OneNote Tips: Use Quick Notes as the OneNote Inbox

Previous iterations of the OneNote strategy recommendations used a section named ‘Inbox’.  This section was the entry point for all notes coming into the OneNote system. Actually, OneNote already has such an entry point: Quick Notes.

Quick Notes is a default section in OneNote, with special features.  For instance, ⊞ Win+N creates a new note located in Quick Notes.  So, let’s go with the flow.  ALL new notes should start in Quick Notes.  Whenever you start taking notes, either use the ⊞ Win+N combination or click Add Page within the Quick Notes section.  Once you have finished with the note, move it to the appropriate location.

Clear Inbox

The third !Daily task is 30-Clear Inbox.  This provides a quick review of the previous day and clears your workspace for a new day.

Many productivity experts recommend clearing your desk at the end of each day.  I find that first thing in the morning works a bit better for me, since I don’t have a fixed end time – maybe that is something I need to work on.

Every morning, clear out the various inboxes through the use of appropriate tags, and then moving it to the relevant folder.  Don’t overlook the various inboxes you may have:

  • OneNote
  • Company email
  • Client email
  • Personal email

During this clear out process, update the previous day’s Work Journal to take credit for all of the things your handled. Be sure to check the Sent folder for tasks that you may have completed, but did not record.

Sometimes being on the road means not being able to adequately process items.  In these cases, use the default “To Do” tag, with a note to “Move to xxx”.  When you return to your regular workspace, search items with the default “To Do” and change them to one of your custom tags.

General process for clearing out these boxes:

  1. For each item in the Inbox, add relevant tags for what, when, who, and where.
  2. Identify any action items, tagging them with a priority (Ctrl+1 thru 6).
  3. Move the item to processed.