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By Bonnie Bills | Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Office 2010 for Business: Focus on OneNote

Microsoft finished rolling out Office 2010 to customers this week, making the suite available to purchase in retail stores and online. lynda.com has been rolling out courses on Office 2010 since it launched to business customers last month, and I’ve been talking with our Office 2010 authors about their experiences with this latest version. Today’s Q&A features David Rivers, author of many lynda.com courses including OneNote 2010 New Features and the upcoming OneNote 2010 Essential Training.

Q: What’s your favorite new feature in OneNote 2010?

A: I would have to say my favorite new feature in OneNote 2010 is actually two features that work well together. First, there’s the new functionality that allows you to share a OneNote notebook over the web. With your free Windows Live account, you can share a notebook using SkyDrive. With your notebook stored and shared on SkyDrive, you can access it from any computer that is connected to the Internet.

Second, with the new OneNote Web App, you don’t even need to have OneNote installed to view and edit the notebook shared on SkyDrive. You can even create new notebooks with the OneNote Web App.

A: If you have a Windows Live account, you already have the Office Web Apps. Included are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and of course OneNote. The Windows Live account is free, and it’s simple to sign up if you don’t already have an account. When you sign in, you access the OneNote Web App either by selecting a shared notebook and clicking the edit in browser link, or by choosing create a notebook in OneNote from the new Office link. This will launch a stripped down, web version of the full OneNote 2010 application.

The experience is very seamless. The user interface will look familiar and most of the functionality found in the full OneNote 2010 application is available in the Web App. You might not be able to access attached files, or record audio and video, but you will be able to view, edit, and share your notebooks.

Q: OneNote 2010 is supposed to provide a central location for information. But often important information is contained in other documents and emails. Can you explain how OneNote can capture information from other Office applications?

A: Although information is often scattered around in other documents, email, even on web sites, you can use OneNote as the central location for accessing it. In OneNote 2010, you can create links in your notes that take you directly to a document or web site. Or, you might decided to insert content from other locations directly into a notebook. When you go through the steps to print a document or email, you have the option to change the destination. Instead of sending information to your printer, you can choose to send it to OneNote 2010. And with the new Quick Filing option, it’s easy to choose exactly where in your notebook you want that information to go.

Q: Improving productivity is such an important goal in business today. OneNote can help individuals and teams work be more productive, but, a relatively new product, it isn’t as widely used as the other Office applications. Would you recommend OneNote to business users looking to boost productivity? Why?

A: OneNote is beginning to gain in popularity. It’s now being referred to as the “sleeper app” in the Office 2010 suite because it’s such a powerful application that really can help individuals and teams in a business environment be more productive and better organized.

Disorganization is a productivity killer. With OneNote, you can keep your important information and content well organized and easy to locate in a notebook, with color coded sections, page groups, and pages. Now share that notebook with a team, and individuals can contribute to the same notebook simultaneously. OneNote keeps track of the changes and updates your notebook on the fly. You’ll always know who contributed what, and when. And the lightning fast search functionality means you’ll find the content you’re looking for in seconds, now matter how big the notebook gets. So, in summary, I would definitely recommend OneNote 2010 to business users looking to boost productivity.

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