I am writing a blog series about my personal perspectives as a Master’s student on the role that technology plays in Education. Click here for Parts I, II, III, IV, V and VI

The idea of doing a master’s degree seemed like such a good idea at the time! I managed to put away the savings needed to be comfortable with a part time job, I had done my research on the course, I was full of hopes and dreams of managing my assignments, lectures and readings, customer calls and briefings, to-do lists (etc..) like a pro and was ready to walk through this year. Let’s say I have underestimated the workload a little bit and one of the reasons I am still here with Hable and doing my master’s is OneNote.

In the next few paragraphs I will share some tips on how to use the app to organise your life and overcome the most challenging of years!

OneNote is a free-to-download application to capture your ideas, to-do lists, documents, notes and recordings in one place wherever you are from tablet, phone, and computer. It works fantastically on both Mac and PC, Android or iPhone. Being cloud-based, your data can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

Organising modules and content

The first thing to do when you open OneNote is to name your notebook. My main notebook MPA stands for “Master of Public Administration”. Each tab has its own colour and purpose. I have one tab for each subject and one for general stuff (like external talks or random ideas):

Every week I add a page, copying and pasting the intro paragraph of the lecture from the Moodle (UCL’s learning information system), adding the learning outcomes, drag-and-dropping the lecture slides and readings, plus any other links that may be relevant:

Making transcribing recordings easier

During lectures, I usually record audio to make sure I don’t skip any phrase being said. To insert a recording, just go to “Insert” and click “Start Recording” (Insert > Audio Recording on Mac). The biggest advantage of using OneNote’s recording tool is that when you start typing in the same page where the recording is being stored, you can start playing back from the exact second where you started typing your notes. This saves so much time when reviewing your notes. You will want to make sure you have good audio recording capabilities on your device, and sit close enough to the speaker for a good recording level!


The power to Search All Notebooks

After using OneNote for some years, I have hundreds of pages of notes on different topics. When writing an essay or report, I often remember random facts discovered during the year but I cannot recall where or when it was learnt. OneNote’s powerful Search All Notebooks tool can help go back to the exact page where this was noted (ctrl+E on Windows or cmd+option+F on Mac). This gives greater scope than the usual search, which just finds something in the page I am typing (ctrl+F on Windows or cmd+F on Mac), highlighting where in the page or notebook this is placed.

The tip of the iceberg

This is just the tip of the iceberg of OneNote’s capabilities. More capabilities include collaboration in Microsoft Teams, innovative content creation for your audience and more! If you want a full understanding on how OneNote can help shape and change your organisations into adopting new ways of working, please get in touch with Hable for a one day workshop to strategically discuss with your senior team how to unravel the whole potential of Office 365.


If you have any specific topics that you would like me to cover in the future, drop me a line at oiurcovich@hable.co.uk or continue the conversation on Twitter.