Tight Teamwork: OneNote on SharePoint

Team Morale Event Photo

One developer next door has a sofa in her office for quick snoozes, and two doors down a tester has a pyramid made of Red Bull cans. We’re working overtime to get the next version of our most popular video-game, Crusty Crows out the door. We definitely need a break. It’s up to me and my co-workers on the morale committee to come up with a fun outing to relieve stress. All work and no play…

My co-workers tagged me with collecting and sharing ideas. Since I am a self-professed Office geek, I know that OneNote on SharePoint will make a great collaboration tool. Each time one of us adds or changes the content in a OneNote notebook, OneNote will automatically save and sync the notebook on SharePoint. And, we can set up SharePoint to alert us when changes occur.

Creating and sharing our notebook on SharePoint

Creating a OneNote notebook and publishing it to our team’s SharePoint site is about as simple as tossing a stone at one of those insufferable crows.

 Note: This post assumes that the owner of the SharePoint site gave us the proper SharePoint Design permissions.

 1.  To create a notebook, I open OneNote and click the File tab, select New, and then select the Network option so I can save it to SharePoint.

2.  I add a Name and enter a Network Location. For this scenario, it’s a URL to the default Shared Documents library on our SharePoint site (e.g. http://Team_Site_Name/Shared Documents), and click the Create button.


3.  After I’ve created my notebook, I see a dialog box where I can choose to Email a Link to the notebook. I click the button to open an email and type a note to my colleagues, letting them know our notebook is posted so they can start contributing ideas.


 4.  The email links let my colleagues open the notebook in the OneNote desktop version, or the Web browser (Web App) version. Using the OneNote desktop version, they can include audio, video, and images as part of their ideas. The Web browser version doesn’t let them add as rich a set of content and provides fewer editing tools.  

Setting up alerts for content changes

My morale posse has been talking with other people on the team to get their two cents on best stress-reliever activity–volleyball, kayaking, taunting those blasted crows. Whenever a committee member adds another idea, everyone else on the committee finds out because I’ve set up SharePoint up to email them when changes to the notebook happen.

1.  I browse to my team SharePoint site and select the default Shared Documents library where I saved our notebook.



2.  In the notebook, I click the arrow in the upper-right corner to open the dropdown menu, and click Alert Me.


3.  On the New Alert dialog box, I choose the option that works best for my team. I don’t want to disrupt my fellow morale committee members too much so I elect to send daily alerts. 



So what is the consensus for the morale committee? After a day of kayaking on the Puget Sound and glass-blowing with Dale Chihuly, everyone will forget their frazzled nerves and return to work energized to finish our project.