OneNote

If I had one ‘go to’ app it would be OneNote. Other thank Outlook and Skype, I have it open all the time.

For academics, I think collaboration is an important skill that is underestimated. Within our team I share a lot of administrative bits for my modules using OneNote. Lesson plans, sessions, assessment notes. But also use to set up tasks in Outlook and edit draft documents (I like to draw all over it with my Surface Pro) and get others to take a look. Although you can’t track changes, you can treat it in some respects like a wiki.

I have also created documents for standardised responses to ensure equity between the team. Yes, this can be done within Teams but OneNote gives more ownership.

Something I really like is annotation. I can ‘print’ an agenda into a page and write all over without the need for paper. I can then convert these to text and make Outlook tasks or use them to search within my whole notebook collection. And they’re synced to the cloud so I don’t have to worry about loosing a notebook or bringing the wrong one (yes, speaking from experience).

It’s easy to get OneNote wrong. It is too easy to turn a page into the work of art a five year old produces with a perminant marker and a freshly painted wall. I read once to treat it as a filling cabinet. Each notebook is a draw, the sections are the drop-down files, and each page is a document. And this works for me. A little training on LinkedIn learning on the essentials of OneNote didn’t hurt either.

I know you can integrate this into classroom activities too, but that is something I haven’t done yet. I’ve signed up to the Microsoft Educators Programme but I’m still learning.

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