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In just a few weeks, Microsoft OneNote 2010 will make its debut, and if early feedback is any indication, people can’t wait to get their hands on it. If you’ve never used OneNote before, take a moment to see what you’ve been missing and download the Office 2010 Beta to try it out for yourself
As soon as you spend a few minutes test-driving OneNote, you’ll quickly realize that it’s much more than a note-taking program or an electronic replacement for your old spiral-bound paper notebooks, sticky notes, reminders, plans, and lists. Unlike any other program, OneNote provides a unique space in which you can gather, organize, store, schedule, track, tag, search for, recall, and share all of the vast amounts of information that affect, shape, and influence all aspects of your busy life.
You can begin using OneNote immediately, with much of the same intuitiveness of a Swiss Army knife. It’s not a tool that’s locked to a specific task. You can use it for just about everything, anywhere — at home, at work, or at school. There‘s no system to learn, no rules to follow, and it won’t make you feel dumb if you’re not very good with computers. As a delighted OneNote user recently told us, “It just works the way I think!”
With OneNote 2010 plus the new OneNote Web App, you’ll be able to break down physical location barriers and use the information in your notebooks from a single location on the Web and access it from virtually anywhere. If you want to share information with others, you can set up and use a shared notebook to sync updates from multiple sources and contributors. There’s no worrying about saving and overwriting files because OneNote automatically manages shared notebooks for you.
OneNote doesn’t make you think about the technology you’re using. It lets you think about the things in your head, so you can spend time organizing and acting on those things. Unlike a word processor that forces you to think in lines of text, or a spreadsheet that sees everything as a grid of cells, OneNote pages have the same flexibility as paper, but with many more benefits. You can jot down and drop stuff on a page anywhere you want. But, unlike real paper, information in OneNote is never stuck once it’s written or pasted there. You can freely move everything around later on, either to make more space and put things in order, or to organize information by subject, by projects, or anything else you want. Best of all, to recall anything you’ve put into OneNote, you can use instant search to retrieve items in their original context to the projects, date, and people they belong, no matter if it’s text, handwriting, pictures, audio clips, videos, or computer files.
At work, OneNote helps you break bad habits, like keeping a mountain of yellow sticky notes around your monitor. It lets you annotate PowerPoint presentations so you can jot down questions you’ll want to ask during a presentation. After the meeting, your annotated slides can serve as contextual meeting notes. You can flag action items in your meeting notes to create To Do lists that are integrated with your Outlook Calendar, complete with reminders. OneNote also integrates with Outlook Contacts so you can instantly recall important information about your clients and partners. If you work collaboratively with others on any type of project, a shared OneNote notebook can literally keep everyone’s plans and progress on the same page.
At school, OneNote is the perfect classroom companion, no matter if you’re a student or a teacher. Besides jotting down notes, you can record audio and video clips that are stored on the page. Words in your audio clips (and in pictures, scans, or screen clippings) can be searched just like typed text. Working with other Microsoft Office files is easy, too. You can link to or import PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets as a starting point for papers and study projects. Your imported files are saved as part of the notebook, so you’ll never again have to spend time pulling things together from multiple locations before a class presentation or student meeting. If you’re just starting out with an idea, use the cool Screen Clipping tool to do gather research all over the Web and then let OneNote help you sort through what you have by tagging items and putting them in order. If you’re in a study group, you can use OneNote to sync up with other students, even if they’re across town or in another country. Share class notes and jot things down on the go. Given its flexibility, it’s not surprising that OneNote is increasingly becoming standard issue in academia — from middle schools and high schools to colleges and specialized fields of study.
At home, the possibilities with OneNote are virtually endless. Use it to track and remember everything related to your family’s activities, including finances, shopping, schedules, after-school commitments, To Do lists, event and trip planning, recipe collecting, garden planning, tracking home remodeling, and more. Customers keep telling us all of the creative ways in which they use OneNote and, frankly, we’re amazed at all the good ideas.
It’s impossible to list all of the ways in which you can use OneNote to make your life easier, so have a look for yourself. Check out the Top 10 reasons to try OneNote 2010 and then download the Office 2010 Beta to take OneNote 2010 for a free spin before it arrives in stores. You’ll see why you’ll never think of “note-taking” in the same way again.
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-- Michael C. Oldenburg is a Technical Writer on the OneNote team. His OneNote blog, Nota Bene, is published on MSDN.
I want to understand how to modify the template used when you click the "Send to OneNote" button in Outlook. I know how to work with templates in OneNote, but cannot seem to figure out how to modify the "Send to OneNote" template. Can anyone help?
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