Why You Should Use OneNote

Very rarely will I push a piece of software that I believe people should use. Of course, what software you do use is quite a personal choice. However, there are pure gems out there that I just can't let it stay unknown for much longer to everyone I believe can benefit from it. Microsoft OneNote is the one I consider a true gem. What can you do with it, exactly? Well, you can use it to write/draw/screen cap anything you'd like! It's a blank canvas for you to use however you wish. Why would you use it? It basically gives you a virtual notebook and you can organize it how you would like, though it keeps with the traditional notebook organizational hierarchy such as tabs (or sections) and pages. There are even some templates to help get you started such as to-do lists, travel plans, shopping lists, etc. However, I use it to literally take notes. Whether it's for studying, notes from various readings, or just random thoughts that go through my head.

As you can tell from above screenshot, I just break my notebooks out by general category and break the sections and their pages up to be more specific. You may also notice that you can nest pages to create a bit of a hierarchy.

Of course, what's the use of all these notes if you can't get to them easily. OneNote has a great search feature. You can either search throughout the one page or through the whole notebook. If you have a Windows 8 tablet with a pen, you can download the Windows RT OneNote app and you can take handwritten notes and OneNote will search those as well!

There is also a mobile app regardless of what type of phone you have. So you can have all your notes available to you at any time. One great way to use this is to have an easy access to a page you have set up for random thoughts, idea, or something you'd like to take a further look at later.

The only downside I have about OneNote is that it's not the best for clipping web articles. Sure it's nice to be able to save links, but I believe it's best to be able to clip the entire article into OneNote. That way you won't be dependent on if that article or even the site is still available. For web clippings I do use Evernote and their web clipper. Hopefully in a future update this can be done straight through OneNote itself.

If you want to get more organized with your notes or random findings, I suggest giving OneNote a try. Who knows, you may find it as useful as I do.

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