Using OneNote to Build and Share Your Tech Conference Memory Album

Using OneNote to Build and Share Your Tech Conference Memory Album

The release of OneNote for free for the most popular platforms (Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, Android) ensures that the app can exist across a multitude of devices. When attending a large event, like TechEd or IT/Dev Connections, OneNote offers some very cool value for capturing notes, saving memories in photos, and a myriad of other things.

And, since sending to OneNote is pretty near real-time, you can also share your special event album, allowing those stuck back at work to see the event from your point of view. In effect, you can turn OneNote into a live blogging tool, detailing the entire conference experience that others can share in.

And, once the event is over and your OneNote notebook is complete, you can go back and relive the experience any time. But, more valuable than that, the conference notebook can be used to help build the case to management for attending the same event the following year.

Here's a few ideas of what you might use OneNote to capture:

  1. Presentation slides during sessions – even though the slide decks will be available for download later, use your device's camera to tuck the slides you find most valuable into an OneNote notebook.
  2. Business cards – using OneNote's built-in OCR capabilities, take a photo of business cards you receive (vendors and associates) and store them in OneNote, allowing you to peruse later, tag the ones to follow-up on, and also search by text.
  3. Event guide pages – need to remember event activity schedules or even the event's WiFi password? Capture just the pages in the guide that are valuable to you and then toss the guide aside. It's better to spend a few minutes with the guide than spend the entire conference fighting the vendor inserts each time you need to find something.
  4. Notes – stop using pen and paper! Utilize OneNote for what is meant and transition to all electronic note taking. OneNote is a great solution for notes, even allowing handwriting-to-text conversion. Carrying a tablet, like the Microsoft Surface, iPad or Android, around the event makes this so much easier. Of course, the Microsoft Surface Pro series also supports its own digitizer pen and has palm block technology, making it a much better solution for handwriting than the iPad or an Android tablet.
  5. Location and Event Maps – TechEd will be in Houston this year and IT/Dev Connections is back in Las Vegas. Jump out to Bing Maps and grab maps of the city where the event is located and store them in OneNote. Most conference centers also offer site maps that can be stored for reference. George R. Brown Convection Center (TechEd) is HERE.  Aria Convention Center (IT/Dev Connections) is HERE.

Sharing a notebook in OneNote is pretty easy. If you want to share with a select few people, you can invite them through email. If you want to share the notebook more widely, you can generate a special notebook link where anyone who knows the link can access the notebook.

Desktop Version: Sharing a OneNote Notebook

To share in the desktop version of OneNote…

  1. To get to the Sharing options, click the File tab.


  1. One next page, locate the notebook you want to share and click the "Invite people to this notebook" link.


  1. On the Share screen, choose the option you desire. Invite People sends a special email to those you want to have access. You can choose if you want to allow them to be able to edit content in the notebook or just view the content, and you can also force invitees to login to OneNote before accessing the content to help secure against unauthorized eyes and clicks.

  1. The Get a Sharing Link provides options to create View-only link, or a link that allows editing of the content in the shared notebook. When you're ready to disable sharing for the notebook, this is the same spot to revisit to disable the sharing link.


Web Version: Sharing a OneNote Notebook

The web version of OneNote works the same way for Sharing, providing the same email invites and shared link creation functions.

  1. To access the sharing in OneNote for the web, click or tap the Share option at the top right.

  1. Once clicked or tapped, the following sharing options screen will display.

  1. Make your selections and security adjustments.

Other Versions: Sharing a OneNote Notebook

The Metro, or modern UI version is not quite as complete as the Desktop and Web versions of OneNote. With so much push by Microsoft to get people to like Windows 8, you'd think the company would put more prominence into making their own apps work better and be as full-featured as their counterparts. Sharing is not built into this version.

In fact, notebook sharing is only available for Android, Mac, Windows Desktop, and the web.  Sharing is not a feature for Windows Metro, Windows Phone, and iPhone. So, if you want to share a OneNote notebook while using those devices that don't yet support sharing, you'll need to use the web version, but that's easily accessible from any device.

OneNote is available for:

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