Here is a post from Olya Veselova of OneNote. A few of you have mentioned in comments How I work with Outlook 12 that you use OneNote; the following should really interest you. Look for more posts from Olya here in the future.
I am Program Manager on the Microsoft OneNote team. I am big fan of the new Outlook 2007 task flagging system (now I fully switched to using Outlook for tracking my tasks).
In OneNote 2007 we built synchronization with Outlook tasks, so that you can use OneNote notes to add context to your tasks. I want to share with you how you can use that as part of your task management system.
Wait a minute. What is OneNote?
If you are not familiar with OneNote, try out the OneNote 2007 Beta 2 here.
We call OneNote an “add-on pack for your brain”. I use it to collect my ideas, thoughts, meeting notes, customer requests, various project-related materials, web-page clippings, etc. – anything that does not go into a formal document, e-mail, or calendar. OneNote makes it very easy to organize all this stuff and keep it accessible. For example, in the past week I’ve been collecting preliminary thoughts for this post in OneNote.
Creating Outlook tasks directly from OneNote. They will be synchronized.
Outlook is my central place for managing tasks. I add new ones to the To-Do bar, or I flag incoming mail as tasks. However, tasks also come to mind when I am taking notes in OneNote. At that point, I can flag a note paragraph as an Outlook task:
The note is flagged in OneNote:
The task also appears in the To-Do bar in Outlook, where I manage it together with all my other tasks. If I mark the task as complete, it will synchronize back to OneNote.
Jumping between OneNote and Outlook
In OneNote – right-click the task:
In Outlook – open the task and click the OneNote link in task body:
When is creating tasks from OneNote useful?
While taking meeting notes – create follow up items
I often take meeting notes in OneNote. I flag any action items that come up as Outlook tasks. For example, I write down something like “Need to confirm schedule”, and flag it as a “Next Week” task. Next week, I stare at this task in my To-Do bar in Outlook and have no idea which schedule I was thinking about. But I can click the OneNote link in task body to jump to the OneNote meeting notes page to get the context.
At the next meeting on the same topic, I may also check the previous meeting notes page to see if all the action items were completed. I can see that, because the task state of the flags is synchronized with Outlook.
Tasks related to a particular project – seeing them together in OneNote, with other related notes
In OneNote, I like to create pages for my project with a summary of remaining issues that I am tracking. Often there are tasks involved that I need to complete, so I flag them as Outlook tasks.
Same as with tasks from meetings, I jump from the Outlook task back to OneNote to refresh my memory about the context of the task.
The Outlook To-Do bar and the calendar view of tasks lets me manage my time. Whereas, the project page in OneNote gives me a project-centric view into any remaining issues and any remaining tasks.
For other OneNote and Outlook integration features, check out Chris Pratley’s post: OneNote 2007 and Outlook: Best Buddies