I’ve always been a very messy person. Order is not really my thing and that would transpire on my digital devices as well – I’d have a ton of notes (when I was a student, when I worked in corporate and at the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur) that were disorganised – tons of Word documents, folders, spreadsheets…Argh! No time or mood to keep everything tidy.
Which is why I can’t believe I wasn’t using Note Taking Apps before. I am honestly shocked at how much easier my life has been since discovering them.
Before I start digging deep into this article, there are 2 types of people reading this right now:
- People who have used OneNote, Evernote or Scrivener and never looked back (if you’re in this category, you might not need to read the rest)
- People who use a combination of Word, Sticky Notes, Google Docs etc for writing & storing content.
If you’re in the second category and you write a decent amount of notes every week (even 4-5 pages’ worth), then I have news for you: you’re wasting time and you’re making things much more difficult for yourself.
Why? Because note-taking apps are awesome and you should get one right now…
Jokes aside, I want to tell you about my experience with Microsoft OneNote and how it’s revolutionised my note-taking abilities (I’m sure both Evernote & Scrivener are fantastic tools as well – I have a lot of connections that use them – it’s just my personal preference to use OneNote).
Why I love OneNote for Productivity
Here’s the structure behind it- you have Notebooks, Sections and Pages that you can create. Think of it as Categories, Subcategories and Pages. Or if it’s more relevant, think of your old notebooks at school, how you would separate them into different sections with dividers and each section would have several pages.
The only difference is that it’s all digital, so you don’t really need to worry about running out of space on your Notebook. Oh, and you can also store all of your Notebooks in your back pocket – how cool is that? Because you can get the OneNote mobile app and synchronise everything on there.
Key advantages of Note-Taking Apps
Here’s what sets note-taking apps apart and makes them a complete solution:
- Effortlessly jump from one page to another
In practical terms, I always equate a page in OneNote with a Word Document. Want a relevant example? For my LinkedIn course I had every lecture scripted in a separate Word Document for ease of use. It helped me be more organised and find what I needed quickly. It worked … I just didn’t know how much time I was spending to organise everything. Plus, I always had to actually open all those Word Documents and navigate through 5-6 at the same time (with the “amazing” ALT + Tab Windows feature making me even “more” productive…yey!).
Here’s how my LinkedIn course looks like in OneNote. I can jump from one page to another effortlessly with just one click. There is no delay and no lag. Works like a charm.
- Higher Visibility
This is closely related to the previous point. Compare this view with that of Windows Explorer / Mac Finder. It’s not too different – meaning you would still see all of the lectures organised just like an outline. The difference is that with OneNote I can easily see the content straight away on the left hand side. I don’t need to open a Word Document every time I’m confused with what a particular document contains.
I also see all of the other different sections on the top. It’s a higher level of visibility which allows me to be much more organised. I have a separate notebook for content creation, one for my website, one for learning etc. It’s a much cleaner & more efficient approach.
You can have OneNote anywhere – it has a web version (so you can access from any computer), a desktop app/software (so you can open it on your laptop) and a smartphone/tablet app (access it anywhere on the go).
It’s not something novel, but all its advantages make it a better option to using Google Drive, Dropbox, Word or other software. I use it on my Mac all the time, it syncronises with the OneNote on another Windows computer I have and I access my notes on my phone whenever I film new courses or need to access the information.
That’s it, from now on your life will never be the same! Download OneNote (or another of the note-taking apps mentioned above) and I guarantee you will never look back.