Best Practices #2: Maintaining Meeting Notes Centrally using OneNote and SharePoint

November 1st, 2011 5 Comments »

All of us take meeting notes of each of our meeting and there are many ways we send out the meeting notes, sometime text format, sometime we send out the through mail and sometime on a word document.

If the meeting is one time meeting or one way meeting it make sense to send it inline with the mail. However if we have a recurring meeting, and needs to be viewed edited and updated everyday by different team members and also if it needs to maintain a log of everyday meeting notes to refer back with the previous meetings and follow up, how do you normally do? Which is the best of way doing it?

  • How can each of the team member can have access meeting notes at almost real time
  • How can each of the team member can edit at the same time?
  • How can anyone can access there meeting notes from anywhere?
  • How can we make changes so it get reflected to all at the same time?

Simplest way to solve the above need is to manage all the meeting notes through Shared Microsoft OneNote and store it on SharePoint. Solution looks very simple but beauty of it is the way you can manage the entire setup. I will show you on how to Create and Manage Shared OneNote by storing in a SharePoint.

How to Create a new shared notebook in a SharePoint library

When you add a new notebook to a library, the notebook becomes a folder in the library, and the sections are stored as files. Adding content to it and revising it are similar to working with your notebook in any shared location

On the Share menu, click Create Shared Notebook.


In the New Notebook Wizard, do the following:

  • Under Who will use this notebook?, click Multiple people will share the notebook, and then click On a server (SharePoint document library, network share, or other shared location).
  • To tell others about the notebook, leave the Create an e-mail with a link to this notebook so that I can send to other people check box selected.
  • Click Create.
  • Note    When you make changes to your notebook, it may take a few minutes for others to see the changes or for the changes to synchronize, depending on the way your network is set up.

How I use this set up @ Project.

  1. We have created Shared OneNote (Picture #1) and Stored it in SharePoint (Picture #2
  2. All the Work Sheet created (#2) will be stored as files in the SharePoint, you can see it in #2 in Picture #2.
  3. Any one who need to see Meeting notes can either download it and see at onetime or they can import to there local OneNote so it automatically syncs as and when we update it, like they can get the daily updates.

How I Utilize this Setup

Comprehensive meeting notes and its follow ups

Week by Week entry of the Task List of each team member, so it can be viewed by entire team.

Keep track of the Achievements we do within team so it can be shared in common across the team.

Best Part of this Setup

  • Multiple users can simultaneously access shared notes and contribute to them on an ongoing basis
  • A library is a central location on a SharePoint site where people store and manage their files
  • You can manage who has permission to view the notebook or contribute notes
  • You can also track versions of the notebook, so that people can view or restore an earlier version if needed and receive updates when the content changes by using alerts or RSS Feeds
  • When you share a notebook, everyone with permission to contribute to a SharePoint library can access a shared set of notes at the same time
  • OneNote synchronizes everyone’s changes to the notebook on the SharePoint site. OneNote also maintains a separate offline copy of the notes on each user’s computer
  • Participants can edit notes locally even when they are disconnected from the network. The next time they connect to the shared notebook, OneNote merges their changes with everyone else’s.
  • You can see your meeting notes either it from home computer or from your office and you need not send it over mail.

Just try it and you will start seeing its Use.

Please feel free to comment out if you have any more ideas.

-Pradeep SV