OneNote is a tool I use pretty much every day for my blog and other aspects of my business. In this post, I get into how to use Microsoft OneNote for bloggers, authors, and online teachers.
Introduction | Microsoft OneNote for Writers and Online Teachers
Without further ado, here’s how I use Microsoft OneNote as a writer and online teacher.
It should come as no surprise that OneNote is great for taking notes. I use it to take notes of webinars I attend, videos I watch, books I read, etc. In fact, OneNote is so handy for this purpose that I recommend that you learn how to use OneNote ASAP. It has so many great features for note-taking that I switched from Evernote to OneNote and haven’t regretted it.
Random Thoughts and Ideas
OneNote is also a great place to do a brain dump. Sometimes the best way to get clarity is to get everything that is in your head out. I love to freewrite for that purpose, and since I can so easily organize content in OneNote so that I can find it later, I use OneNote for jotting down all of my ideas and concerns.
Content Research and Planning
I use OneNote to plan out blog posts, books, and online courses. Got an idea for a blog post? Jot it down in OneNote. Want to create an entire content plan? Do it in OneNote. Send blog posts and other content that you’ll potentially use as resources or ideas to OneNote. You can organize them by topic, or add tags to them so you can easily find them again later.
Document Processes and Workflows
One of the best ways to save time as a writer is to document all of my processes. For instance, I’ve used OneNote to document my step-by-step process for formatting Kindle and print books, the workflow for publishing blog posts, and more. I especially love that I can add checkboxes, images, written instructions, links, and pretty much anything else I desire to document workflows.
I can’t tell you how much time it’s saved me, especially on tasks that I don’t do every day. For instance, if it’s been a while since I’ve formatted a book I may not remember all of the little steps I need to take to get the job done. Since I have that process documented in OneNote, I just go to the page I created that documents the process and I’m reminded of exactly what I need to do and how I need to do it.
Here’s a screenshot of part of my book formatting checklist that I have in OneNote.
OneNote Recommended Resources
Here are the resources that I’ve found helpful when it comes to learning and using OneNote.
- Office365 is the best way to always get the latest version of OneNote. I especially recommend an Office365 subscription if you’re going to use other Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- OneNote 2016 Like a Boss – If you only take one OneNote course, this is the one I recommend. It’s taught by Brian Culp, a Microsoft certified trainer, and covers both PC and Mac versions of OneNote.
- OneNote 2016: A Complete Guide – This course provides an excellent introduction to Microsoft OneNote. I love the teaching style. It’s a great place to get started with learning OneNote.
- Learn Microsoft OneNote 2016 the Easy Way – I love that this course includes exercise files, which makes implementing what is taught in the course a breeze. This is especially helpful for OneNote beginners, but it gets into intermediate level OneNote tips as well.
How to Organize Pages in OneNote
One of the things that I love most about OneNote is that it’s super easy to organize my pages. For example, I often start off with a basic idea for a book or online course. I then use this basic process:
- I start by just doing a braindump of all of my ideas.
- Send research including blog posts written by others to OneNote.
- Create a page for all of my major ideas.
- Drag and drop the pages into an order that makes sense.
- Create subpages and nest them under the appropriate main pages.
Here’s what this type of organization looks inside of OneNote:
How to Arrange and Indent the Articles and Ideas
You’ll notice that the articles related to the topic are indented. Here’s how to do that.
First, to arrange and move the articles around, simply click and drag them where you want them.
Second, to indent the articles, right click on the article, and select “Make Subpage” as pictured below:
How to Do Book and Blogging Research with OneNote
When I first switched from OneNote to Evernote, the one thing that I struggled with most was that the Evernote web clipper was far superior to the OneNote web clipper. The good news is, since then, the OneNote Web Clipper has improved tremendously. I’m now very happy with it.
Now here’s why, as a blogger or author, you should use the OneNote Web Clipper and how you can do book and blogging research by sending web content to OneNote.
First, let’s talk about some of the features of the OneNote Web Clipper.
What is OneNote Web Clipper?
The OneNote Web Clipper is a clipping tool that you can use to send anything on the web, such as a blog post or sales page to a OneNote notebook.
Here are some of the features.
- You can clip any web page (not just blog posts) to OneNote.
- You can use the OneNote web clipper to capture the entire page or article, or just a small portion that you want to clip.
- You can send anything you clip to any of your OneNote notebooks. This includes notebooks others have shared with you. Your clips will sync to all of your devices.
- The OneNote web clipper automatically strips out all the clutter such as ads, related posts, and other things you don’t necessarily want sent to your notebook. It will also show you a preview, so you know exactly what it is that you’re clipping.
- When you send something to OneNote using the web clipper, it automatically inserts a link to the original document. This is very helpful for attribution, or for going back to the original source for more information.
How to Set Up and Use the OneNote Web Clipper
To get started, use any major browser and go to www.onenote.com/clipper
Then click “Get OneNote Web Clipper.”
Then there will be pop-up notification asking you to add “OneNote Web Clipper” as an extension to your browser.
Then click the “OneNote Web Clipper” icon at the upper right corner of your browser, then it will ask you to sign in to your Microsoft account or to your work or school account.
Then there’s another pop-up page, click “Yes.”
You are now ready to clip anything from the web.
You can see the options like Full page, Region, and Article.
So for this example, I used the option “Region” and clip a part of the page.
Then you have options on where to save the clip in your OneNote notebook.
After finding a location to save the clip, you can also put some notes. Then click “Clip.”
Now it’s saving your clip.
Then, it’s saved! Once you click “View in OneNote” it will bring you to your OneNote notebook where you saved the clip.
Now you’re here. If you wish to open the web page, you can visit the site by simply clicking on the link below the clip.
When you click on that link, you go back to the original web page where you clipped the article.
And that’s it! That’s how easily you can use “OneNote Web Clipper”
How to Use the OneNote Web Clipper for Book and Blogging Research
Sometimes when you write a book or blog post, you simply write off the top of your head. Other times, you need help coming up with ideas, or you need to do some research to form your opinion or back up the information you’re presenting. The latter is where using the OneNote Web Clipper comes in handy.
How to Use the OneNote Web Clipper Coming Up with Ideas
#1: Type your topic into your favorite search engine (Google, Bing, etc.).
#2: Scan through any of the articles that look interesting, and send them to OneNote using the web clipper.
- On this step, I recommend including notes for any ideas you specifically had for blog posts or books, in the notes section before sending the clip to your notebook. That will help you remember later why you clipped it.
#3: Organize your clips according to the project (such as a book) or according to the topic. For example, you can set up a notebook for each book you write, and send all clips related to the topic of your book to that notebook. Or you can have a notebook for your blog, with a section for each one of your blog categories. Then send clips to the appropriate section of the notebook based on the category the clip is most closely aligned with.
#4: When it’s time to work on your blog or book, skim through your clips for inspiration or information you want to add to the post or book.
#5: Stay tuned for new features in the OneNote Web Clipper. For instance, while I was in the middle of writing this post, I noticed that the Web Clipper added these new features:
I’m looking forward to trying these new features as well as any future ones that are released.
Hands down, Microsoft OneNote is the number one tool that I use as a writer. Sending content from all over the web to my notebooks is just one of the many ways I make use of this great tool.