Posts Tagged ‘Using OneNote with’

So, given that the SharePoint conference is coming up next week, I thought we should take another real-world look at how the SharePoint/OneNote combo provides a great collaboration solution – this time for smaller projects.

This is from Sherri Amstutz

I was working with a client on a relatively small project where they asked that I come up with a project oversight and documentation solution that worked well but didn’t require all the overhead of their typical enterprise tools used to track tasks and accumulate and manage project documentation.  The team never needed to directly access the SharePoint site, we worked entirely within the context of OneNote.

I’m a huge OneNote fan and have been using it for the past 5+ years so I worked with them to setup a shared OneNote with SharePoint that worked well.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Everyone on the team who contributes to the documentation must have OneNote and it needs to be the same version.  2007 is preferred, especially if you want to use the other cool Office integration features.  When new people join the team, get them up on OneNote and send them the links generated in the steps below so they can also connect to the shared OneNote folder.
  2. Note: OneNote 2007 files are not viewable with OneNote 2003.  My quick check of the Office Online site did not find a converter or other workable tool for our scenario where we had a collaborative team all working within OneNote on project documentation.

  3. Create a SharePoint team site with a document library as the location for the shared OneNote files.  Below is the document library I created for this example.  I’m choosing to track versions to ensure that no one on the project team makes mistakes we can’t recover from.  I also tweak the number of version’s maintained in the document library settings (not shown).
  4. OneNote with SharePoint

  5. Create a new OneNote shared folder by clicking Share then Create Shared Notebook…
  6. OneNote with SharePoint
    If you want to setup all your sections individually, pick the Blank OneNote template and click Next >.  If you’d like, try another template.

    OneNote with SharePoint
    Select Multiple people will share the notebook and that it will be stored On a server then click Next >.

    OneNote with SharePoint
    Navigate to the newly created site and click into the document library where the OneNote files will be stored.  Copy the URL of the document library to your clipboard and paste it into the Path: dialog box shown below.  If you want to have an email created with links for your users that will assist them in setting up their access to the shared files, make sure the box circled below is checked.  Click Create.  You may be required to sign in to the SharePoint site after clicking Create.

    OneNote with SharePoint
    The new OneNote folder will open and an email will be created using your default email client.

    OneNote with SharePoint

  7. Add everyone on the project team as an authenticated user on the SharePoint server with at least contributor permissions for the SharePoint team site you are using.  Send them the email above so they can easily link to the shared folder.  Let them know that the first time they access the shared folder, especially if you have it pre-loaded with a lot of information, sections, and pages, it may take a while to open.  They can also open the folder from within the SharePoint site by navigating to the document library with the OneNote files and clicking on a file, but in my case we wanted to work completely within OneNote, so the email links above made it easy.
  8. You’re now ready to go!  The document library in this example now contains a folder for the shared OneNote file as shown below:
  9. OneNote with SharePoint
    Clicking into the folder shows the individual OneNote files.

    OneNote with SharePoint
    An example of the major sections we used on our project is shown by the list of files above.  We didn’t use the Outlook task assignment integration feature because the company was not using Outlook.  We did use OneNote’s task tags to track task completion.

    I setup an alert on the document library for myself and my fellow team members so we were notified when anyone added information to the shared OneNote.  I made the alert a weekly summary to avoid spamming everyone.
    OneNote with SharePoint

    OneNote with SharePoint

  10. I don’t like having my shared folder automatically sync itself to the SharePoint site because when my Internet connection is not optimal, I get OneNote folder errors.  To address this I set my shared notebook to sync when I initiate it.  To do this change the default sync setting in OneNote by clicking the Sync dropdown and clicking Notebook Sync Status…

OneNote with SharePoint

The following dialog appears.  Select Work offline as shown below to control when your shared folders sync with SharePoint.  Click Close to complete this change.  Manually syncing the folder can be accomplished in a variety of ways such as:

  • Click the Sync dropdown (above) then clicking either Sync All Notebooks Now or click F9
  • Click Sync this Notebook Now or click and hold the Shift key and then click F9
  • Right click the name of the folder and select Sync this Notebook Now

OneNote with SharePoint


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o, we are still recovering from last night’s wind and rainstorm which hit really hard at 4am – so forgive me if I am a tad groggy today. I am also still recovering from the events of the weekend which I’ll tell you about separately.

Here is the latest installment in the 101 Ways to Use OneNote series.

The CustomerEffective blog posted a great piece about using OneNote as a CRM/sales collaboration tool.

Here goes:

First I guess I’ll talk about how I use OneNote on a daily basis and then go from there. If you’ve walked by my desk then you’ve seen the mountain of yellow legal pads with notes from every project that I’ve worked on. Phone calls, training notes, technical notes etc…..it is ridiculous the amount of paper that I go through. Now, the only notes platform I use is OneNote. So far, I have a notebook setup for CEI projects and person information (accounts, passwords etc). I password protect the sections with personal information. Each section in any notebook can be password protected. In each notebook I have a section setup for whatever topic I need. Think of the giant notebook binder that you had in grade school with the dividers for Science, Math, Social Studies, and History. My CEI notebook, for example has a section for each project that I’m working on. Within each section I have an endless number of pages.

Here’s what my CEI notebook looks like at the moment……

…and here are the pages within the Heartland Payment Systems section.

Formatting Text

You can begin writing notes anywhere on the page and move sentences around on the page, grouping your thoughts very quickly either during the meeting or call or shortly afterwards. Later you can email the notebook or section as needed. Formatting is insanely easy as well. Dropping, dragging, and overlapping text boxes make formatting a quick and dirty.

Screen Shots

Also screen captures can be done with a quick Windows Logo + S and inserted directly into a page in your notebook. The screenshots were captured that way. OneNote also has technology what will recognize text in a screenshot (from a photographs for example and make it searchable and selectable. Pretty cool stuff.


You can copy documents directly into your notes. Check this one out. By the way…left me know if you can open this word file from a blog post (I doubt it).

Points of Integration: CRM, Outlook (appointments, tasks, contacts), SmartPhones

Getting into the more interesting features of OneNote, we obviously expect Work, Excel, PowerPoint integration, but OneNote had Outlook integration of appointments, contacts, and tasks as well. You could be on a conference call and set a follow up directly from the notes you’re taking without going to Outlook. When you see the task in Outlook, there’s a link that opens the page of the OneNote notebook that you set the task on. And of course, these activities get promoted to SmartPhones and other mobile handhelds.

Even more interestingly, there is a CRM add-in that will enable CRM users to post rich content notes about customers. Since OneNote supports 2-way Mobile synchronization we could even embed audio recordings of phone calls and meetings with customers in a OneNote page from a Smartphone.


CRM/SharePoint/One Note Integration – Enabling Team collaboration

An interesting idea would be to have a shared notebook for CEI Teams to post notes from meetings etc in SharePoint to leverage team collaboration. Mark Wilson and I just recently started using OneNote to share our notes on the Heartland project and found it to be very effective and efficient. Our notebook could easily be setup on a SharePoint sub-site for other remote collaborations between CEI teams.


Real Time Notebook Sharing

One of the most eye-brow raising features that I came across is OneNote’s real time sharing capabilities. I can see some immediate uses for this feature set. Yes, notebooks can be emailed to recipients as attachments and/or WebPages, but it also features REAL TIME sharing. I can set up remote session through OneNote (like GoTo Meeting) and share notes that get updated by ALL participants in real time. At the end of the session, every participant gets a copy of the notes. That could put a new spin on discovery conference calls with customers or our 7am meetings.

Blogging Features

OneNote has the ability to post blogs directly from a notebook. In fact, I just posted a blog yesterday through OneNote. Honestly, the formatting was a bit spacey, but I wanted to test the functionality to see if it actually worked. It does. After finishing this post, I plan to simply right click on this notebook page and “Blog this…” to TypePad. When I do that, Visual Studio will open and prompt me to clicked “Publish”. I’ll enter my TypePad credentials and receive the message below. “This post was published to Customer Effective Blog…..” Pretty simple. Here’s another link on some other blogging features. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v3ohO_22kk

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Iheart member, Steve, shared this:

I try to practice the GTD (Get Things Done) discipline of keeping my Inbox as lean as possible.  OneNote helps me do that in a couple of ways.

1)  I use the print function Send to OneNote to actually save lengthy emails that hold information I might need.  I sort them by client or project and often make them a subpage (Ctrl + Shift N).

2) Outlook lets you drag and drop emails to the Calendar to assign them a date and time to act on.  If it requires action, I’ll make it a Calendar event AND I’ll copy a Hyperlink in OneNote (right click then select ‘copy hyperlink’) and paste the hyperlink in the body of the Outlook Calendar event.

That way, when I go to open the ‘appointment’ I have the link to click to open the corresponding OneNote item.

3) Sometimes in Outlook I’ll drag and drop the email as a Task.  Again, in the body of the Task I’ll paste a hyperlink to the OneNote info I want to have available.

It also helps with this if you use the add-in ‘Replace Outlook Notes with OneNote.’  Then you get a button on your calendar item that shows the OneNote icon and says ‘OneNote Meeting Notes.’

AS A STRATEGY… I actually find OneNote a good place to create sections for things to stay.  So I don’t worry about ‘cluttering’ that way.

What happened to me early on was I had one or two notebooks with a long string of pages.  Learning to drag and drop pages into other sections helped me keep things organized better.  Also learning to use the ‘Search Notebooks’ function was a big help.

Good luck!

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Greetings from family-land! I am still vacationing – hence my spotty bloging. But, I did manage to get it together long enough to try out the new version of the Capturx pen from Adaptx. The big highlight if you are already a Capturx convert is that you can now print out paper from OneNote that can be used with the pen rather than having to use the special notebooks they provided in the past.

I’ll be writing a review of my experiences (I am a Capturx newbie) but in the meantime, I got this from Marc Pierre, Capturx’s product manager:


Capturx enables individuals and teams to take notes and sketch on paper with digital pens, which automatically record and integrate the handwriting into Microsoft Office OneNote. Anyone can simply write in Capturx notebooks or on ordinary printed pages with digital pens. All the information is backed up, searchable, and sharable in email or other Microsoft Office applications.

One customer of Adapx is an engineering firm whose staff record field observations and make sketches that result in volumes of data that is difficult to sort through and time consuming to key into PC’s. Their paper based data is now uploaded into OneNote where they can take advantage of sharing the information with others or even search the handwritten text.

Caputrx is also offered to office staff for use in meetings to help boost productivity which has been so successful we often get thanked for a tool that enables collaboration without being a distraction. At any time staff can reference and share notes directly from Microsoft OneNote. Office staff or field teams are now able work in a variety of locations, simply write with an easy to use pen and paper and stay focused on their jobs instead of burdensome tools.

Capturx instantly digitizes the handwriting on paper, helping to bridge paper based tools to powerful digital features in OneNote. Many of our customers found the original 5X7 notebook with waterproof pages to be helpful in field scenarios, but we also got a lot of requests for letter sized notebooks. Today we offer both letter sized 8.5X11 notebooks and unlimited print on demand of notebook pages directly from OneNote, using ordinary paper!

We are looking forward to lot’s more feedback from our customers to help with future releases.

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So, my friend Dan Rasmus writes a very interesting blog titled: The Future of Information Work which you should check out if you are interested in understanding how technology and work practices are going to change over the coming years. Anyway, of course, he is  HUGE OneNote fan and today he blogged about how he uses OneNote and Mesh to manage his life over multiple computers – something I know many of you are interested in as well.

Click here to read his post

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So, those of you who love both of these tools may be interested to know that they work together perfectly thanks to some nifty integration work on the part of MindJet, the company who makes MindManager.

For those of us unfamiliar with MindManager: – Unlike the usual linear-based approach of most productivity tools, MindManager 8 uses mind-mapping technology to let you capture, organize, and communicate information using an intuitive visual canvas. You’ll be able to work smarter and transform your ideas into action more quickly.

Here is what one fan has to say about how he uses these two products:


I’ve been a fan of both Microsoft OneNote and MindJet MindManager for several years.  They both occupy important places in my toolbox.  I use OneNote almost daily for project tracking, reference and the core of my productivity workflow.  I use MindManager for planning, brainstorming, writing, agenda creation and taking notes of conversations.

Now the folks at MindJet Labs have released the OneNote 2007 + MindManager tool which increases the ability of these two tools to work together.  Basically the tool provides:

  • OneNote 2007 Send To MindManager
  • OneNote Hyperlinks in MindManager
  • OneNote Notebook Hierarchy Mapping

These function allow the passing of data between the two applications:

  • From MindManager, you can easily map out the Notebooks, Section Groups, Sections, Pages, and Subpages, including hyperlinks:       Select File…Open…OneNote 2007 Notebooks.
  • From MindManager, you can send the current map to OneNote as an image that you can sketch on and annotate:       Select File…Export…Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
  • From OneNote, you can send a page to MindManager as a hyperlinked topic:  Press the Send to MindManager MindManager button on the Standard toolbar in OneNote.

Rob Bushway previously outlined how to hyperlink from MindManager to OneNote, but this new tool should make it much more natural to share data between the two applications.  Some of this functionality is really already of part of OneNote.  But the new open OneNote API is going to make this kind of development all the more common and I’m looking forward to seeing how real geeks leverage the power of OneNote for by connecting it other applications.

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I thought I’d share a post about how to use Dropbox to share OneNote Notebooks across mulitple PCs. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.


So…the trick is determining what to do with OneNote across the Internet.  How can you share it amongst geographically dispersed PCs?  Well, if you’re trying to share it within your organization, OneNote will allow you to collaborate across a file share or other domain-type resource (built-in functionality).  But, if you’re trying to share with a personal computer, a work computer, or a friend’s computer in Timbuktu…you need an external solution.  That solution for me was Dropbox.

Dropbox is an application that you attach to a particular folder on your PC and it will syncronize it with the web and any other PC attached to this folder.  It’s got good security, speed, and not too much overhead on your CPU.  When you make changes to file, particularly large ones, it will only push out the difference (as opposed to the entire file) – thus saving on time and bandwidth.

How do we go about connecting these two?  Below is a pretty straight-forward step-by-step for setting up OneNote to work over a Dropbox file share.  I’ve been using this between home and work for a week or so now, and it’s been great.  The beauty of it, is you can collaborate with the other person…and within a few seconds of making a change on one PC, it will be seen on the other PCs!

Step 1:  Install Dropbox on PC #1


Step 2:  Make sure you haveOneNote on PC #1

If not, you can download a free trial using one of the links here on http://www.iheartonenote.com

Step 3:  Open OneNote

Step 4:  Create a New Notebook

Step 5:  Name Your New Notebook

Give your new Notebook a name.  Aside from the name displayed in OneNote, this will also become a sub-folder within Dropbox.

Step 6:  Set Folder Location to a Dropbox Folder

Most Vista users will have a Path structure similar to this for Dropbox.  I’ve decided to put it in my “Private” Dropbox folder, and created a “OneNote” folder to include any and all of my OneNote Notebooks.

Step 7:  Set the Type of Sharing You’d Like to Have

My understanding is that the option I’ve chosen here allows multiple people to make changes to the Notebook simultaneously.  This is where the magic is.  Even if you have OneNote open on multiple PCs, changes on one will cause Dropbox to send updates to other machines.  When the other machines get updates, OneNote will make adjustments and display those changes on-the-fly.  It can take a few seconds, but it certainly works!  Of course, if you only use one of them at a time it will show the updates when you open at the other PC.

Step 8:  Repeat Steps #1 and #2 on your Second (Third, Fourth, etc…) PCs

Step 9:  Open the Shared Dropbox Folder on PC #2 (3, 4, etc…)

Step 10:  Start Taking Notes!

It’s really pretty much that simple!

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