Note taking apps have seen some what of a resurgence recently, with the likes of Notion, Obsidian and Roam Research making waves in the market, and mainstays like Evernote and Microsoft’s own OneNote continually improving their products by adding new features.
One feature that sets OneNote apart from its competitors is its ability to integrate with the Dynamics 365 apps in the Power Platform.
A pre-requisite for OneNote integration is first setting up SharePoint integration. So if you haven’t read that post you can check it our here before continuing.
Like SharePoint integration, setting up OneNote integration is really easy. Start by navigating to the Power Platform admin centre and selecting the environment you want to enable the integration in, then select Settings -> Integration -> Document management settings and then click OneNote Integration.
You are then presented with a dialog to select the entities that you want to enable OneNote integration for. Only the entities that have already been enabled for document management can be selected, so if the entity you need is missing go back and run through the document management settings wizard again. Once you have selected the required entities, click finish and you are done.
So let’s navigate over to one of our Dynamics 365 apps, I’m going to head into the sales hub and take a look at an account.
So you are probably used to working with notes already in an entity record's timeline, and this functionality remains, but if you want to take advantage of OneNote's advanced note taking capabilities, click the plus button on the timeline and select OneNote.
The first time you do this, a new OneNote note book will be created and stored in the SharePoint document repository linked to the record and then the note book will be opened in OneNote Online in the browser.
Now anyone who opens the OneNote note book from this record will be opening the same OneNote notebook and can review any notes you have taken as well as add their own notes. Of course you can open this note book not only in the browser, but in any of the OneNote apps available on most devices and all of your updates will be synchronised back to the note book accessible from your record in Dynamics 365.
Now I love OneNote and use it pretty much every day. When connected and working in a shared notebook like this, updates are visible in near real time, making collaborating amazingly effective.
One of the things I use OneNote for is to record notes from meetings or workshops I might be running, to do this I create a new page in my note book, click on Insert and select Meeting details. This is going to show me a list of the meetings in my Outlook calendar, so if I find the one that I want and click on it, it will automatically add the name of the meeting into the title of the note, as well as add the time, date, who’s invited and the description of the meeting.
What I like to do is expand the attendees and turn this list into a checklist, that way I can check off who attended the meeting and who wasn’t able to make it.
You’ll see at the bottom is space for me to start adding my notes, and if anyone else in the meeting has access to this notebook, they’ll be able to see my notes as I make them, as well as add their own notes to the same page.
Now anyone that needs to access these notes can access them directly from the record in Dynamics rather than having to hunt through various disconnected SharePoint sites, folders or relying on users to share the notebooks manually.