Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Note Taking With OneNote - On SkyDrive

Incase you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of SkyDrive, a Microsoft based product that let's you store and share document's in the cloud, giving you access to your files no matter where you are.  As such, I have been deemed a member of the SkyDrive Insider's program.  Should you be interested in becoming an insider, learn more about it here: http://sdrv.ms/V0buD7
An opportunity presented itself to me last week that I am rather excited about.  Ashworth College offers a distance education course called "Introduction to Programming Using Visual C#", and I was asked to upgrade their course content to reflect the latest version of the language\IDE, which I am more than happy to do.  What this also presented me with was yet another reason to use SkyDrive, which I wanted to showcase for you today.

Microsoft OneNote is one of my favorite applications, I use it on a daily basis.  Applications like EverNote get a lot of the press, but OneNote is just as robust.  If you never used OneNote, imagine a Microsoft Word Document that has free-form text, so you can jot down thoughts, meeting notes, paste in important URL, or copy in images\screenshots, all without worrying about page breaks and such.  Then, you can separate what the notes are into separate sections, pages and sub-pages, you can have multiple users all edit the same OneNote file, and there is a handy built in search feature that searches all text AND all image text as well (meaning if you screenshot a web page, that text will be "searchable" later on in your OneNote file.  At work, OneNote is handy for writing down notes and thoughts between meetings.  At home, we use it to update our weekly grocery list or even plan vacations.

SkyDrive has some built in applications for usage such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint (yes, you can create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the Web.. as in through your web browser.. as in from any PC you have connected to the Internet.. very cool stuff).  OneNote is also included in SkyDrive, available for free, and also web based... so all of the cool features I mentioned above are available, on the web, for free.  (No strings attached.. which is why I keep using the term "cool" in this post!)

So back to my original story here, I now find myself working on this project for Ashworth.  Using SkyDrive, I was able to create a new OneNote document and begin editing and note taking on the changes I had to make to the course.  When I take a lunch break at work, or decide to stay at the office at the end of the day, I don't have to worry about where my note files are, they're all in the cloud and available to me when needed.  I've been able to make my notes and remain productive at home, at work, or when I'm traveling and only have my iPad handy...  Yet another awesome feature of SkyDrive.

For more help using OneNote in SkyDrive, the Microsoft Office team has a great post already assembled, so go check it out.. now! 

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