Posts Tagged ‘document management’

Its been raining here in Seattle for days. I now have fern fronds next to the moss growing behind my ears and I can’t remember what the sun looks likes. If this keeps up for much longer, I’ll be forced to go to Target to get one of those sun-immitating lamps – hopefully, I can get a tan at the same time. Do they work that way? I’m not sure.

Anyway. if you are a writer (of anything) and need to be able to keep and manage multiple drafts of the same documents, this video is going to blow your socks off. In it, a poet shows how she uses OneNote create multiple drafts of the same document and stay organized and sane at the same time. She shows you how to make really good use fo the Sections Groups feature and how to Move?Copy to suffle pages between different notebooks. She also shows you how great the OneNote search capabilities are.

You never know, you may even be inspired to write a poem. I am sure I have a few rain-themed poems in me – maybe that’s what I need to do to chase away the blues – yeah, right. I’m thinking a beer over lunch is more like it!

Watch now!



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I’ve noticed that a lot of you are using OneNote for managing projects. I’ve also noticed that OneNote seems to get mentioned a lot within the context of GTD – and seeing as how I have no idea what that means, I poked around and found this defininition:

GTD® is the popular shorthand for “Getting Things Done®“, the groundbreaking work-life management system and book by David Allen that transforms personal overwhelm and overload into an integrated system of stress-free productivity. Sounds like motherhood and apple pie to me – who wouldn’t want that?

It just occured to me that Larry The Cable Guy fans may want to change this acronym to GRD – for GIT-R-DONE!!!

Apparently, GTD embodies an easy, step-by-step and highly efficient method for achieving this relaxed, productive state. It includes:

  • Capturing anything and everything that has your attention
  • Defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps
  • Organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate categories, based on how and when you need to access them
  • Keeping current and “on your game” with appropriately frequent reviews of the six horizons of your commitments (purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, projects, and actions)

Then, I thought I’d check around to see if anyone has described how they use OneNote to “get things done” and stumbled upon this great blog post.

Here is: Using OneNote for GTD Project Tracking for your viewing pleasure:

In working with OneNote, I realized that it offers a great solution for people using GTD with Outlook who want to see the status of all their next actions on a specific project, regardless of context.  In fact, it makes a great Project Notes (and project inventory list) resource for anyone.

I created a sample project to show how it could work.  (FYI, I’ve collapsed a lot of menus, notebooks, and lists I normally keep expanded for privacy’s sake.)

First, say I’ve just been on a call with Bob.  With his permission, I’ve recorded it in OneNote, which can search audio files for key words.  I’ve also typed a few notes.  If I click on these notes, it will play the audio that was being recorded when I wrote down any specific word.

My OneNote page might look something like this:


So, I process the call.  First, I highlight the due date and add it automatically to the “hard landscape” of my calendar in Outlook as an all-day event.  (In OneNote:  Tools>Create Outlook Item>Create Outlook Appointment).  An Outlook appointment window will open automatically that I can add more info to:


Then, I go through the rest of the notes in OneNote and process them.  By tabbing as I type, I can automatically create a table of next actions and due dates, if any:


I can do the first four steps immediately, so I turn them into Outlook Tasks, adding them to my Next Actions lists.  By inserting a cursor just before the text on each item and pressing Control-Shift-K, OneNote will open up an Outlook task that I can customize, adding whatever category/context or additional info I need.

Here’s the task I created for Research Acme Industries.  I’ve added the @computer category, but OneNote and Outlook created the rest automatically.  Clicking on the link in the notes section of the task will automatically open my Johnson briefing page in OneNote.


As I create the tasks from OneNote, the program flags each item that has a task associated with it.  If I left-click the flag, it will mark the task as complete in both OneNote and Outlook.  If I right-click the flag, I can review the status, delete the task, or open it it Outlook.  If I hover over the flag, it will show the date started/date due info.

Here’s what the list looks like once I’ve added tasks to all the actions I can take right now:


Meanwhile, my Next Actions list in Outlook looks like this.  (I’ve filtered out all my other NAs for these screenshots.  Normally, all my NAs from all projects would appear in their contexts. )


So, I get to work doing these next actions, checking them off in Outlook like any other tasks as I finish them.  The next time I do a project review, I go back to my project page in OneNote, and I can see at a glance that I’ve completed two of the actions, but I still have two on my next actions list.  If I want to change the status of any of these — converting something from complete to incomplete, for example — I just have to right-click on the icon next to the task.  That will also update my Outlook Task list automatically.


If I want to add more tasks to the project, I can go back into my table in OneNote and add rows or columns, just as in Word or Excel.  Or, I can simply click in the last box of the table and press Enter to add a new line at the bottom.

I could also create a subproject within a task by indenting within the same box, or move existing tasks into other boxes to create hierarchies.  (Unfortunately, there’s no way I know of to link these hierarchies within Outlook’s tasks automatically.)

Within the list, I can create check lists of things that don’t need to go on my Next Actions list.  For example, in the list below, I’ve put check boxes next to the things I want to take with me on the trip.

Once I get into the project and get more of a sense of the steps and dependencies, my list in OneNote might evolve to look something like this:


Meanwhile, my next actions list in Outlook still reflects the context view of things that I actually work from:


That should provide an idea of the extent to which OneNote and Outlook can integrate to support GTD.  Using notebooks, lists, and sections, as well as multiple lists on the same page, those who need a little more project planning and review than a straight list option offers may find what they’re looking for.

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Here’s another installment in our continuing series “101 Uses for OneNote.” Hopefully, you’ll learn something new and if you do, be sure to tell the rest of us all about it. (Make sure to read to the end to find you how you can use OneNote for Karoake)

Using OneNote for Design

For those of you in the business of design, think about all the software you use. My personal list includes all of Adobe Creative Suite 3, EditPlus 2, and Microsoft Office OneNote.

Wait a sec…  did I just say OneNote?! Yes, I did!

If you’ve ever been in the situation where you needed to eye-drop a colour from somewhere, or make a measurement, or simply grab a snippet of something on your screen, you’ll understand the importance of your computer’s Print Screen function. But Print Screen is a hassle. After all, it prints the whole screen, leaving you to crop out the unecessary parts. That’s where OneNote comes in!

Among all the cool note-taking functionality OneNote offers, it also comes equipped with a nifty screen clipping function that allows you to take a screenshot of any part of your screen simply by clicking and dragging your cursor over the desired area (similar to how you would select an area in Photoshop). And voila – no cropping required! OneNote gives you the option to save the screenshot to your clipboard (ready to be pasted somewhere) or to place it into a new note within OneNote. It even comes handy with a keyboard shortcut (windows key + s… sorry Mac users)!

Microsoft Office OneNote screen clipping options

I personally love the convenience of being able to take custom-sized screenshots whether I’m using it within design, word processing, or even instant messaging (MSN lets you simply “paste” the image into the message box and then sends it as a file to your buddy).

Use OneNote for Genealogy Research

Gone are the days when all genealogy pedigrees were kept on paper charts, when all correspondence was done by snail mail, and when all your research was copied neatly onto lined paper and piled on top of the foot-tall stack of genealogy papers. Now that there is genealogy software for pedigrees, such as PAF, Legacy and RootsMagic, family historians no longer need to keep everything on hard copy. But finding a good genealogy notes software program is difficult. Try out Microsoft Onenote for keeping your research organized, and you’ll never go back to paper.

Microsoft OneNote is basically a digital notebook; you can have different notebooks, different sections within each notebook, and different pages within each section. The only limit to how much you can keep in your notebooks depends on the size of your hard drive. The real beauty of using Microsoft Onenote for your genealogy research lies in the fact that you’ll be able to pinpoint pieces of information literally in seconds. The notebooks organize the research so easily that there is no longer any shuffling through masses of paper to find one line of notes

Use OneNote for Karoake

Ok – if you think you are going to have a slow weekend, then you should definitely check out this post from John Guin over at Microsoft.

I’m including his screenshot as a teaser!

Here’s what it looks like when I play it back:


Tell us the interesting ways you use OneNote!


I use OneNote for genealogy,

but I do it differently… I use it to archive, at least temporary, documents or sites I found about people in my tree.  For example, I copy to a OneNote page pages from registers so I have a scan of the actual register entry of my grand-father’s christening, or of my great-grand-father’s marriage!  I also have a table listing everybody in my tree and the date of important events in their life, these dates being links to the page where the site or document from which the date comes has been copied.  I don’t know if it’s the best way of doing it. but it works for me and it complements my genealogy program by archiving extracts of the sources of informations :o)


Karaoke!  I just can’t believe it! Laughing

…on the other hand, that’s a flagship of an example for using the synchronization capabilities of ON.

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Christain Cawley from the BrightHub blog has written an interesting piece in which he discusses how you can use OneNote as an alternative to Adobe Acrobat.

He says: “Microsoft OneNote allows the creation of encoded document images in a fraction of the time of Adobe Acrobat. These files are portable and can be opened on any compatible device. Why pay extra when Microsoft Office already has the tools you need?”

Read the rest here:

Microsoft Office 2007 contains the extremely useful OneNote, a document image making program similar to Adobe Acrobat. Documents, images, and web pages can all be printed to OneNote (which appears as an option in your printers list) and then stored away. These documents can be retreived for printing later if required or named and indexed using OneNote’s useful tabs.

The OneNote application comes with all versions of Microsoft Office and comes with various useful features such as the ability to copy text using OCR, indexing of notes, voice and video clips added to a OneNote document, and support for tables and arithmetic expressions.

OneNote Images

The Wikipedia entry for OneNote in browserThe Wikipedia entry for OneNote viewed in OneNote!

Print Receipts to OneNote

One particularly good use for Microsoft OneNote is as a printer substitute. Many people are currently spending considerable amounts of time conducting business and domestic transactions online, and it’s always a very good idea to keep records of any changes to your online banking or shopping accounts.

While printing these changes to paper is useful and offers a tangible end product, it isn’t always possible. For example, your printer might be out of action, low on ink toner or empty, or even short of paper. Therefore, printing to OneNote offers a great alternative, resulting in a document that is searchable, portable, with easily copied content, and compiled with other similar documents into a tabbed notebook


How to Print to OneNote

Once installed, printing to OneNote couldn’t be easier.

Choosing OneNote as your printerFor instance, if you’re completing an online banking transaction and want to make a copy of the receipt that is currently being displayed, in your browser go to File > Print… and in the Printer Name drop down menu select Send to OneNote 2007.

OneNote will then generate an image of the page you’re viewing and present a new version of the document to you in a OneNote window, complete with a field to name the document and various options to add notes and highlights to the document.

You can also save a Microsoft OneNote document in .doc format for opening in Word while the application is also compatible with Windows Desktop Search 3.0. Once this is installed, your desktop searches will take in the content of OneNote image documents and display these among your search results.

More to OneNote

If you opt to print your OneNote document at some point, simply go to File > Print… and select your printer to output the document to paper.

Saving OneNote image documents involves a slightly unusual process: OneNote adds all “printed” documents to a virtual notebook, which means whenever you print to OneNote these documents will be added to your last used notebook. You don’t have to save this as OneNote retains the contents; additional notebooks can be saved, however, allowing you to use different notebooks for different types of documents. Notebooks can also be split into sections and organised by tabs should you wish to keep all documents in easily accessible and well-organized files.

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