Monday, November 07, 2005

New OneNote PowerToy for Journal/Journaling

I picked this up from TabletPCBuzz over the weekend.  Wow!  This is really a handy tool.  I’ve experimented with a number of different tools for journaling.  I’ve also experimented with various ways of journaling.  For years I kept a journal of my spiritual life.  It was, and is, a fantastic way to track your walk with God and to trace the threads of his voice speaking into your life.  During this period I used MS Word exclusively.  It is ubiquitous, password-able, and easy to back up.  I frequently look back at these entries and remember the things the Lord was teaching me over that period.  The most significant are probably my entries at the end of my dad’s long battle against prostrate cancer.  God taught me a lot during that experience.

            I have also used OneNote to journal a fair bit, but in my pre-tablet days.  It didn’t last long.  It was a little bit cumbersome and I didn’t have the notebook “metaphor” firmly enough in my mind to organize it well.  Next I have used Outlook Notes to journal.  I did this for quite a while during my early days of GTD implementation.  In this case I wasn’t doing spiritual journaling, but keeping track of tasks done, projects, etc.  That worked well because it synced nicely with my Sony CLIE TH55.  With AcroWiki on the Palm side I could easily search and hyperlink from various days to project notes, etc.  ,I could add journal entries from a café, etc and have them sync to my laptop back home.  In the end, though, this became a little cumbersome because Outlook Notes is arguably the least developed aspect of the Outlook product.  My most recent attempt was triggered by the Moleskine craze a while back.  I bought a Moleskine went back to paper and pen.  I still use my Moleskine a lot, but I don’t do much journaling in it.  I can just type so much faster than I can write.  But writing also triggers my creative side in a way that typing doesn’t.

            So now I’m back to OneNote and this new PowerToy.  I really enjoy journaling, but I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit over the last couple of years.  With my tablet and OneNote, however, whole new possibilities emerge.  With it I gain the sheer text-input power of the keyboard and the creative, meditative aspects of the pen.  Installation of the PowerToy is a snap and it’s configurable in a number of ways.  You can format your dates anyway you like, for instance, and I’ve set mine up for the European convention (DD-MM-YY).  If you’re a OneNote user and enjoy jounaling, I’ll bet you’ll find this worth a look.

OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy

The OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy permits a user to quickly jump to date-organized pages in OneNote, creating them as needed.

Many people like to keep a daily work log, journal, or "Daily Record of Events" (in FranklinCovey parlance).  With its powerful note features, a hierarchical binder metaphor, search capabilities, note flags, and ink support on Tablet PCs, OneNote is ideal for this task in many ways.  However, navigation to a designated journal page can require several mouse clicks, particularly if you have previously navigated to other folders and sections within OneNote.  The Daily Journal PowerToy makes access to a journal page for the current day as effortless as the creation of a new Side Note.

The OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy facilitates creation and navigation of date-organized pages in OneNote.  When the feature is invoked, it creates (if necessary) and displays a page in OneNote corresponding to today's date.  The first time that the Daily Journal is run on a given date, a new page will be created and displayed; on subsequent invocations on that same date, the previously-created page will be displayed.


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