Freerk Terpstra

Do not underestimate OneNote, the time saver for paperless meetings in Office 365

OneNote is often compared to Evernote. However, that comparison does not OneNote justice, for OneNote is so much more than Evernote. The most important advantage of OneNote is that it integrated in all the products in the Microsoft suite. So it is very easy to exchange information. In the video at the bottom of the page, you will see how you can have a paperless meeting with OneNote.

What is OneNote?

OneNote is more than a simple notepad. It’s your memory, the team’s memory and the organisation’s collective memory. It’s also a place for agreements, tasks, collaboration, having meetings, and a place where ideas are formed. You can work on your notes from every device; together, at the same time, live and real time.

A paperless meeting

You have set a date for a meeting in your Outlook calendar, and you’ve shared it with all those who need to be present. This scheduled appointment includes all the necessary documents and the content for the meeting. So every participant will have the necessary information before the meeting starts.

During the meeting, you open the appointment in Outlook. Then, click the OneNote button (in Outlook!). A new OneNote page is made right away, containing all of the information about the appointment. OneNote automatically ‘pastes’ those who were invited to the appointment into the note, and offers the option to check who is and who isn’t present. The subjects of the appointment are also pasted into the OneNote page. The files from the appointment are added as well. Therefore, OneNote provides an overview containing all the information that is necessary in that moment. The meeting can start.

Keeping the minutes together

A big advantage of OneNote that is not presented in the video – but that is possible – is multiple people keeping the minutes at the same time in OneNote. This means that not just one person is responsible for the content, but everyone is. Exciting? Probably! Practical? Absolutely! It saves a lot of time, mostly because no review is needed afterwards. Everyone can see the made changes, the kept minutes and who is contributing right away. With labels it is easy to indicate what the tasks, questions and points of action are, and who is responsible for what. Because notes no longer have to be typed out afterwards a lot of time can be saved. It does not matter if the people present are working from their computer, tablet or smartphone. Even people who are calling via Skype Business can contribute.

When customers want to start having paperless meetings, Rapid Circle will guide them through their first paperless meetings to show them how it works, smarter and more efficiently. The described situation in this blog is one example of how it could work. But there are a lot more possibilities.

Are you interested in having paperless meetings in a smarter way? We would love to help you out!

The new way of working? The new way of studying!

The future is in education. Today’s students will be our colleagues tomorrow. That is why at Rapid Circle we like to work together with educational institutions on a regular basis. We think about how to improve education, we support interns and we help students with practical assignments. Students help us with a fresh perspective, a lot of effort, and they keep us young.  

International studying

Over the past few months we have helped the International students of Inholland Communication with one of their practical assignments. Or actually, it’s the other way around. They have helped us with sharing their creativity and knowledge.

Inholland was looking for cases for the International students of Inholland Communication to use in order to build a prototype, in any shape or form. This could be a campaign, video or project plan for example. According to modern day standards, the project was executed by using the Scrum method.


We started our session with a pitch about who we are, what we want to achieve and what our strengths are. After this, the students got started on the prototype. On 16 December all the built prototypes were pitched back to us in 15 minutes per group. The video below shows one example of how students envision their ideal student portal.

One of the biggest bonuses of this project is that the group of students is quite international, which means that they have worked on this assignment in different places around the world. Some groups have only seen our pitch and presentation on a screen, considering a lot of students are spread across Europe (and beyond). Therefore, many of the students have presented their prototype on big screen, and thus being able to pitch their idea from the country they were in at that moment.


In the picture above, one of the groups is presenting via Skype for Business, with the members of the group joining the call from Bulgaria, Rotterdam and The Hague. All this while they were giving us a live presentation together. We were watching all the pitches in Diemen, together with the teacher from Inholland. And it worked remarkably well! The students were very excited about the technique and the possibilities. We were very excited about the input of the students. Especially considering the fact that this has been made possible by a team based in different locations, and sometimes even in different time zones.

A few years ago, ‘The New Way of Working’ held great promise, and was implemented in a lot of companies. Seeing these students work, I think that ‘The New Way of Studying’ has already been widely accepted by students. Once they become our colleagues, ‘The New Way of Working’ will probably be ‘Just Working’ for these students, who are accustomed to this way of working already. Companies will have to take this into account if they want to remain attractive to this generation as an employer. For this it is important to not only offer the right technologies, but also the right culture.

Because of possibilities of Microsoft’s technology, at Rapid Circle we are already used to working together while being far away from each other. We regularly meet our colleagues online, who are spread across the Netherlands, India and Australia. We work together in teams, regardless of the time difference. And furthermore, because of the time differences, we are able to do work through the night for a customer in a different time zone, which means we can launch projects quickly.

Working at a distance from each other works well for us at Rapid Circle. I am happy to see that students also enjoy working like this. They are the future, and the only thing we have to do connect with them is to provide possibilities. Both regarding technique and culture.

Soon students will pitch the next version of their products to us. I will write a new blog about this. So keep watching us if you want to learn more!