What do you use to manage your posts, ideas, projects, client files, business research, etc….? Do you want to go paperless? Do you want to be able to search your records and ideas easily? Here is one application that works whether you use a PC or Mac or if you use mobile devices, like Android, Android tablets, iPhone, or iPad. It’s called “Microsoft OneNote Digital Notebook” Below we are going to share with you OneNote digital notebook tips to help your small business.
My definition of Microsoft OneNote Digital Notebook.
Microsoft OneNote Digital Notebook is an app that you can use on a phone, computer, and tablet. It’s a digital notebook where you can create notebooks, tabs, and pages for information gathering and collaborate with other users. If you have the Microsoft Office package on your computer, you most likely already have OneNote.
Note: If you have a Windows PC you probably already have the app on it. It is probably under Microsoft Office apps.
Three Tiers in Microsoft OneNote to Use for Your Small Business
As small business owners, we have to keep track of several tasks and various information. OneNote is a great app for this purpose. Here are the three tiers in OneNote I enjoy using in my small business.
You need to create a digital notebook title that is broad enough to include whatever you want to put in it.
When you create a notebook and label it, you can then share the notebook with your clients or co-workers so you can see, share, and modify the notebook content. An example of a notebook title could be, “Client-Joe,” “Recipes,” or “business documents.”
Here is a video directly from Microsoft on how to create a notebook in OneNote.
Then, you need to label the tabs as you would in a physical notebook.
Use tabs to divide the broad topic into smaller more subjects or activities like, “Social Media Posts To Share,” “Frequently Used Posts,” “Meeting Notes,” “Tips,” “Charitable Locations,” “What to Sell,” “Household Tasks,” “Misc. Info.”, “Christmas Tasks”, “Blogging Ideas”, “Quotes-feelings”, etc… Making this title be more specific than the notebook title helps keep you organized and focused on the pages you create next.
Lastly, add pages for even more specific topics.
Here are some examples of pages you can create, “Website Notes,” “1/2021 meeting notes”, “2021 recipes to share”, “Happiness quotes,” “Ebook,” “Blog Posts Topics,” etc… The pages can also be to-do lists using the Tag “To Do” on the app. Using the date or year on the page title helps you remember when you created the content. It does give you this information in small type at the top of the page when you open the page, however, if it is in the page title, you will see it in the page title list on the left-hand side making it easier to find the page you are looking for.
These are the main three areas of a OneNote. It is pretty easy, right? Below are some specific tips that you can use to enhance the usability of the application.
What Features are on the Pages in OneNote Digital Notebook Tips
On pages, you can tag your work.
Tags can help you make your pages more useful by enhancing the content on each page. Tags include things like To-Do boxes, the priority order of tasks, Call, Remember, Question, Website to visit, etc… You can also create your own customizable tags, like have a tag for Blog Topic and add an Icon to go with the tasks. You can use an envelope as a tag to remind yourself to mail or email something to someone. I find it useful for creating task lists and delegation lists for projects. It looks like this below. There is a drop-down list of various tags and icons you can use. So the tag list is limitless.
On pages, there are preset-style fonts for headings.
Using these items will allow you to better organize your content and distinguish between titles and content. You can also use bullets and numbers to create fact lists. You can create a variety of headers, page titles, quote phrases, and add citations. This is great if you like to do a mind dump on the page and then sort it later for presentation or meeting purposes. Read more about this feature here.
On the pages, you can remember and organize your information from any Web Page.
Printing to OneNote.
If you like to keep PDFs of content, you can keep them on a OneNote page as well. When you want to print a page, instead of selecting the printer, you can choose “Print to OneNote.” It will automatically ask you what notebook and page you want to print it to.
Draw or Write on the page.
You can even draw/write on a page. It also offers shapes and arrows to help create maps. This feature works really well on mobile devices.
Edit your pages.
It also includes spelling, researches, translation, and language features. Some of these features may have additional costs.
The searchability is convenient.
At the top right, you can type in the term you are looking for, and it will review all your notebooks for those terms. This works great when you have lots of notebooks as I do.
Insert objects on the page.
On your pages, you can do a variety of things you can insert on a page, like add pictures, make tables, links, files, scanner printout, Online Video, Meeting Details, Equations, Math, Stickers, and symbols. There is even a Researcher section that helps you find sources I’ve used almost all these features, and they work great.
That’s it for now. There are many other features in OneNote. So feel free to use it and explore. I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can use Microsoft OneNote Digital Notebook for your small business.
Do you use OneNote? Do you have anything to add? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Looking for more digital organization tips and tricks, check out these posts below.
The Right Type of Technology to Use for Your Small Business
7 Steps to Clear Your Digital Clutter
How to Create Your Business Hashtags List to Stand Out
Get a copy of our FREE e-book! The Best Practices for Digital and Physical Filing Systems
Janet Barclay says
I’ve created a OneNote notebook which is shared with my VA. We used to share documents and spreadsheets in Dropbox and communicate by email, but it was getting really cumbersome. Now all reference material and client lists are in OneNote, and instead of emailing each other with every little thing, we can just document everything in there. It’s been life-changing!
Janet Barclay says
I’ve been using OneNote for a while, but I never noticed the Tags feature. Thank you so much for pointing it out – now I can be even more efficient!
One of the things I use it for is to keep track of upcoming and potential guest bloggers. I have a notebook for my blog with a specific section for this. When I receive an email from a guest blogger I just click on the OneNote button in Outlook and send it to that section, then I can delete the email from my inbox.
Great tip! Thanks for commenting. Check out the entire Tag drop-down list, I could only take a part of the list, it was so long.
Kristen Wilson says
I have to say I tried ON before and liked it better than Evernote, but they weren’t compatible other places (mobile, ipad, etc) but now, they have the ability to sync and access everywhere… still have some issues with syncing, and apps, but I love it. I have my weekly calendar there… have notes that come from my phone badge and links for stuff for clients.. it is basically… my planner.
One other thing I didn’t see.. it can do screen captures. I have 3 screens so when I do screen captures with Print Screen on keyboard it takes a full pic of all 3 screens… and I have to cut it. ON has a Screen Clipping Tool that clicks just what you need. AMAZING!
That’s awesome, Kristen. OneNote is one of Microsoft gems and now that it is integrated with the mobile devices, my clients are loving it even more.
Deb Nelson says
I haven’t used OneNote yet – you’ve inspired me to give it a shot. Thanks for the nudge. Looks like a good way to stay organized, keep info at hand w/o becoming a distraction.
Glad this inspired you to check it out, Deb. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Joyce Hansen says
Sabrina what a great idea. I have One Drive on a new laptop but didn’t kow anything about it.
I usually just bookmark pages I was to refer back to and keep related files in Word. Thanks for the tip.
Glad this helped, Joyce. Check it out and see if it will work for you.
Jane Gramlich says
I’m not using One Note, but there are some features I would appreciate. Thanks for the intro and tips.
Lisa Swanson says
I use a Wunderlist for my to do’s both daily, weekly and projects and have a notebook for and dropbox for everything else. I really should try some of these software options because I know I could be a bit more organized. The problem is I get them and then don’t follow through with using them!
Set up a plan on how you want to use it. If I don’t have a plan it’s just a waste of my time. Good luck.
I don’t use OneNote. I have had Evernote for a long time and so that is what I am used to but it sure seems like a great option.
Many of these tips are also available on Evernote. You can check out the ones that work for you there. Thanks for commenting.
Beverley Golden says
Being a Mac person, I don’t use anything Microsoft, although this looks like a really easy to use program that would streamline and simplify the day-to-day tasks every business has. I’m definitely not an early adapter when it comes to doing my life “online” and I still use manual systems, even though they are time consuming and often a bit more unorganized than I would like. Thanks for sharing this with us all, Sabrina, as it looks and sounds like it will make life a lot easier for a lot of people!
Thanks for commenting, Beverley. Yes, it does help, I have been introducing it to my clients and they love the functionality of it.
Great info! I have attempted to use One Note before and really didn’t have a clue what it was capable of. I have so many notebooks on the go on different topics this sounds ideal for me.
Good luck with it, Kim. Be sure to have a plan when creating your notebooks. It will help but you need to know how you want to use it.
Roslyn Tanner Evans says
I don’t use Microsoft but have heard praise for one note. Good instructions.
Microsoft OneNote must have come standard AFTER Office 2007 Sabrina. My tablet has it installed (purchased in 2015) but NOT my Windows 7 computers. OneNote sounds like a great way to collaborate on a project.
From what my husband said (he worked for Microsoft around that time), he said it was probably not automatically installed on computers. It may be on the install CD that came with Microsoft Office package.
Susan Mary Malone says
Okay, I’ve been thinking of going paperless, and this looks just wonderful. I’m going to look into this. Thank You!
Try it out. Let me know if you have any questions.
Beth Niebuhr says
This looks like a great system, Sabrina, and your directions are very clear. I like that you can save pdf’s to Onenote. It seems to offer about all you’d need for organizing.
It is one of my favorite applications! Thanks for commenting.
Wow, great detailed info on One Note. I will have to check this out for my productivity enhancement. Thanks a bunch.
Thanks, Teresa. I have been using it for years and it has helped a great day. =)