. Don’t you just love OneNote!
SPEAKING VISUALLY WITHIN ONENOTE
A wonderful feature of OneNote is the ability to import JPEG or PNG files commonly known as PICTURES and resize them down to a small thumbnail. I encourage you to think of ways to communicate your thoughts and ideas with PICTURES rather than just with WORDS ALONE. Multi-media research by Professor Richard Mayer from the University of California proves convincingly that people learn better from a combination of a picture and message rather than just words alone. Use pictures to tell a story such as showing a BEFORE and AFTER. Visually document progression, especially workflow processes by taking screen shots and embedding them into relevant sections of your NOTEBOOK. to share with your work mates. Finally know that communicating visually within OneNote provides one more really powerful capability – the ability to save pictures in a PNG format. PNG format has one superior advantage over JPEG – the ability to save a picture with a transparent background. The ability to embedd images/pictures with transparency creates a whole new set of creative possibilities – such as creating collages and combining words overlayed onto images. For now I will just wet your appetites and give you all some concrete ideas about how to further expand your creativity by applying specific visual strategies in future blog posts – for the moment start experimenting with communicating visually within OneNote. Don’t you just love OneNote! – I do!
CUSTOMIZE ONENOTE LOOK AND FEEL
Dont’ forget you can from the menu go into TOOLS-OPTI
ONS-EDITING. Then you will be able to adjust Font type/color/size. If you are like me and partly blind – then a 96pt font works like a treat. Cheers Andre
CREATE A CUSTOMIZED TEMPLATE
Create your own customised
pages. Design a page to reflect your own branding or content strategies. Then click the DROP DOWN icon on THE PAGES TAB. Select MORE TEMPLATES AND OPTIONS and finally SAVE CURRENT PAGE AS TEMPLATE. Hey presto you have a standard and professional looking page to use across all of sections and notebooks. It gives you a personal connection with your content and communicates a more professional image when sharing your notebook with others.
SYNCHING A ONENOTE NOTEBOOK ACROSS MULTIPLE COMPUTERS
I found a really neat and simple way to sync the same NoteBook(s
) across multiple computers that doesn’t require a SharePoint service or any IT knowledge. You download a small application from SugarSync and install it on 2 or more computers.
Once installed you simply place the NoteBook(s) into their MAGIC BRIEFCASE and hey presto! You can work on the same NoteBook(s) across multiple computers and SugarSync will automatically sync any changes made across all computers.
I pay about $9 per month for the service and I highly recommend it, especially when you have a desktop computer at home or the office but travel with a notebook on business.
ANOTHER CREATIVE USE FOR THE EXPORT TO WEB FUNCTION
I have just discovered another really neat business application for this. The ability to create a OneNote HTML business presentation that you could burn to a CD and share with your customers, friends or family. After saving the HTML file and data folders to your desktop – you can quickly incorporate the bit of code that will auto launch and auto run the oneNote Notebook in any computer.
You can download a free bit of code at the following site that creates an autorun for a CD. I don’t know anything about the supplier of thos code – it works but don’t blame me if anything doesn’t work or go to plan. I am only the messenger. Have fun but I think you will get a lot of extended functionality and create a lot of neww applications and uses for OneNote doing what I have suggested – I know that I will!!! http://www.softwarepatch.com/tips/autorun.html
CREATE HIGH IMPACT DECORATIVE EFFECTS
Although OneNote has limited decorative
functionality built in with respect to images and text formatting – there is a reasonably efficient work-around if you need to enhance the appearance of some of your content on some of the pages. Leverage the fact that OneNotes pages have a white background. That fact means you could design stunning visuals/images and text labels in PowerPoint for example and then save ach individual slide as a JPEG. You may then import them back into OneNote as JPEG images. Resize them and there you have a stunning visual or text label that looks professional because its white background has blended in with OneNotes white background – to create a professional looking graphic. And you don’t need to save it as PNG with trasnparency but you generate the same effect. Try experimenting with this technique to create really stunning visual content in OneNote that could be shared with others. Don’t you just love OneNote – I do!!
USE ONENOTE TO EDUCATE UN-TECH SAVVY PEOPLE
One great feauture of OneNote is its potential to educate our family and friends about the potential of eLearning, digital organisation and collaboration. Take my wife Lorretta for example. Lorretta is typical of the majority of the online community. Only a basic grasp of Microsoft OFFICE, occasional web surfing and searching. A fleeting online purchase through buying flights or books from AMAZON. Its obvious to me that Lorretta is digitally unorganised and just saves files and documents here, there and everywhere. For Lorretta it has to be simple and straightforward otherwise FORGET ABOUT IT! Thats where the simplicity and benefits of OneNote really kicks in.
Yesterday I showed Lorretta how she could take a SCREEN CLIP of a recipe on a web page and file it into her own PERSONAL SECTION of OneNote. She went ‘WOW!’ – this is great. Lorretta didn’t need anymore information about all of the other functionality of OneNote other than that she could clip and save!
Then I showed her how she could just select a portion of the web page and then share it by sending it to her friends. Again Lorretta exclaimed ‘WOW!’ – this is great! In my opinion OneNote has this great potential to help ‘UNTECH SAVVY” internet users fell accomplished and successful. Whats even better is that Microsoft offers a FREE 60 Day trial for anyone! What a great ‘ZERO RISK” offer for any potential start-up. I finished the session by showing Lorretta how she could use the ARROWS and PENS to highlight specific sections of her Web Clippings to make her communications clearer and to the point.
So think about educating your own friends and families about the benefits of digitially organising and sharing their interests with others. I haven’t tried to throw Lorretta into the ‘DEEP END’ and show her the full potential of OneNote. its enough that she learned a couple of things that made her feel successful and competent – she will be motivated to learn more about OneNote’s funtionality over time. But for now she is a loyal supporter and advocate of OneNote with loads of potential even though she doesn’t yet realise it. Its a ‘win win’ for everyone because more knowledge is shared and everyone feels more confident to increase their knowledge through the process – we haven’t yet got to sharing and collaborating online yet; have we? I have discovered through my experience with Lorretta that OneNote is the ultimate software for those people who need to build their confidence and skills in the online world.