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Onetastic for OneNote

By Ross Smith, Microsoft Cloud Architect, Data#3

As I sit here and type up my notes from today’s client meetings, I realise that one of the tools I use every day has a fantastic add-on that not many people know about.  Being a good Microsoft advocate, I use OneNote to record my comings and goings however, as with every product there is always room for improvement, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot and there are always developers looking for a challenge.

One such developer is Omer Atay, a Principle Software Engineer in Seattle working on various projects for Microsoft and, like myself, has a passion for OneNote. Omer has worked on every iteration of OneNote as a developer and man, can he develop!

OneNote

Yep, that’s the guy.

The Idea Factory

It has long been known that Microsoft is happy for their developers to have side gigs and skunkworks projects, many of which eventually grow into fully fledged products. Their developers can’t moonlight directly for other companies, but they are definitely encouraged to work in the ‘idea factory’ as mentioned elsewhere around the Internet.

Omer’s side project, is this fantastic (Onetastaic even) package for OneNote, called Onetastic.

A trip to Macroland!

It’s easy to install, easy to use, and more importantly gives you access to a bunch of pre-canned functions, and even more importantly, access to Macroland! This sounds like the worst Disneyland rip off ever, but is actually a vast repository of macros for OneNote. Now, I bet you didn’t even know there was the ability to create macros for OneNote? I know I didn’t and I live and die by OneNote on a daily basis, across multiple devices.

Once Onetastic is installed (works for OneNote 2013 and 2016), you will see a new addition to the ‘Home’ ribbon that looks like this in Office 2016:

OneNote

A simple installation and a simple product for a great outcome.

There are a lot of additional Macros (over 100 in fact) that can be downloaded from the ‘Download Macros’ link, but the first, and arguably the most useful, is the OneCalendar add-on. It even has its own icon, that’s how important it is!

OneNote3

Yep, that’s the icon.

OneCalendar

OneCalendar is a very useful way to look back over your day, week or month to remind you of that meeting you had with that guy you can’t remember. If you took notes, then it will show in the calendar and remind you of what happened that day. It is especially useful if you have to complete a timesheet or log of work for the week so that you get paid, or just to follow up on promises made.

When you click the icon in the ribbon, the calendar launches over the top of OneNote and displays the following dialogue:

OneNote

Just beautiful.

This view is very intuitive, shows all of the pages that you have updated on the day in question and can be shown as a day, week or month.  Even more impressive is the search box in the bottom left that narrows down what you are looking for across the week and in my case, reminding me of what I worked on. Genius!

Other tools such as image editing, find and replace, pin to favourites, and of course the previously mentioned Macroland macros are also available from the Onetastic site and can be added to the ribbon but for me the real gem is OneCalendar, which fixed a problem that I didn’t even know I had.

How do I get this add-on I hear you cry in confusion while looking at TechNet? Well head to the Onetastic site (https://getonetastic.com/), hit the download link and bask in the glory that is Onetastic. You won’t regret it.

Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn for a discussion on OneNote.

Tags: Business Productivity, Collaboration

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