Q: What are your specialist tech areas?
Connie: Microsoft products like OneNote, Teams, SharePoint, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook..
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Connie: Someone reached out to me on LinkedIn. I was very flattered and honored to be asked to do this. It was ironic that OneNote was my favorite app of all time – I just love this product and try to convey this in the book. It wasn’t until shortly before this connection with Packt that I was thinking about writing a book. So this experience was very timely and such a great learning opportunity for me. I am very grateful to all the editors and staff at Packt for helping me to do this.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Connie: With my teaching and consulting on OneNote I have gained a lot of insights from my students that have helped me explain concepts better. I also use OneNote all the time so I am always investigating how to do things better. I started here with my own words and my own experiences so that I could write an authentic and relevant book to help others with this application. Reviewing Microsoft’s help site was beneficial as well so that I could access their facts on dates or versions. Testing on many devices was also necessary and sometimes required me calling on a friend or family member to let me use a device I didn’t use everyday (like a Mac computer or an Android smartphone). Aside from this extra experimentation (on different devices), it’s hard to say how much time I spent on research because a lot of it I knew. However, there was a lot of time taken to formulate the words and directions to convey it easily to a reader.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Connie: The biggest challenges were in the writing itself. As a facilitator / speaker / instructor of technology I can easily get up in front of a group and teach. I have also have no problem creating training notes or manuals for these same teachings. But writing a book for someone that will not hear you, is different. I learned a lot from the editors at Packt about making information flow and transition well..
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Connie: The ability to access your information from anywhere is what this book is all about. This will become more and more necessary in the future. Email was a new concept at one point in history and now people cannot live without it. This will happen with digital notebook apps like OneNote – it may be ‘newish’ now but eventually it should be a ‘can’t live without app/tool’..
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Connie: At the time of writing there were no other books on the market that covered this version of Microsoft OneNote. Plus the level of detail on how to’s and application for various devices makes this book different from the competitors. I’ve even thrown in ‘real-life’ scenarios in hopes of making this information easier to understand and apply.
Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Connie: OneNote is an application for anyone, and when used effectively can save time and increase organization. Use OneNote at work, share notebooks with others, and use OneNote for your personal use. Don’t be afraid to access OneNote on your smartphone or tablet, make it accessible and easy to reach for..
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Connie: Be patient with yourself. Give new tech a chance. Be curious. Don’t give up or give in to old habits. Make a commitment to try the tech, try it out in one area of your work or personal life, but go all in on that area, no half-ways. Be proud of yourself for trying something new.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Connie: Mission Computers
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Connie: Absolutely. Working with Packt has been a great experience. Just remember everyone here is here to help you. Don’t take any comment personally, take it professionally.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Connie: Various facebook groups that are Microsoft oriented.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Connie: I subscribe to PC World, Wired, and various other tech magazines and sites. I am always on the look out for a good tech tip or story.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Connie: The organization for my book came from my teaching experience. When I am teaching someone how to use OneNote, I have found an order to that teaching that has worked the best for me and the student.
A lot of the prioritizing and planning also came from the editors and support at Packt. They would recommend a timeline so that we kept moving. Each week there was always something to work on. I usually did the work after hours or on the weekends – my family was very supportive of my extra time in the ‘office’.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Connie: Take advice from others. Be open to making what you say better so that you can impact more people and make a difference.