Everyone has their own version of travel planning, from handwritten bullet journals and one-page checklists to a binder-full of Etsy-designed printables. Some people even travel without a plan! (Not me!) I love the idea of pre-planning my trip digitally. Maybe you’re like me and like to keep it digital. Maybe you don’t own a printer at home to print out travel planning templates. Maybe you just can’t imagine lugging around a giant binder on your travels. That’s where OneNote comes in.
There’re two versions of OneNote: the free version and the paid version through Microsoft Office 365. This post highlights features on the free version. I didn’t come across OneNote by choice. It’s the default note-taking app on my Windows phone (hellooo… any Windows phone users out there?!) that ultimately became my trusty digital notebook and all-in-one planner in the palm of my hands. Don’t have a rare phone like I do? No worries! OneNote is also available for iOS and Android devices.
Now let me tell you why I love OneNote for travel planning and why you should use it!
1. Cross-Platform Synchronization
Your trip details are easily accessible from your smartphone, tablet and desktop. Whether you’re hunkered down on your laptop researching your next trip or jotting down ideas that pop into your head on your smartphone, OneNote will sync automatically between all devices.
2. Automatically Saves Your Notebooks
Flash back to the last time your Word program crashed while you worked vigilantly on an unsaved version of your document. Guess what? Planning your perfect itinerary won’t ever be lost by the omg-I-forgot-to-save problem. With OneNote’s automatic save feature that continuously saves your work to your OneDrive, you’ll never have to save manually again! It’ll save every 30 seconds and whenever you close your notebook or switch between sections and pages.
3. Web Page Clipping
Rather than collecting a never ending list of travel-related bookmarks to websites you probably won’t visit again, use the OneNote Clipper web extension to take screenshots, or clip, and save images from the web straight into your notebook. You can save the entire page as an image or cut the clutter of ads and choose to save the article as editable text. Clipping is simple as right-clicking a web page or selection of a web page and choosing to clip it to OneNote.
4. Embed Media
Text, pictures, audio and video clips, handwriting and screen clippings can be placed anywhere on your page. It’s the perfect platform from researching your destination to journaling your day-to-day adventures. Pair OneNote with the Office Lens app to “scan” copies of your travel documents and receipts and embed them directly into your pages. Utilize the Email to OneNote feature to forward your flight and accommodation confirmation emails directly into a specific notebook and section.
5. Page Versions
Your undo button can only take you so far back, but OneNote’s got you covered by keeping track of previous versions of your pages anytime you make changes instead of completely overriding them. To open the page versions window pane, right-click on a page and select “Page Versions.” Version histories do take up space, but you can delete page versions individually or disable the feature altogether.
Free OneNote Add-ons
- OneNote Clipper – Download this browser extension to easily clip web pages or selection of a web page.
- Office Lens | Microsoft Store | iTunes | Google Play – Take pictures of printed documents and turn them into scanner quality images for OneNote.
- Email to OneNote – Forward emails straight to OneNote.
Save Time Planning
The more you plan, the less time and money you’ll spend deciding on what to do once you get to your destination. Save time planning your next trip by harnessing the time-saving features of OneNote. It’s my all-time favorite travel planning tool to organize travel inspiration, budgets, itineraries and more! Make OneNote work for you with additional features in the paid Microsoft Office version including:
- Saving notebooks to your hard drive
- Integration with Outlook, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business
- Equation editor
- Creating custom tags
- Applying page templates
- Converting handwriting into text