Transition from Paper to OneNote

John Harach.jpg

By John Harach, Consultant

John started his Consulting journey back in 2009 with SharePoint 2007 and 2010. Consulting to a large number of clients across the public to private sectors, he focuses on document management and delivering business solutions.



As part of a daily routine, professionals are frequently in meetings with laptops and trusty A4 or A5 notebooks for any important notes. Over time, these notebooks become messy and increasingly difficult to decipher. Taking notes are an integral part of an important meeting and capturing information through notes are paramount to effective planning and organisation. We tend to forget the notebook has a life cycle. Starts off secure and always in sight, extremely organised and clean. As time goes on the notebook no longer is what it started off as. It's now messy, dirty and found in the bottom of our bags or the backseat of the car.

The importance of the notebook is essential, and highly valuable to the business, if it could be deciphered. The notebook captures to-do lists, key decisions, action items and in most cases, private details for yourself and possibly your clients. Asking anyone else or even yourself to read or reference back any information becomes extremely challenging as time goes on, and the notebook ages.

In realising the importance of note taking and the challenges most professionals face, Microsoft created OneNote.


OneNote is a note-taking application that Is built into the Microsoft Office Suite alongside Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It allows its users to capture information, whilst also providing a range of useful functionalities. OneNote provides a secure and organised structure for note management. Notes are made easily accessible, and simple to reference back to over time. It allows its users to create open canvas pages where users can either type or draw as they please. 

Making the Transition to OneNote

The initial transition to OneNote may take some getting used to, however after grasping its full functions, users will find it to be the most reliable and organised method of taking and retaining notes. No more forgetting pens, bent pages, or spelling mistakes. The benefits and feature of OneNote include:

Ability to create multiple notebooks within the one application

Within each notebook you can also create Tabs to help with organisation, and within these tabs you can then create pages to your preference. The Tabs and Pages can also easily be moved or copied within the notebook. 

OneNote is stored within the cloud (personal OneDrive or SharePoint site)

This makes it easily accessible and completely secure. Any updates to these documents are also instant. Being in the cloud allows for access to the notebook from any computer or mobile device (mobile app)

Collaboration and Co-authoring

OneNote allows you to grant permissions or restrict access for other users to either edit or read the same notebook.

  • The same spell check and formatting that Microsoft has across all its other products are also available in OneNote.
  • Stylus drawings/hand writing on tablets or touch screens
  • Creating checklist To-do
  • Recording Audio or Video
  • Attaching files and inserting hyperlinks
  • Integration with Outlook
  • Sending OneNote pages as Emails
  • Inserting Calendar meeting details onto a page to assist with note taking for the meeting
  • Creating Outlook tasks


OneNote will not only provide clear and up to date storage for your notes, but will also install confidence that your notes are always secure and easy to access in any place at any time.

Not to mention, now paperless and have complete control over the lifecycle of the notebook.