Posted: May 6, 2014

Double Click

In recent articles, I’ve mentioned Microsoft’s OneNote several times.

OneNote is one of the most overlooked and enigmatic applications in the Microsoft stables. If you gather information, OneNote could be a good choice, and it is available for most platforms.

There’s also an excellent online version available, which will work in any browser. To download it, visit Costs vary from free to whatever your Office version costs, since it is a part of MS Office.

OneNote uses an organizational process with which users may be familiar. Picture an old spiral notebook, such as those used in school. The notebook consists of sections and pages. For example, I used the following process for article research.

I have one notebook, labeled “Columns,” in which I keep research on articles I write. I only have one notebook for my published articles; however, you can have as many notebooks in OneNote as you want — until you run out of space on your hard drive, that is. I then create a Section represented by a “tab” at the top of the notebook pages. For example, for this article, I have a tab, titled “OneNote.” In that tabbed portion of my notebook, I keep all of the information I have thought of and read related to that tab.

Next, I have created Pages that also have labels running down the right side of the notebook. I have one labeled “Thoughts,” which are the things I think about writing regarding OneNote. I have another page, titled “Microsoft,” which is information I have found about it at the company’s website.   

When I am finished gathering information on a topic, I open OneNote and write about what I have found.

When I read a site that has information regarding something I want, I can select text and drag it into a OneNote notebook page. It copies it over exactly as it appears and adds a link to the webpage, so that later I can click that link to return to the original site for more info.

Depending on which browser you use (everything is built for Internet Explorer), you can send the entire webpage to OneNote. This copies all of the text, graphics, and clickable links over, too.

Along with typing, you can draw diagrams, write in your own hand, insert spreadsheets or existing files, share notebooks for collaboration, etc.  

If you gather anything for business or even recipes you find online, you should really consider OneNote. Similar applications are available online, such as Google Keep and Evernote, but none compare to the features available in OneNote.

Contact Ron Doyle at