It’s been a while since we restructured our OneNote to fit the ‘SecretWeapon’ methodology (https://thesecretweapon.org/). Overall, this has been a qualified success.
As we come to the close of the year, and the start of a new one, it is time to take inventory of the past, and gaze into the future. Looking backwards, we started to see the impact the very large notebooks is having. In some cases, it has resulted in corruption of a notebook (very bad). Generally, though, where we see the practical impact is on mobile. It appears that anytime that OneNote does a full stop on a mobile device, it has to perform a reload of data. When we are out and about, and internet speeds can be choked, this can be quite a nuisance. In particular, it truly interferes with the “quick note” concept – that is, get things out of our head quickly and get back to what we were doing.
Looking forward, Microsoft definitely talks to collaboration being the key to the future. As such, our notes should be available to anyone who would benefit from them. For instance, our notes on a specific project should be shared with the whole project team. However, if we are using the single notebook approach then we cannot share just a subset of our notes.
So, these two perspectives – large notebooks are slow notebooks, and visible information is good information – require some deep thought on how to properly organize the OneNote environment. The biggest drawback is simultaneously the biggest strength of the ‘big notebook’ strategy: we don’t have to remember where we put something because Search is smarter than we will ever be. If we break up our big notebook and put the pieces in Team sites scattered across the ether, we have to tell Search all of the places our something could be. Further, we must load all of those notebooks into OneNote before we can search them. Ooof.
In that spirit, we are going to use 2019 as another experiment – an experiment where we break and then try to renew the Keep It Stupidly Simple (KISS) rule. We will break out notebooks and put them up for display. While doing this, we will work on KISS strategies on how to find things when we need them.