Here in the hallways at Microsoft, there’s a particular utterance that can be heard with ever-increasing frequency:

“Wow—I wish we’d have had something like OneNote back when I was in school...!”

I'm one of the many people who feel this way. Aside from laptop computers and the Internet, OneNote is the one innovation that could have changed my life back in the day.

While students and teachers have different roles to play, they share a need to capture, organize, find, present, and share information on a variety of subjects. In present-day schools, paper notebooks may suffice for jotting down information, but their value really ends there. If you wanted to find information again later (and, let's face it, isn't that the point of writing things down in the first place?), then you had better be incredibly organized or incredibly patient as you surrender to flipping and shuffling through endless stacks of paper. Worse, if your idea of sharing notes with classmates is making photocopies or — gasp! — retyping your notes word for word in an e-mail message, then you probably already know that you're not making the best use of your time.

In the customer feedback that we receive month after month from our Office Online Web site visitors, the question asked most often is some variation of “What is OneNote?” or “What can I do with OneNote?” We've published several written overviews and Getting Started materials, as well as a growing number of video demos about OneNote. I'm especially pleased to share with you the latest addition to the latter category — a new video aimed at students of all ages, as well as their teachers and parents. It was put together by Joannie Stangeland, a present colleague and former editor of mine. Joannie has long been a OneNote enthusiast and she's never too busy to show others how to use OneNote to its full potential — both in the workplace as well as at home.

As Joannie's kids have begun college life, she has seen first-hand the value and potential that OneNote offers in and out of the classroom. In this video, Joannie wanted to showcase some of the features in OneNote that hold special appeal for both students and teachers:

Click to watch video!

Watch now: Take OneNote to Class!


Unlike our more traditional how-to demos, Joannie's video doesn't overwhelm with details. It's meant as a quick “drive-by” of cool features that you may not have known about before. If you want to point fellow students, teachers, and parents to a better way of managing academic life, be sure to share this video link with them. Chances are, they'll love OneNote, too!

Conventional wisdom always told us, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Back when I was in school, my paper notebooks weren't broken — but they severely limited what I could do with my notes and how quickly I could recall the massive amounts of information that I committed to paper each day. With each new class or semester, with each new page added to the growing pile of paper, finding the stuff that I cared about became more and more difficult. With a program like OneNote, your notebooks literally grow with your life, your experiences, and your learning. You can be as organized or as random as you want to be, you can instantly recall anything and everything you need, and you can easily share it with all the world, if you choose to.

If you've never seen OneNote in action and Joannie's video has piqued your interest, be sure to download the free trial version of OneNote 2007 for a full 60-day test drive on your laptop or desktop PC. For help with learning OneNote during your trial period, you can follow the tips in the Guide notebook that's included with the program. For more info, check out Learn OneNote with the Guide notebook.


For more tips about using OneNote in the classroom, check out these links:

Tip  OneNote 2007 makes a perfect gift for the students on your holiday list. It's available as a standalone version or as part of the popular Microsoft Office Home & Student Edition: