St. Kitts

Spring Break Planning with Microsoft OneNote

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Even though I’m far from Spring Breaking age, I’m heading down to St. Kitts this week and am going to live it up as if I were still a co-ed. Lucky for me, OneNote for Mac finally debuted this month (sound the trumpets!), so I’ve had some fun playing around with the program as I plan all the last-minute details for my five-day trip.

St. KittsI know many of you Apple users have, like me, been waiting for this day to happen so I hope you already downloaded OneNote for Mac (it’s free!) via the App store. Bear in mind, you’ll need to have the most up-to-date OS X 10.9 in order to download it.

OneNote for MacWhile I’ve been planning with OneNote since I first got Office 365 a little over a year ago, I’ve been resigned to using the limited functionality of the web or mobile app software, this is my first time truly playing around with the fully-loaded version, complete with packing lists, budget templates, and to-do lists that aim to keep the stress at bay (ha! me? stress-free? as if) when trip-planning. Here are some things I like about the software so far:

I can easily save my important documents all in one place. I am notorious for forgetting my dive card. In fact, as I type this en route to my final destination, I realize once again I left it at home. (Drats! I need a personal assistant to help me keep from losing my mind.) I quickly downloaded the PADI app and found my e-card, which I’ve now added to OneNote; I’ll do the same with my passport, driver’s license and vaccination card next time I’m at a scanner to save me from this trouble in the future (particularly if my wallet gets lost or stolen).

It’s easily searchable. With the “Instant Search” bar, I can find anything I’ve ever entered into OneNote, even handwritten notes. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about time management, and the quicker I can reach the end result, the better.

OneNote for MacWith the OneNote Clip option on my bookmark, I can add content directly from the web to my notebook. I have to say I absolutely adore this function. Much like Pinning (to Pinterest), there’s a OneNote option for your bookmarks bar that you can click and it will save your entire clip to the Quick Notes section of your notebook, then you can drag and drop to whichever tab you choose. This is great for bookmarking restaurants, bars and shops without having to copy and paste entire websites.

OneNote Clip OneNote ClipIt allows me to track my funds. Staying on budget is important for any getaway but particularly a tropical one where it’s extremely easy for costs to slip by you without realizing it. One more margarita, poolside server? Why, don’t mind if I do! (Lucky for my wallet, my current Paleo eating plan does not allow for such sugary indulgences. Maybe a bourbon and water if I’m “splurging.” Maybe.) I’m one who does all my accounting—from keeping track of invoices and which publication owes me what to costs on a vacation—and you can insert spreadsheets directly into OneNote from Excel and edit as you go (your original Excel spreadsheet will reflect the changes as you tweak the file in OneNote…how cool is that?).

I can share, share, share. You may have noticed I have a tendency to (over)share. Whether Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other, I’m always posting my whereabouts and misadventures and striking up conversation with others about anything under the sun from book recommendations to gluten-free recipes. Well, with OneNote, I can engage with friends and family through my travel notebook, which also syncs to OneDrive—formerly SkyDrive, which you know I love and use often—so they can add their own travel tips or advice and keep track of me while abroad. (Changes and revisions are marked by each authors’ initials so SVV or my mom can’t pull an April Fools’ Day fast one on me as I’m trying to come back and try to change my flight in my itinerary…not that they would ever do something like that….)

OneNote for MacApparently, there are still a few things that the OneNote for Mac does not have that the Windows version does, but I imagine as they roll out updates over time, those features will be added, too.

OK, OneNote users, since I’m a rookie, pray tell: What’s your favorite way to use the software? Any tips or tricks I need to know?

Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Office Champion. In other words, I’m on an annual contract to review Office products, for which I am compensated. I am not, however, told what to post here or which opinion to have about the products. That’s all up of my own accord.

  • March 27, 2014

    thanks for posting nice views..

  • March 28, 2014

    Hmmm- might need to try this out! Sounds much more organized than my usual lopping of links into a spreadsheet 🙂

  • March 29, 2014

    I have been experimenting with both EverNote and OneNote to see which works best for me. (I’m finding they both are great in different ways). Apps like these are so helpful with travel planning.

  • June 23, 2014

    All of the above activities are freebies… meaning you should not spend some money so that you can enjoy them. One of the best historical outdoor activities happens to be kayaking. It can cost money to get a kayak naturally or perhaps to rent a kayak. If you are utilized to boating though I guarantee you the costs are minimal compared to managing a gas-guzzling motorboat.

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