Want to find out about the most powerful set of FREE add-ons and tools for OneNote? Then keep reading to learn about OneTastic!
OneNote is arguably the crown jewel in the Office Suite, a hidden jewel, but a jewel none-the-less. The premier note taking application is nearly universal, found across all platforms except the former giant BlackBerry. Its principal competitor, Evernote, is a great program in its own right, but for a lawyer the use case is markedly different. OneNote is a free form “corkboard” style section group, section tab and page interface where Evernote is more of a stack of index cards with a more robust #tag system. Evernote lends itself to research topics and web snippets, OneNote presents the capability to organize a criminal or civil trial notebook in the same way as a paper binder.
This isn’t an article about Evernote v. OneNote, but let me know if you’d like a more in depth comparison from a trial lawyer’s perspective. This article is about a sweet suite of powerful add-ons for OneNote created by OneNote programmer Omer Atay – OneTastic. OneTastic is a set of tools that brings some very useful productivity tools into OneNote’s already impressive desktop application. The basic download includes three main tools that can enhance your OneNote productivity.
Pin to Desktop – a Favorites Manager for your Notebooks
OneTastic adds some content to your Home tab. One of the quickest ways to improve your productivity is to keep your current projects near the top and your most frequently used pages, sections pinned to the desktop. This will place an icon on your desktop that will open right up to the section or page. In the alternative you may choose to pin the section or page to a Favorites folder. This will make the pinned page or section accessible through this Pin to Desktop menu and won’t clutter your desktop. Finally, OneTastic Pin to Desktop allows you to select any folder you wish to store your pinned pages and sections, allowing you to organize your favorites any way you wish. This may not seem too exciting at first, but it can be an incredibly powerful tool in trial and back in the office.
Let me start with some of the basic uses. I have pinned my OneNote Phone Messages Section. I then dragged the Phone Messages link onto the task bar and it pinned that section to the right click menu for the OneNote launcher on the task bar. This makes some of the commonly used sections or pages available right from the task bar. The usefulness of this feature while at your desk in the office, or at home in the kitchen with recipe pages are pretty obvious. It gets trickier, but oh so much more useful when you leverage this in your workflow.
Lets start with project management. If you have a temporary, but important project notebook, you can temporarily pin it to your Favorites and/or Desktop for quick access. The same concept can be applied to trial. One of the most useful things I do is pin my trial yellow pad, and transcripts to the desktop.
Imagine the power of having the deposition or exhibit transcript pinned as a favorite, allowing you to quickly pull it up for a search or notation. The power of OneNote to truly transform how we organize and marshal our evidence in trial is . . . well fantastic!
OneNote, powered with OneTastic takes the information in your digital trial binder and makes it available in moments. No more fumbling through a large paper binder, no waiting to confirm what a witness just said on the stand because the transcript was in a separate volume of your paper binder. With a little planning, and ingenuity your digital trial binder and be a laser focused database that melds the familiarity of handwritten notes and a tabbed binder organization style, with the speed, power and information processing of a PC.
And that is just one feature!
OneTastic also brings three other major features to OneNote. First is something that students and litigators with a lot of curated research will find incredibly useful – Custom Styles. OneNote is already a powerful note taking and research aggregating tool, custom styles allows an attorney to organize their text based notes and research with customized pre-set font styles. Anyone familiar with Word will find these extremely useful to keep your typed notes organized the way you like it!
OneCalendar – The Last Calendar You Will Ever Need
One of the most powerful add-ons that OneTastic brings to the table is OneCalender a stand alone program that launches from within OneNote on the Home tab. This gets pretty wild, but OneCalendar brings up a searchable calander of all your OneNote activity. Anytime you create a new page or make a change to that page it will log it in OneCalendar. Each page is a clickable link that will take you directly to that page, it will also give you a call-out preview of the page that shows you a snippet of the content of that page. This is an amazing tool to review your schedule and activity for any work you did in OneNote – and for me that is basically an audit trail of my practice. Anytime I’m missing an item on my monthly reports I can rest assured that OneCalendar can help me figure out what I was doing.
For the litigator this gives you records of your trials, what you were doing on each day, in chronological order on each day. I’ve found this to be enourmously useful in project management, the search function in OneCalendar is the same as OneNote proper – meaning it will search text within embedded documents and handwritten notes. If you can’t find a note by date you can just search for it and it will find it. If you drill down into the search options you will find that you can narrow the search by notebook, or groups of selected notebooks.
Come back next time for a tour of MacroLand a truly useful set of community driven tools to make OneNote with OneTastic shine!