Is OneNote A Project Management Tool?
OneNote can be a great addition to the project manager’s toolbox, but figuring out how to optimize the program for use in project management can be a bit daunting. That’s where having OneNote templates you know you can count on come in handy. You don’t have to be creative, you don’t have to spend time searching for the right thing to use for your project needs. All you need to do is enter the information relevant to your particular project and situation into the forms provided. That’s why I’ve collected a list of OneNote project management templates that will really help you out.
Project Post Mortem
Once a project has come to completion, it is important to close the project appropriately. The project post-mortem template, available from the Microsoft Office website, prompts you on the sorts of things you’ll need to take into account when putting together the closure report. You’ll have a place to track your goals against the outcome, the budget against the actual costs, and the participation of key stakeholders in the project. Finally, you can summarize in list format what went right in your project and what didn’t go as you had expected. Download Link: Project Post Mortem
The Basic Project Management Notebook
[caption id=”” align="aligncenter” width="600”] The notebook can make your project management tasks easier[/caption]
This particular template includes a calendar, meeting minutes templates, space for phone messages, plan tracking and planning pages, and review pages. While there are many different sections in this template, it is really best for uncomplicated projects and projects that are straightforward. If you are working on a complex project, it might be better to instead use project planning software, but use these pages for your project notes. That way you can give more robust treatment to the project using Gantt charts, milestone tracking and more. To get this template, open OneNote and select Insert -> Page Templates -> Business -> Project Overview.
The Simplified Action Item Page
[caption id=”” align="aligncenter” width="600”] Action Items[/caption]
If you’re looking for a super-simple way to track your action items (or multiple milestones) for a project (and you want to have an at-a-glance view of what’s due, whether it’s been done, and any notes on the status), then my simplified action item tracking project page might be just the thing you are looking for. This template allows you to track the name of the project, a brief description of the task, check off whether it’s been done, and fill out your notes section. Download Link: OneNote Simplified Action Item Template Page
Work Breakdown Structure
[caption id=”” align="aligncenter” width="600”] Create a WBS easily using a template[/caption]
If you use work breakdown structures (WBS), then you might want to download this handy template from our Media Gallery. By using a template for your WBS, you can simplify the process of making boxes and connecting them. Of course, you shouldn’t be afraid to modify the template if necessary. If you need to add more boxes to the structure, click on the drawing toolbar icon to open the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Then, select the box you need. By using OneNote to create your WBS, it will be easier to link work items to any notes you have, and you can hyperlink to other documents within the program (and outside of the program). Download Link: OneNote WBS Template
[caption id=”” align="aligncenter” width="600”] Keep track of your expenses for the project in one place[/caption]
An important part of project management involves sticking to a pre-determined budget. It’s hard to know whether you are on target for the budget if you do not carefully track expenses. You can download and use this expenses template. If you use OneNote with a shared notebook, then other key stakeholders can also access this page and enter relevant expenses. By having everyone keep on top of what is being spent during the project, you can better know whether you can actually afford to add that extra flourish to your project. Download Link: OneNote Expenses Tracking Template
[caption id=”” align="aligncenter” width="600”] Use a communications plan to keep stakeholders informed[/caption]
A solid communication plan is an important part of any project management endeavor. That’s why it’s so important to be sure that when you create a project you include a plan for communicating with all your stakeholders. For this reason, I’ve taken the communication plan I had created for use in Word and modified the template for OneNote. The template includes prompts for creating a context for your plan, developing objectives for your plan, and setting the protocol for various situations. For example, you should take into account how and when routine communications should occur, who should be notified during the budgeting process, and what you should take into account in terms of risk management should things not go as planned. Download Link: OneNote Project Communication Plan Template
[caption id=”” align="aligncenter” width="600”] Plan your project in OneNote using a single page.[/caption]
Planning a project on one page can greatly simplify your life - and it can be done easily using MS OneNote. If you are using a tablet PC or Netbook computer, this template can be what saves you from a major headache. Summarize your entire project on one page. Track objectives, tasks, resources, budgets and more on a single summary page. By using OneNote templates for your projects, you can greatly simplify the process of project management. While the program was not created to handle all project management tasks, OneNote can still be a very valuable tool in the project manager’s toolkit. While many people simply keep track of their project-related notes in this application, full utilization of the program allows the ability to achieve maximum productivity. Download Link: OneNote One-Page Project Template If you’re looking for sample forms and downloadable templates, check out Bright Hub’s resource guide Over 50 Free Project Management Templates and Sample Forms.
- Screenshots courtesy of Ronda Roberts