The OneNote Handbook

2024 update: I never wrote this book.

As I alluded yesterday, I am going to write a book about OneNote.

I’ve been a fan of OneNote for over 10 years and have been meaning to write  this book for as long as I can remember.

It has two main aims:

  1. Provide a useful introduction for new users. Give them the information they need to start using it most effectively
  2. Give ideas and workflow examples for more advanced users so they can get the most out of something that is already an essential part of their life

I’ve put off writing the book because it looked like a lot of effort and I lacked confidence. But buoyed up by this writing challenge and the fact that I’ve been able to publish at least 15,000 words this month, possibly more (I’ve not checked), I know I’ll deliver.

I will self-publish a digital version and then if the numbers add up, use a service like Amazon’s print on demand for physical inventory.

A sample chapter will be shipped during May and I’ll use this as a hook to build a pre-launch list.

From a competition point of view there are already quite a few OneNote books on Amazon but unless I’m missing something, there doesn’t appear to be a community built up around any of them. My intention is to expand upon my productivity and lifestyle writings of the past few years and simply include OneNote into the larger holistic view.

From my point of view this is the perfect fit: I’ll still get to write about things I’m deeply interested and hopefully help others at the same time.

Proposed table of contents (subject to change)

  • Introduction
    • Housekeeping and terms
    • Versions of OneNote available
  • Basic concepts
  • Drive by: Windows
  • Drive by: OSX
  • Capture
  • Searching
  • Tags
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Synchronisation
  • Meetings & audio
  • Power features
  • Tips & tricks
  • Also rans
  • Keeping hold of your data
  • Use case: GTD workflow
  • Use case: At  school
  • Use case: Reference library
  • Summary

The great thing is that most of this I could sit down and write without much research. The teaching section is probably the only area I will need to understand more fully. For the use cases I will reach out to others that I know in the OneNote community and interview them.

Aside: Work on Notebud, the tag sync tool, is still  happening. Development has started, but that’s a commercial project that will be worked on during the working day. The book will be a personal side project of mine.

I’m really excited and can’t wait to get started.

Word count: 428.

Time taken: 45 minutes (the TOC was already written)

This post is one of 30 I wrote daily during April 2016 as part of the 30 Day Writing Challenge.


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