Posts Tagged OneNote

10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows]

My posts on One Note vs Evernote are the most popular posts on this blog. So here’s another for y’all.

Brooks Duncan of tweets about the following 10 Awesome OneNote Tips article. Here’s a snippet:

I am going to ruffle a few feathers here by saying that Microsoft OneNote is just as good as Evernote. Evernote is probably more barebones and easier to handle, while OneNote is the digital equivalent of a binder, giving you more organizational control.

The showdown will continue, so for the sake of productivity and peace, let’s say that both are great note-taking apps with their pros and cons. I use both, as and when the purpose dictates it. And I have come to love both because they have made me more organized with my note-taking.

We have covered a bit of OneNote’s capabilities with:

But effective note-taking requires as many tips and tricks you can pull together. So, here for your productive pleasure are ten more.

Read more at  10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows].

“I use both”! Man, I used both a while back and it was Confusion City when it came time to finding something: did I note it in Evernote on OneNote? I still have some notes in OneNote; they’re probably the ones’ I’ve been looking for in Evernote and thinking, Maybe I dreamed it.

I no longer use OneNote, so I haven’t tested the tips myself, but the article includes lots of screenshots which are vital in any explanation of how to do something, especially for a non-geek computer user like me. Video is even better, but screenshots usually do the trick.

Just glancing thru the list of tips, I can’t see anything Evernote can’t do, but they are all useful things to know, such as encrypting notes with private info, OCR capability, and iPhone apps to capture notes when away from your computer.

Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine

By the way, Brooks Duncan is my go-to man for going paperless. I recommend his variously priced guides to going paperless, but if you’re interested in going paperless and still testing the waters, I strongly suggest you take Brooks’ free 7-part email course on the subject, which you can ssign up for at

You can also subscribe to his blog (which today introduces the amazing Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine)

and his YouTube channel (latest video is storing handwritten notes in Evernote).

A very useful tip in one of Brooks’ recent videos is on how to find all the PDF files in Evernote (Answer – type resource:application/pdf into Evernote’s search bar).

I couldn’t find this in Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials (which I also recommend, and you can read Brooks’ review of it here), but I did find this one which was equally helpful: how to find all your Evernote audio notes (Answer – type resource:audio/* into Evernote’s search bar).

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Brooks Duncan: Make use of OneNote

Brooks Duncan of has a(nother) post about OneNote. This might be of interest to you, as my posts on OneNote vs Evernote are the most popular posts by far.

Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of I promote Brooks’ products because I have found them to be very useful in my attempt to “go paperless”. Brooks’ free 7-part email course on going paperless was what prompted me to stop dithering and take the plunge. Then, once I’d bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap and started scanning, and thought, “Now, what? How do I sort and store my scans so that I can find them again?”, that’s when I bought one of Brooks’ Guides to going paperless, and I recommend checking them out.

More on that later, but first, here’s Brooks’ post about OneNote.

Tip: Make Use Of OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a tool that many Microsoft Office users have, but I’ll bet many aren’t sure what to do with.

It is one of those products that has many raving fans, and I have written about it more than once on DocumentSnap.

If you want to get more out of OneNote, Vivian Manning over at the great Small City Law Firm Tech blog has started a helpful series about how she uses OneNote. Here are the first few entries:

Even if you are not a lawyer, you will find the entries helpful. She really knows her stuff.

Any other OneNote fans out there?

While I’m at it, here’s a plug for a couple of other recent DocumentSnap blog posts which might interest you productivity mavens out there:

After playing with OneNote, I decided to stick to Evernote,  and here’s a recent tip on how to web-clip to Evernote from your iPhone, from the Elephant Channel.  On my computer, I use Evernote’s web-clipper all the time, and the lack of this function on the iPhone limited my iPhone use of Evernote. Now, if there’s a similar function for the iPad Evernote app…

Back to Brooks Duncan’s paperless guides. The main reason I rave about these is that, they taught me the importance of workflows. Going paperless means scanning then filing large amounts of documents. Where should they go? Read the rest of this entry »

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Dan Gold’s popular eBook “Evernote®: The unofficial eBook” is selling like hot cakes

Mouth-watering mini white chocolate cheesecakes! Yum

Mouth-watering mini white chocolate cheesecakes! Yum

Dan Gold’s e-book Evernote®: The unofficial eBook to capturing everything and getting things done! is selling like hot cakes.

"Evernote: How to capture everything and Get Things Done" by Dan Gold

"Evernote: How to capture everything and Get Things Done" by Dan Gold

It’s just $5, and it gives you a brief but useful guide to setting up Evernote to work as a Getting Things Done (GTD) tool, for both capturing ideas and “next-action” items, and for keeping track of projects and complete items, how to use tags and avoid over-tagging, tips on notebooks, etc., all with a GTD focus. Click the  link or the image on the left to read more about it.

Evernote Logo

I use Evernote, rather than OneNote. I tried OneNote for a while when my  Evernote account froze up, due to the dastardly reason that I was too cheap to cough up the 450 yen/month (4,000 yen/year) for the Premium account. I tried OneNote and I liked the pretty colours and tabs, but I missed the cloud functionality of Evernote. I use Evernote on both work and home desktops and on my iPad (and more recently on my iPhone, too), and all my notes are automatically updated in the cloud. I found OneNote less satisfactory in that regard, as I wrote in an earlier blog-post: “OneNote vs Evernote

OneNote logo

Dan Gold’s eBook is not an introduction to how to Evernote. For that, you need THE Evernote guide, Bret Kelly’s Evernote Essentials, 2nd edition.

Brett Kelly's Evernote Essentials. Click image to read more

Brett Kelly's Evernote Essentials. Click image to read more

And if you know little or nothing about GTD, Dan’s guide is probably not the best place to start. The best place would be THE SOURCE: David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity or website.

Brett Kelly’s guide can be used like a manual: read it through before you open the “box” and start using Evernote, or dipped into when you want to know something esoteric, like how to encrypt the text in a note.

If you have read Dave Allen’s book or are familiar with GTD and would like to know how 1 person (Dan Gold) has set up Evernote to work with GTD, then Dan’s eBook is for you. Dan is a very enthusiastic guy, and his positive feeling pervades his book. He writes simply and with humour.

And his eBook is selling very well. I want to promote books or products I use myself and made by people I respect. Click the image below to find out more about Brooks Duncan’s Paperless Document Organization Guide (for Mac- and Windows-users).

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OneNote vs Evernote, part deux

OneNote works quite well as a substitute for Evernote (for earlier posts in this series, see Onenote vs Evernote and Problems with OneNote):

      1. it’s easy to turn OneNotes into Outlook tasks, that then show up when you open Outlook
      2. it’s easy to clip stuff from other applications including the one I use almost exclusively to clip stuff, my browser

Where it doesn’t seem to work as well as Evernote is in syncing. On my home computer (but not on my work computer, inexplicably), I now have two sets of notebooks in  my l-h sidebar. What for? I just want ONE, SYNCED set.

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Problems with OneNote

I installed OneNote on my home computer and followed Michael Wheatfill’s instructions on setting up OneNote. I created a Skydrive account and synced just fine.

I installed OneNote on my office computer, but could not connect with my Skydrive account. I needed some help from my work’s tech support girls first. They finally fixed it. But unfortunately there seems to be a glitch. The initial syncing worked fine: all my home OneNote notebooks and pages were duplicated on  my office computer via SkyDrive.

But today I tried clipping things to OneNote, and can’t find them. My settings for saving unfiled notes was set at some weird address which started with http:// and had “skydrive” in the URL. What the …?

Maybe I inadvertently set my Skydrive notebook as the default notebook for unfiled notes? No, my recent clippings are not on SkyDrive either.

Not only that, but recently clipped and filed OneNotes no longer appear, tho the notebook is there and the page title and section title is visible:

"This page was added from another computer. This page will load when that computer reconnects and syncs."


Problems with OneNote

graphic from

OneNote is cool, fairly easy to use, once you set it up. But I just ran into a problem.

Evernote syncs seamlessly with all the gadgets you’ve installed Evernote on (iPad, work computer, home computer, etc). I tried to do the same with OneNote. I’ve got my notebooks setup to sync with my notebooks on SkyDrive, but for some reason my work computer wouldn’t let me connect. I was surfing the web and checking email just fine, so I did have an Internet connection. What the…?

Damn. Computer Centre was closed so tech help will have to wait till next week.

I could login to my SkyDrive account, tho, and I could have manually added clips to my online OneNote notebook, but I’d run out of time, and decided to give up.

I was looking forward to seeing if I could use OneNote’s SkyDrive sync to also sync my Outlook tasks on home and work computers, but the glitch prevented this. I’ve been looking for ways to sync my Outlook categories, without signing up for Microsoft Exchange (or whatever they call it these days), but I’m reduced to taking screenshots of my home Outlook categories and emailing them to myself at work.

I also miss the facility to record notes on my cell-phone then email them to Evernote.

Was I being productive while learning all this? Actual productivity time was, I estimate, 1/3.

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OneNote vs Evernote

I’ve been such a happy camper with Evernote that I’ve used up my monthly upload limit (60MB), and Evernote kindly asked me if wanted to go premium. I think I will, but not just yet. The main reason I want the premium service is not so much to raise the monthly upload limit from the measly 60MB to 1GB but more importantly to allow me to have offline folders, which means I’ll be able to see the contents of my notes on my iPad2 even when I’m not connected to the Internet, which is most of the time, as I only got the Wifi version, not the 3G one. Not being able to see note content is a real pain as I increasingly use the iPad2 as my portable computer.

So. I’ve reached my Evernote limit (can’t upload any more notes, tho you can edit existing notes as long as you don’t change the notebook the note is in), but I still have stuff to clip and note (believe it or not), so, what on earth can I do? Well, obviously, the answer is to try out OneNote which was so interestingly written about over here.

(Aside: I watched Daniel Gold’s youtube video, and when I saw a screenshot of his Evernote setup, I realized for the first time the Read the rest of this entry »

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Evernote, Simplenote, Dropbox and more

Don’t have time to write now right now but I want to bookmark these pages which look very useful.

Gotta run.

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GTD with Outlook 2010 and OneNote 2010

I’ve been using Evernote to go paperless. It’s a major project, but also satisfying to scan those papers then dump them.

Thanks to a tip from Daniel Gold who wrote a guide on how to use Evernote to GTD (Get Things Done), I’ve been using tags more and Notebooks less. Notebooks tend to cordon things off. They’re like folders. But with tags you can scatter stuff around in different notebooks/folders and not worry that it won’t be visible when you need it because it will pop up when you do a tag search.

I use Outlook for email. It’s not ideal: it’s slow to boot up or load or whatever you call it (I’m using Outlook 2010), and I still haven’t figured out how the 2010 version works. It contains an Evernote link right there in the toolbar which is neat, although come to think of it, I never use it: I just right-click and choose “send to Evernote” from the pop-up menu like I always do (it doesn’t work in Adobe pdf files, tho – to get a pdf into Evernote using Windows you need to close the file and drag the name of the document into a new Evernote note).

I haven’t customised Outlook yet, so it’s just got the standard inbox and a few archive-type folders I created to save stuff I want to keep for a while.

Wouldn’t it be more convenient if Outlook’s folder stucture matched my Evernote structure? I waste time dithering over where to save an email, and usually end up leaving it in the inbox – the kiss of death to email efficiency.

A quick search on the web brought up a number of “GTD for Outlook” sites (there’s a pdf and now an Outlook plug-in apparently that you can buy from Dave Allen’s GTD website). Here’re a couple that I found helpful:

GTD with Outlook 2010 and OneNote 2010

7Breaths: GTD with OneNote

One reason why going paperless is a major project is that thinking is involved (“Most people would rather die than think. In fact, they do so.” – Bertrand Russell).  For example, looking at the OneNote organization of folders above, do I want my “Someday/Maybe” stuff in a separate folder/Notebook, or just tagged (as I’ve been doing up to now)? What’s the difference? Read the rest of this entry »

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