What Is OneNote?
So what is this thing? Basically it’s an electronic replacement for the yellow legal pad—but with a LOT of great features you’ll never get on paper. Such as . . .
- Full text search. Take 20 pages of notes and pick out individual words and phrases in moments no matter what page they’re on. Try that on paper.
- Tags. You can tag your notes with tags that indicate a question, a to-do, an idea, or any of a number of other attributes. Taking notes in a meeting? Lesson 2 is for you and wait until you see what you can do with question tags that will make you that much more effective in the meeting.
- Audio recordings. Don’t just take notes on the meeting; record it too (assuming the speaker is okay with that)! Yes, you can do video too. If your audio is good enough, OneNote will even make it searchable!
For more interesting OneNote features, see pages vi–vii of Microsoft OneNote In One Hour for Lawyers, Second Edition!
What Do You Need to Have to Use OneNote?
You need a device, of course, though it can be almost any kind of device. A PC running Windows 7 or later; a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later; a reasonably recent iOS or Android device; a Windows Phone . . . or really any device with a web browser. It doesn’t have to have a touch screen, though OneNote really shines on a device with inking capabilities. I use OneNote on desktops and laptops all the time—on those devices I just have to type my notes rather than inking them. If you’ve ever seen my handwriting, you know that’s probably not a bad idea anyhow.
It is worth mentioning that if you really want ink capabilities on a desktop (or laptop) that doesn’t have a touch screen, you can buy after-market tablets like the Wacom Bamboo that will let you use the pen in OneNote. I have one on my desktop machine, and it works okay for those occasions when I want to pull out the pen and sketch a bit.
So How Do I Get OneNote?
Getting Microsoft OneNote almost can’t be easier. You can just go to OneNote.com and download it. As of this writing, OneNote is available, for free, on every platform. It’s even possible you already have it installed, especially if you’re an Office 365 user. To check, just click the Start button, go to Programs (or All Programs, depending upon your version of Windows), and find the Microsoft Office group. It should be right there.
Additionally, there is a “Universal Windows Platform” version of OneNote available, also free, in the Windows App Store on Windows 8 or later. It’s just called “OneNote.”
Microsoft OneNote In One Hour For Lawyers Second Edition!
Upgrade your practice from the yellow legal notepad with Microsoft® OneNote, a program that is included in both Microsoft® Office 2016 and Microsoft® Office 365. It’s also now available on nearly any device with a web browser, including iOS and Android devices and Windows Phones.