OneNote 2010 – Destined to be always outshone?

In my opinion OneNote has always been MS offices forgotten soul, with Microsoft not really pushing it and its potential value. It’s been easy for firms like mine to ignore it as a nice to have. 

I haven’t been using it for long but i like it. I think in the 2010 version it offers a good set of features and potential to enhance current working practices for those working in projects or collaborating who want a simple platform for sharing content and ideas.

Here’s a few things that I have used it for;

1 – Collaboration – Working on project content. It is almost wiki like in its set-up with versioning etc. You can also save the ‘note’ to html, word and pdf formats, thus providing (limited) DMS integration. You can also send a single page by email from if you needed to which is a good function.

2 - Meeting minutes - The ability to send an Outlook calendar item to OneNote and using a predefined template, create a form for taking meeting minutes with attendee lists etc and save the end product back into the DMS.

3 - Knowledge and research projects – I use the docked view (a minimised version on the right hand side of the screen), to drag and drop content from documents and web content straight into your notebook.

4 - Brainstorming sessions – I’ve used it during sessions to pull together content and ideas in one location with references to the original content or extracts of live content. To extend this usability load OneNote on to a Smartboard pc and it provides even more engagement and functionality.

With a few simple templates and integration points I can perhaps see it working as a fairly simple case management system or legal project management tool and it will only get better with the ability to integrate with web apps and Sharepoint.

For those law firms who are moving to Office 2010 is it part of the project scope? Is there anyone out there already using it?

2 thoughts on “OneNote 2010 – Destined to be always outshone?

  1. OneNote is a terrific adjunct for managing projects of all sorts — not erecting an office building, perhaps, but legal projects, personal projects, small-group events, etc.

    As an ex-Microsoft guy after 17 years there, I don’t think it’s forgotten (and of course this is my own opinion, not anything official!). Rather, I think it’s hard to demonstrate. People have to use it a bit for the penny to drop, to “get it.” I’ve watched both very senior folks (such as ex-Office VP Jeff Raikes) and regular field salespeople demo it, often with pride and love… but it’s not easy for a novice to know where to go with it even after you’ve seen someone using it.

    If you have Office and thus OneNote, I really suggest you try it out. Use it to take notes in meetings, say. Just do basic stuff with it for a while. Not everyone will like it, but there’s a real chance that after a time you’ll consider it indispensable.

    • Thanks Steven for the comment. I agree it’s not for everyone and not for everything, but a solid addition to my tool set.

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