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OneNote as a Workshop Planning Tool

Workshop Outline

Recently, a client asked me to facilitate a Project Management workshop. As I started to think about planning the workshop, I realized the OneNote would be an excellent tool to help with the planning.

I already had an outline of the content that this one day workshop would cover so that was my starting point for setting up the OneNote notebook. I set up the notebook with several sections:

  • Major Topics
  • Labs (Hands-on exercises)
  • Handouts
  • Background and Resource Materials

Thinking about these sections, it seemed to me that they naturally fell into two major categories, suggesting that the notebook should consist of two sections:

  • Workshop
    • Major Topics
    • Labs (Hands-on exercises)
  • Materials
    • Handouts
    • Background and Resource Materials.

Now I had the basic structure for my workshop planning notebook. There was, however, one additional requirement for the notebook. Although I wasn’t collaborating with anyone else, I did want to be able to view and edit the notebook remotely. While I do most of this sort of work on a desktop computer, from time to time I also work away from home base, so to speak. Accessing the notebook remotely would allow me to review and update the workshop plan even if I were away from home.

OneNote offers a solution tailor made to my need. Rather than creating the notebook locally, I created a OneNote Web App on my SkyDrive. Once I had the notebook set up, I was able to link to it from my Android tablet using Microsoft’s OneNote Android App. Now I had the best of both worlds, ability to work with the notebook on my desktop computer exactly as if it were a local file, and ability to access the notebook anywhere I had WiFi or 4G service.

Remote access to OneNote offers a huge advantage over making manual notes and then updating the notebook later when I am back at home base. The notebook is always current with my latest changes. Making changes directly in the notebook instead of making paper notes that have to be transcribed later, saves time and effort.

OneNote is arguably one of the most versatile personal productivity tools in the Windows world. Using it as a workshop planning tool as I have described here if but one of a seemingly endless parade of possibilities. How you use OneNote to best advantage in your world is limited only by your imagination.

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