OneNote is a great place to take meeting notes, but what about all those to-do items that result from the meeting? Tags are great ways to visually call out important information, but did you know that the strategic use of Tags and Find Tags can turn your OneNote into a work process organizer extraordinaire?
Here’s how to take your OneNote notebooks to the next level by making them interactive.
Create follow-up items that follow you
OneNote has always been a good spot to take meeting notes. Just clicking the OneNote button in Outlook moves the meeting information to a notebook. The agenda and any other useful information transfer to the OneNote page. Now you can take notes on the same page or create a separate page for notes. By sharing your notebook with all meeting attendees, each attendee can select any to-do item they’ve been assigned by clicking the Outlook Tasks Flag, Tags group on the Home ribbon. This generates a task item in their Outlook tasks that syncs to OneNote. When attendees mark the item complete in either application, it synchronizes it in the other. At the next meeting, it’s easy to quickly see if everyone completed their tasks. If you don’t want to sync tasks with Outlook, you can use the To Do tag. This puts an empty check box to the left of the item you selected. People can check the box when they’ve finished their task.
Sync it, then link it
Once you decide how to divvy up the work, create a page to house information about the completed task. For example, say you need to gather user feedback, summarize findings and make recommendations as your follow-up list. You could create a page for each item. The person who is responsible for that part of the task can go to that subpage and input the work. The user feedback page might contain an Excel work sheet with all the results collected and the summarize findings subpage could contain the typed summary or attached Word document.
Now, right-click on the page listing on the right, and choose Copy Link to Page. Select the To Do item text, and press Ctrl+K, or click the Link button on the Insert tab in the Links group to paste the link. Click the To Do item link to see the completed work.
Tag, you’re it
Numerous tags come with OneNote. In addition to the To Do check box, you can star important items, highlight something as a question, single out something as an idea, customize the out-of-the-box tags or create your own custom tags. For example, when booking an out-of-town training engagement, you need to book travel. You can set up a tag called Book Travel, and assign it a car icon. Then you can set up one called Travel Booked, giving it an airplane icon. Using the Find Tags button, you can see which trips you’ve already booked and which you haven’t.
Contributor: Melissa P. Esquibel, Microsoft® Certified Trainer