Staying Organized with Microsoft Office's OneNote

by Joe Zhang

One technology that I find useful on campus is Microsoft Office OneNote. This is a program designed for online information gathering and note taking and is a great way to keep class notes organized and all in one place. Even better, it's free to all Albion College students, faculty and staff. To access OneNote for free, start by accessing Office 365

OneNote is structured just like any notebook, but digitally. The user can create a notebook, with various pages. They can have a notebook for each class they take on campus. Then, each page of the notebook can be titled using topics, or even class dates. 

This program works particularly well with tablets, as it has a draw function. In addition, users can upload photos, PDF documents, PowerPoint presentations and add tables, equations and symbols, allowing them to annotate easily. The program is excellent for freehand notes, annotation, and especially for organization. 

Example of a science diagram in OneNote with labels and color picturesOne of the coolest features of OneNote is optical character recognition (OCR). This function allows users to turn text on an image or PDF file into editable text. For example, the photo to the righ is an example of how the user can turn each description or labeled part into editable text without having to type it all manually. 

OneNote can also work similarly to Google Docs. Professors, students and anyone working in a group can create and share a Notebook, or notebook pages, and work on them collaboratively. 

If you haven't tested OneNote, give it a try. It might become your favorite way to take notes.