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Here’s a bit of a mixed bag – this is an account of how an author (and SharePoint guru) used OneNote on a SharePoint site to write a book. Meaty stuff!

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One thing I realized as I started writing the book (the SharePoint 2007 Disaster Recovery Reference Guide in case you’ve missed my other posts) was that I was going to be taken a lot of notes and referring to them on a regular basis.  While taking notes with pen and paper is still something I do for my job, it doesn’t tend to happen with the volume or frequency I understood was going to be needed for this project.  For this it was going to be important for me to be able to store a lot of information from a variety of sources (such as files, notes, websites, etc) in a central location where I could categorize, annotate, and discover them easily. Luckily I’ve installed the Office 2007 Ultimate suite, which includes Microsoft OneNote 2007 (its also available as a standalone purchase or in the Office 2007 Home and Student suite).

Briefly, OneNote 2007 is described by Microsoft as “A digital notebook solution, allowing you to gather notes and information in one place.”  I’m not going to go into too much more detail about OneNote’s features, suffice it to say that it met all of my needs for the book perfectly.  I could store items, group and categorize them efficiently, and make updates and notes as I needed throughout each item. Not to mention the feature I used more than anything else in the tool: search. By the time I was done with the writing process for the book I had well over 15 sections within the OneNote notebook I created for it, and each section had anywhere from 3 to 30 or more pages within in it.  Searching through this large amount of data saved me countless hours because I could quickly find the topic or note I was covering and incorporate that information right into my chapter in Word.

The other aspect of OneNote that was perfect for my needs was how it integrates with SharePoint.  Just like the other members of the Office 2007 suite, OneNote 2007 notebooks can be uploaded into a SharePoint list as documents.  But OneNote behaves (in my opinion) just a little differently than Word or Excel when you hook it up to SharePoint. Using SharePoint with OneNote allowed me to access, read, update, and add to my notes from multiple computers without having to worry about keeping multiple versions in sync or possibly overwriting previous updates. Since I was often working on the book from different locations (at a client site over my lunch break, from my work laptop when I’d take it home, or from my personal home computer) I needed to be able to easily access my data from a central location, but didn’t want to have to deal with manually synchronizing my files or downloading new updates.  The cool thing is that OneNote 2007 does all this for you.

Here’s step-by-step instructions for setting up OneNote in SharePoint

SharePoint can be used to host OneNote Notebooks, and make sharing of information very easy for e.g. project members. The OneNote client will synchronize content with SharePoint and let end users work with OneNote Notebooks when offline.

This post will explain:

  • How to create a shared Notebook
  • How to access a shared Notebook in SharePoint
  • How is the OneNote file structure within the SharePoint document library
  • How to configure SharePoint to search OneNote 2007 content on SharePoint sites

How to create a shared Notebook

From the Share menu in OneNote, select “Create Shared Notebook”.

1. give your new notebook a name:

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2. select the option to store the notebook in a SharePoint document library:

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4. select an existing document library in SharePoint:

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5. your new notebook is now created and the sync indicator is available in the notebooks pane.

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By clicking on the sync icon, you will be able to change the sync properties for your notebook:

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How to access a shared Notebook in SharePoint

The built in security mechanism in SharePoint control who have access to a document library. As long as the user has access to the document library (and the files within the library), he can simply navigate to the document library and click to open one of the OneNote files.

The OneNote client will give the user an option to open the file or the whole Notebook:

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By selecting “Open Notebook”, the OneNote client will establish sync relations with the shared Notebook.

How is the OneNote file structure inside a SharePoint document library?

The OneNote structure is divided into Notebooks, Section, Section Group, Page and Subpage. This structure is also mirrored in the SharePoint document library.

On the left side you see the SharePoint document library, and it’s pretty similar to how OneNote is presenting the elements to the user.

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How to configure SharePoint to search OneNote 2007 content on SharePoint sites

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I’ve posted before about how people use OneNote for organizing their recipes – being a bit of a Top Chef fan myself (I play a chef on TV), I am fascinated – at a bit of a distance – by how OneNote really does seem to be the perfect tool for doing this.

Perry from Perry’s Plate blog (which is a great blog for foodies so check it out) does a great job of describing how to do it:

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I wanted all my recipes in digital format. I wanted to be able to print and email them easily. I wanted to be able to search by ingredient, add pictures to recipes, and keep things I want to try separate from things I already tried. Lucky for me Microsoft released the newest version of OneNote, which was an answer to my demanding prayer.

If you’ve never used OneNote, here’s a snapshot of the interface:


OK, go grab a snack, get comfy, and I’ll give you a tour…

OneNote basically holds “notebooks” on your computer. I only use one notebook, which is for recipes. You can divide your “notebook” into sections. Each section can have as many pages as you want. So, for example, I have a section called “Main Dishes”. Within “Main Dishes”, I have sub-sections (or tabs) for different types of dishes, i.e. “Chicken”, “Beef”, etc.


Each one of my section tabs contains recipes. Each recipe is on its own page, listed on the right-hand side.


When you click on the name of the recipe, it appears in the main viewing area. Easy, right?


Oh, it gets better. You can add pages or sections, simply by clicking on the dropdown menu from the main toolbar.


I just added a blank page here. Just click anywhere on the page and start typing. How easy is that? Whatever you type in the box on the top of the page will appear on the index tab on the right.


What’s nice is if you find a recipe online, just copy it and paste it on a blank page! OneNote automatically includes a link at the bottom so you can refer back to the original website. You can also drag and drop pictures onto your pages.


Here’s my favorite feature!! Say I have a bunch of spinach leftover that I need to use, and I want to search for recipes containing spinach. Right above the index tabs, you’ll see a box that has a magnifying glass in it.


I clicked in it, typed spinach and pressed enter. OneNote searched through my whole notebook (or where ever you tell it to search) and found all the recipes containing spinach. It also highlighted the names of the recipes so they’re easy to see.


Taking this one step further… if you click on “View List”, which appears in the yellow search result box, it will open up a panel on the side that lists all the recipes included in your search. And each recipe is a link that will take you directly to it. I love this.


You can also give your recipes “Tags” like, “low-carb” or “quick & easy” or “recipes that my kids liked”. Then you can pull up all the recipes in a specific tag. There are so many things you can do with this program. I probably haven’t found all of them yet.

Getting all the recipes into OneNote is a little time consuming as most of us work from cookbooks or written recipes, but I promise you it’s well worth it. You’ll wonder what you ever did without it. You’ll also wish you had a laptop mounted on the wall of your kitchen.

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Hi there IheartOneNoters – sorry about the long-ish silence. I am on a family vacation in the Aspen, CO area and have been more interested in being in the great outdoors than in front of my computer. Needless to say, it is fantastically beautiful here and I am loving every minute of being in the mountains. We did get a bit of culture yesterday at the Aspen Music festival. Although, I think my Dad near had a stroke when they started playing the piece by George Crumb. Can you spell avant garde? Not quite the classical music he signed up for!

Anyway, to get my mind around all things OneNote, I thought I’d see how the members of the iheartonote facebook page use OneNote. Here goes:

I use OneNote 2007 @ work. I teach and all of the teachers on team, plus our Principal & Guidance Counselors have it installed. We keep all of our team meeting notes, behavioral plans, notes & e-mails to parents in OneNote.

This way each member of the team has access to them at all times.

During our meetings, we are actively using OneNote. When we assign tasks, etc. We do so in OneNote and it syncs with Outlook. During the week, we can check to see if the tasks have been completed and read any notes about them.

It has provided the most organized, easily accessible way to share information among so many people. I don’t know how we could accomplish so much without it!

OneNote is the most amazing software. I use it all day at work – screenshots for simplicity in explaining problems or showing someone how to do something or get somewhere – and for tasks. Absolutely <heart> OneNote!
I’m a middle school teacher at a school with a laptop program. Our teachers use OneNote to create shared notebooks on the school server. Some of our classes are semi-paperless because of OneNote. Imagine being in 7th grade and doing your math on a tablet with a OneNote notebook for math assignments!
Nick Schenk
It’s an indespensible tool for customer/project management. Using Outlook 2007 I immediately generate one notes for those important meetings where complex topics and decisions are discussed, and afterward no-one has the notes capturing what happened. I used to find the process of keeping ‘Meeting Minutes’ to be a very mundane task. Using OneNote, it’s a sinch. OneNote is the standard for all projects I run and key to team communication.

I also act as a mentor within our organization, and many of my mentoring sessions are on a monthly basis. It is very convenient to capture the career guidance topics for the mentee in OneNote and quickly refer back to the objectives and goals we set in the discussion from 30 days ago. The mentees are thankful and surprised by my ability to articulate the exact conversations we’ve had over the past month (or past year in some cases).

In personal life, I use it to organize everything from cooking recipes to honey-do lists, and medical reference articles. Heck, I even have started to use it for pasting and organizing schematics for home improvement/electronics projects around the house.

I’ve been using OneNote for school since Fall 2007.
I took notes and recorded lectures daily. I needed to brush up on my Accounting for an upcoming assessment test. It has saved me so much time finding topics for this test. Being able to search audio is so nice.
I printed PowerPoints to OneNote pages. Finding text was easy. The search capability took me to the text within the PowerPoint slide printouts in OneNote. How cool is that?!!
This is my third implementation of OneNote, second at an educational institution. Currently we are using OneNote in conjunction with a SharePoint project workspace to enhance our communication and collaboration with a group of teachers that are piloting Tablet PCs as teaching and learning tools. In using OneNote in this way, I also hope to model how these teachers may use this software with their students, from note taking, collaborative activities, to managing class/project work. So far so good.

In a previous application, I had used OneNote during data collection activities with my field teams and it worked like a charm.

One question I would like to pose to the group, is if anyone has successfully saved a shared notebook on Blackboard Vista, in the same way that it is shared using SharePoint.

OneNote is the main program used for integrative techonology at our medical school. This program in conjunction with a tablet computer equals perfection. This program has literally changed how I study. Wonderful.
Anne Lindsay

I use onenote for everything.
To keep records of my online banking and shopping (no need to print everything). Comparision shopping and big wishlists that I can share!
To “print” out craft patterns, crafting ideas and pictures – and onenote automatically records where I found that idea so I don’t “poach”
Green ideas, recipes, downloaded equipment manuals are all tracked in this versatile software.

Tell us how you use OneNote/

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If you have a lot of ‘stuff’ in OneNote Notebooks, you should definitely check out this OneNote Favorites powertoy. It works much like the IE favorites model.  You click the star icon with a green plus sign to add a page, section or notebook to the favorites list, and click the star to open the favorites list or navigate back to it.  Pretty simple!

This powertoy is a must have for any OneNote user, especially for somebody that has a bunch of different places they need to be quickly.

Here’s the basic UI to add a page to the favorites list:

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Page is the default choice, but you can choose the section or notebook as well.

Once added, it looks like this when you open the favorites list:

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This view is still modeled after the OneNote notebook structure.  You can also click the “List view” button near the bottom right to make it a little more “table-ish”:

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WATCH THE DEMO

In this InkShow guys from GottabeMobile.com go over all aspects of the powertoy.  Starting out with a look at the menu’s and functionality.  After that,  You’ll be taken through a demo of this powertoy to show it in action.

DOWNLOAD IT NOW

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Graham, one of our active members, submited this post on how he uses OneNote in a bookstore:

1)copy the old customer orders from excel into one note, can search for customer names and book titles, no more control F!

2)word documents of phone numbers and contact details of suppliers and customers  now have nice tabs, no more opening and closing word

3)publishers send me PDF’s I can copy them as a graphic or convert text OCR – doesn’t always work spelling perfect but I can massage the information.

4)just realised that I can have copies of OneNote on the three computers, and all three share the data w00t! multi-user mode is great.

* So I copied the text from a900 page pdf file and added it as a new section

OneNote cringes, not responding, then bursts back into life again.

However as I move between tabs it cringes, so i’ve moved the 900 page to its own notebook.

* when you use the marker pens to highlight text , you have to press the ESC key, to get back to normal cursor function – took me 14 minutes to figure that out.

COMMENT FROM ANOTHER MEMBER:

appreciate how you kept a “running record” of your discovery based off the blog post.

Isn’t it a great feeling when you experience organization… each time you open OneNote, it’s like a breath of fresh air… OK… a bit heavy on the last line 🙂  But opposite the cringe that use to occur (for me) when I had to find something that was on my computer aka: the land of the lost.

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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:

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Tell us the interesting ways you use OneNote!

HERE ARE SOME COMMENTS WE RECEIVED:

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)

and

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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Ok, so you all know how much I love a top 10 list – and the team over at Microsoft has produced a Top 10 Reasons for using OneNote list which I am providing here (looks like at least one person has dedicated 10 minutes to do some marketing for this product!)

So, here’s there top 10 – what have they missed?

Reason 1 Gather your notes and information in one place. Gather, store, and manage your notes and information — including text, pictures, digital handwriting, audio and video recordings, and more — in a single location. Having all your important information at your fingertips can help you make more informed decisions and be better prepared.

Reason 2 Back up your valuable information. Office OneNote 2007 automatically saves and backs up your notebooks, whether stored locally or on a network file share, so you’re less vulnerable to data loss.

Reason 3 Find information more quickly. Powerful search technology with optical character recognition helps you find what you’re looking for more quickly — whether you’re searching handwritten notes, text in pictures, or spoken words in audio and video recordings. You can configure Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to index Office OneNote 2007 files automatically to incorporate the data into your company’s knowledge base.

Reason 4 Work together more effectively. Shared notebooks give everyone access to the same information at the same time, online or offline. Office OneNote 2007 manages changes for you so that multiple users can work simultaneously in the same notebook—there’s no need to keep track of versions and changes. With Live Sharing Sessions, geographically dispersed teams can view and edit the same page of notes at the same time.

Reason 5 Avoid duplicate work. Office OneNote 2007 makes it easy to collect, store, and search information about projects in a central location. Capitalize on ideas, notes, and best practices when briefing new project teams or team members. Take advantage of OneNote archives to avoid duplicate work.

Reason 6 Organize your way. Organize information in the way that works best for you. See all your open notebooks in a single view, and easily arrange and rearrange your notes with drag-and-drop functionality. You can add hyperlinks to other pages in your notebook so you can quickly find content relevant to the task at hand.

Reason 7 Prioritize and manage tasks and your to-do list more efficiently. Use note tags to mark and easily track actions and important items. Note tags can be customized according to your needs and quickly viewed in a summary pane. Tasks created in Office OneNote 2007 synchronize with Microsoft Office Outlook tasks so you can manage your projects more efficiently.

Reason 8 Make meetings more productive. Office OneNote 2007 gives you the flexibility to capture all of the information presented in meetings, including status updates, presentations, documents, typed and handwritten notes, and more. With all meeting notes stored in one location, everyone has access to the same information, helping ensure that all team members are on the same page and that everyone walks away with a consistent set of action items.

Reason 9 Get up to speed quickly. The familiar look and feel of other Microsoft Office system programs and an intuitive user interface make it easy to get started using Office OneNote 2007 right away. Integration with the 2007 Microsoft Office system means you can share information between Office OneNote 2007 and other Microsoft Office system programs easily.

Reason 10 Improve productivity away from the office. Synchronize your Microsoft Windows Mobile–powered devices with Office OneNote 2007 so you can take contents of your notebook with you and view them on your mobile device. In addition, information you capture on your Smartphone or Windows Mobile–based Pocket PC, including photos and text, can be transferred to Office OneNote 2007 and made text-searchable.

Remember to share this with any non-believers in your life!

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