I use Outlook at home and at work. It’s a great email client, but isn’t an all in one tool. You can certainly follow email threads, keep them in folders, flag them as to dos, and categorize them. Any research, notes or thoughts you have about the discussion are better kept outside of Outlook though, unless you happen to like those notecards… To be fair, you can “send” a message to the folder that you are keeping the conversation in but it seems disjointed and sometimes making sense of them is a task in itself. Often there are conversations on the phone, instant messenger, or in person and it’s necessary to keep them in context or within the timeline of the thread. This is one way in which the integration between OneNote and Outlook shines.

The first step to a larger organizational world is to send the emails you need to track to OneNote. It’s as easy as clicking a button. THIS button, in fact:


Once you do, OneNote will ask you where you want to put it. Don’t worry, the original email will remain in Outlook so put it wherever you want to. Select the notebook, tab or even a specific page to add it to. Personally, I keep the follow ups in progress all in one tab until completion. I later move them to their final destination. You can also add emails to meeting notes you’ve created from outlook appointments. It’s a matter of preference, because once you put the email in OneNote, any word in it (or tags you place in it) is searchable. You can easily find it when you need it through the powerful (more so than Outlook) search function.

Speaking of which, the next steps are the whole reason you’ve brought the email here in the first place: what you can do with it once in OneNote. I flag all tracked conversations as Outlook tasks. Just select “Outlook task” in the ribbon and decide on a due date, if any. Then at the bottom of that same dropdown list is “open in Outlook”. That will create a task in Outlook which you can see in your sidebar or in your tasks section in Outlook. They are linked so marking one complete will complete it in the other. You can then make notes anywhere on the OneNote page you sent the email to. You can even timestamp the note easily with a click:



Of course you can add any kind of note (text, audio, video, picture, web clipping, and drawing) and tag any note with either the included tags or you can customize your own. If there is information to gather or steps to take while completing the thread, you can of course add a checklist.

With OneNote/Outlook integration there really is no reason to have the information you need scattered throughout your device. Hope this helps. – AK

Blogging from OneNote!

Posted: July 23, 2014 in Tech
Tags: ,

Thanks to the helpful folks at @OneNoteC I’ve learned to blog directly from OneNote! I’ve used different blogging software (including my former favorite – Windows Live Writer) , and I have to say I like doing it from OneNote the best. All my familiar resources are right where I need them. No more jumping between programs and windows. Since you can add anything to OneNote, as I previously covered, all your research and sources are on hand. Is there anything OneNote can’t do?

There are many note taking programs out there. While some have great features, none compare to OneNote. While this list is far from comprehensive, here is my top five reasons it should be your go to for note taking and organization.


With OneNote, you can add anything. Literally. Anything at all. You can type or draw, add hyperlinks, add pictures, insert tables or spreadsheets (spreadsheets can be a link or the whole sheet), insert documents, add emails (more on that later), insert shapes, you can even record video and/or audio. Use the OneNote screen clipper to clip any portion of what’s on your screen and save to OneNote (or put it on your clipboard and paste anywhere). Enter it all freestyle or use templates that are provided or that you create.


Anything you add can be tagged. OneNote comes with many predefined tags which can be customized  or you can create your own.


Tags can of course be searched, but so can text. Any text, even text in pictures you add. Even if you add a picture of a blackboard with words written in chalk by the professor, or text you hand wrote with your tablet. All text is searchable. That’s not all though, you can also search for words in audio you recorded with OneNote. Just search for the word and OneNote will tell you where in the audio file it was said! This is great for lectures or meetings as it lets you participate without having to worry about not jotting something down.


As mentioned earlier you can send emails in your Outlook desktop program to OneNote (or from your Outlook.com account). This adds a copy of the email so you can make notes on it as you need to. Great way to keep track of progress and follow ups!  Any note on any page can be made into an Outlook task, for those who track your to-dos in Outlook.


OneNote is available for all your devices. Desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones (Windows Phone, Android, and IOS). You can also access it on the web by logging into your Microsoft account at Office.com. Notes (including complete web pages) can be shared to OneNote via email as well. Just use the sharing function on your device to send it via email from your Outlook.com address to me@onenote.com.

Can your note taking app do all of this? Make the switch to OneNote, and keep track of EVERYTHING.


If you’re a OneNote user, and like to have a task list, it’s nice to have those tasks on your phone. Here’s how to get that done.


OneNote desktop

Outlook desktop connected to an Outlook.com account

Windows phone 8 or higher

Type the name of the task in Onenote and highlight it. Then select the dropdown for Outlook tasks:



Select when you want the task to be due, then select open task in Outlook:



When the task opens in Outlook, select “save and close”.



It will then show up in Outlook task,




Outlook.com tasks,



….and on in your windows phone to-do list.




It is now fully synced. Anywhere you mark it complete it will be marked complete in all.

I love generally Microsoft products. Redmond has made great strides over the years improving the ecosystem and creating seamless integration between Windows and Windows Phone throughout all their services. This is one of the main reasons I came back to Microsoft after a couple of years in the black abyss that is Google. But the one thing they can’t seem to get right is the contact pictures. I would say, for comparison sake, that Google has it mastered but this wouldn’t seem to be something that requires mastery. Simple: sync the pictures across all devices. Oh, but it isn’t.

This is the current situation:

1. There is no way to change the pictures for your contacts in Outlook.com.

2. You can change the pictures in your People Hub on Windows Phone or in the People App in Windows 8. They will even sync with each other.

3. Neither will sync the photos with Outlook.com.

All other contact information syncs perfectly between all devices and Outlook.com. Here’s the kicker: all photos on all devices can be automatically synced with your Onedrive, and Facebook/Twitter avatars sync as well…

I’ve seen in various Microsoft forums many people requesting this ability for over a year now. Is anyone in Redmond listening? Is this feature just too difficult to execute? Much as I hate to say it, perhaps you should call Google and ask them to teach you how…

The Truth About Phones

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Windows Mobile


Let me start by saying (as if one couldn’t tell by looking at this blog) that I am a Windows Mobile user. I use a Samsung Omnia II i920 and had Windows Mobile devices before that. Friends have often asked me about by device and some have asked for opinions about what device they should get and then they make their purchase. I have always recommended Windows Mobile. Admittedly I found myself irritated with those who have chosen something else because with most things getting the best model available seems to be the right thing to do. Unfortunately the truth of the matter with devices like cell phones is that there IS such a thing as too much. You see, there are many different kinds of cell phone users and I have found that getting more than what a person needs usually ends with the individual being unhappy with what they bought and turning them away from the OS altogether.

People can be grouped as such:

  • Calls only – Some people just want their phone to make and receive calls. Nothing else. For these folks a bare essentials flip phone works perfectly. Anything else might run the risk of confusing, annoying, and angering them.
  • Calls and text only – While a flip phone has the ability to text, the experience of texting on one can be described as cumbersome at best. A user who likes to text should go with a device with a keyboard, either a slide-out or flip up or virtual. Many of these types of devices are what’s called a “feature” phone, and some are packed with a lot of apps that you may or may not want to use. This can sometimes cause confusion and angst.
  • Calls, Text, and email – Now we get into the realm of the smart phone. These can be touch screen or non touch screen. They include Droid, Blackberry, Iphone, Palm, Windows Mobile. If you are email-centric and don’t really care about much else, Blackberry is your device. The others offer the ability to run applications of varying degrees of usefulness and complexity. The Droid and Iphone, for example both have the ability to run social networking apps such as Twitter and Facebook. While you can use both of these services via SMS, the experience is much better with an app and a data connection.
  • A handheld computer that makes calls – This is Windows Mobile, and only Windows Mobile. A Windows Mobile Professional (touch screen) device can do all of the above and more. These come with the Microsoft Office Mobile Suite which includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote (now), SharePoint (now), and Pocket Outlook. Go to Windows Phone to see it all.

I have come to the conclusion that an individual should only get as much phone as they think they will need. Anymore would be not only a waste, but a big headache.



Posted: March 1, 2009 in Uncategorized


Last week my dad was on the hospital with heart trouble. On one of those days his cardiologist was going to see him at 8am, having told us so himself. As it turns out, the doctor didn’t show up until about 4:30 pm. Annoying that was it was made worse by the fact that he never even called to say he would be late. I fully understand that doctors can be very busy or can get caught up in an emergency but how hard is it to call or have an assistant call patients to notify them of the delay? I don’t recall him apologizing for it when he finally arrived. The thing is, this is a consistent behavior with doctors. When you go to their office for an appointment you’ll see sign that tells you that if you are more than fifteen minutes late for your appointment your appointment will be cancelled. You will still be billed for the visit. Unfortunately, doctors are seldom on time and usually considerably more than fifteen minutes late. Yet they don’t offer a discount or refund to you for them being late. If they deal with insurance companies with the same sloth and arrogance it’s no wonder the insurance companies are so uncooperative and the health care system is in shambles. Maybe we’ve been blaming the wrong people for the countries health care problems. Maybe we should turn our collective attention to the doctors……..