Why I Love Microsoft OneNote (as a writer)

I don’t know if any of you writers out there have a “crazy train” of thought like I do, but Microsoft OneNote is something wonderful, I’m telling you! I am. Right here. (If you’ve been reading the blog, you understand about the “crazy train”.)

First of all, it is very flexible and I can put everything in one place or I can make a new notebook or a new page or a new un-filed note for whatever I want. I have a notebook for my personal book reviews with a page for Wins and a page for Fails, a page for Manga reviews, a page to list the ones I have moved to an excel spreadsheet, and another of the books I have downloaded on Overdrive (from the library in case there is one I read but didn’t review).

Reviews, by the way, have been an excellent tool for me to use my reading addiction to fuel my writing compulsion. I can remind myself with each review what was good or bad about the book and then remember to do or not to do that!

I also have a notebook for each of my books, and it is extremely useful when I need to organize my thoughts outside of Word while I am working. I am easily distracted and frequently find myself finally getting to a place in my book to change something but forgetting what that was. But! If I switch over to OneNote, where I have been “showing my work”, I can see exactly what I need to do. I can even write it there before wedging it into my manuscript.

My Disenchanted Pet notebook will be my example:

  • The first page is all about the themes I want in the book and the other deeper workings of the book.
  • The second page is an outline page. My outline is vital, but changes constantly and OneNote is flexible enough to take it.
  • The third page is random cut-and-paste content for when I take something out I want to keep, or need to organize something for the writing.
  • The fourth page is just for comments and ideas from my Think Tank, so I can keep track of comments and ideas they have made.
  • The fifth page is just for listing stuff I want to change or “tune up”
  • The sixth page is Bios of my characters, so I can be sure everybody is consistent.
  • The seventh page is actually on this blog, my list of “Things to do” for my book.
  • My author profile has the next slot, where I can put all permutations of my Author Profile blurb.
  • The eighth page is my acknowledgements, to put into the book when I publish.
  • The Ninth is my copyright page.
  • The tenth is my dedication page.
  • The eleventh is all my editing notes from my recent edit, and my responses to her comments by number.

It is so easy to add in things I want and take out things I don’t, never having to worry about saving because it somehow keeps every change without losing them. Only once did I get a “corrupt file” and lose the book reviews I had transcribed from my email to OneNote. That was the last thing I had done before the problem, but everything else was there.

The caboose for today’s crazy train will be the beauty of the dedicated email address. I set one up for myself just for my personal and writing notes, and I can email from my phone. Wherever I am, as long as I don’t forget to bring my phone, I can email my sacred email account and all my thoughts go right to my email inbox, on my laptop, where they are the most useful. TaDa! I highly recommend it even if you aren’t a writer. It works for shopping, calendar planning, bad memory, and to-do lists, among other things.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Why I Love Microsoft OneNote (as a writer)

  1. Have you used Scrivener at all? I’m wondering how the two platforms compare – seem like there are a number of surface similarities – unless I’m just not reading closely enough.

  2. I thought of another thing that is great about OneNote! You can type something in it to spell check if the other window doesn’t have it!

  3. Pingback: The Mystery Win «

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