There's Never Enough Time
We have all said, “If there were just more hours in a day, I would be able to…” As much as we would all love to have magic powers to create more hours or maybe just not sleep, it’s not realistic.
However, it is not the hours in the day that is the problem, but how you use them. Sure, it’s not as if you’re just hanging out on the couch all day long – you’re busy. The more you learn about Microsoft OneNote and how it can be used to cut down on the time it takes you to do things, the more you start to realize how you can be more productive WITHOUT adding time.
Organization – Find It Faster
How many times have you searched for a document or information and could not find it in a couple of minutes or less? It’s likely that you went from folder to folder searching, or you used a search function to type in keywords that didn’t bring up what you needed.
Well, with OneNote, you can find what you need in less than a minute.
Everything on OneNote is set up with notebooks. You can have a notebook for every client you have, for every responsibility, or whatever tasks you want to keep track of with OneNote.
When I first started using the application, I did one notebook, and worked in that one until I had everything I needed in it. I then created another notebook, and went on from there.
Anytime you need something, you just bring up OneNote, go to the Notebook for that client, and click on it. Everything you need is at your fingertips.
Bring It Up Anywhere
Besides finding what you need in just a few seconds, you can use it no matter where you are – with or without Wi-Fi thanks to OneDrive. For example, say you’re in a business meeting, and you want to tell the client about a specific feature of your product, but you can’t remember what you wrote down about the feature or benefit.
There’s no need to run to your desk. You can take out your tablet or phone, tap on the OneNote app, and access your client’s Notebook right there. You can find the information you need, and impress him/her because he didn’t have to wait for you to go find what you needed. As you can see – it saves you time AND your clients.
Increase Productivity on the Go
If you’re like me, there are times when you’re waiting in line or for a doctor’s appointment and think that you could use that time better if you could just have your work files. Well, with OneNote, you always have your work files. You don’t even need Wi-Fi.
Just whip out your trusty tablet, laptop, or phone and open OneNote. You can start to work in your Notebooks with all of the information you need. The next time you hit Wi-Fi, all you have to do is sync it. All your work transfers to the cloud and the next time you log into OneNote all of that information can be seen across all devices.
It’s the magic of technology!
Getting It Done
OneNote has another awesome feature that you need to get into the habit of using – to-do lists.
Continue to keep everything in its respective folders OR create a new Notebook just for planning. I like to put my to-do lists in each of my client’s Notebooks. That way, when I am working on a client, I can access the to-do list, see what I have to do, do it, and check it off.
You can quickly create a to-do list under the home menu on every OneNote page. Just hit Ctrl+1 to start. Tag your to-do list items as important or questions, or highlight the tasks in specific colors like Green or Yellow.
Ditching Bookmarks, Google, and History
Another time waster that drives me insane is when I find an article or website I want to visit later, but then forget to bookmark or add it to my never ending list of bookmarks. When I want to access that link again, it takes me at least 10 minutes or more to find it either in the bookmarks list, history in my web browser, or on Google. With OneNote, there is no more of that.
When you have a website that you know you want to come back to, just save it to OneNote. You can add an extension to your web browser to have a nice little button to click on to add it in a second. You just need to choose the Notebook you want it saved in and then you just bring up that Notebook when you want to go back to the site.
The Joy of Forgotten Passwords
Do you use the website browser to keep track of all your passwords? That way, you do not need to remember them every time you log into a site.
Back when I did that, whenever my cookies would reset I would lose all of the usernames and passwords. This meant that I had to search for an hour or more to get them all back. Usually, it meant going into past emails. Sometimes I even had to contact the client to remember their password. It was downright embarrassing.
Even worse was when we could not even find the password. Then I had to request new ones. Sometimes the reset emails would come right away, and other times, it would take hours. Wasted time….so many times.
With OneNote, you never have to worry about wasting time with forgotten passwords. For every client with a Notebook, you can add that information. I suggest having a section just for passwords in each of the notebooks. Why? Well, because you’ll save more time!
When you need a password, go to the appropriate Notebook, click on the section that may be labeled “Passwords” and voila. Time yourself if you don’t believe me. Pretend you forgot a password, try to reset the password, and go through the hoops for that. After you time yourself doing that, do it again but use OneNote to access the password. You’ll see the time difference!
Record Information with Your Voice
Are you ready for this time saver?
Everyone knows you should never text and drive. As I’m driving, I often spend time brainstorming. I’ll think of all these great ideas, and usually, when I get back to my desk I forget about them. If I try to remember them, it takes me several minutes before I can get half of what I thought of in the car on the screen.
With OneNote, you will never lose another great idea! You will also never have to spend time rethinking, remembering, or even typing. It’s has the ability to record your voice!
You know what? This saves you time in another way – you don’t have to spend time brainstorming later! You can use that time stuck in traffic to brainstorm, which is much more productive than yelling at the people ahead of you to move.
Who Needs Paper Anymore?
Since we are on the topic of brainstorming, OneNote has that covered too. No need to look for blank paper to jot down your thoughts. You can just bring up a new page in OneNote. You can then draw, insert images, write, and do whatever you want to do on that page.
Also, you might find a number of instances when you want lined paper? You can have that too – just select that type of paper under the View tab when you bring up the new page. Then selected Rule Lines to determine what type of lined paper you want for your note.
You may be wondering how this saves time. There are a few ways:
- You do not need paper, pens, pencils, etc.
- Your new lined document automatically saves in OneNote.
- You do not have to search for it later, because you know exactly where it is when you need it.
- And there’s one more time saver, which will segue us to the next time saver – you can share it with other people.
It’s Time to Share the Wealth of Saving Time
Snail mail…what is that? It’s okay, you can admit it. You know that wastes time, right? When you have to mail something you have to put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and then go to the post office or give it to the postman. You then have to wait for the other person to receive it.
You may be past snail mail, but still into faxing. So you have to find the document, get the phone number for the person, and then you need to feed the document into the fax and dial the number. Hopefully, it goes through the first time. Already you’ve spent at least 5 minutes to send this one document – time wasted.
Instead, open OneNote, tap or click on the Notebook, go to the document, click on Share and email it. Better yet, you can share it on OneNote with a shared drive. It literally takes seconds to share something with OneNote.
You may be thinking, “Well, it takes time to get those documents on OneNote.” If the document originated on your computer, you just have to plop it in the Notebook or in OneDrive.
If not, you can always scan the document once and it’s accessible as many times as you need it. You can even snap a photo of the document and save it to a Notebook that way. So many choices, and they all just take a few seconds.
Search When You Can’t Find
Throughout this you’ve read how easy it is to find anything you need when you use Notebooks, but there may come a time when you simply cannot find something. Maybe you forgot which Notebook you put it in or you got lazy one day and put it in a Misc. Notebook. It’s okay – been there, done that.
You can find what you are looking for in less time than you would searching around file cabinets or even files on your computer by using the OneNote search function. All you have to do is enter in some of the keywords that are unique to your file, and you hopefully will see it come up in the results.
The bonus with OneNote is that you can even search your voice recordings! You can find more information about OneNote’s search function here.
Shortcuts are Fun
Microsoft wanted to help us save time with OneNote, so they invented a whole bunch of shortcuts for us to use as we become savvy OneNote users. Here are some of my favorite ones:
· Windows + S = Capture something on your screen
· Ctrl + . = Bullet point
· Ctrl + Enter = Add a row in a table
· Tab = Create a tab after entering text
· Ctrl + 1 = Create the time saving to-do list
· Ctrl + 2 = Star an item on your to-do list
· Ctrl + M = Open two notes at the same time
· Ctrl + Alt + 1 (you can use 2 or 3 too) = Make headings
You get the idea. To find some more, just visit Office’s OneNote Support page.
Find Out How It Can Save You Time
There are so many ways that OneNote can save you time. You won’t know until you use it though. So open it up, create a Notebook and start using it to its full potential. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself with more time in your 24-hour day – it will be just like magic.
If you have any questions about how to use OneNote, then get in touch. Our Office 365 team will gladly help you use OneNote, along with the rest of the Microsoft Office Suite for your business.