This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Microsoft. All opinions are 100% mine.
I am generally a person who doesn’t like change. As long as something works, I’d rather just stick to it instead of trying something new. That explains why I rarely try out new or updated versions of various softwares that I currently use. I guess it is also because I’m not exactly the most computer savvy person around and I am just too lazy to put in extra time and effort to learn the ins and outs of a new software. When Microsoft approached me to create a TripBook using their Microsoft OneNote 2010 software, I was initially quite hesitant. I had no idea what that software is all about, how to use it, let alone create a TripBook with it! After reading up about Microsoft OneNote, I found out that it was pretty neat software. So, I decided to give it a go.
First things first. You must be thinking to yourself, what exactly is Microsoft OneNote 2010? What does it do? Well, Microsoft OneNote 2010 is a digital notebook that provides a single place where you can gather all of your notes and information, with the added benefits of powerful search capabilities to find what you are looking for quickly. Also, it has easy-to-use shared notebooks, so you can manage information overload and work together with others more effectively. Unlike paper-based systems, word processing programs, e-mail systems, or other productivity programs, OneNote delivers the flexibility to gather and organize text, pictures, web links/pages, and more — all in one digital notebook on your computer! OneNote can also help you become more productive by keeping the information you need at your fingertips and reducing time spent searching for information across e-mail messages, paper notebooks, file folders, and printouts. Isn't Microsoft OneNote awesome? The best thing about this software is…it’s so user friendly. It took me only less than an hour to figure out how to use it. Mind you, let me remind you that I am not exactly the most computer savvy person around, so I when I say it’s easy to use, it’s really easy to use!
Now that we know what Microsoft OneNote is all about, and established that it’s really easy to use, you must be thinking to yourself. So, what did you use it for? Well, I’m sure many of you know by now that both Kevin and I enjoy traveling. Before we take off on a trip, be it a short weekend getaway or a 3 week long overseas trip, we would do a lot of research on our destination. We don’t really like surprises, therefore, we really like to plan ahead whenever we travel. Planning would mean a whole lot of emailing back and forth between the both of us, reading up reviews and recommendations of other travelers online, bookmarking travel websites as well as jotting down notes on tiny pieces of paper manually (which we would usually end up losing even before we leave on that trip!). That’s all good, but usually, we would end up with a whole bunch of information from various sources and that can be rather overwhelming. By using Microsoft OneNote, it helps us consolidate all those information into one place. All we need to do is open up our TripBook and everything is there.
Just to show you how easy it is to work with Microsoft OneNote, I have created a TripBook for Phuket, Thailand. What I really love about this TripBook is how everything is so organized and how all of the information is right at your fingertips. If you were to look at the top of the TripBook, you would notice that there are tabs. I am able to separate all my information into ‘folders’. For example, there are tabs for things like places to stay, things to do, what to eat and so on. This way, I can just click on the tab when I want certain locate information, instead of having to go through the entire document.
Another that I like about this software is the ability to gather and consolidate information with ease. If you noticed, my entire TripBook is filled with all kinds of data and photos. You might be thinking, wow, that sure sounds like a lot of work. Well, I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s really not that hard. With Microsoft OneNote, all you need to do is highlight the information that you want from your browser and click on “Send to OneNote”. Everything that you have highlighted will automatically be sent to your TripBook. This makes information gathering so much easier. If you want to add photos to your TripBook, you can either click on Insert and then add in Picture or you can use the Screen Clipping feature. I totally love that that feature! Here's how it works. If you are on a website and you like a particular picture, just click on "Screen Clipping" on your OneNote software and select the area you want to clip on your browser. Once you have done that, everything will then just appear on your OneNote document. Yup, it’s that easy!
When I was coming up with my 24 Hours in Phuket itinerary, I found that the ability to link pages (be it internally within my TripBook, or externally) really helpful. As you can see from the screenshot, once you have created a link, all you need to do is click on that particular link. It will then bring you to another page that has more information about that particular activity.
Finally, my favorite feature in Microsoft OneNote is the ability to highlight, draw and write on your TripBook, just like how you would do in a regular notebook. This is really important, especially if you want to add in more notes later on or if you would like to highlight certain things in your TripBook. A very neat feature indeed!
Overall, I am really glad that I was given a chance to review this software. Not only was it really easy and fun to use, but I found it to be really handy and practical too. I’ll definitely be using Microsoft OneNote when we start planning for our next vacation soon! If you found this interesting, you should totally go visit onenotetravel.com to check out our awesome OneNote TripBook of Phuket, Thailand! Not only will you find our TripBook there, but you will also have the opportunity to check out the TripBooks of 39 other travel bloggers, featuring cities from all over the world. Go on, what are you waiting for? Go check out our TripBook and learn more about Microsoft OneNote 2010 today!