Learn OneNote Conference 2018 Kicks Off

The Learn OneNote Conference officially starts today. I'm so excited to be a part of this 3rd Annual event!  If you haven't signed up for your free ticket, you can do so at https://learnonconference.com/?affiliate=denisev and be able to catch all the sessions as they go live and watch them as many times as you want through Monday, November 19 at 11 am CST. If you want a lifetime All-Access Pass to the 35+ sessions, you can get individual or group passes. More info when you register.



Follow along on your favorite Social Media sites (especially Twitter) with the #LONC18. Share, tweet, post your "Ah-hah" moments with us by using the hashtag.

Follow all of the speakers with Jared DeCamp's list on Twitter.

As if you had any doubts, I'll be keeping track of the sessions, speakers and my notes in OneNote.


Learn OneNote Conference 2018




I am so excited to announce that I will be one of the presenters at this year's Learn OneNote Conference in November! Join me and over 30 other experts in this arena to learn more about OneNote than you ever thought possible. Get ideas, inspiration and practical info for working efficiently and tailoring your notebook to your own personal needs. We will have sessions for the beginner all the way through those who are highly versed in using this free software at top performance.

๐Ÿ’ป This is an ONLINE virtual event. No delayed flights, no room issues, no required dress code, no taxis or parking and no having to arrange for the kids or the pets. Join in from the office or the comfort of your own home.

For a limited time, you can register for #LONC18 for free!

**After registering, watch your screen for a very limited-time special offer **

๐Ÿ“† Join me on Tuesday, November 13 @ 2:00 PM CST | 3:00 PM EST | 12:00 PM PST for a session on Making Digital Planning Pretty. Learn tricks and features to design your planner pages with colorful inspiration with practical layouts. Copy something you see in this session or use your skills to improvise for your own custom planner. #onenoteprettypages

๐Ÿ“† Come back on Wednesday, November 14 @ 12:00 PM CST | 1:00 PM EST | 10:00 AM PST for Travel Planning with OneNote to learn how to manage your travel plans, itinerary, checklists, email confirmations, expense reports and more. Whether you are traveling alone or with a group, you'll want OneNote for your plans. #onenotetravelplanning

๐Ÿ“˜ Attendees will receive a OneNote notebook from me with all the info, templates and techniques used in both of my sessions.

This conference is hosted by Jared De Camp

Organized by 


Sponsored by 



IAAP Summit 2018


I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the IAAP Summit in Austin, Texas this year. The event this year was close enough for me to drive to it and I was able to hook up with a few local friends outside of the conference, which was nice as well. As always, the last few days were filled with inspiration, motivation and a wealth of knowledge...and a few million bats. ๐Ÿฆ‡

For those of us with the premium package, the conference began on Saturday and I selected the sessions by Vickie Sokol Evans, MCT and owner of Redcape Company. I have been attending her sessions, boot camps and webinars for several years now and I always learn something. She's my main inspiration for me attempting to get the MCT for myself. I'm glad I was able to go throughout the room and assist with some of the hands-on parts of her sessions as needed since the classrooms are rather large. I enjoy being able to teach others, even in a tiny capacity.

๐ŸŽธ Later that night, I was able to get down to Kyle to The Railhouse to see a local band play and also catch up with an old co-worker that lives nearby. My friend, Ray, is a great guitar player/singer and even played for the opening band. Check out the Wyatt Weaver Band in person if you're around the south Austin area or catch them on Spotify.

๐ŸŒŽ The main part of the conference commenced on Sunday with the opening session which began with the parade of nations. 48 countries were represented by around 1200 attendees this year. It was truly a world-class event. The keynote speaker was Colette Carlson. Over the next couple of days, I attended several sessions and learned a LOT. Now, if my brain can just contain it all. If not, there's always my notes in #OneNote.

๐ŸŽ™ Ed Talks were 10-minute mini-messages from multiple presenters. Vickie Sokol Evans spoke on digital etiquette, Bonnie Low-Kramen explained how women can shut off the default behaviors. Sandy Geroux talked about our emotional log and Tom Vorves ended the talk with ways to automate our everyday tasks.

I got to learn from the following speakers over the course of the Summit: Madelyn Mackie, Tom Vorves, Lucy Brazier, Al-Husein Madhany, Melissa Esquibel, Sandy Geroux, Peggy Vasquez, Veronica Cochran and Neil Malek. Such a wealth of knowledge in one location! I've already been implementing several of the take-aways at my office. ๐Ÿ“š

MANY thanks to Vickie for inviting me to dinner on Sunday night with most of these speakers. It was a special treat and I felt like I was dining with royalty. Mexican food and good conversation is hard to beat. ๐ŸŒฎ

๐Ÿฎ The networking lunch and closing celebration meals were high-class. We closed out the event with a grand celebration and lots of dancing. ๐Ÿ’ƒ Summit is always a good place to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. I enjoyed seeing my Austin peeps again. It was good to see Wildali Perez from Puerto Rico again this year (especially after the hurricane) and to meet and Diana Brandl from Germany. Fun times, ladies!


๐Ÿ“ธ See some more of my photos from the week at https://photos.app.goo.gl/VQEnvpxKq1p1Qtma6

๐Ÿ™‡ The morning after the Summit, I went by Tactix of Austin to take another Microsoft Office Specialist exam. I took the PowerPoint 2016 exam and passed it. It was the 3rd of 4 exams that I need for the MOS Master level in 2016. After all the info at the conference and the stress of exams, I was ready to get home and take a nap.

Next year, the Summit will be held at the Gaylord in National Harbor, MD.


Import Google Calendar to OneNote for Digital Planning

Using a couple of "helper" apps, such as PrintMyCal.com and Microsoft Word, you can take your Google Calendar and import it to OneNote to create a monthly layout for digital planning. Follow along and learn a few tips and tricks along the way. Please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel to be notified of new videos.


Video notes:
Check out Michele Christensen's Facebook group for more design ideas : OneNote Bullet Journal

OneTastic add-in for OneNote 2016  

Gem add-in for OneNote (I use the UWP version)

Freestyle Digital Planning with OneNote

I have made several digital layouts that have mimicked paper planners and are somewhat structured in nature. But with digital planning in OneNote, it can be as free-flowing as your thoughts. List out bills, tasks, reminders and appointments in a block or break them out with a separate To Do list. Create an area for a brain dump. Have a thought?  Write or type it out depending on what device you are closest to when the thought hits. Give it all a pretty background instead of just a flat white sheet of "paper".

Watch my latest video for some layout tips and tricks. Give it a ๐Ÿ‘ and subscribe to my channel to be alerted when I post new videos.


Last Minute Presentation

On Thursday, June 5, around 9 am, I got an email from the ABWA (American Business Women's Association) College Station Charter Chapter requesting an emergency fill-in for a speaker that canceled for that night's meeting.  Luckily, I was free that evening and was able to pull a presentation together on Digital Planning with OneNote. ๐Ÿ“’ Thanks for thinking of me, Sharon.


If you have followed this blog and/or my YouTube channel, you know that digital planning is something I work on for my personal life on a daily basis and is near and dear to my heart. I have presented this topic at work before, so all I needed to do was tweak it a little bit (which is the norm anytime I do a repeat presentation).

The meeting was nice and I saw a few familiar faces from other organizations I have been in over the years, so it was good to catch up. The meal was chicken fajitas with all the fixin's. YUM! Hey, I didn't have to cook or do dishes that night! After the meal, I did my demo and answered questions to the best of my ability. I wasn't quite as polished as I would like to have been, but I think it was pretty good for a last-minute stand in. There was a Business of the Month spotlight and short business meeting and then door prizes - and I even won one of them - a bag of fresh, home-grown t'maters. ๐Ÿ…

I enjoy presenting trainings and I love seeing people's faces when they get that "Ah-hah" moment. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ "Oh, THAT'S how I can save a lot of time and effort" or "I didn't know this program would do that"!  It makes my day. For my MCT requirements, I need to have evaluations filled out on trainings that I present and I enjoy getting 5-star ratings and reading the comments on how I helped someone or how they enjoyed the presentation. It was a good day.


Create a Digital Recipe Book

In this video, I explain how to use OneNote to capture various types of recipes, including typing them out, capturing the page or card with the Office Lens built into OneNote, adding a PDF and clipping recipes from the web. Capture all those loose recipes and family favorites and that recipe in that one cookbook that you always have to hunt down every time you need it. OneNote is searchable. ๐Ÿ˜Š


Use emoji, images, stickers and page preview to add visual punch.
๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ–๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿช๐Ÿž๐Ÿฆ




Show notes:

OneNote Web Clipper
Office Lens
Campbell's Green Bean Casserole
Blue-Ribbon Butter Cake

Follow me on Social Media

Using PowerPoint to Make Backgrounds for OneNote

I have been making my own planner backgrounds for a few weeks and several people have asked me how I did them. Well, here's the tutorial. Let's plan...digitally. ๐Ÿ“’๐Ÿ’ป


I am using PowerPoint 2016 and the Windows 10 OneNote App. See notes on video for links to shop where I purchased some of the images.

Please give it a Thumbs Up ๐Ÿ‘ on YouTube and subscribe to my channel to keep up-to-date on future videos.

Tags vs Emoji in OneNote

If you are a OneNote enthusiast as I am, you have probably heard the news that OneNote desktop version will not be included as a stand-alone product in Office 2019. Yes, OMG, indeed! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ There are quite a few functions in OneNote 2016 that are not available in the OneNote app. ๐Ÿ˜ญ My favorites are the Outlook integration, inserting/editing Excel spreadsheets, all my OneTastic macros and Tags (creating new ones and adding existing ones from other notebooks), hiding borders in Tables, inserting Symbols and such.

This post will concentrate on the Tags. Creating Tags in OneNote 2016 is great. I can use an icon and even change the font coloring and/or highlighting. Once created, these Tags will show on other apps as well, but you can't create new ones and you can't save them to be used again in those other apps. Supposedly, Tagging functions are going to be added to the app version this summer. ๐Ÿคž We'll have to see if that includes a Tag Summary or not.  The Find Tags function is handy in OneNote and I use it quite often, but mostly I use the Tags as a visual aid, because that's how I roll.

The OneNote app does have a couple of features that I like so I thought I'd give it a fair chance to do some "tagging" features. Why did I not think of this before? ๐Ÿคฆ Are you seeing a trend here? Other than the font color/highlighting feature and the Tag Summary, most of what I want to do is Find Tags. It finally dawned on me...I can search for emoji! That means, I can insert emoji in my Pages and search for them. I have loads of "icons" at my disposal. ๐Ÿ‘

Let's play, shall we?  If you are using a touchscreen laptop, you will probably see the Touch Keyboard on your taskbar. If you're on a PC and don't see it, right-click on the taskbar and go to Taskbar Settings. Click Turn System Icons On or Off and turn the Touch Keyboard on. Using the OneNote app for Windows, I can use the Touch Keyboard to insert colored emoji in the text on the Page as well as in the Title (which becomes part of the Page listing). I can now search ๐Ÿ” for a specific emoji. That, ladies and gentlemen is something that the Find Tags doesn't quite accomplish.

From my previous posts, you know I use OneNote daily in my digital planning/bullet journaling. Using emojis is just as colorful and searchable.

๐Ÿ“ŒThere are some items to note. On a Windows PC, laptop or tablet, when you insert an emoji from the keyboard, you are essentially inserting a symbol from the Segoe UI Symbol font set.  (Check out this font in a Character Map, it includes a LOT of cool fonts and emojis all wrapped into one.)  The emoji in the image above were inserted on the App version of OneNote and appear as full-color icons. When I pull up the same Page in the OneNote 2016 version (right), the icons are still there, but they are monochrome. If I create the emoji from the 2016 version, they will show up as just the flat emoji as if you had Inserted them from the Symbol (character map). See Monday for reference. The emoji also show up great on the app for iPad, on my Android phone and even on OneNote Online.

๐Ÿ™ŒGood news. No matter which version of the icon appears on the Page, you can still search the Page, Notebook, All Notebooks, etc. and it will find them all. Granted, if you want to use a specific color of text and/or highlighting as you did with Tags, you will have to manually make the change.

➨Another benefit of using emoji vs Tags, you can right-justify or center your text in a table or content holder and the emoji moves with the text.

๐Ÿ’กWant to search for a specific emoji? Check out Emojipedia or Get Emoji.

Plan With Me Digitally

It's been a good while since I did a Plan With Me video and this is the first time planning digitally, so be kind.  I have been using OneNote 2016 for most of my planning lately and I change the layouts and designs almost weekly. I really liked my Happy Planner, but it was cumbersome to carry around. I also didn't like buying new stickers or taking the time to print and trim them out. With my digital planning, I'm not stuck to specific layout for 12 (or more) months at a time. Freedom!

This video is on a weekly Spring layout utilizing a table and other elements in OneNote. I love this program, but for designs like this, you will have to work around some of the limitations. 




Images used were purchased from shops on Etsy. Jessica Sawyer LOL JSdigitalpaper PhantasiaDesign TheDigiRainbow Treveladesign I highly recommend OneTastic add-in for OneNote. Check out Michele Christensen's Facebook group for more design ideas : OneNote Bullet Journal.

Things I Have Learned About OneNote

I have spent a couple of years looking for that planner peace and have not been able to stick with any certain planner for more than a couple of months. Either the planner is too bulky to carry around or it's too small to fit all the info (and my ever-growing sticker collection) or it doesn't allow me to easily add extra pages, etc. So, I have been working in Microsoft OneNote to create a dynamic Digital Bullet Journal and I have learned several things along the way.  #digibujo  

I will share some things with you that I have figured out with trial and error that might save you some hassle. This info applies to OneNote in general, so even if you don't plan or journal, stick with me.

First and foremost, OneNote has several versions.  Each will look different and have various functions.  The most robust and feature-rich is the OneNote 2016 program for the desktop. Then there's the OneNote "app" for Windows 10. It does not have all the functions of the 2016 program, but it does have a few unique features of its own. Then there is the app for the Android and Apple mobile devices. And if that's not enough options, there's always OneNote.com.  This article from Microsoft will explain many of the differences. Fonts and ink colors and effects will appear differently between the various apps. Look at the apps on the device you will use MOST OFTEN and then do most of your setup using that device/app combination.  Use the other versions to quickly add info when you're on-the-go and then format as needed on your favorite combo.  Create a page and add text, handwriting, etc., then view on the other options. If you like the pencil and text effects, try the OneNote APP.  If you plan to create and use your own Tags to resemble Bullet Journal bullets, then you might want to use the 2016 desktop version.  It will also make a big difference if you are sharing with another person or group of people.  You will need to find out what combo most of the group will be using.

Create Tags in OneNote 2016.  Not only are they visual markers of Tasks, Events and Notes, but you can can use the "Find Tags" feature to search for them throughout a Section or Notebook. Using the checkbox-style Tags allows you to filter for only the unchecked items. If you want to use specific Tags in your Journal or Calendar, it's handy to use the font color to further differentiate them. Use a green font and a $ tag for financial items, bills, etc.  Pick a color for work items, another color for birthdays, etc. It's searching and visual all wrapped into one.

Note:  Tags will always be left-aligned, even if you use a center or right alignment on the text itself.  When you are in a content holder or table cell, using Tags will indent everything in that cell or content holder.



Use a combination of images (PNG files work best because they have transparent backgrounds), text and handwriting/drawing to make your planner/journal your own personal creation.  Change it up every day, week, month as you see fit or as your mood changes. No more being locked into one layout for 12 or 18 months.

But...in working with these platforms, I have found that there are some "technical difficulties" that came up. Learn from me and save yourself some time. You can thank me later.

Handwriting/drawing.  The ink will be on top of text, images, tables, etc. If you add items above the drawing, it will NOT move down the page, so don't plan to circle a word of text and then add an image or more text above it.  Handwriting works great if you have a PDF and "print" it to OneNote and Set Picture As Background. For journaling/planning, you can find lots of printables on Etsy, Pinterest, etc. that work well for this purpose or make your own in Word, PowerPoint, Google Docs or other programs.

Some of the nice things about handwriting: you can resize or move the drawing, you can change the color, you can erase/delete part of it and redo it.  Try doing that with a Sharpie on a paper planner!

Tip: If you have a small area to write, draw, color in, zoom in to make it easier. If working on a mobile phone or small tablet, you might want to try out a high precise stylus for even more accuracy.

Tables: Tables are great for creating a calendar, weekly planner pages, monthly logs, etc., but they do have some quirks. These are not the Tables from Word or PowerPoint. Firstly, there are no "column width" or "row height" settings. You can drag the columns to the desired width. Rows are going to be as deep as needed to accommodate the text or images in them.  There are some work-arounds. Try the OneTastic add-in. It has some great macros including a couple for setting the column widths. Another option would be to create a single-row table in Word or PowerPoint and print it to OneNote to use as a "template" to size your columns, then move it to another page for future reference.

If you add text or an image in a cell, the row will expand as necessary. The column widths will stay as you put them. As mentioned earlier, handwriting will not expand the cell.  If you want an image to go outside the lines, insert it outside of the table or other content holder and then drag it to the position you want it. These "floating" images will not adjust down the page as you add content above them, so keep that in mind. In the example above, I used images in the cells to make the rows appear to be the same size. Either write on them or type text outside of the table and then drag it over the top of the image.

You cannot merge cells in tables in OneNote. If you are making a monthly calendar, you can shade the cells of the extra days at the beginning or the end of the month.

To make a banner for an all-day event, create a one-celled table in the cell. Shade it differently than the rest of the table.

If you shade cells (like the days of the week above), the font color may change as you make more additions or changes to the table so take note. It's best to create everything else first, then come back and set your font color.

The table structure in OneNote cannot be formatted with colored borders or varying widths of borders. You cannot create a table in Word or PowerPoint and copy/paste it to OneNote with the source formatting. If you want to create a specific-sized table for a calendar or other layout or want specific color formatting of the cells, you can create it in Word and then print it to OneNote. Position it as desired, then set the entire image as a background and then add text, images, drawings as you like and the table will not change shape. Note that content holders cannot be extremely narrow, so there may be an issue if you are trying to use them as text boxes on narrow columns.

Use tables to create a structure and then Hide Borders. Tables are transparent unless you shade the cells, so if you have an image as a background, you will see it through the table.

If you want to insert a spreadsheet in the page, create a table in the spreadsheet. Format it as you wish, with or without banded rows. When inserting the existing spreadsheet, insert the table, not just the sheet. Otherwise, the spreadsheet will include unnecessary columns and rows.

If all else fails, go the "pen and paper" route and draw out everything using a stylus. Change ink color as often as you like. Turn on rule or grid lines to help keep everything on the straight and level. Turn them back off to see just your handiwork.


OneNote was not designed to be a planner or journal, but with a little patience, it works out quite nicely. The big upside is that you can reach it from your PC or Mac at work, your Android phone, your iPad or Android tablet or just about any web browser. If you are collaborating with family, friends or colleagues, you can work in real-time from anywhere.  Play with it and share your experiences in the comments below.













Learn OneNote Conference 2018 Kicks Off

The Learn OneNote Conference officially starts today. I'm so excited to be a part of this 3rd Annual event!  If you haven't signed u...