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Learning to Use OneNote

Learning to Use OneNote

Despite its impressive capabilities, OneNote doesn't have a steep learning curve. Some people do find OneNote a bit enigmatic, however, because they're accustomed to traditional PC applications with characteristics and constraints that aren't evident in the OneNote user experience. In other words, learning to use OneNote often entails disregarding expectations based on the use of earlier productivity applications. Some examples:

  • There is no File > Save option in OneNote; all edits are saved automatically.
  • OneNote notebooks don't entail the use of traditional PC folders and files; instead, you work with notebooks, sections, and pages that can be arranged and interrelated easily.
  • OneNote doesn't have the type of rigid information model associated with word processors (optimized for static and print-oriented narrative documents) and presentation graphics programs (sequenced collections of slides optimized for presentations). Instead, OneNote is more like a digital canvas for freeform pages containing notes captured in a variety of formats.
  • You don't need to understand networking concepts in order to share OneNote notebooks; the synchronization service works seamlessly whenever your PC is connected to a network. Similarly, if you're using a Windows Phone device (or a third-party tool such as MobileNoter), you can also work with OneNote notebook content from your phone.
  • There's no distinction between shared notebooks used in the full OneNote 2010 client application and the browser-based OneNote Web App client. Content created in either client is readily accessible in both, when OneNote notebooks are shared in conjunction with SkyDrive or SharePoint.
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