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I’ve been running #OneNote Training these last couple of days (and will be doing again today) for a client’s organisation and their employees through webinar (using Skype for Business)
It’s been really interesting asking their people how they currently take notes, how they collaborate on work documents, how they capture reflections, how they make their notes/plans/thinking visible; how they “connect the dots” from other’s peoples notes; how they Note take.
Everyone is different in how they take notes. 99% use paper pads or email. The rest use OneNote but never share notebook with others. Many simply just open MS Word or Notepad to capture quick notes. Very few use these to plan/reflect/capture content other than hand written notes
Ive been an Evernote Pro user for many years and I’ve had to learn OneNote quickly to understand enough to be able to teach and coach others on it. (Also thanks to colleague Jen McNamara who helped immensely here). Reflecting on this experience, it doesn’t matter what you use.
It’s the understanding of what collaborative notetaking actually means in the grand scheme of working and learning together. Also behaviours are the same regardless of what product you use.
So I asked participants about their work; how they take notes; and explored some ways for them to reconsider how to integrate OneNote into their note taking activities and the idea of hyperlinking between notebooks/notes to capture thoughts/ideas:reflections across any device.
Similarly how we are now not constrained with type of content (eg just text) but we have audio, video, pictures, screen clips, documents etc so it leads to a far richer way to express our notes & ideas.
However, another aspect to this is the concept of sharing these notes so that others may find these useful. To many, it was unheard of to share them. Why would you share your scribbles in your paper pad? So why do the same online? (I explained you don’t have to share everything!)
The constant question I was asked “can people see everything I write? I’m not comfortable with sharing my notes to others”. There was a need for privacy - or a need for their notes to be perfect before sharing.
One person told me that he used just one page in one section. A long long scroll of notes just on one page then just used the Search function to locate what he needed on the page. (When some participants heard this they were like “say wha?!”
Meanwhile another person structured his notes so meticulously with Section Groups; Sections; Pages; Sub Pages; Sub Sub Pages and he spent time reorganising, restructuring, moving notes around to be in the perfect order. Each of the participants had their own note taking style.
It made me think that I’m a blend of both - but of a mess in note taking but then I want to organise it in some semblance of order. Yhe one thing that captured their imagination was the concept of linking to ideas/pages/ and the richness of capturing notes in different ways.
However unless these are shared with others working together, your knowledge still remains your knowledge. There’s a missed opportunity to have others contribute to your ideas/thinking/plans. Things don’t need to be perfect before you publish.
There’s been reflections about this OneNote experience of tackling how people get work done individually vs collaboratively. Orgs need to get better to encourage & support people about making their work and thinking visible & using these as opportunities to learn from each other.
The upshot of this was when I told my husband about what I was doing, his first remark was “oh we are trying to get our team to use OneNote but no one gets it.”
There’s still a lot of work to do....
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