Travel smart with OneNote

If you’re already a OneNote fan, you know this Microsoft app is versatile and mobile. Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie on this tool, for travel, it can be your best friend.

This process depends upon OneNote being stored in the cloud and accessible on your smartphone or other mobile device, like a tablet, with the OneNote app installed. In this example, the notebook is on OneDrive. Check out to get a free account, or create it in your Office 365 Business OneDrive. Check with your Office 365 administrator or IT department to make sure that this location is acceptable and will be available to you on the road via your smartphone or tablet device.

Here are the steps to creating a mobile itinerary.

1. Create a notebook, if you don’t already have one for this purpose, or create a section of an existing notebook.

New notebook

Name it so it’s easy to spot, like “Travel” or “Trips.” You can organize your notebook by trips as sections, or your travel section by trips as pages. If you are arranging travel for someone else, share the notebook with them when you create it. If you forget, or would prefer to wait, you can always share it later.

2. Create a page (or subpage) for each element of your itinerary and name it generically (e.g., air, hotel, ground and any other parts of a typical trip for you). You will be renaming these pages later, but it will give you a target for sending information to OneNote. It might be good to create a trip overview page as well, which states the purpose of the trip, contacts, links to materials and so on.

3. Make all your reservations and either retrieve the email confirmations or keep the screens up on the websites with your arrangements.

4. Determine the clearest display of information. For example, the airline confirmation comes by email, but the screen view of the reservation online might be clearer.

Screen view

One advantage of using the “hooks” in Outlook to send an emailed confirmation to OneNote is that the message remains editable. You can delete ads or graphics that are unnecessary. The screen clipping feature will allow you to capture exactly what you want, but it will be only a graphic with no editable text.

5. Rename the pages with titles that reveal the most pertinent information about each segment. For example, designate an air page for the airline code, flight number, origination city, departure time, destination city and arrival time, followed by the confirmation number.

Page titles

For the car rental, include the name of the company or abbreviation, confirmation number and price. And, finally for the hotel, use the property name and address with at least the city and the phone number. If your accommodations aren’t prepaid, you might also consider including the price.

Why so specific? Because that is what will be displayed on your smartphone. If you think about it, this is the information you most need to move through your trip. Without opening the pages, you have the key parts of your itinerary right in front of you.

Success tips: Create the text for your return trip page name so you can just copy and paste it after you arrive at your destination, in order to help you keep an eye on your next flight.