Welcome to TomNeilly.com

Tom Neilly

For the last couple of weeks I have really been taking advantage of Microsoft’s powerful OneNote program. I realize that OneNote just celebrated its 10 year anniversary, so obviously a lot of people out there already realize the capabilities that it has, but I have just started using it - and wow. OneNote definitely makes my life easier, and if there are people, particularly students, out there that have access to it and are not taking full advantage of it, they need to know what they’re missing out on.

I am still new to using OneNote, so I doubt that I am using it to its full capacity, but it is an all-in-one note organizer that allows me to keep all of my classes straight. Anything from pictures, text files, hand written notes, recorded lectures, to graphs and charts - simply draw, paste, or insert what you want onto a page and every thirty seconds it automatically saves. Here’s a screenshot to help demonstrate.

You can separate sections and color code them so they’re easy to identify, name the pages, create subpages, and pin specific pages to the start menu for even faster access to a study guide. Once you have installed OneNote, you should have a “Send to OneNote” printer listed in “Devices and Printers”. You can “print” anything to OneNote by selecting the OneNote printer as your printer. OneNote will ask you where you would like to “print” the job to (what page in OneNote), and it will automatically transfer it to that page. It also has the ability to actually print straight from a page. This makes organizing my notes easy.

When I first started using the Pro2, I was pretty skeptical about using it to take written notes. For the first two weeks of the semester I stuck to what I was accustomed to for taking notes in class, good old pencil and paper. About the third week in, I gave the stylus and OneNote a shot. I was delightfully surprised at how well it worked. Orienting the Pro2 vertically works best for me, as it gives it more of a true paper shape. My writing, which isn’t great, did not look any different on a screen than it does on paper. The stylus, or in French, un stylo, is extremely accurate, however I do have to recalibrate it every couple of days or so, which luckily only takes about 15 seconds. It comfortably glides across the screen, and has several different pen styles and colors. The best part is you never run out of lead or ink!

You can drag and drop images and textfiles or copy and paste typed notes into a page and quickly change the pen into a highlighter. Tapping the screen with your finger opens up a menu that provides a lot of options such as inserting pictures, files, creating tables and lists, tagging things, and of course an undo button.

To me, the best feature of OneNote is its portability. For starters, it’s a free download. So people who don’t have the Office suite can still use it. OneNote also has free apps for both Apple and Android, so provided you have any type of Apple, Android, or Windows device available to use, your notes are always with you. This is what I love most about it. I can sit down at literally any computer, log into OneNote with my Microsoft account, and within a few seconds of syncing up my notebooks, have access to all of my notes. You can also add, delete, and modify them from anywhere. Being able to pick up my phone, click the OneNote app, and do some quick studying for an upcoming test is extremely convenient.