Sunday, August 29

A "Gotta Have" for You're Writer's Toolbox: OneNote

*Pic blurry, but gives you the idea*

is a Microsoft Office application that you can buy separately for around $80 or if you have Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 Home and Student suite (or higher) this program comes with what you already have.

And I strongly, strongly, strongly urge you to buy and/or use it.
Here's why (and since my husband says I can't tell the short version of any story, I'll tell ya how I stumbled onto OneNote in the first place).

I was over at Kaye Dacus’ website and found an link called Writing Series Index. Before I get into OneNote, do that whole right-click-open-in-new-window thing to Kaye's website and slip over to there look through her comprehensive Writing Series Index - when you're done reading my post, of course :).

Trust me, there is way more there then what you think. Very informational, very helpful. As well as some "You Know You're a Writer If..." just for fun at the bottom of the page. Seriously, I can't urge you enough to check out her Writing Series Index (WSI).
*see picture below*

Okay, got a little sidetracked there.

Back to OneNote. While in Kaye's WSI I read through a post of hers titled, "I Should Probably Write That Down". In that post she talks about OneNote (with pictures included). And thanks to the very lovely and gracious Kaye, she's allowed me to share her OneNote pictures here, on my blog, so that you can be inspired by her and OneNote as I was.

I don't know if it's me personally or the writer in me, but I am a very disorganized person. Which conflicts badly with my need for perfection. In the twelve (12) hours since I've begun using OneNote, I know that it is one of my Eureka Writer Moments. You can easily organize all - and I do mean ALL - your information on your novels (whether series or category) easily.
The picture below is of one of Kaye Dacus' Characters:
Sample of Kaye's House Info:

That's just two (of several) pictures of OneNote she has on her website.

Below I'm adding one of my own OneNote files folders on Lorena's car (file not complete). I'm still very early on in transferring all my notes and info to OneNote, but you can get a general idea of it.

I strongly urge you to watch the video for OneNote. While I’m nowhere near close to figuring it all out, I’ve not been this excited about a program since my discovery of Microsoft Word. Yes, sad, I know. But you have to realize. Before Word I was a 100% hand-written writer. :(

All pictures (of Kaye's) are used with the written permission of Kaye Dacus

One of my favorite “You Know You’re a Writer If…”

  • You have a folder on your computer labeled “Ideas.” Some of the files within this folder have only one or two words or sentences and while they made perfect sense fifteen years ago, between the software changes in that period of time garbling half the words and your own faulty memory, you have no idea what it means or where you were going with it. But you keep it anyway because you never know, you might remember it eventually.
Are you a current OneNote user? Care to share some tips, tricks, or hints about the program with me and my readers? Are you looking forward to trying OneNote? Tried it and hated it? Share all your thoughts on OneNote (or any other writing program) with me.


M. Bail said...

Hi Suzie! I've heard of OneNote, but never looked at it. I don't use many notes when I write...maybe just a word document with some highlights or important things to remember (character hair/eye color/profession, etc)which is probably a big mistake, but that's just how I am. I'd be afraid that by using a program as shiny and alluring as OneNote I'd spend more time there than writing!

And my hubby is the same as you: can't ever tell the short version of a story. Drives me absolutely insane. I'm constantly saying to him, "okay, and the point of this story is????" Which, of course, only makes me draw it out longer as a form of torture. Ugh!

Suzie said...

LOL!! I'll get so wrapped up in a story and then get side-tracked by another one sometimes I forget what I was saying. It drives my hubby insane! I'll go so far off topic he won't even remember what I started out saying.

It's taking me a long time to get everything put in OneNote, but I absolutely love it. I'm using it to help section my mythology, characters, cars, houses. It's great for quick glances at pictures and tips.

I'm hooked on OneNote... I'd wonder if they added crack to it, but I didn't ingest it. Ooh! Subliminal messages. That's what it is. They put subliminal messages in OneNote to draw me in! :D

Kaye Dacus said...

I am loving using One Note for developing the ideas for my two new series proposals. In the notebook for my historical proposal, not only did I put my character pictures and information, but I pulled TONS of info off the web about my historical era/event (early Victorian Britain/Great Exhibition), which I needed for writing the proposal, and which, in the past, I would have just bookmarked and gone back to when I started writing the book---at which time, half of those websites would be gone! So I just copied and pasted all of it into the "research" tab of my series notebook.

You're correct---this is the Must-Have Writer's Tool of the century (so far)! (Mine came bundled with the Office 2007 Home/Student edition.)

Suzie said...


Yay! You stopped by my blog! Thank you! :D

I am so ecstatic with OneNote. I, too, have built a research tab that I copy and paste from the internet to OneNote for easy access (don't it drive you crazy when pages are gone and they had good info on them. Gr!). And I love how it shows the url of where you copied the info from (great for giving credit where credit is due, when needed).

Even with my blog or household I'm sure I'll find a ton of uses for OneNote. And to think, I had it all this time and never even gave it a chance.