I recently had the very cool opportunity to meet Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. No, this isn't some lame attempt at name-dropping. It's just that when you work in the trenches like I do, meeting a well-respected member of the senior leadership team at a company of our size is kind of neat. It certainly doesn't happen every day.

My colleague Mike Tholfsen (a Senior Test Manager on the OneNote product team) and I were hoping to get a first-hand look at how Jeff uses OneNote 2007 as part of his daily work. Jeff was an early and vocal supporter of OneNote 2003, and we were curious about what he thought of OneNote 2007, now that it's been on the market for a few months. What I had mainly hoped to get out of the session was to to walk away with some idea of how a busy executive works with notes and important information, and then distill at least some of that knowledge into a few actionable best practices that we could potentially share with other users.

Jeff is a very personable guy and his enthusiasm for OneNote is both genuine and infectious. Because the traditional format for video demos on our Office Online site follows a "just the facts" kind of narrative, much of Jeff's wisdom and observations had to be cut from my first draft of the script. Fortunately, it was right around this time that Annik Stahl (a.k.a. the Crabby Office Lady) launched her new series of columns on Office Online, called “Office Hours.” I had already volunteered to author a column for this site, scheduled for publication in late August. Unhappy at the prospect of having to leave so many of Jeff's insights on the cutting room floor while producing the new demo, I switched publication dates with a fellow writer and decided to document the meeting with Jeff in my Office Hours column. The column was published in the last week of June and the accompanying video demo was published in the first week of July:

Office Hours: How OneNote made friends in a corner office

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/HA102282211033.aspx

 

Demo: Jeff Raikes — An Executive’s Best Practices

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/HA102342001033.aspx

The demo page contains several links to other articles, showing some of the features and techniques that Jeff used during the meeting.

Reader feedback for the column and the demo has been extremely positive so far. If you have a chance to read the column and view the demo, I hope you'll find Jeff's best practices useful. Please consider leaving feedback on the Office Online site to tell us what you think!