For the first time, I’m actually jealous of SVV for having a PC, as his Office 365 suite has OneNote while mine doesn’t (it’s not yet available for the Mac, though it might be in the next year or so). Still, while planning my upcoming two-month European cruise—my version of a very extended “Spring Break” (even though I will be working)—I hopped on his desktop and started plotting out my voyage so he can keep a record of where I am at every moment until he joins me on our anniversary in Dublin. And even though my Mac won’t run the program, we can share our OneNote docs through SkyDrive, both on our web accounts and via our iPhones (so all is not lost!).
This was my first time using OneNote, which I assumed was only a note-taking device. Au contraire, I couldn’t have been more wrong! So to learn the ropes, I downloaded the travel notebook for a tutorial, which walked me through each tab and function step-by-step. You can add as many pages as needed to customize your own planning, but the travel form already had every list I wanted to lay out my 50 days at sea.
If you do a ridiculous amount of Internet research pre-trip as I do, you can drag pages, pictures or paragraphs of copy directly into the app and it will populate with the web address so you have it on file for reference.
There’s also a budget sheet (my least favorite part, ugh) that is Excel-like in that it will do the math for you and you can sketch out the amount you budget for each facet of your trip and then track how much you actually spent.
For obsessive list-makers like myself, you can create packing lists and check off the boxes as you stock your supplies (or grocery lists if you’re looking to use OneNote more for day-to-day purposes and less for travel).
Maybe the most useful function is the ability to keep a record of your scanned documents. I always have a copy of my passport and vaccinations saved on my travel laptop, but if that were stolen, I’d be SOL. I’m thus moving them over to OneNote, so I can access them via the web browser should I be stuck at some embassy overseas in a bind. (Let’s be honest, with my luck? It could so easily happen.)
OneNote can be used for many other purposes, such as tracking your finances, keeping tabs on your home remodel, etc., but for avid travelers, it’s definitely useful for simple organizational purposes. The only big drawback, as I already mentioned, is that Mac users can’t take advantage of it (yet). That will change soon, I hope!
What resource do you find most handy in keeping all your ducks in a row while you travel?
**This is part of an ongoing partnership with Microsoft Office in which I am given a one-year subscription to test out the features for the new Office 365 and figure out how they best apply specifically to travelers. Blog post topics and opinions are all my own.