Lynda Hill | acmeinfo
Procrastination is an art form! I can see an article comin...
2 years ago

What Piece of Software Can I Not Live Without?

Oct 6th 2010 at 3:22 PM

In our online world, we all have bits and pieces of software that we use, and many of us will have bought one of the 'big' suites like Microsoft Office. Our computer may have come with MS Works, or we may have added a free suite like OpenOffice or Star Office. There are others which are fairly inexpensive too.

But the one piece of software which I have been using for a couple of years now - and which is absolutely indispensable to me is Microsoft OneNote.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not an avid MS fan. I find in the main that their programs are non-intuitive; they do things a funny way round. Word could never beat WordPerfect for ease of use, for example.

But, for all practical purposes - mainly compatibility and availability, the Microsoft Office Suite is what I have purchased and used in recent years, and also one which I have just upgraded to the 2010 version.

Normally, the complete suite would be very expensive, but I have found legitimate sources on the internet, so I haven't paid more that $50 for mine - all properly activated and licenced.

Let me get back to OneNote.

Think of it as a notebook on your computer. I love paper and writing. In fact, my SO reckons I'm a bit of a nutter in a stationery (E is for envelope, remember) shop as I'm always buying little project books and pens. I love using a fountain pen too, if I have the chance. Everything is ordered, notes are copiously written down when I watch an online video training or written course. But you know, there is a much easier way - really - if I'm honest.


It is particularly useful because I can copy and paste what I see online into my PC so it's sitting there for me to re-use, re-read, email to someone, whenever I need to. It's saved on my home server so I can access it from any of my computers/laptops. It doesn't need a new filename every time I add something new. It's categorised as I need it to be - totally flexible. It works with me - and I can find anything quickly using a  search box. Brilliant!

So, what do I use it for?

I run my own online business and I have all my fingers in many different pies. Each of those 'pies' has its very own page in my OneNote. Difficult to count up, but at the moment I have my main Biz notebook which has about 12 sections and each section may have as many as 40 pages in it.

Each section has a name eg Traffic Exchanges, Article Writing, Blogging etc. My most important section has 60 pages - each one being one of the programs I am currently working with, or something else that's important to what I am doing.

I save all my logins in a program called LastPass - that's my 2nd most important program, by the way - but things such as affiliate links, actual banner images with their urls, notes, copies of important emails, referral links - you name it, I just copy/paste it over.

[Aside: I use a FireFox add-on called PixlrGrabber to grab an entire web page or may be just a small area.]

Every time I do anything in OneNote, it is automatically saved, so I don't have to think of where I'm going to put it and what filename it needs.

I can place links to other files on my OneNote page and it will open that file in the correct program when I click it.

I could go on, but you're now at the point when it would be much better for you to pop over to the Microsoft Website and download the trial version for yourself. But you don't have to buy it there. I bought my first copy from Amazon in an OEM version (Google that if you don't know what it means). The latest version is part of the Office Suite I bought anyway.

Yes, I still use Word and Excel. Each program has it's own strengths, but OneNote is my computer notepaper and I really would be hard-pressed to work as efficiently if I did not have it. There are alternatives - EverNote comes to mind - and I think Corel do something similar. But have used OneNote for so long now, I don't need to try anything else just yet.

It isn't just for business either - I was researching a new watch this week and simple had to copy/paste pictures and descriptions over so that I could look at them all again a day or two later. Each link took me straight back to the web page it came from. Oh, and when I first started using it, I wrote an e-book which I not only was able to set up each page as I thought of it - re-order them if necessary as the work devleoped, but also include pictures, screenshots and links as I went. When I'd finished I popped it all into Word (exported in one go) to finish it off.

I know I don't use everything OneNote has, but it has exactly what I need and I use it many, many times every day. It definitely is the one piece of software I would prefer not to live without!


Let me know if you like the blue text!


Please to comment
Dec 4th 2013 at 2:25 PM by marty
Great article. Thanks.
Apr 10th 2013 at 12:18 PM by manuelmikes
That sounds pretty easy because some of these bookmarketing site are confusing
Feb 2nd 2012 at 6:34 AM by LonnieG
Always good to learn of useful tools! Thanks for sharing how truly beneficial OneNote is to you, Lynda. ~LonnieG

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