So, I’ve always thought that OneNote would be a great solution for big-time gamers – and I finally found an example of how one guy is using it to keep his games organized. Click here if you want to see the original post with full-sized images of his Notebook.
i posted this over on the d20Radio forums regarding my SWSE game. I am so impressed with OneNote (both as a student and as a GM/DM) so i figured id pass this on for all the GMs out there using Word and folders to organise their games. This is a fantastic resource, so spreading the word.
Anyway, ive just gone back to studying this year and a friend of mine introduced me to Microsoft OneNote, which is in my opinion the BEST piece of software microsoft has ever sold. OneNote is fantastic for GMs to keep their games organised, have easy access to resources etc. Thought id get anyone who doesnt know about it onto it because my life is in OneNote, SWSE campaign, and all my study notes/lecture slides etc.
So first off, as an organisation tool you can see in the first screenie, my “Game” section. On the left are notebooks (I have an SWSE campaign notebook) and within it I have sections (top). Each section has pages(right). In the game notebook i keep basic records of what happened in that session, XP, plan new sessions and since my game is run using fantasy grounds (An online tabletop program) i put in screenshots of my game and the chatlog so I can look stuff up.
On that note, once youve run OneNote before on your computer, you can hit Windows button & S and your screen greys out giving you a selector pointer. select a box on the screen and OneNote automatically screen clips whatever is in that box straight into itself, so thats how i take screenies of the game (or pics off the net, little tidbits i find on forums which might be useful later etc). Macs have a nice feature like that but windows is poorly lacking it. Its like an improve printscreen
Since im kinda new to the system ive used that to create a little notebook of basic rules and such for the game, using screenshots out of the sourcebooks. For little things its alot faster ie. clicking on my building encounters/XP tab than looking it up in the rulebook.
Onenote also has a printer driver, so you can print a page directly into onenote. (doesnt work in 64bit windows as i sadly discovered) Useful for forum posts you think might be useful later (when you can just screenclip the useful bits) or as I use it, alot of the Wizards release extra content (creating encounters, the new starships/stations blog etc). Also MS released an update for office letting you create PDFs out of pages. Quick as anything you can convert a Onenote page (or word etc.) into a PDF and send/email it out. Even though i dont use it im pretty sure it syncs up with Outlook too.
Last pic in this example, you can place entire files into onenote and access them later, either printed or actually as a file to be opened later. I use this for some of the great generators people have made in Excel, for character creation etc. just putting the file into my notebook in case i want to use it later.
Thats the basics of onenote. If you have MS Office 2007, you have OneNote already. When you open it for the first time it has a notebook on using OneNote which is really easy to follow and get a handle on the program. Its pretty intuitive. Its great for random notes, planning sessions, record keeping and in my case, putting every single little thng relating to my studies in.
Other Useful Features
- Its got a built in searching feature which even picks up the text in images and makes them searchable! (Also lets you record and SEARCH through audio, tagging audio timepoints to notes you make which the recording is running!) Great for keeping track of things.
- You can also hyperlink between pages, interlinking resources related to each other (i use this more for my study stuff than SWSE but it is a nice feature)
- if you use a tablet PC/convertible tablet, OneNote is your best friend, supporting inking which is great for note taking over PDFs etc.
In terms of SWSE stuff from the screenies you can get an idea of how i use onenote sections in my SWSE notebook: