Question for those who use OneNote

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by lupacexi, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. lupacexi

    lupacexi Registered

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    Content deleted by moderator. Original poster replaced original content with spam.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2018
  2. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising Kelly Forrister

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    Sam Mike likes this.
  3. Sam Mike

    Sam Mike Registered

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  4. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising Kelly Forrister

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    Yup. But not the free trial.
     
  5. SDH

    SDH Registered

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    I’m a “mad user” of OneNote—it’s my go-to storage, reference, and organizational method, mostly because we use Outlook for work and I love being able to send tasks and emails back and forth.

    I tried piling all my next actions on a single page in OneNote but that didn’t actually work for me. I also tried making each action a new page for the drag-and-drop function, but that just got annoying with a mish-mash of pages all in a row, and it wasn’t fast enough to type when I was doing my Mindsweeps.

    I think in categories—which project, which event (project), which agenda for which person, and so forth. So what seems to work for me is to have my actual next actions scattered throughout the notebooks but always linked to Outlook, which is my primary “get ‘er done” task list. That way, when I’m looking at reference material, if something related to that material pops into my brain as an action, I just click somewhere on that page to write up my action (now including the link to the relevant page), and flag it as an Outlook task and schedule it from there. When I complete the task in Outlook it automatically marks it as done in OneNote so I’ll see it later. When I was trying to go back to an actual action item page to write whatever action item had just occurred to me, most of the time I’d forget what my action item was by the time I got to where I wanted to write it down, LOL. It’s much better for me to get it out of my head the nanosecond it appears there, no matter what page I’m on in OneNote.

    I do have a Mindsweeps section—I do all my mindsweeps in there and then create Outlook tasks from the lists (or send my personal tasks to Things3). I have a template page set up in that section with the trigger list so everytime I click “new page” to start a Mindsweep everything is right there. Those actions are all on one page, so I guess I do a bit of an amalgamation of styles depending on when things pop into my brain.
     
  6. Steve Truesdale

    Steve Truesdale Registered

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    If you use the Windows desktop version of OneNote you could do the following:
    1. Create one page for each project
    2. Put your next actions anywhere on each project page - tag them with the checkbox tag
    3. Use the 'Find Tags' function in the menu ribbon - Group Tags by Title, Search 'This Section'

    You will then get a nice list of next actions - grouped by Project - and you can then have OneNote create a summary page of this list.

    I still need to manually get this copied into my main GTD system (integration between tagged items and IFTTT/Zapier would be a wonderful thing!) - but this gives me a very nice list to work from.
     
  7. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I have been thinking about - actually set up, but I thought that I would ask this forum if anyone has tried anything similar, pros/cons - creating different OneNote tags for each of the GTD Next Action contexts, and tagging sentences / paragraphs describing the next action with the corresponding context tag. And then using "Find Tags", much as @SteveTruesdale describes.

    Has anyone tried this?

    Thoughts:

    a) the keyboard shortcuts for OneNote tags are suboptimal - ctl-1, ctl-2, etc. Wouldn't be so bad except that if you create a new tag the shortcuts all get changed, ctl-1 gets assigned to the new tag, etc. You can fix up, but its a pain. There appears to be no way to set the tags via a keyboard shortcut except using these - no menu navigation.

    Q: does anyone know if there is any other keyboard driven way to set these tags, except the poorly designed ctl-1, ctl-2 ... shortcuts?

    b) If I want to use a different tag for each Next Action list, I pretty much have to give up on the checkboxes. Or, rather, on having the symbol identify the tag. There *are* more than 10 OneNote checkbox tags - 3 colors (blue, yellow, green) X (no-symbol, star, !, arrow, 1, 2, 3, person, flag) --- but they have little mnemonic value. I think it will be better to create a separate tag for each GTD context, and then remove the tag when done.

    c) OR... I could just use the same checkbox for all contexts, but create 10 or so differently named tags sharing the same symbol. Little mnemonic value.

    d) "Find Tags" allows searching various scopes - page group, section, section group, current notebook, all notebooks, date ranges (today, yesterday, this week, last week, older)

    Unfortunately, what I really want is "Search all notebooks except the current section". I would prefer not to have the tags (GTD contexts) that I placed into a list appear in a new list. Right now, if I run "Find Tags" with "Create a New Summary Page", the first time I run it I get the list I want; the second time, I get every tag doubled, because it is included tagged items in the list created earlier, and so on.

    Other tools that create such extracted lists or tables - e.g. FrameMaker, which can create lists of arbitrary paragraph types - change the type of the thing searched for from TagName to TagNameInListOfTags, to prebent that "multiple extractions" problem.

    I would also like to be able to rearrange the list of tagged GTD contexts, and "refresh" by adding only tagged Next Action items that are not already in the hand edited list. However I have only seen that in wikis I have modified.

    e) Renaming or changing the format of OneNote tags does not seem to change the format of existing tagged items of the old tag name/format.

    f) WORST: OneNote on my iPhone only supports ToDo tags, none of the customized tags.

    ---

    Related: I have been using OneNote for many years, mostly predating my latest attempt to adopt GTD.

    I often have a section, section group, or even a notebook for some projects. Perhaps that should be for the "Project Support" stuff, rather than the GTD Project itself.

    --

    Anyway, just thinking.

    Probably over-thinking. In part, because coding up such things is a bit of a hobby. I like to think of what I would have in an ideal world where I could add any feature I wanted to SW I am using - and then figure out what compromises are necessary to work with the software we have.


    ===

    9/13/2018 (Next Day)

    Ouch! Just noticed this in a different thread https://www.pcworld.com/article/326...6-in-favor-of-the-windows-10-onenote-app.html

    Good: the Win10 OneNote app supports vertical lists for sections and pages.

    Bad: the Win10 OneNote app does not support custom tags Unfortunately, I recently started using custom tags for the GTD Next Action contexts, as explained above.

    MORAL: never use advanced features of apps. (But, are custom tags "advanced"? I have been using them since 2009, just not for GTD stuff.)

    Bad: I have been using and writing OneTastic macros for OneNote 2016. I will bet that these will break.

    I purchased, and enjoyed, the GTD & OneNote Setup Guide:
    https://store.gettingthingsdone.com/OneNote-for-Windows-Setup-Guide-p/10415.htm

    But this seems to be for OneNote 2016. I hope that it will be updated to mention the Windows 10 OneNote app, and, perhaps, stuff that yu can do in one version of OneNote but not the other.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  8. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Darn, as soon as I got semi-serious about using OneNote tags to automatically create my GTD next action context lists - OneNote starts crashing. Find Tags > Create Summary Page starts, I can even see what looks to be the summary page - but then OneNote crashes, and when it restarts the summary page is not present.

    When I approve the suggested action, clearing notebook caches - this time all of the open notebooks (16 or so) diosappear when OneNote restarts. I hope they are saved to their appropriate OneDrives, and can be reopened - but it takles a long time to reopen 16 or so notebooks, rearrange them in the tab the way I want, etc.

    :-(

    Buggy software...

    I guess I must fall back to creating by hand.
     
  9. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I took another stab at this.

    It may be that I was running "Find Tags" for all notebooks, and some of the open notebooks were corrupt.

    I had to reopen all of my 16 or so notebooks after the crash, found and fixed the broken notebooks. And now it seems that Find Tags may be working better.

    This doesn't excuse the crash.

    But I want to find a workflow that uses Find Tags so much...
     

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