View of three business professionals collaborating around laptop

OneNote Helps Grow Small Business in Big Way

25 May 2016 by Susie Steckner

Give Sushi Chef Kevin Griffin a fresh piece of fish and razor-sharp knife and he’s right at home. But what about the tools to meet his business needs?

That’s a little outside Griffin’s comfort zone — at least it was until he discovered Microsoft’s OneNote.

The digital notebook, designed to capture and organize notes, allows Griffin to keep his small business running so he can focus on his true passion.

“My business has always been about being with people, sharing an experience, sharing time together,” Griffin says. “And seeing the joy that my sushi and my passion can bring to others really makes me feel good.”

Time and money

Every day, OneNote delivers solutions to small business owners like Griffin that help them operate more efficiently and increase productivity. Business owners rely on the digital notebook  to fill a wide range of needs, from managing projects and organizing notes to collecting online inspiration and keeping track of the next big idea.

Unique features help OneNote work even harder.

  • Web pages can be clipped and viewed later, online or offline.
  • Emails sent to me@onenote.com can be easily stashed in the notebook.
  • Photos of documents and whiteboards can be stored on devices with Office Lens.

Capturing ideas in OneNote is much easier for Microsoft Surface users thanks to the Surface Pen. Just sign in to the Surface and use the pen to access OneNote quickly, even from the lock screen. Click the top button on the pen to open OneNote and quickly jot down a note that’s saved automatically. Press the power button to put the Surface back to sleep.

If the Surface is already in use, click the top button on the pen and OneNote opens to the latest notes. Then toggle between OneNote and other apps in use.

It’s just as easy to use Surface to capture pictures and stash them on a OneNote page. Store important shots throughout your workday — the meeting whiteboard, the design inspiration, the event idea — all in one place. Just open the radial menu, and select “camera.” Take one or more pictures, and select “insert all.”

OneNote is accessible across all devices so managing business on the go is stress-free. For Surface users, OneNote is pre-installed and can be installed on other devices for free.

Notebooks can also be shared with colleagues — and customers — for viewing and editing, which boosts collaboration.

“Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better,” says Lifehack.

An added bonus

The apps that business owners use every day work seamlessly with OneNote, from news aggregator Feedly to web app connector Zapier. Devices like Doxie Mobile Scanners and Epson Document Capture Pro are also a great fit.

PCWorld recently rounded up some of the must-have supplements that enhance OneNote’s performance.

Mobility solutions

Attorney Mark Nikel used to have a laundry list of challenges, the kinds that small business owners know all too well. 

“The largest challenge for us was remote access and sharing of information,” says Nikel, founder of Mark Nikel Professional Corporation. “As a lawyer in a small law firm like mine, being able to be out with clients and work away from the office is survival.” 

As a small personal injury firm, it needed solutions that supported email and legal case management requirements but didn’t require much administration. It needed to support employees and clients anywhere — in the office, at a hospital, inside a courtroom. And the firm needing quick and easy access to everything from calendars to case information. Nikel turned to cloud-based Microsoft Office 365, and tools like OneNote. They made all the difference.

“With OneNote and SharePoint Online, I was able to create shared notebooks to capture research, links to prior cases, maps of accident scenes, medical records, photographs and contact information related to a case,” he says. “I can access this information from almost anywhere from my mobile phone with Microsoft OneNote Mobile or with Microsoft OneNote Web App.”

Information at your fingertips

Sushi chef Griffin is founder of Boxing Fish Sushi. He has built his small business on delivering fresh, wild, sustainable sushi as well as providing personal attention to customers. Juggling the demands of his business isn’t easy and having information “at your fingertips” — whether in the office or on the go — is critical.

“I am constantly learning new things,” Griffin says. “Going from just cutting fish, sitting in a sushi bar, taking care of a customer to creating a business, developing a marketing scheme, developing menus, and dealing with customers and different purveyors is really difficult.

 “OneNote really helps alleviate some of the stresses that are involved in owning my own business and running my own business so I can focus on my passion.”