Using OneNote to get organized

I’ve mentioned Microsoft OneNote in a previous article, 7 Apps to Boost Your Business (Productivity), but how do you use it, how should you think about OneNote?

The team over at published a great article, which is part of a series, on using OneNote. They suggest, and I agree, that you should think of OneNote as digital paper.

Why call OneNote digital paper, because much like paper, OneNote is very flexible with how information is added and arranged. OneNote lets users add photos, files, text, ink, recordings, and tables wherever they want.

Here’s a quick example on how I use OneNote as digital paper.

I have a Dell Venue 8 Pro, with Windows 10 and OneNote. I use this as a replacement to a paper pad. With the stylus, I write my normal notes in OneNote, and these then get synced across to my PC and online account right away.

Doing this allows me to capture quick notes during a meeting or webinar, jot down thoughts as I’m working through specification documents etc. etc.

The truly fantastic part of this, is that OneNote then allows me to search any of my handwritten text. On OneNote on your PC, just hit Ctrl + E to go to the search box, type in your search, and OneNote will show you which sections and pages include the phrase. It will even highlight the handwritten text that you searched for.

As an example, I jotted down a quick note, then searched the text on my PC. Then I took a screenshot and made some more notes on that.

What’s even more impressive, is how well this works with my terrible handwriting! 🙂

See the result below:

Step 2

For more great info on Mastering OneNote, take a look at’s series on the topic.

About Stephen Fourie

I've been a professional software developer since 2004, and running GEM since 2010. I've developed software for many different industries including automotive, logistics, finance and entertainment. I'm the GM at GEM Custom Apps where we build custom web and mobile apps for businesses.I love my wife, my dog, cars and gadgets. And coffee! I'm an Ironman 70.3 finisher, beginner skateboarder, xbox gamer and digital nomad :)