Lifehacker.com posted such a good introduction to OneNote last year that I will just paraphrase them and add few more comments.
Although being a student isn’t a requirement for using Microsoft’s note-taking application OneNote, the software’s robust data capture and collaboration components lend themselves well to an academic environment. OneNote can replace multiple physical notebooks, binders, and collections of paper notes with a single streamlined, search indexed, tabbed and subdivided master notebook. Whether you’re a student taking notes in class or an employee taking notes in company meetings, check out just how useful OneNote can be.
First, a confession. I had Microsoft OneNote on my computer for years without ever launching it. I had this vision of OneNote as some sort of ridiculous Microsoft bloatware, a fusion of the stupid paper clip and Microsoft Bob or some equal monstrosity. It wasn’t until Adam’s Best Note-Taking Tools Hive Five that I saw how much Lifehacker readers loved it. Some of my best software finds have been at the behest of savvy readers so I couldn’t resist checking it out after reading reviews like the following:
Here is the link to the article:
The key concepts with OneNote is that your information is centralized, easily to search through, and portable. This will probably remind you of some of the concepts raised by David Allen in his book “Getting things done”.
Computers and electronic devices are great, they allow us to save paper (not electricity though), be better organized and carry all our informations with us at all time.
If like me you have hundreds centre of interest and move from one to the other all the time then probably take a lot of notes. I used to have 5 or 6 notebooks in the past but that is not very practical any more. First they take space, they are not very portable, it takes time to search through them, adding or deleting information makes things messy, but ultimately … they don’t take screenshots ;-)
One thing I should mention. To make OneNote truly portable, you must save your OneNote folders on a USB stick and have your computers synchronize to the USB stick.
Microsoft Office Labs just released Canvas for OneNote. This seems to be a cool application but I haven’t tried it yet. You can find more informations here: [update] only works in Vista
Here is a list of tips on how to use OneNote in a GTD environment: