One of the biggest paper pile-ups in offices is meeting notes and handouts. One of the easiest ways to reduce this pile-up is to start using Microsoft OneNote. Microsoft OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office suite and usually available on most computers. OneNote was designed as a meeting note application and does a great job of organizing meeting notes by type and date of meeting.
Some of the features include:
- It has 3 levels of hierarchy-1) a “notebook” ideally one notebook for each year 2) a “section” that is a tab at top that can be used to label all standing meetings and projects 3) and the “Pages” for the actual meeting notes.
- It has a good integration with Outlook that allows users to export emails to OneNote for quick reference in a meeting. As well as identify tasks and move them in two clicks to Outlook tasks.
- OneNote is also a mobile app and can sync notes to tablets, phone and any other computer. So take notes on your tablet and go back to your office and open OneNote and they are right there.
- Great embed functionality of pictures, documents, audio or video files. No need to print handouts anymore, just embed them in the page of OneNote and you have all information about the meeting in one spot.
- The ability to create custom tags and symbols to identify text and information. It is the electronic version of highlighting, circling, making a checkbox or underlining in handwritten notes. OneNote provides a long list of default tags and users can modify or create new tags depending on their own coding needs.
As with any application or new habit it takes a little time to get used to it. But once you do, you will be glad you did, especially for busy executives and managers who are often in back to back meetings. Microsoft has a good basic tutorial on OneNote to get users started.