|Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
Do you suffer from pre-vacation anxiety? Many of us worry about things like making connections or finding our way on the roads. Ultimately, we worry whether we'll be able to spend our vacation doing what we set out to do — relax and enjoy our adventures!
With the right tools, travel planning can make your trip easier, more relaxing, and more fun. Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 is an indispensable tool for planning trips and for keeping a record of your adventures. OneNote can act as a central repository for all your essential trip information: reservations, maps, reference materials, and so on. It can also become the travelogue of your daily adventures — complete with photos, audio recordings, and video clips of notable sights and events.
To show you how OneNote can be used both for travel planning and as a travelogue, we borrowed Seiichi Kato's vacation notebook of a trip to Utah. Seiichi is a Microsoft Office Program Manager, based in Tokyo, Japan. He flew from the Narita airport to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a five-day driving adventure that took him through many small towns, state parks, and national parks. Let's look at how Seiichi organized his travel planning in OneNote and join him for a few exciting days on the road.
Planning a trip in OneNote
Seiichi planned his trip in a notebook section that he titled Vacation. The first page in this section contained information about all his reservations: airline, rental car, and hotels. Five additional pages contained itineraries for each day of his trip. He titled these pages with the date and the word "Planned." Seiichi could then click a page tab to view a particular day, or rest the mouse pointer over a page tab to check when he had created the plan.
Next, he created five more new pages with the same vacation dates, except that he changed "Planned" to "Actual" for these pages. On his trip, he referred to the itineraries on his "Planned" pages and recorded his thoughts and the events of the days as they unfolded on the "Actual" pages. The following image shows Seiichi's notebook organization:
Gathering reservation information in OneNote
Before his trip, Seiichi gathered his flight, hotel, and rental car information and copied it to the Reservations page in his notebook. For example, he copied the flight itinerary and confirmation code from the airline's reservation confirmation e-mail message and also took a screen clipping from the Salt Lake City International Airport Web site of the area of the map that showed the international arrivals terminal.
Whether at the airport, rental car agency, or hotel, all Seiichi had to do was open his Reservations page to view all of his information in one place — including confirmation codes, reservations numbers, and hotel addresses.
Creating itineraries on a custom OneNote page template
Seiichi needed to stick to a tight schedule in order to visit all the places he wanted to in five days. To keep on track, he created an itinerary for each day of his trip. To expedite the planning process, and since he knew he needed to include the same basic information for each day on each page, Seiichi first created a template for these itineraries. The template allowed him to easily reuse the same format for each day's itinerary.
Seiichi created a page in OneNote with the following headings and then saved that page as a template:
- Timetables: for entering the name of each town or place of interest along his route, the distance in miles between them, his projected arrival and departure times, and the population and elevation of each location.
- Sights/Activities: for pasting screen images of photos clipped from Web sites, including the National Park Service and the chambers of commerce of towns he planned to visit. Conveniently, links to the Web sites were automatically copied to OneNote. When Internet access was available, he could follow these links to find more information.
- Driving Routes: for copying road maps from the Internet on which he marked the routes that he planned to travel with a highlighter in OneNote.
He entered the information for each day and noted important things to remember in each section. For example, on day three under Sights/Activities, he made notes about Cedar Breaks National Monument: "Still closed in early May because of snow. Best view from North entrance." In his Driving Routes section, he noted where to stop for gas or groceries and find Internet access. The following image shows one of Seiichi's daily itineraries, including a timetable and information on Arches National Park.
Tip To learn how to create your own templates from any page in your notebook, see Create a new page template.
OneNote as a travelogue
Let's look at Seiichi's first two days of travel as he documented them in OneNote.
Day 1 On the flight to Salt Lake City, Seiichi recorded his thoughts about the days to come.
After landing at the Salt Lake City airport, Seiichi retrieved his luggage and walked to the rental car agency, a short distance from the terminal. At the agency desk, he referred to the reservation number on his Reservations page in OneNote. Once in his vehicle, he found the road map he had copied to his first day's itinerary. Before long, he was driving past the city limits toward Price, Utah, where he had a hotel reservation. He pulled to the side of the road several times to take notes. He marked each entry with a time and date stamp, and later, when he was settled at the hotel in the evening, he completed these notes.
Note A Windows Mobile-based smartphone or Pocket PC can be very convenient for taking notes on the go. Handwritten notes taken on a Pocket PC and voice or video recordings taken on a smartphone can be easily transferred to OneNote, so that you can incorporate them into your travel notebook later. To learn more about OneNote Mobile, see Office Hours: Use Office 2007 on your mobile phone or read the OneNote Mobile 2007 quick start guide.
Day 2 Seiichi visited three parks and hiked six and a half miles. With his digital camera, he took many pictures of the scenery. As he visited national and state parks, he used note flags to mark the places in his notebook. Later, the note flags allowed him to search for all the parks information, in case he wanted to refer to or share this information with others. The following image shows Seiichi at Arches National Park in a digital photo, copied into OneNote, with notes about the day and note flags marking the entries.
Note Seiichi used digital still photographs in his travel notebook, but for OneNote users who record vacations with a video camera, you can try capturing video directly into your notebook. A video icon will appear in your notes where the video was taken. Double-click the icon to play the video.
Saving and sharing travel memories with OneNote
At the end of Seiichi's journey, he had filled the pages in his notebook with notes and photographs. He referred to his itineraries many times as he drove and set out on hikes. On the flight home, he added some finishing touches to his notebook — he downloaded more photos from his camera, arranged them in his notebook, and typed more thoughts about his travels. He also compared his planned itineraries to the actual trip.
Back in Tokyo, Seiichi easily shared his travelogue with others. For friends who were already using OneNote, he selected the pages of his Utah Vacation section and copied them to a network location where they could view his notebook. For those who didn't have OneNote, he selected the pages in his notebook and sent them in e-mail. His notes and photographs appeared in the body of the message.
OneNote did several important things for Seiichi:
- It simplified his trip by providing one place for all his essential travel information, including reservation numbers, confirmation codes, maps, and important reminders.
- It saved space in his suitcase since he didn't need to carry many maps, travel brochures, and books.
- It provided an easy way to take notes on the road, assembling a travelogue as he went.
- It enabled him to store facts about his travels (sight-seeing information, mileage, elevations, and so on) that he can refer to on future trips or share with friends who are taking a similar journey.
- It allowed him to easily share his travelogue with others.
As Seiichi noted in the final entry of his Utah vacation notebook, "Good planning enabled me to cover all of these places in a limited amount of time." Planning for a vacation is a challenging task, and Seiichi relied on OneNote to facilitate the planning process.
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