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[Editor's note: This blog post was written by Aaress Lawless, a small business owner and public relations consultant from Texas. She recently shared with us why she trusts OneNote 2010 in her business and why she thinks you should, too. Aaress received software, training, and a loaner laptop computer from Microsoft as part of her participation in the Real Life Stories program.]
My name is Aaress Lawless, and quite frankly, OneNote makes me more useful to this world.
Eighteen months ago, I thought I was a productive small business owner. I owned a successful company, On the Baseline Tennis News, and kept up with tournaments in multiple time zones and dozens of players speaking different languages. Behind the scenes, however, I struggled to manage all of the minute details involved in running a global website. My desk was covered with all kinds of very important scribbles — on sticky notes, napkins, torn envelopes, and just about anything else that happened to get dangerously close to my desk.
After coming across an article about the Microsoft Real Life Stories program, I not only was accepted into the program, but discovered that I didn't have to live from sticky note to sticky note after all. There was a far more efficient method: Microsoft OneNote. After receiving training on the Office applications, I decided to give OneNote 2010 a chance. I am happy to say that it was a chance well taken. I realized that OneNote was the program that would revolutionize my business as I had known it. Over the past several months, I have watched my productivity increase and my organizational skills improve. OneNote has literally become my virtual brain.
One of OneNote's best features is that it is not a one-size-fits-all application. Instead, it effortlessly adapts to just about every project or task that you want to use it for. Personally, I've used it to organize events, manage my Christmas gift lists, and run companies. Since discovering OneNote, a friend and I have started a new business together — DuoParadigms Public Relations & Design — and after the grace of God, our hard work, and some wonderful clients, it's OneNote that has made our business happen. As you can imagine, in the fields of PR and design, details are vital. Literally hundreds of messages, memos, ideas, instructions, and notes are communicated to us each week — in person, on the phone, through instant messaging, or by e-mail. It is imperative that my business partners and I share access to these same items in real-time. As we all work remotely on a regular basis, sharing sticky notes or anything of the sort would have been a logistical nightmare.
Our OneNote notebooks are completely our own — unique representations of how we think, how we work, and more importantly, how we process information. Each of our clients has a dedicated notebook section, and we also have sections for internal needs, projects we want to pursue, articles we have read, data we have researched, and much more. Project size and scope have no limitations in OneNote. We have used OneNote for something as small as designing a web advertisement to as large as coordinating an entire wedding with dozens of out-of-town participants and 500 guests. Meetings and conference calls have also become far more efficient. Thanks to the improved sharing features in OneNote 2010, we can have meetings, edit, collaborate, and brainstorm simultaneously in real time, regardless of our location. Instead of rummaging through random jottings on note paper, we have developed a system where one person will take the lead while the other takes the notes. At the conclusion, each of us has all of the vital data from the meeting already at our disposal.
OneNote doesn't just help us keep our business organized, it also helps us serve our clients better. When we are as organized and efficient as we are with OneNote, our clients reap the benefits. They can be confident that DuoParadigms is dedicated to serving them and making their business, ministry, or event successful. If you're still not quite convinced, I'd welcome you to download and try OneNote 2010 for yourself using the free trial software. If you do the kind of work I do, you really owe it to yourself and to your customers. After all, isn't it about time you pitch those sticky notes into the trash and make better use of your time?
-- Aaress Lawless