Here’s a use of OneNote I hadn’t considered before
As you might guess, I spend a good deal of time designing presentations. Since I started to play around with OneNote when it first came out, I have moved much of my design work from PowerPoint or Word to OneNote. It started slowly, but became natural very quickly. There are three different parts of my presentations that I design in OneNote:
- The look and feel of the presentation
- The flow of the presentation
- The actual outline of the presentation
Look and feel
I play around with color ideas for backgrounds and text. I place a rectangle on the page, move it to the background and put graphic elements over top to decide what is going on the title master and what is going on the content master. Since some of my designs are based on my own photographs, I add the photographs to the page and send them to the background. I can then overlay blocks of color to see how well or poorly the photographs will work as design elements. If I am creating the template for a client, I create five or six ideas and then go over them with the client electronically or in person.
When everyone is satisfied with the look of the template, I translate what we have decided into an actual PowerPoint template. I use this template at the end of the process to format the entire presentation.
Create the flow
I set up the flow by creating a storyboard that shows what kinds of content I will be using where in my presentation. At the start, I set this storyboard up as an orderly set of squares that I fill with the expected information on the slide. I put the boxes down the left column of my notes page, with title and section break slides at the margin and content slides indented some.
That’s at the start. Usually, as I continue to plan the presentation, I find that there is content I need that I forgot about or that I didn’t know I would need. OneNote’s ability to take content where ever I put it comes in very handy here: Add a slide drawing and move it to where ever I want it. If it is going to go between to existing slides, put it to the side and draw an arrow showing where will really go.
Another way to design your presentation with OneNote is to make a mind map of the ideas. Because of the freedom of OneNote’s drawing and note placement, you can start your mind map with the general idea in the center of your note page and expand the page in any direction as you need more space.
Create the outline
Finally, I put together my outline. I use OneNote’s built-in outlining tools (also known as the bullet and numbering tools you’ve already been using) to create one main bullet item and its content for each slide in my flow design. Once the outline is created, I copy and paste it to PowerPoint to create the actual slides.
There is one catch to putting a OneNote outline into PPT. You need to be careful where you put it. As an example, let’s start with an outline that was developed in OneNote for a piece of my on-line course on OneNote:
OneNote and Office
- OneNote to Word
- Where to Draw the Line
- Word to OneNote
- Design uses
- Review uses
When this outline is pasted into a blank outline pane in PPT, you get all of the content on one slide:
Not really want you want, huh? What happened is that the text all went into the title placeholder and PPT didn’t know it was outline material. Since title slides don’t have outline material (per se), create a new slide (Insert–> New Slide). Create a blank line on that slide so that you have moved from the title placeholder to the outline placeholder and paste there. Then you get:
Now, creation of the outline is a process of selecting the content for each slide (OneNote and Office, Outlook and its sub-bullets, Word and its sub-bullets, PPT and its sub-bullets, and Excel) and using SHIFT-Tab to move the chunks out to their own slide. After that, it looks like this:
Now that the outline is in PowerPoint, I add the non-text slides from the storyboard to the presentation. When that is done, I apply the template that was designed at the beginning and set up teh animations and transitions. When I think it is ready for other eyes, I send the presentation out for review. Clean and easy – just the way I like it!