Book Review: MOS 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft OneNote by John Pierce; Microsoft Press

Now that Microsoft OneNote is part of the full Microsoft Office Suite, it was only a matter of time that Microsoft would launch a certification program for the product. The MOS 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft OneNote by John Pierce is the official study guide for the certification and while written for readers seeking OneNote certification breaks down all the major OneNote tasks for using OneNote productively. Even if you aren’t angling for OneNote certification, it’s a book worth checking out to learn about OneNote more in-depth.

Pierce is a solid writer with an easy to read style and the book is well paced. All of this is important to me in a certification study guide. The screen shots are clear and accurate (they show what that reader will actually see in OneNote) and don’t degenerate into some college freshman art student’s modern art interpretation of a screen shot like they do in the MOS 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft Word.

I judge these sorts of books by the details and this book has some standout sections starting with Chapter 1 Managing the OneNote Environment that can help many OneNote users to better manage and personalize their OneNote setup. It had some finer points in it that I either didn’t know about or had yet to consider until reading this book.

Then there is the very practical and clearly written Chapter 2 Sharing and Collaborating, which takes the wise step of separating coverage of Sharing Notebooks on Windows Live SkyDrive out from sharing notebooks on SharePoint.  It’s possible that readers may never have one or the other sharing options available to them making equal coverage of both methods a very important part of the certification and in turn the book. As Microsoft Office has evolved, so have the options for interacting with Microsoft Office documents and I’ve found collaboration and coauthoring in particular to be tough concepts for some users to understand because it breaks from the traditional Microsoft Office document stove pipe of 1 author to 1 document they’ve become accustomed to since using Microsoft Office.

The book ends out with complete coverage of OneNote keyboards shortcuts, which is going to be helpful for some readers well after they read this study guide.

There is no coverage of using OneNote 2010 with the OneNote 2010 WebApp or either the iPad or iPhone client which was a bit of a disappointment but understandable since the certification exam doesn’t cover these topics.

I recommend the MOS 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft OneNote for anybody who wants to get the most out of Microsoft OneNote 2010 whether it is because their employer just upgraded to Office 2010 or they are trying to get better organized in their home office. Even if you consider yourself an experienced OneNote user, you are bound to learn something new from this book.

Are you interested in getting the OneNote 2010 MOS certification? Why?

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