By Christina Rich

If you’re like me, and live in organized chaos, you write lists of notes and notes of lists, and then promptly lose them. Placing things in file folders or writing them in notebooks just doesn’t work for me. I misplace the folders and end up using the notebooks for something else. I needed help. Desperately.

When I bought my new computer, my parents purchased the new Microsoft Word program as well, which included OneNote. I absolutely love it. If you have OneNote on your computer but have never used it, I’m going to attempt to show you what you’re missing.

Image 1

There are a series of purple arrows. One of them points to new. Click this button and a screen just like this will pop up. I save all my files to my computer. Name your file. I use the working title of my project. Then click Create Notebook.

Image 2Now, you’ll end up with a page that looks like this. Pretty generic, but that’s okay. See where the arrow is pointed? Right-click and you should see several tabs, one says Rename. Click it and name this tab. Each person has their own writing style and organizational process. Mine varies book to book as you’ll see in some of the other images. For this tutorial, I’m going to start with Characters. So, type Characters into the tab.

Image 3Now, on the right hand side of the image you see New Page and Soifra. When I open a new page under Characters, a blank page appears with a little text box. Type the name of one of your characters there. I always start with my hero and heroine. Continue clicking New Page to add new characters.

Image 4The arrow on the right shows that I added Gavin. The arrow at the top left pointing toward a sunburst will open a new topic page altogether.

Image 5I’ve added several here.  Research, Map, Scripture

Image 6Now here, while we’re on Gavin’s page, I’ve inserted images of who I based my character on. Clive Owen from King Arthur (2004).

If you have an image downloaded on your computer, just click the insert button and then upload your photos.

If you don’t, you can find images on the computer and download them. I like to use free images from the Internet, which is a different topic for another day. But Clive Owen is who I envisioned when I created Gavin.

*Having these images readily available will help you when it comes time to do the Art Facts Sheet for your publisher.

Image 7This is my heroine’s page. Yep, Kate Winslet (Titanic 1997). I’ve added text boxes for descriptions and a bit about her story.

Image 8Maps page. Again, I’ve uploaded a picture from my computer and then I did a print screen. You do this by hitting the prt sc button when you’re on a certain page, it will automatically copy the page then you paste it into OneNote.

Image 9I added a Business tab up top and then created several New Pages. This way I have all of my stuff together.

Something I thought of is that you might want to add subpages for your dedication page, author notes, clips from your favorite scenes.

Image 10Print screen with link to music.

Image 11Okay, this is a big one, especially if you’re writing historical fiction. I added an Etmology tab. Then added a Scottish Words page (should have done Gaelic) and an American Words page.

Here I’ve pasted, with my resource cited the word Reive, it’s meaning, date it originated and the pronunciation.

Image 12Sample of my One Sheet from a different story. This image shows up a lot bigger than the previous ones. As you can see on the left hand side, I have a list of different projects.

Image 13This is for a work in progress. My first page is listed as Projected Details. This is where I project my word count, approximate words per chapter and my targeted line.

Image 14Using the same works in progress, I added pages for each of my projected chapters. Right now they have only scripture references for each chapter, but this is where you would write a mini synopsis for each chapter.

Image 15With this page I named my Characters’ page Images. I can go back and change it. Again I created a page for each character, but I want to show you the hero’s image along with the heroine’s father. There are more details about each of these characters on their own pages with more images.

*Anne Hathaway (heroine), Chris Hemsworth (hero) and Trevor Howard (heroine’s father)

Something I have not yet done is a page for Research Tips with sub-pages of images and notes.

As you can see OneNote is a great way to keep all your resources in one place.


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