Microsoft has two seemingly-similar writing programs available to their users: Microsoft Word and Microsoft OneNote. Most of us are familiar with Word, as it has been a staple in the business world since the early 1980’s, but OneNote, on the other hand, is much newer. If you are not familiar with OneNote’s capabilities, check out our recent  blog post that discusses what OneNote is and how it can be used.

If you’re still pretty new to OneNote, you probably think that you have to decide whether you want to use OneNote or Word going forward. They are both known for recording groups of text or information, so they must be interchangeable, right? Actually, no. While they seem like similar programs on the surface, the truth is that Word and OneNote were created for completely different uses. Here is how OneNote and Word stack up to each other when it comes to using them for common business practices.

OneNote vs Word: Taking Notes During a Meeting

Winner: OneNote

Reason: If you have a meeting coming up that you know you need to take notes on, you should always opt towards using OneNote for it. OneNote allows you to record more than just text—you can add text, doodles, images, and even videos to your page. Additionally, you can divide each notebook in to sections and pages so that you are able to easily find what you are looking for when you need to refer back to your notes.

OneNote vs Word: Creating and/or Sending a Report

Winner: Word

Reason: Word was designed to be a document creating tool, so your report will look and feel much more professional when created in Word rather than OneNote. Word also has document processing built in to it, so you have all the tools you need to create a report of any length, including several formatting features.

OneNote vs Word: Completing a Research-Based Analysis

Winner: Both

Reason: If you need to create a formal document that you also have to conduct research for, you should be using both OneNote and Word together. Your OneNote notebook should hold all of the information, quotes, and images that you want to include in your final analysis, while your Word document is the actual report that you will be sending or presenting to your colleagues or clients. In other words, OneNote should be used to outline everything you want included in your analysis, while Word should be used to complete the analysis itself.

While both programs are a good place to record information, it is clear that OneNote and Word work off of each other to be used simultaneously. You should not be limiting yourself by only using OneNote or only using Word, as being able to effectively utilize both will significantly increase your productivity while improving your workflow.

Ready to learn how to effectively use OneNote with Outlook to re-energize your productivity? If you are a Take Back Your Life! grad, join us for our Optimizing Take Back Your Life: OneNote Webinar on January 23, 2019. Register here.