Mar 13, 2017
Earlier in this OneNote series, I detailed how to build a project dashboard and how to use Outlook Tasks within OneNote. Now I will go through the process of setting up a task-based project dashboard. You can organize your projects however you like, but at the root of keeping them under control is ensuring everything gets done.
Depending on the scale of your projects, you might want to consider making an Outlook Group for the project. Most medium or small projects can be done in a single notebook or section group. When working with a team it is important that everyone can easily access the notebook. Otherwise, the project lead ends up doing all the updates, which can become tedious. This means storing the notebook in the cloud and ensuring all team members have access.
Project dashboard overview
The first step to managing a project in OneNote is to build a dashboard. This dashboard can be designed how you choose using the built-in styles or formatting the text manually. You can use small tables to keep the same information organized and consistent across action items. Once you have a style you like, copy and use it again.
Your projects might be organized differently, but for my projects, I use the following hierarchy:
- Task Group
- Task (one per page)
- Action Items
- Task (one per page)
- Task Group
Start with this layout and tweak it to fit your structure. Once you have a plan for how to organize the project work, begin laying it all out. Separating tasks by page keeps them from blurring together and makes it easier to divide the work between team members. Updates, action items, reference documents, specifications, goals, status, etc. can be kept on the task page.
Project dashboard with Tasks
The key to a useful dashboard is linking to your pages. Right-click the task page and select Copy Link to Page. Now paste that link into your project dashboard for easy access. You can keep an overall dashboard for the project and group the tasks in a logical manner. Every team member can keep their task pages up-to-date and follow the progress of other tasks in the project.
The project lead can maintain the dashboard and keep relevant information updated as needed. Another page can be created under the dashboard page as an archive of closed tasks if need be. Use sections like a Kanban board, ensuring that nothing falls off your radar. Move task pages to the next section as they reach milestones, are completed, killed, or placed on hold.
The way task pages are grouped in sections should reflect your projects and can be different for every project. Common groupings could be:
- Open > Complete > On Hold > Cancelled
- Suggested > Accepted > In Progress > Completed > Cancelled
- Future > Current > Past
- Unclaimed > Claimed > Closed
- Concept > Prototype > Pre-Production > Production > Cancelled > Obsolete
Since OneNote is so flexible, you are free to change your organizational method at any time. The only cost is the time it takes to rearrange your pages. The longer a project goes on, the more work it takes to reorganize your work. Luckily, cutting and pasting groups of pages is quick and easy.
Making an Outlook Task
Now that you have your dashboard built and organized, tagging each task with an Outlook Task brings the pages to life. Use the Outlook Tasks to delegate to your team and give them reminders, deadlines, and context to their work. Unlike emails, Outlook Tasks will sort by their due date and be a link back to the project OneNote notebook. Even when completed, Outlook Tasks can be accessed and reviewed by the assignee.
Each one of your team members will have an organized list of Tasks that have been assigned to them. They can use their Task view in Outlook to organize their day and prioritize their work. Each team member can set their own task reminders. If you are the project manager, you can set yourself reminders to follow up with your team on their status.
Regularly reviewing your dashboard keeps it relevant and keeps projects on track. It is easy to create a bunch of pages, then never visit them again. Frequently OneNote notebooks can get cluttered and overrun with content on many different pages. Instead of getting to this state, you should use your dashboard to keep everything under control.
When creating a new page, which relates to a project, ask yourself this question: “How will my teammates find this page?” It can be easy to fall back on search as the end-all-be-all of content discovery. However, logical and clear structure to a notebook will do more to communicate to your team than expecting them to search for special terms. Having a How-To section in your project notebook will help team members follow convention and find the information they need to be most effective.
Like all tools, there are good and bad ways to use OneNote. It is one of the most unstructured note-taking programs available today. This can be good when it comes to flexibility, but when it comes to consistency, it can become an issue. Take time before you use your project notebook and think about what a good structure could be. When you have a structure, then communicate it to your team so that they can follow your lead. The next few articles will relate to getting your team to use OneNote consistently.
How do I use OneNote with Outlook tasks? ›
- In OneNote, select the words that you want to be your task.
- In the menu that appears, click the arrow next to the Outlook Tasks button and choose a reminder. A flag appears next to your task in OneNote and your task is added to Outlook.
The first step to managing a project in OneNote is to build a dashboard. This dashboard can be designed how you choose using the built-in styles or formatting the text manually. You can use small tables to keep the same information organized and consistent across action items.Can OneNote be used as a task manager? ›
Why OneNote? It is a complete solution for note taking and organizing notes. If you use GTD (Getting Things Done) concepts, then you can use it for task management.Can you integrate OneNote with Outlook? ›
If you're using OneNote together with Outlook, you can easily bring important email messages and meeting invitations from Outlook into your notes by using the Send to OneNote feature. Note: The information below applies to the Windows versions of OneNote and Outlook.How do you effectively use tasks in Outlook? ›
How to use Tasks in Outlook
- Open Outlook.
- Select "New Item"
- Select a task.
- Enter a name for the task in the "Subject" box.
- Set the start date and due date.
- Set a priority and a reminder.
- Click "Task," "Save" and "Close"
Types of dashboards (and how to choose the right one for you) There are three types of dashboards: operational, strategic, and analytical.What is the best tool to create a dashboard? ›
- Microsoft Power BI: Best for Overall Tool.
- Tableau: Best for Dashboard Popularity.
- Google Analytics: Best for the Value.
- Zoho: Best for User-Friendly Dashboards.
- Databox: Best for Large Datasets.
- IBM Cognos: Best for Enterprises.
- Klipfolio: Best for Customer Form and Style.
- Take notes by typing text on a OneNote page.
- Select the text that you want to mark as a to-do item, click the Home tab, then click To Do Tag. ...
- To find all tags, on the Home tab, click Find Tags.
- As you complete items, click the box next to each tag to indicate that you are done.
Microsoft OneNote is a very useful application, as its capabilities extend far beyond the basic note-taking that its name would imply. In fact, it has the capability to support a simple wiki-like system baked in.Is Microsoft discontinuing OneNote? ›
OneNote for Windows 10 is still available for those who rely on it, and it will continue to work and receive important updates, but it will not be getting new features. As previously announced, OneNote for Windows 10 will reach end-of-support in October 2025.
What are the disadvantages of OneNote? ›
- 1) The ability to search through notes is limited. While it is possible to search for keywords in your open document, there is minimal 'tagging' capability.
- 2) Difficulties in adding documents created in other applications. ...
- 3) Those new to Microsoft Office 365 find it complicated.
- Use paragraph grippers. ...
- Organise notes using tags. ...
- Import information from Excel. ...
- Scan to OneNote using Lens. ...
- Convert ink to text. ...
- Try OneNote's in-app recording tool. ...
- Perform simple calculations.
OneNote is a digital note-taking app that provides a single place for keeping all of your notes, research, plans, and information — everything you need to remember and manage in your life at home, at work, or at school. In OneNote, notebooks never run out of paper.Can you use OneNote as a CRM? ›
Whilst we wouldn't recommend using OneNote as a CRM application it can be. You can download a Sales Template from Auscomp which is based on the Kanban or card-based system, and whilst it doesn't have the full functionality of a regular CRM, it works well for those who want to keep everything inside OneNote.Is Outlook notes the same as OneNote? ›
Overview. Microsoft OneNote is a free cloud-based digital note taking app that allows users to create and organize meeting notes, journal... Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager from Microsoft which helps users communicate, manage schedules & find...What is the difference between Microsoft Outlook and tasks? ›
In addition to being cross-platform, Microsoft To Do is more versatile than Outlook Tasks as the app lets users add due dates, subtasks, and share task lists with others. To Do can also highlight flagged emails and assigned tasks from Microsoft Planner, another task management app for Microsoft 365 users.How do I organize my productivity in Outlook? ›
- Outlook tips and hacks to increase email productivity.
- Using Mailbutler in Outlook.
- Groups & Email Templates.
- Use the Clutter Feature.
- Automate your inbox with mailbox rules & calendar.
- Organize and schedule your emails.
- Notes Feature.
- Use shortcut keys.
Unlike Tasks, To Do items are essentially a personal list of things to do that is accessed from the separate To Do section of Outlook. They are not included in the calendar. There are two ways to create a new item in the To Do list.What are 5 benefits of dashboards? ›
- Total Visibility into Your Business. ...
- Big Time Savings. ...
- Improved Results. ...
- Reduced Stress. ...
- Increased Productivity. ...
- Increased Profits: As discussed, your dashboard shows you exactly which areas of your business are performing poorly.
- Step 1: Planning. During the Planning phase, you and your team will determine key factors to guide the discovery and design phases.
- Step 2: Data Discovery. ...
- Step 3: Design. ...
- Step 4: Implementation.
Does Microsoft have a dashboard tool? ›
SharePoint Server enables you to create and use dashboards that provide up-to-date information in a centrally managed, easily accessed location. You can use SharePoint Server tools to create and use dashboards that are suitable for an individual, team, group, or the entire organization.Are dashboards outdated? ›
But why are dashboards 'dying'?
The complexity and volume of data in the digital era is constantly incoming and growing. Unfortunately, dashboards alone can't keep track of every important metric or part of the modern-day business, and manual analysis on its own isn't reliable or as efficient.
- All-in-one. ...
- Drill into detail. ...
- Intuitive data presentation. ...
- Mobile device accessible.
Kanban Board Template by OneNote. Similar to how you can structure your Kanban board in Excel or on a digital whiteboard, you can also create a board in OneNote! Create columns to manage your workflow at the office or at home with the flexibility of adding as many columns, colors, and details as you need.How do I prioritize tasks in OneNote? ›
- In OneNote, draft a list of every task that needs to get done today.
- Use tags to designate each task's priority level.
- Tag the highest-priority tasks as “Important”. ...
- Use other OneNote tags such as “Priority 1”, “Priority 2”, and “Remember for later” to plan what needs to get done and when.
Microsoft OneNote is a free cloud-based digital note taking app that allows users to create and organize meeting notes, journal... SharePoint is a collaboration & content management platform which can be used to build portals, collaboration sites, & also...What is better than OneNote? ›
If you have a budget for a note-taking app—even just $7.99 per month—Evernote is clearly the superior app. Not only is its interface more sleek and intuitive than OneNote (think Apple vs. Android and Zoom vs. Microsoft Teams), but its features also proved more powerful and helpful than those of OneNote.What are some of the advantages and uses of OneNote? ›
- Type notes or record audio at your laptop.
- Sketch or write ideas on your tablet.
- Add picture from your phone.
- Find notes instantly.
- Freely move notes around the page.
- Organize those pages into sections.
- Keep your sections in one or more notebooks.
- Zoho Notebook.
- Google Workspace.
Check the Notebook Recycle Bin
Fortunately, OneNote automatically saves notes for a limited time after they have been deleted from shared notebook so you can try to recover them. Open the shared notebook where you expected to find the lost notes. Choose History > Notebook Recycle Bin > Notebook Recycle Bin.
Is Microsoft loop replacing OneNote? ›
A new app then, Loop components are in preview for the next few months in Microsoft 365 apps: Teams, OneNote and Outlook. This will be followed up by more functionality and features in 2023. The components are the key because they stay as they are, synced across the apps while movable.Why should I use OneNote instead of Word? ›
OneNote allows you to record more than just text—you can add text, doodles, images, and even videos to your page. Additionally, you can divide each notebook in to sections and pages so that you are able to easily find what you are looking for when you need to refer back to your notes.What is the difference between Microsoft and OneNote? ›
Overview. Microsoft OneNote is a free cloud-based digital note taking app that allows users to create and organize meeting notes, journal... Microsoft To Do (formerly known as Wunderlist) is a daily planner app that allows users to manage and share daily to-do lists,...What is the difference between OneDrive and OneNote? ›
OneDrive sets the bar for easy simple productive note taking. OneNote is one of the easiest most scalable note taking applications available in the industry today. There is really few cons to using OneNote. Sometimes the interface can be a little difficult to format on the page.Why are my Outlook tasks not showing in OneNote? ›
You may notice that the Send to OneNote button in Outlook is missing from the top ribbon in Outlook. The usual method to resolve this, is to navigate to File, Options, Add-ins, Manage: COM Add-ins and then enabling the 'OneNote Notes about Outlook items' add in.How do I add OneNote button to Outlook toolbar? ›
- On the File menu, select Options.
- Select Add-ins.
- If OneNote Notes about Outlook Items is listed under Inactive Application Add-ins, follow these steps: In the Manage box, select COM Add-Ins, and then select Go. In the COM Add-Ins dialog box, select the OneNote Notes about Outlook Items check box, and then select OK.
One of Microsoft To Do's features is an integration with Outlook Tasks. To view your To Do tasks on your Outlook Desktop client or on Outlook.com, use the same Microsoft account to sign in to both Microsoft To Do and Outlook.What is the difference between tasks and todo list in Outlook? ›
Unlike Tasks, To Do items are essentially a personal list of things to do that is accessed from the separate To Do section of Outlook. They are not included in the calendar. There are two ways to create a new item in the To Do list.Is Microsoft OneNote phasing out? ›
OneNote for Windows 10 is still available for those who rely on it, and it will continue to work and receive important updates, but it will not be getting new features. As previously announced, OneNote for Windows 10 will reach end-of-support in October 2025.Can you make a kanban board in OneNote? ›
Similar to how you can structure your Kanban board in Excel or on a digital whiteboard, you can also create a board in OneNote! Create columns to manage your workflow at the office or at home with the flexibility of adding as many columns, colors, and details as you need.
How to use OneNote with Outlook for meetings and project management? ›
Open Outlook, select 'File', and 'Options'. Navigate to 'Add-ins' and select 'COM Add-ins' under Manage. Click 'Go'. Select 'OneNote Notes about Outlook Items' from the menu and finish by clicking 'OK'.What is OneNote feed in Outlook? ›
The OneNote feed conveniently combines your notes from different apps — including Samsung Notes, Sticky Notes, and OneNote. Your feed is available in OneNote, Outlook.com, and Outlook on the web.How do I use OneNote as a project manager? ›
- Utilize OneNote Notebook, Section, and Pages. ...
- Take a Helping Hand from OneNote Templates. ...
- Add Outlook Emails to OneNote. ...
- Add Relevant Files to OneNote. ...
- Share OneNote Notebook. ...
- Track Recent Changes. ...
- Master Tags to Track Task Status. ...
- Password Protect OneNote Page.
There's no denying that Microsoft To Do is the best task manager with Outlook integration. With the To Do for Outlook add-in, you can quickly pull up a list of your to-dos while going through your emails. In Outlook.com, click the My Day icon on the top right side of the page.How do I link Microsoft tasks to Outlook? ›
If you're signing in to Outlook.com with a personal Microsoft account, simply select the check mark icon to access Microsoft To Do directly from the tasks pane on Outlook.com.Can Outlook remind you about tasks automatically? ›
Outlook automatically sets reminders for new appointments you create. You can change the default settings in Outlook so that no default reminder is set or to change the default time for reminders.How do I use Outlook as a daily Planner? ›
From your personal online Office 365 portal, access Outlook. Clicking on the "My Day" button in the right corner allows you to drag emails from your inbox over to quickly create a task or calendar event based on that email.Can Outlook tasks have subtasks? ›
Sub Task Subtask Subtasks Sub Tasks - are not available in Outlook. Microsoft is surely aware of this limitation.Can you create folders in Outlook tasks? ›
There is no limit to the number of folders you can create. Click TASKS in the project navigation bar. On the Task Summary page, go to the location where you want to place the task folder. You can create a task folder in the root folder or in any other task folder.