How to Use OneNote and Outlook to Take Meeting Minutes

Anu Nevalainen

In this brief video, our Head of Training, Anu Nevalainen, demonstrates, how you can use Microsoft OneNote to write down and share meeting minutes. It’s really easy to sync your notes between OneNote and Outlook.

See for yourself!

Office Sway was released to the public. Currently we're talking about a preview version, so more features are to be expected, yet it's already clear how useful Sway is. Some sites and blog posts have compared Sway to PowerPoint and are predicting that it will challenge or even replace PowerPoint as the number one presentation software. I wouldn't go that far; at least I'm not going to give away all my PowerPoints that I use in my trainings. Sway, however, does have its strengths compared to, for example, PowerPoint.'>

Office Sway Takes Your Presentation to a Whole New Level

In mid-December, Microsoft’s new application Office Sway was released to the public. Currently we’re talking about a preview version, so more features are to be expected, yet it’s already clear how useful Sway is. Some sites and blog posts have compared Sway to PowerPoint and are predicting that it will challenge or even replace PowerPoint as the number one presentation software. I wouldn’t go that far; at least I’m not going to give away all my PowerPoints that I use in my trainings. Sway, however, does have its strengths compared to, for example, PowerPoint.

In order to use Sway, you don’t have to install any software or pay for license fees. We are talking about an online application that you can use for free to create Sway presentations and share them easily by sending a link to the presentation. You can also embed Sways in your website. All you need in order to use Sway is a Microsoft account, so that you can log in.

Making Sways is easy and the outcomes are elegant. Unlike many other Office programs, the Sway user interface doesn’t try to simulate tangible life (paper, pages, slides), which means working with Sway is genuinely digital. There are no pages, just different sections. You can add headings that add new sections with sub-headings, and text components or media straight, for instance, from Youtube or OneDrive. Menus and ribbons are gone and all the functions are embedded in the view in logical places. Especially for the growing number of tablet and mobile users, I can imagine Sway to be a pleasant way to create stylish presentations easy and fast. Students will surely make use of Sway for their studies as well.

Depending on which device the presentations are primarily viewed with, you can select the structure of your Sway to be either scrolling vertical (desktop) or a horizontal one to pan through (handy for tablets and mobile devices). Later there will be more structures available. There are twelve different themes with set fonts, color schemas and backgrounds and the amount will increase in the future. If you can’t make a choice between the themes, you can always click on the Remix! button and let Sway randomly select your theme. You can also decide, whether you want the images to be in groups, stacks or separate. I myself find the stack of images a fun way to present them.

You can create presentations, guides, photo books, web pages and a lot more with Sway and the outcome is something between a PowerPoint presentation and visual web pages. For the time being, you can only use Sway by logging in with browser, but in Australia and New Zealand, there already* is an iPhone app which allows offline editing as well. Android app is currently in the making.

If you want to convert your old PowerPoint files (or PDF or Word files) into Sways, you can import them very easily. Especially a converted PowerPoint looks nice even without any extra editing after the import.

A few important remarks for Sway beginners:

  • Sways are public by default. You can’t set user rights and once you’ve sent the presentation link to someone, anyone with the same link can view your Sway. You should think twice if you’re considering to share confidential presentations with Sway.
  • Not for printers! You shouldn’t even try to print your Sways, as it will only give you gray hair.

Both my favorite application OneNote and Sway encourage you to work in a paperless office and at the same time you don’t have to worry about saving your work constantly. The data and presentations are always at hand. It’s easy, right?

Below is an example of a travel story created with Sway. Try it out yourself!

*) After writing this post Sway for iPhone has become available in the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and the British Virgin Islands.

Gamification in Action – Talks Worth Sharing, Part 2

In March, we published a collection of gamification talks from YouTube to help you out on the beginning of your gamification journey. Now that you know the basics: how does gamification work in action? Check out the following videos and get inspired!

Jon Guerrera – Gamification as a Tool for Achieving More

Jon Guerrera tells how he gamified his toughest goals, and how you can build your own gamification system from scratch with as little as a pen and paper. You don’t necessarily need a mobile app to increase your personal productivity – just start with post-it notes!

Khan Academy and Gamification: Making Learning Fun

Rishi Desai discusses how the Khan Academy, a free online classroom, is using gamification to engage and motivate learners. A set of simple game mechanics can have big effects if used the right way.

Minute Hacks: The Gamification of Fitness

Tired of feeling inadequate compared to your ripped and toned trainer at the gym? Not self-motivated enough to actually stay on the treadmill longer than three and half minutes? Gamified fitness apps are hugely popular and this Hack College video showcases a couple good ones.

Coke Zero Marketing Campaign: Unlock the 007 in you!

Coke Zero challenged unsuspecting train passengers to unlock the 007 in them for their chance to win exclusive tickets for the James Bond movie SKYFALL in 2012. However, the exclusive tickets weren’t free. People had to go the extra mile and unlock their inner 007 in less than 70 seconds to win.

Multitask Less and Achieve More

Does it sometimes feel like you’re working a lot, yet you can’t get anything done? Don’t worry, you most certainly are not alone. I also used to suffer from a sickness I like to call serious multitasking. It’s quite closely related to the lack of concentration, idling and running aimlessly. I’ve come to the conclusion that serious multitasking seems to be on the increase, because for one information worker there simply are too many things to do and follow simultaneously.

Regarding work and especially results, serious multitasking is destructive, as the most serious symptom of serious multitasking is that nothing ever seems to be completed. This leads to an unhappy circle of events: when you can’t score off anything from your To-Do list, you won’t get the experiences of success, which eventually leads to decrease in motivation.

Luckily there’s a cure for this disease. I started my healing process immediately after joining Cloudriven. Although some of the symptoms still apper from time to time, I feel relieved and – most importantly – I can score off tasks from my To-Do list every week. For people suffering from a serious case of multitasking, I recommend the following three point treatment.

1) Manage Weeks, Not Years

Our CEO Jukka has said that change can’t be managed over a weekend. If actions are not monitored weekly, temptation to procrastinate is way too big. Loose and long deadlines tend to make us passive, because by nature we underestimate the time that is needed to perform a task. On a weekly basis it’s also easy to confirm, that we all are doing right and meaningful things that support the shared goals.

At Cloudriven we naturally have certain strategic goals and metrics. Instead of monitoring the metrics once a quartal or a year, we keep track of the metrics weekly by using our own Habit designed for performance management. This way we can react fast to changes and our employees’ motivation and engagement will stay high, because we can concretely see that our actions have consequences.

Our actions have a direct effect on the strategic metrics of the company.

Our actions have a direct effect on the strategic metrics of the company.

2) Choose Three Things You Promise to Deliver

The five day work week is surprisingly short, whereas a year feels like a lifetime. Yet, there are only 52 weeks in a year and at least four of those the worker spends on holiday. In average there are approximately 47 work weeks in a calendar year.

We’ve come to the conclusion that you should only concentrate on three things per week. That is why we promise in our Monday meeting to finish three tasks. The amount of tasks might sound small but in addition each of us has also other work-related responsibilities which take time. The trickiest part is to choose tasks of the right size: if you’re too greedy, time runs out. Thanks to our management system, I’ve developed a clear understanding of what I can achieve during one work week. This makes personal time management a lot easier.

47 weeks x 3 tasks = 141 accomplished tasks in a year. Serious multitasking doesn’t bring you these kinds of figures!

3) Create Positive Social Pressure to Motivate

Every Monday in our weekly “laputus” meeting (laputus is Finnish and means the act of sticking notes on a wall) we go through the tasks of last and beginning week. Positive social pressure is created, when everyone can briefly report about their doings. It’s always nicer to tell about achievements than explain away why you haven’t been able to finish the tasks. We write the three tasks down on Post-It notes and we return to them next Monday.

We also follow the tasks in our own Habit. You get points for every accomplished Post-It note and it’s easy to check from the results view, how many have reached their weekly target. To make a point of giving points, you can buy small prizes (for example, a bottle of sparkling) from the Habit point store.

We report and monitor strategic metrics in Habit on a weekly basis.

We report and monitor strategic metrics in Habit on a weekly basis.

In Habit, positive social pressure is being created with an encouraging competition. You get points for accomplishing tasks.

In Habit, positive social pressure is being created with an encouraging competition. You get points for accomplishing tasks.

You can buy small prizes from the point store.

You can buy small prizes from the point store.

So seriously, stop multitasking and start achieving! We’d be glad to tell you more tips about increasing your own and your team’s productivity. Leave your e-mail address and we’ll offer you FREE first aid for the most acute emergency.

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Sign Up for a Day for Information Workers

Peaches Industries, Cloudriven, eWork Nordic, Tieturi and Onsight Helsinki organize together Finland’s first productivity day for information workers in Keilaranta 30.5. at 12.30―19.00. The seminar addresses the facts on how we can improve the productivity of our everyday work both at the organization and individual level. We have gathered up the best speakers of their field!

The session is free and in english.

Sign up

What, where, when?

When? Thursday 30.5. at 12.30―19.00
Where? Auditorium, Keilaranta 1, Espoo Finland
Catering? Refreshments and light snacks
Parking? Free parking is limited


12.30 Door opening

13:00 Welcome speech – Chris Müller, co-founder and CEO Peaches Industries, MVP SharePoint

13:15 Consultancy markets – Magnus Silen, Managing Director eWork Finland

13:30 Keynote – Social Business and how to increase Productivity with Social Computing

Speaker: Andrew Watson, Senior Capability Manager, Groupware and Social Media at Nokia

Why networks are so important in a modern social business
Unlocking the potential of your employee to create value
Avoiding the traps of information overload and siloed mindset
Reducing your cost by cultivating a knowledge-base workforce
Structuring your Intranet to maximize output and minimize overheads

14:15 Session 1 – Seven steps to success in managing collaboration quality

Speaker: Jukka Koskenkanto, CEO, Cloudriven Oy

Today most enterprise software is collaboration software. The technology is developing with accelerating speed, but does it make any difference? The 7 steps to success – a guide to cash in collaboration is built based on the key findings of a case study “Forecasting B2B sales in professional services industry” and years of hands-on work.

15:00 Break

15:15 Session 2 – From zero to hero with Gamification, bring your Intranet user adoption to the next level

Speakers: Tim Gorree, Gamification evangelist and Jussi Mori, co-founder Peaches Industries Ltd.

It is very hard to address end user adoption within enterprise portal environments. With Social computing making its way into the modern enterprises of today, Gamification is an innovative concept of driving and influencing end user adoption and motivation. With Gamification we use game concepts to motivate end users to be more productive and have more fun at work. This session will give an overview about the Gamification concept and how it could be implemented in a modern information worker environment.

16:00 Break

16:15 Session 3 – Towards Zero inbox: Being ultraproductive with SharePoint 2013

Speaker: Jussi Roine, co-founder of Onsight and Microsoft Certified Master

What’s zero inbox and why should I care about it?
The productivity tools of today
Feeling busy, being busy or being productive?
Achieving Zero inbox!

17:00 Panel discussion with all speakers

17:30 Open networking – Refreshments and food sponsored by Peaches Industries and partners