What a difference a little app can make! Although, I hesitate to use the word “little” when describing OneNote.
The Hubs and I have put everything in there this holiday season:
- Baking supplies List
- Christmas Wish Lists
- Grocery Store shopping lists
- The very busy Family Calendar
I’m in danger of becoming a OneNote groupie and I’ve only been on the Office 365 version for six weeks.
First of all, I should mention: I loathe grocery shopping.
Especially, since I found out I have a gluten problem, it takes forever. I’m the one who cooks at my house, and I find myself reading every label in the store. Can I eat this? What about this? Ooooh, maybe I could use this for Grandmother’s chili recipe.
Add in Babykins and shopping was a huge time-suck.
Our old system:
- Sit down at the table together to hand-write a shopping list, or send a flurry of emails and texts back and forth.
- If Hubby went to the store, he’d get frustrated managing such a spread out list (email/text/paper).
- If I went to the store, I’d usually reach for the list and realize I’d left it on the table. (Y’all know I’m forgetful.)
- If Babykins was with the designated shopper, the list often went by the wayside and we’d wing it. Toddlers don’t mix well with shopping carts and multi-part lists.
Our new system:
First of all, I adore the new way because Hubby now does 90% of the shopping. Yeah, you heard me.
It turns out if I let him use OneNote (and the guarantee of no toddler to manage) he’s a Shopping Rockstar.
Between my Android OneNote app, my Surface Pro and my SkyDrive, I can keep the list up-to-date while I’m on the run. Hubby is a streamlined kind of guy and he does it all via his iPhone app.
Everyone is happy with this new system.
Our current shopping lists:
Now we kick off our trips to the store with a call like this:
Hubs: I have time to go to the store after work today. Did you check off what we needed?
Me: Yep, we need a Trader Joe’s and a Costco run.
Hubs: Cool. I’m on it.
Me: *sips coffee and smiles*
So how do we make those groovy lists? It’s actually really easy.
Keep in mind:
- If you have Microsoft Office on a PC, you have OneNote.
[See my 10 Favorite OneNote Features for Writers.]
- If you have an iPhone, Android or Windows phone, you can easily download the app.
- To share files like we do, you must set up your SkyDrive (OneNote walks you through this the first time you save a file).
How do we add the nifty check boxes you see in the example above?
You have two options:
- The easiest way is to hit Ctrl+1 on your keyboard when you’re on your OneNote page – it will automatically put in a checkbox.
- You can also go to the Home Ribbon on your toolbar and choose it from the Tags drop-down.
Below is a picture of the toolbar in the application, and another one of the SkyDrive so you can see the difference.
Here’s how it looks on SkyDrive
You see where you can access your Tags on the right side (next to spelling)? Ctrl+1 is still faster than clicking that drop-down to get the list of tags, but you can do either.
Most importantly, how do you share your file?
I usually do it from my SkyDrive, even though it’s an easy task in any version of OneNote. I’m in my SkyDrive across several computers on a daily basis, so it’s easier for me to do it from there.
The Share feature is everywhere, which is part of why I’m in love with OneNote.
To Share a file:
- Right-click on the file and choose “Share” from the shortcut menu.
- When you open the file, choose “Share” on the navigation pane to the left.
SkyDrive Window: I can right-click on that Family Shopping file to share
OneNote Navigation Pane – Just click on the File Tab and choose Share:
Best of all, when the share feature is on, everything the Hubs and I do is synced in real time. We can both make changes at once and they are automatically saved.
How cool is that?
Thank you, OneNote. You’re (very) slowly organizing this scatterbrained gadget-loving writer.
What time-savers are helping you this holiday season? Have you used OneNote? What about SkyDrive? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!
About Jenny Hansen
Jenny fills her nights with humor: writing memoir, women’s fiction, chick lit, short stories (and chasing after her toddler). By day, she provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s digging this sit down and write thing.