Friday, April 30, 2010

A software tool I can't live without

Even with the use of specific genealogy software that is essential to tracking my ancestors and printing reports, I absolutely could not get along without a handy little package from Microsoft called OneNote. OneNote serves as an electronic filing cabinet for all those notes, to do lists, internet resources, screen captures - you name it.

In OneNote, you can set up as many "notebooks" as you want - say for example, one notebook per surname. If you find some information on a web site, you can "print to OneNote" for future evaluation or just to save the information. You can title each page, by subject, in every notebook. You can take screen captures to collect information for research - and the software even has the capability of converting text in a graphic into searchable text. What does that mean? You are able to search EVERYTHING that you have saved in OneNote in a matter of seconds to locate information on a certain individual, for example.

Each page you have in OneNote can also be printed as an Adobe pdf file that you could email to a fellow researcher when sharing information.

OneNote can be purchased as a standalone product or as part of a suite of products. I have it as an integral part of Microsoft Office Home and Student (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote). The 2010 versions of both are scheduled to be released shortly.

The standalone version is reasonably priced (the 2010 version is less than $80), which makes it well worth the convenience and time savings in being able to organize a variety of digital files and images.

To learn more about this tool, click on the links below.

Microsoft OneNote 2010

Using Microsoft OneNote 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student

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