Posted in Daily life

OneNote, my daily life savior

As an independent contractor, I have the luxury of working from home. But with great benefit, comes great responsibility. I may be able to work in my pajamas, and set my own pace to work — not being tied up to 9 to 5 working hours–, but I need some great tools to keep me being effective as well as being productive.

One of the best tools that I would recommend to help you organize your daily activities in one place is Microsoft OneNote. It is a Windows built-in app, but also available in the App Store for Mac users or simply can be accessed online on

Below are things that OneNote do to make my life easier.

One place for all your notes

OneNote is a digital planner book that has many advantages compared to the traditional book. One of them is in one app it can contain multiple notebooks. For example, you can create a personal notebook, a work notebook, and a course notebook, or whatever you want.

In each notebook, there are sections (tabs) and you get to choose the color combination you like. And in each section, there are pages. You can open and edit your to-do-lists, your minutes of meeting notes, your weekly goal, your timesheets, your budget plan and expenses report, etc — all in one single window. It’s super fast to navigate all those notes.

To-do list example and the tags + shortcuts
Timesheet example

So, the first thing that I’d check when opening my computer is this app. There are tons of shortcuts too in this app that save me time. For example, to create the little box on the to-do list page, all I need to type is Ctrl+1. To create a table column, I simply click on Tab in the keyboard.

The tags are useful when I want to gather my past notes. For instance, I can put “important” tag (star icon) by clicking Ctrl+2 to some items in separate notebooks, then I can search for them easily with the tag. All the “important” stuff will come up.

One place for all canned responses

As a volunteer contributor to Google User Community in four different forums: Search, Assistant, Translate and Webmaster, my daily activities are answering other users’ questions and helping them troubleshoot their issues with Google products. In many instances, people are asking similar questions that have been asked many times before. This is when I need to easily access my canned response and share to the users without having to re-type them.

Read also: 5 Ways to Improve User Support Workflow

So I created sections containing separate product forums, and in each forum, I saved the canned responses which I can easily locate when I need them.

In OneNote, you just one click away to select the whole text. You don’t have drag your pointer to select the text, as you can see in the screenshot below:

One single click to select the whole text

There are many other things that you can do using this app, but those two mentioned above are the very reason why I use this app daily. Plus, the desktop app is sync to the mobile app and also to the web. It came handy when I’m on a queue in a bank and I need to quickly reply to users’ question in the forum.

If you’re interested to know what more this app can do, here are Top 10 things you didn’t know about OneNote written by OneNote team.

This post is written as part of my course activity, an online course held by Automattic in partnership with Support Driven.


Happiness Engineer at Automattic | WordPress enthusiast | Google Product Expert for Indonesian Google Webmaster forum | Singing all the time 🎵

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