Not sure if I can get away with such a corny title but, hey, I’m trying to unleash my creativity for the summer holidays

OneNote I’m a fan of OneNote, but I know that it’s relatively undiscovered by teachers and students. It is included in the version of Office Home & Student that’s sold through retailers, and also in the Office Enterprise version that many schools use. It’s a good organisational tool for students, because it allows them to drop their thinking onto a page, without having to think about structure or fitting into a pre-conceived idea of whether a spreadsheet, word processor or presentation tool is the right thing to start with.

As well as allowing handwriting, it is also good to drop text, photos etc into. And if you want to clip a bit of info from a website, it also makes a note of the URL it came from – which means that a month later, when you want to find the source of the pretty chart/clever quote, you can find your way back easily. Which makes it especially useful for students as they prepare for projects, or revise for tests.

The only problem I find with OneNote is that it is difficult to get started with, because you start with a blank piece of lined paper, and can start typing/drawing/pasting anywhere on the page (which for me, brought up in the word processor generation, is a bit odd – I like things to start in the top left-hand corner!).

So it was relief to come across Mike Tholfsen’s blog – he’s one of the Test Managers on the OneNote team, and has an infectious enthusiasm for everything OneNotey.

The OneNote and Education blog has some really useful pointers – to sample student notebooks, the teacher toolkits and training videos. Mike’s got an infectious style, and spends a lot of time with searching out OneNote stories from schools around the world, including IslayIan from the UK.

And if you wanted an incentive to see how OneNote could be used, then take a look at the video below, from the OneNote Tips page on

Video: Collaboration using OneNote

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