written by Anisa A. Claire
If you’ve never heard of Microsoft OneNote, or if you have but haven’t used it before, you’re in for a serious treat. I love to organize things. Like, really love to organize stuff. Doesn’t matter what it is, either. I like organizing my sock drawer almost as much as I like mapping out a story. Okay, you get the point. I have a bit of an obsession! Hah. Let’s move on…
For the most part, I prefer storyboarding using good old fashion pen and paper. That’s definitely my ‘go to’. However, I’ll often translate what I’ve done on paper into Microsoft OneNote, too, because it allows me to map in a more visual sense. Sometimes I do it in reverse, as well. I’ll start piecing things together in One Note and once I have it all sorted I move it to pen and paper. I do this for various reasons, but one of the main ones is I enjoy having both versions because it allows me to work at the computer or away from the computer and still have access to everything I need to have access to.
Okay, so… What is One Note? OneNote is a program designed for-form flowing thought collection. In other words, a digital scrapbook with the ability to include text, audio, drawings and internet clippings.
The reason it’s so spectacular for writers is that it’s laid out like a binder. You can create tabs at the top with labels and within those tabs, you can manage multiple sections. It gives you the ability to size your text boxes and move them around your screen to put them where you want them.
Within your tabbed sections, you can also add multiple pages. For example, you could create a character tab, do a summary on the main page of that tab, and then create pages for further back information such as quirks, memories, etc. The tabs are color coded, too, which I love.
You’ll find a lot of options the same as Microsoft Word and from left to right it starts with File, Home, Insert, Draw, History, Review and View. Let’s take a brief look at all of these…
Home: This is where you’ll find your bold, italics, copy, paste, heading, etc options.
Insert: Here, you can insert pictures, audio clips, video, spreadsheets, and symbols.
Draw: The ‘Draw’ options are quite neat. They allow you to draw with your mouse on your sections and pages. Considering it is not primarily a drawing program, the options here are not limited.
History: Another great feature is ‘History’. In here, you have the ability to share with other authors if you so choose and to view recent edits.
Review: In ‘Review’, you will find your basic spell check, thesaurus, research and password protections.
View: The last section is ‘view’ and this is where you’ll find all your page and viewing options.
If you right click on any page, you’ll discover more quick options, too. This is where you’ll be able to add ‘to do’ lists, boxes, and change your fonts, etc.
Personally, I find Microsoft OneNote extremely helpful, easy to use, and worth the time and energy to learn how to use.
If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the links below!
Microsoft OneNote: https://www.onenote.com/
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