Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Embracing OneNote

At a risk of sounding ridiculous, I think I am in love.....well I am married, but sadly my other half is not the purpose or content of this post, OneNote is.

Until I purchased my new laptop a couple of months ago I had used and preferred Office Professional 2003. Now my version of Office 2003 did not come with One Note and it was not until I purchased an iPhone and iPad that I started to tinker with the relevant OneNote applications

All became very clear when I installed the 2013 version of Office, which came with OneNote and I started to embrace the functionality of OneNote and as I said, I think I am in love!

Up until this point I had been using a mix of Evernote and OneNote, but the change in Office precipitated me to think again my online notebook set up and really embrace this rather fascinating piece of software.

The first thing I did was to look at what notebooks I wanted. I have everything in OneNote and I will share with you here a list of my current notes books

  • Ancestry Shoebox - this great idea came from fellow genealogist Tessa Keough
  • Bookmarks & URLS
  • Book of Me, Written by You
  • Books
  • Book Project - Europe
  • Book Project  - India
  • Book Project - Italian
  • Blog
  • General Genealogy
  • Genealogical Surnames
  • Guild of One-Name Studies
  • Health
  • Home & Domestic
  • IDG Notebook
  • Miscellaneous
  • Miscellaneous Scans 
  • My One-Place Studies
  • Orlando One-Name Study
  • Pharmacy CPD
  • Recipes
  • Reference
  • Stuart's
  • Society for One-Place Studies - this assists me in the role of secretary
  • Worship One-Name Study

Within each note book there are further section such as
  • IDG Notebook (www.theindepthgenealogist.com)
    • Column & blog post ideas
    • Column Posts 2013
    • Blog Posts 2013
    • Column Posts 2014
    • Blog Posts 2014
    • Various
      • Top Tips

There are a few odd notebooks, which probably do not mean much to to others, such as Miscellaneous Scans. I often if I want jot one thing down write one liners on a post it note. Those notes then drift around my desk or my office notice board, until I am at risk of disappearing under the barrage of paper. Then they make there way usually into a pile in a small collapsible file on my desk. 

I have recently through, much to my embarrassment scanned, using my iPhone 320 such notes and saved them all into the folder and recycled the paper mountain.

The key thing here, which is perhaps not obvious to others who are using an older version of Office is that One Note needs to be created and set up to your own taste from a computer and then you can work with it as you prefer. All the documents and notebooks will synchronise across all platforms - iPhone, iPad and computer.

For writing commitments I often work several months ahead, which is why my IDG notebook is ready for 2014. Furthermore, I have several book projects on the go and have devised my chapters for one of those using OneNote. 

I always have OneNote open when I am reading my email. Several mailing lists are great at sharing ideas and URLs that perhaps need searching at a later date, so rather than keep the email I simply save the URL to the relevant section of my bookmarks & URL notebook. As I have two one name studies, both of which collect references across the globe this is a great way of keeping on top of the details. Should I then finds something which relates to my one name studies the details are then saved in the relevant file within OneNote.

There is no right or wrong way to use OneNote. It is simply about devising a way that works for you. There are several great YouTube videos which I have come across, all designed and presented by Caroline Pointer and they are saved to my YouTube Channel under the heading of OneNote


  1. I decided to try this and moved all of my pieces of paper that had lists on them into One Note. I'm not sure how it's going to work, but I'll try anything at least once!!

    1. Well done! Let me know how you get on & if you need any help leave me a message.

  2. Anonymous5:38 pm

    I love love love OneNote too and would use anything... so a big "thumbs up" from me Julie :-)

  3. Anonymous5:39 pm

    oopsie... meant to say that I would NOT use anything else ...

    1. You are forgiven Catherine! Do you use Evernote at all?

  4. Hi Julie. I use Evernote a lot. I would worry about getting confused with multiple products. How does your use of Evernotefit with OneNote. How do you decide to use Evernote or OneNote to save any particular item?

    1. I much prefer OneNote, so I transferred all my Evernote details to OneNote. I now just use my Evernote as a back up to those notes I absolutely must not loose.

    2. Thank you for the shout out and recommendation, Julie. I appreciate it!


    3. Thank you for the shout out and recommendation, Julie. I appreciate it!


    4. You are very welcome Caroline!

  5. Julie,

    I love OneNote too!

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/09/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-september_27.html

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Jana for the shout out; much appreciated!

  6. I love, love, LOVE! OneNote. I too use it for my blog; I prepare my posts there. However, when I copy and paste my blog post from OneNote into blogger - the format goes haywire. I have found that to prevent this - doing double the work - I am typing my blog post in OneNote and then when I am happy with content, etc., I REtype it in blogger. How are you doing it and keeping it in a format you prefer?

    1. Tracy, I typically type blog posts into word and copy to blogger and sometimes I even write straight into blogger.

      I do though often have ideas on blog posts which I kind of formulate in OneNote. I tend to use OneNote on my laptop when I am clearing my inbox,or researching. I also use via my iPhone or iPad when I am traveling or out and about. Things always occur to me when I am not in easy reach of pen and paper.

  7. I think I will have to have a closer look at one note now. I've been using evernote but acquired one note recently. Will also look at the YouTube sessions.

    1. I love OneNote Pauleen and am using Evernote for email archiving only.


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