The nonprofit productivity battle: have you tried OneNote?

One of the primary reasons we have a software donations program is to give nonprofit organizations access to the latest Microsoft products to help them succeed with the perennial challenge of trying to do more with less.

In a world where we’re all faced with managing ever growing volumes of information with shorter deadlines, anything that helps your productivity has to be welcomed and one of the best weapons in your arsenal should be Microsoft OneNote.  OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office family and provides a digital notebook where you can store information from across your computer (and now your phone and your Internet browser) and organize it so you can find what you need, when you need it.

In case you haven’t used OneNote in your daily productivity battle we wanted to provide some tips, tricks and resources on how OneNote can save you time. The post below is reproduced with the kind permission of our friends over in TechSoup and below it you’ll find some additional resources, including details on how you can get OneNote and other Microsoft products for your favorite nonprofit through our software donations program.

5 Tips and Tricks for Microsoft OneNote 2010 – courtesy of

Karen Hong is a business analyst at TechSoup.

I confess that I am constantly writing things down – whether they be tasks, meeting notes, or ideas. In many cases, those jottings were generally lost in pages of notebooks and, dare I say, illegible handwriting. I have tried to use basic tools, like Notepad, to store notes, but that turned into an exercise of organizing multiple files with no way to easily find information or share it with others.

Microsoft’s OneNote 2010 is a digital tool that helps people who need a better way to keep track of their notes and information by providing an easy way to collect, organize, search, and share information. OneNote allows users to create digital notebooks, each of which can be separated by multiple tabs for different topics.

In addition to letting users easily take and keep notes in one location, OneNote has additional features that I have found to be extremely helpful. Here are my five favorites:

    Flagging tasks that integrate into Outlook. Jotting down tasks is great, but not if you can’t remember what you wrote or where you wrote them down. In OneNote, you can highlight a line of text, right-click, and flag it as an Outlook task and assign it a due date. This will automatically add the task to your Outlook Task list.

    Screenshot integration. Taking screenshots can be a laborious task that may involve taking a screen grab, cropping the image, and then copying and pasting it into a document. OneNote has an easy one-step process for taking screenshots. The Screen Clipping feature allows you to outline the exact area you want on a screen and paste it directly into your OneNote page. It also includes a date stamp of when the screenshot was taken.

    One-step email. If you use Outlook, OneNote makes it easy to email your notes to colleagues. In one step, OneNote can paste your page of notes, including any screen clippings, images, links, audio recordings, and documents you’ve attached to it, directly into an Outlook email. You simply add the recipients and send it off!

    Searchability. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges with handwritten notes is trying to find a specific line within those notes. Not a problem with OneNote – it has full search capabilities that allow users to enter search terms and quickly locate the pages that contain those terms.

    Unfiled Notes. For a quick note, OneNote’s Unfiled Note feature allows you to quickly jot down a thought, idea, or task. A OneNote icon always sits in your task bar, where you can easily open it and write a note. It then automatically posts it to the Unfiled Notes tab in OneNote for you to take future action.

      For more information about how to use OneNote, check out:

      Why not get your favorite nonprofit a donation from Microsoft?

      Every year over 40,000 nonprofits around the world receive software donations from Microsoft.  Make sure your nonprofit is getting access to the latest Microsoft technology.  Send them to our nonprofit donations page from more information.

      Comments (1)

      1. Jersey says:

        Thanks for a good and very detailed tutorial! I am a user of OneNote since I got my 2010 Office recently, nevertheless, I experience troubles with it from time to time, and your guidelines are very helpful. You are welcome to get acquainted with the guidelines I have written for a similar program – photo editor here:

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