OneNote: The Beginning

I realised today, as I was typing up a post on Visual Studio, that I’ve never done a post on OneNote. I discovered OneNote in the first week of my working life. I had just started my GIS internship, and we were waiting for IT to grant us admin access to the computers so we could get on with the GIS. I was bored, so I was clicking around on the computer looking for things to do, when I noticed an application in the Microsoft Office group called OneNote 2010.

Clicking on that application that day changed my life. That is not an exaggeration. I’m pretty sure that I actually have 5 years working experience despite having only worked for 3 and a half years now because of OneNote. I’ve always loved studying, taking notes, and collecting as much knowledge as I can. That was actually one of my results from the Gallup StrengthFinder test.

With OneNote, I started clipping articles from the internet for research. Everytime I had a GIS question I couldn’t figure out, I would ask my mentor in an email, save her emailed answer in my Notebook, and add supporting information I found on the internet as subpages. Every Outlook task that I was assigned, I linked into OneNote so I would have a record of the task along with her detailed instructions. I created a “Notes” subpage under each task detailing the methodology I used to complete it.

I quickly learnt that if I had to change methodology, I shouldn’t delete the notes I had made – rather, I would use strikethrough to indicate that I had gone down the wrong path, and I had corrected it. This helped me greatly when I was on the verge of repeating previous mistakes. That didn’t really matter though, since I could always check out the previous page versions to see what I had done.

We would have regular “learning” meetings, where my mentor would cover certain topics. I would link the appointment from Outlook, and then type my written notes in OneNote once I was back at my desk. I also used it to make lists of things to do by using the tags.

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