Here are my top five electronic note taking benefits:
- I retain full history of discussions with colleagues or clients and recall previous notes and actions.
- I can easily copy and paste my notes for use in another document.
- I can easily email out meeting action points to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- I save time re-writing my hand written notes in electronic format.
- I can format my notes so they are more effective when read in future.
After writing notes electronically on a range of different apps over the years, I think I have finally found the app for me: OneNote. I explain why below.
Access your notes on the go from anywhere
OneNote is supported by all leading devices and operating systems, so you can take notes and access them on all your devices. If you think of an important point, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can easily jot down a quick point on your mobile. If you need to write something a little more structured, take out your tablet. Finally, when you are at your computer you can really flesh out and achieve an outcome or action from these notes you have previously written.
Get there faster by letting your notes evolve into the final product
Before I start taking notes I always try to think about what final outcome I want to achieve from the note. Often a note needs to become something else such as a list of meeting discussion points, list of actions, or may even turn into a document or email. OneNote helps you to achieve the final outcome faster and avoid re-writing because it shares the same formatting as other popular Microsoft products. This saves you time because text formatting is retained when you copy and paste notes somewhere else such as a Word Document.
Get more out of your meetings
OneNote really helps me to get more out of my meetings. I manage my meetings by having a dedicated ongoing note for each reoccurring meeting I have. Throughout my daily activities, as I think of a meeting point, I quickly open up the meeting note on my mobile and add the point so it’s not forgotten. Then, when it comes time to prepare for the meeting, I access the note from my PC and format my notes in a way that best suits the meeting. OneNote also helps me to start again from where I left off because I can easily go back to see relevant meeting notes or actions from previous meetings. For me, the old pad and pen just doesn’t cut it!
OneNote has custom apps for different devices
Microsoft has cleverly designed a OneNote app for each different device. The mobile app has slightly limited features however is touch screen friendly and works really well on a small screen so its perfect for jotting down a quick note. The tablet app is still touchscreen friendly but makes good use of the larger screen and also allows you to markup your note with a pen. Touchscreen keyboards on tablets have become really effective! Finally, the Windows and Mac versions are fully functional and provide a range of advanced features.
You may find it hard to break the habit of paper and pen note taking, but I can guarantee you, once you start using electronic notes, you will never go back to your old ways. I’m a big advocate of trying different technologies to make your life easier and facilitate corporate tasks, and there are different apps and solutions built with that purpose. I fully recommend the use of electronic notes as a tool to keep organised and OneNote is my top pick based on what is available at the moment.
For the perfect meeting companion, read Nick’s review on the Microsoft Surface tablet which is designed for OneNote electronic note taking.
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