Every day we’re dealing with a constant stream of information from emails, phone calls, meetings, blogs, news feeds and texts – and the interruptions associated with all of it. Staying organized and on top of your game isn’t easy.
Over the years I’ve tried different methods to keep myself organized and talked to different people along the way in search of ideas. You might be surprised at how varied and ritualized some people’s processes can be. I dabbled in written notebooks for some time (too bad my handwriting devolved into slop long ago) and even tried creating draft emails with to-do lists and call notes (an epic nightmare) in the search for my system. Nothing worked and I became increasingly frustrated.
I later came across an unknown and overlooked program in my Start menu – Microsoft OneNote. It’s probably one of those programs you’ve already seen a hundred times and never paid any attention to (like Access). One day I decided to take OneNote for a spin and I’m glad I did because it changed my work habits entirely. There’s not a day I start or call I take where I’ m not working in this.
Think of OneNote as the Hawaiian shirt-wearing, laid-back cousin of Word – it’s all good, all the time. You owe it to yourself to check out OneNote if any of the following apply:
• You type faster (or in my case, infinitely better) than you write
• You consistently need to change gears throughout the day between accounts, projects, to-do lists, etc.
• You find yourself searching your Sent Emails for records of conference calls, notes and deliverables
• You sometimes forget to click that little disk icon every time you finish typing something
• You see value in being able to instantly search all of your notes for that idea, deliverable or figure you swear you wrote down during that conference call from two months ago…
I use this program to maybe 1/4 of its potential and I’m already a huge fan. Check out this OneNote demo video and feedback from Jeff Raikes, a former Microsoft executive, on the power of OneNote.