Many business users overlook Microsoft OneNote and the note-taking app's capabilities. Those who embrace OneNote typically squeeze much functionality from the surprisingly capable program. If you're honest, would you have really thought a separate note-taking application is needed as a standalone program when Microsoft's full office suite already included a word processing program? In reality, it turns out OneNote adds effective note-taking capability Word can't match.
OneNote enables the unstructured capturing, organizing, and sharing of ideas, thoughts, statements, and other elements within digital notebooks. These notebooks can be accessed from multiple devices, meaning you don't have to manually transfer notes and information between smartphones, tablets, and computers when using multiple devices. A relative newcomer to the Mac platform, the OneNote app is also available to iOS users, making it a handy medium for collecting notes and thoughts while on the go.
With full formatting capabilities, including bold, italics, underlining, highlighting, and support for pictures, among other elements, users can create compelling notes. Because text and information can be entered freely, not linearly as Word requires, OneNote 2016 for Mac users may mimic the process of drafting handwritten notes on paper. Users can even import handwritten notes. OneNote's free-form operation proves liberating, as a result.
OneNote 2016 for Mac includes a capable search engine that locates results across a multitude of notes. Users can append tags to notes, thereby enhancing the integrated search. Searches also possess the capacity to recognize relevant text buried within images, so pictures and other media (such as handwritten notes) become available within search results, too, thereby enabling a more comprehensive method for collecting a multitude of brainstorming material within a single app.
OneNote 2016 for Mac also improves note sharing and collaboration. Whether generating ideas, collaborating on a special event, developing a marketing campaign, or engaging in a similar affair, users may simultaneously access the same file in real time, making it easier to accommodate many of the brainstorming challenges the modern office presents and demands.
Organizing content within digital notebooks is simple. The OneNote 2016 default page highlights the app's use and functionality. Instead of saving files as documents, each file is a notebook. Multiple pages can be stored within a notebook, which can also feature multiple sections.
Microsoft's developers have made it easy to reorder, rename, and even color code sections and entire notebooks. When creating a new notebook you can select from 16 colors. Files store by default within the user's OneDrive account.
OneNote for the Mac boasts a simple interface. The Home ribbon provides the expected basic text formatting tools, including those used to format styles. Unlike in Word, OneNote includes icons for adding special tags, which label the type of information entered within the notebook. Tag examples include to-do list items, questions, definitions, sources, addresses, and even a tag reminding the user the entry needs to be discussed with a manager. These canned tag selections update the text's formatting and add relevant icons to the text, making it even easier to identify a particular note's purpose and importance, which is part of the magic that makes OneNote a compelling tool.
You may not think you need OneNote, but spend a little time learning the application's capabilities, and it's likely you'll wonder how you lived without it.
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Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.