Keep Your Resolutions with OneNote: Meeting Note Organization

New Year resolutions are filled with wonder and excitement when you first set them. As the winter continues to chill and we fall back into normal routines it becomes increasingly difficult to keep them. Were one of your goals to stay more organized this year? Let’s take a look at how OneNote can support this resolution with ease.

Page Templates

We have all done this (not so) fancy move before- you have a perfectly formatted page in OneNote that you would like to reuse for your next meeting occurrence so you copy the page and delete out all the details. I am thrilled to tell you there is an easier and faster way.

Once you have created a page with the formatting you would like, navigate to the Insert tab and click Page Templates then Page Templates again. A new menu will appear on the right and at the bottom you can select to Save Current Page as Template.

If this is a recurring meeting and you are only using this section of your notebook for this meeting series, I recommend also setting the pages template as the default for new pages in this section by selecting that checkbox. Now each new page you make will have that template automatically.

Meeting Details

You can link your OneNote pages to an Outlook meeting invite to share meeting minutes easily and embed the Outlook event information into your OneNote page. This makes tracking attendance a breeze and it even links back to the Outlook event for easy access to attachments or other relevant information provided in the meeting details. There is no need to toggle between both applications to get all the information you need. You can link OneNote pages to Outlook events starting from either application.

Starting from Outlook

Open your Outlook meeting invite and select the Meeting Notes button. If you are the initiator of the meeting, you can choose to share the meeting notes or take them on your own. If you are not the initiator, you will need to email the page which we will cover next.

In the dialog box, navigate to the page you where you would like to add the meeting details. In your OneNote page you will get the meeting title as the page name (if one is not already entered), the list of attendees with their attendance response, a link to the Outlook item, and any text in the body of the Outlook event. If you are the meeting initiator and chose to share your meeting notes, you will also receive a link to the OneNote page in the Outlook event.

Want to save even more time? Link the meetings notes from a shared notebook to your team meeting series. This can help drive adoption for teams that are newer to OneNote.

Starting from OneNote

In the Home tab select Meeting Details to add the Outlook event to your OneNote page. You may select a meeting from the current day in the dropdown menu or navigate to Choose a Meeting from Another Day… to access a calendar and select any upcoming or past meeting.

This will insert the meeting title as the page name (if one is not already entered), add the list of attendees with their attendance response, add a link to the Outlook item and any text in the body of the invite. You will not get a link in the Outlook event to the OneNote page.

Adding meeting details to my OneNote pages allows me to spend time capturing the important discussion points instead of falling behind as I copy over information already in Outlook. It ensures I am correctly recording the date, location, context and participants of the meeting. This is especially helpful for new employees as you can hover over the Participants to see more information on each person.

Email a Page

Your team saw your amazing notes and they would like a copy but you aren’t ready to share the whole notebook with them. You can use the email page functionality to share just one page. You can use this to send individual pages whether you are the meeting initiator or not. You cannot share single pages or sections of OneNote notebooks using the Share Notebook feature so this is a great option for one-off note sharing.

In the Home tab select Email Page. This will open an Outlook message to all meeting attendees (declined or accepted), with the subject line matching the title of the Outlook invite, and embed all notes from your OneNote page automatically in the body of the Outlook message. One click does all of that!

I recommend deleting out the links to your OneNote notebook if you have not shared this notebook with the email recipients. The links in this email will not automatically share the notebook with them but it will cause confusion when they select the link and are denied access. People tend to click links before scrolling so your email recipients might miss your fantastic notes immediately below.

Your meeting notes are now formatted consistently, integrated with Outlook, and easy to send out. Up next we will discuss task tracking in OneNote and Outlook to support completing all those action items you identified.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s