Using OneNote for sharing research information

Question: I need to work on a research project with several co-workers. Some of us will be collecting on-line research articles, others will collaborate on writing a paper or creating a PowerPoint presentation, collecting data, creating charts and more. What do you recommend to keep all this information organized so that everyone can find it and use it easily?
 
Answer: You may want to try OneNote. This is an application that comes with Microsoft Office and will allow you to keep all this information in one “notebook” that can be shared on a network drive. There are several tutorials at Microsoft, but ITS is offering a short “Autumn Tricks and Treat” session on Tuesday, October 16 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. showing how to use OneNote 2010. Click here to register.

Changing recurring meetings in Outlook

Question: How do I change recurring meetings in Outlook without changing or losing previous meeting history?

Answer: This seems to be an annoying problem in Outlook, and one you have to be very careful with.  If you make any changes to a recurring entry, it could change your previous entries. In addition, if you have information in your message area in individual entries that is not part of the series, that information will be deleted. This is what we recommend when working with recurring entries:

  1. Do not include important data within your repeating entries. Instead, use the Notes feature within Outlook, which you can view in a list to see dates of the notes (click Notes at the bottom of your Outlook navigation pane – left side). You may also want to consider using OneNote or even a Word document.
  2. Do not schedule recurring meetings with “No end date.”
  3. If you are making changes to just one entry, do not select changing the entire series.
  4. If you change information on the repeating series, existing repeating entries will change to include the same information. For example, changing the location will change it on all entries. If you change the End date or other fields, you may get prompted with “Any exceptions associated with this recurring appointment will be canceled.” This means that anything you have included or changed on individual appointments in that series will be deleted.
  5. Instead, copy an existing repeating entry to another date by holding Ctrl and dragging to another date, then change the new recurrence information (start date, end date, location, etc) for the new series.
  6. If you change the original series end date, just realize that any notes on individual entries will be deleted.
  7. When creating recurring meetings, it is recommended you change the “No end date” to include no more than one year.

Below is a suggestion found on using Onenote to keep notes from meetings (from http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2008/12/change-outlook-recurring-appointments-without-losing-exceptions/)

“OneNote offers some workaround here as well. You can right click on an appointment and click “meeting notes” which will create a new page in OneNote with all the information from the appointment and any notes that are stored there, including the date, time, and location of the meeting. Then everything can be “filed” into notebooks. Then you don’t have to rely on Outlook to store any data and it doesn’t matter if appointments in the past are lost because you have a record of it in OneNote. I find it convenient to be able to sort things into notebooks in OneNote and put everything in my own order instead of having to search through my calendar for information. OneNote will also store links to documents or screenshots of documents and keeps attachments available when you export an email message to OneNote.”

Question of the week of 10/10/11 – How can I get better organized?

Question: I need help getting organized. I am working on a team project and we would like to brainstorm, share websites, files, take notes and get better organized. Can you recommend a program that can help?

Answer: There are several tools that can help get you organized. You must keep in mind, however, that you will need to invest a little time to think and plan how you will want to find information later. That will help you determine how best to use these tools.

Office 2010 has some features where you can go to File > Info and change or add properties for your files such as tags, categories, subjects, authors, etc. If you search for files it will search those properties to more quickly find your files. Older versions of Office allow you to share files via a network, but with 2010, you can share files via the web using a Skydrive folder which you can allow specific people to share. They can edit within the browser or download to their PC. All that is required is a skydrive “live” account.

Another application which can help teams keep information organized is OneNote. This is a digital notebook which allows team members to organize and share information. You can copy and paste information, pictures, web pages, files, take digital or handwritten notes (if you have a tablet), and more! Check out Microsoft’s web page at

  • Overview of OneNote with several links – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/
  • Getting started with OneNote – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote-help/getting-started-with-onenote-2010-HA010370233.aspx