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Kelli Etheredge wears many hats throughout the day. From teaching a classroom of teenagers to being a mother of two younger children to volunteering, she’s got her hands full. Indeed, one could say that Kelli is one of those “super moms” who loves a challenge.
She claims to be a “recovering perfectionist” with “healthy dose of procrastination." She loves biking, tennis, and playing the “Cars” game with her 5-year-old son and Scrabble with her 8-year-old daughter. Luckily for OneNote, she also loves staying organized and she relies on OneNote to help her keep her sanity amid the chaos.
I talked with Kelli about herself, her profession and her usage of the application we all know and love – OneNote. In this second installment of the “People who heart OneNote” blog series, here’s a bit about Kelli.
Q: Tell me about you and your family.A: I’ve been married for 13 years, and we have two sons (one 5 and another 21) and a daughter (8). Q: How would you describe your personality?A: I would describe myself as a recovering perfectionist. In my soul, I think I have a great deal of type A qualities that, over the years, I have worked very hard to wrangle and tame. (My husband claims that he does not see me as type A and points out that I do procrastinate frequently, so I guess I have succeeded in wrangling the "demons." Hooray!!) I am results-oriented and am incredibly competitive. Q: What are your favorite hobbies?A: My favorite hobbies are bike riding, golfing, and playing tennis with my family. Well, to be honest, I hit a few golf balls while my husband actually plays :) I also love to read, but we rarely sit still long enough for me to do that on a regular basis. Q: What do you most like to do when you are not working?A: When we get home in the evenings, what I like to do the most is play games with my kids. My daughter and I often play Scrabble, and my son has a "Cars" game he loves to play. Q: How do you keep your life organized? A: That’s easy, OneNote. To borrow from the OneNote guide, “OneNote is the Swiss Army knife of the Microsoft products." It’s certainly my Swiss Army knife! Q: Why did you start using OneNote?A: I was at a teacher training session, and someone asked me if I had heard of OneNote. I told her that I had not. Another teacher said he had used it and really liked it, so I decided to check it out and went through the guide. Once I went through the guide, I was hooked! Q: Can you describe some of the ways you use OneNote most often? A: No joke, I use OneNote daily. My power use is for sharing information (syllabi, assignments, etc.) with my students. When we work on group projects in class, students can post their information to the shared notebook for everyone in the class to see. They can also copy handouts and important materials to their personal English notebook where they can highlight information and tag parts of the handout for referencing later.
I use OneNote just as frequently to organize the different projects that I am responsible for at school. I can organize emails, notes, research related to one project a binder. When I read an article or receive an email that I want to reflect on for later, I can print the item to OneNote and keep it in my "unfiled" section then search for it when I’m ready to dig into it. I generally draft all of my documents in OneNote now, then as needed I move to Word to finalize my writing. In addition to my uses of OneNote for work, I also used OneNote to keep track of my Christmas list last year (oh goodness, I hope the kids don't see this… but I can always password protect that section of my notebook if they do figure out my secret : )) Q: What benefits have you seen from using OneNote?A: The main benefit I have seen from using OneNote is that I am able to be more organized. I have a classroom and an office. I don't have to worry about a file or document that is on one desk when I am at the other because everything that I need is in my OneNote notebooks there for me to access on my PC or online.
What’s really cool to me is that OneNote has also allowed me to go virtually paperless in my classroom and in my daily work! Have you considered pushing the “green” angle of OneNote?
Q: How have your work processes been affected by the use of OneNote? What’s the ROI of OneNote for you & your work?A: I am more efficient with OneNote. Additionally, OneNote allows my students and me to collaborate in ways that we never could before. For me, OneNote makes my team of students more efficient and productive. Moreover, OneNote has provided a cost-saving benefit to the school with the decline in printed materials. Q: How have your employees or coworkers responded to the availability of OneNote? (Can you give me a few examples? Etc…)A: My students have responded positively to the availability of OneNote. Many of my students from last year use OneNote in every class. One stated, "OneNote is like having five binders in your backpack." Q: What most motivated your group/team/company to begin using OneNote?A: Force motivated my team of students to begin using OneNote. I make them use it. It is our primary source of communication. While force gets them started using OneNote, practicality keeps them using it. I have not heard a single student tell me that they won't use OneNote after they leave my class.
There you have it, right from the teacher’s mouth! OneNote is Kelli’s Swiss Army knife for her work and personal endeavors. How are you using OneNote? It could be your personal Swiss Army knife too. If you’ve got a story, we’d love to hear it, so please chime in.
-- Ayça Yüksel