Organized Special Education Documentation

I was on a mission this year to make my documentation easier.  Special Education requires a lot of documentation, so efficient is what I was looking for. I had paper documentation, plus online documentation, plus working folders, and many many copies all the time.  If I forgot one of my copies for a meeting I had to look on with someone else.  Everything just seemed so unorganized and time consuming!  This was all until I started using Microsoft OneNote.  

Organized Special Education Documentation - Pink Oatmeal


OneNote was my favorite way to document when I worked in the school system.  Be sure to check out all of the information on school based physical therapy documentation resources.  


OneNote is now a free option from Microsoft!

There are 2 versions you can choose from.  Both are available for free. 


OneNote for Windows 10

Using OneNote for my organization and documentation as a school based physical therapist was a GAME CHANGER.  I was way more efficient, effective and organized. 

I’ve put together an entire course on how I used OneNote to completely get rid of a binder and have all of my information and documentation in an electronic file. It’s AMAZING!


Organized Special Education Documentation

OneNote allows you to have different notebooks, sections in the notebook, and pages.  You are allowed to have your sections grouped together as well. This is how I set it up. The course really dives deep into all the extras and bells and whistles that really make it amazing!

You can really organize your documentation how you would like.  I ended up having one notebook that I put all my working folders in.  I grouped my sections together by  each school I worked in.  Within each group I was able to have a different section for each student.  Within each student’s section I was able to have different pages associated with that student like their IEP, contact information, daily notes etc.

What Makes It So Awesome

    • It can be used on Macs or PC’s.
    • There is an app for it on your iPad or Android service.  Meaning, bring your iPad to a meeting  or even your phone and you have everything at the palm of your hands.  If you choose the cloud based service.
    • It can be used online.  Don’t have OneNote downloaded to your home computer?  No problem, simply sign into your Microsoft account and go to OneNote online. When using the cloud based service. 
    • If you don’t want to use the Cloud opt for the desktop version.  This comes with your Microsoft Office Suite but can be downloaded for free. 
    • You can print directly to One Note.  Yes, this means no more printing and copies.  I love this!  I simply select what I want printed and when I go to print it I choose OneNote instead of the printer.  It asks me where in one note I want to print it and I select the students section.
    • It works when you are offline!
    • It automatically saves and syncs (if you choose the cloud option). 
    • I can quickly add pictures right to their file.   As a therapist I often take pictures of ways I’d like students positioned, transferred etc.   Such a time saver!
    • More than one notebook can be made.  You can make notebooks for whatever your heart desires.
    • I still have more playing to do and I’m sure I can add more later!
    • So much less paper!
    • Overall, I feel much more organized as I don’t feel like I’m keeping track of tons of paper!


Microsoft OneNote run through  certain versions Office 365 is HIPPA compliant.  Office 365 comes at a small cost depending on how you or your co-workers choose to utilize the program.  Be sure to research Office 365’s security and privacy policies to insure it meets your organizations requirements.

OneNote Not In The Cloud

If you don’t want to use the cloud services at all or you can’t, that’s fine!  OneNote comes in Microsoft Office Suites or can be downloaded for free.  Click here to download.    Now you can save everything to the hard drive of your computer and not worry about cloud security. This provides a way OneNote can be used just on your computer and still has many of the same features you just cant’ sync between devices. 

I  No Longer Have a Binder!

I have a folder where I carry around some of my daily communication notes (get them free here) and any miscellaneous paper I may need that day (though it’s very little).  It’s nice to lighten up the paper load and the therapy bag!


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6 thoughts on “Organized Special Education Documentation”

      1. Hi Chanda! Well, I’m a whole year behind on OneNote!!! I have it now on my Mac and my iPad.

        Do you actually keep your daily treatment logs for each student in folders?
        Can I import my current log form?

        Thanks for your help!
        Margo OT

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