7 Tips for Getting More From Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is a great tool for taking notes, but, unfortunately, it is not often said about it. In this program there are more opportunities than many think, undeservedly depriving it of attention. A few tips will help you use OneNote more effectively, both for those who are not already familiar with this product of Microsoft, and for those who constantly work in it.

First: OneNote is a cool program


OneNote is included in the Microsoft Office software package and has been around for 10 years. Despite this, users still continue to investigate it, and very often the program becomes a real discovery. Here are a few things that attract users:

  1. OneNote is similar to an electronic version of a notebook. In it you can create an unlimited number of notebooks, in them – different sections, and in sections – pages. The pages inside the notebook are arranged in colors to make it easier to navigate.
  2. In the pages you can insert anything you like: pictures, audio, video and files (just drag and drop). All this diversity can be placed in different parts of the page, as you like. You can add an audio recording in front of the meeting note and attach a photo to the event.
  3. In OneNote an incredibly convenient search: you can search for text in pictures and even audio and video as easily as handwritten notes. The program can read your handwriting without conversion to text, although it can also be done if desired. Support stylus – one of the main advantages of OneNote, which distinguishes it from Evernote, although for this you will need a Tablet PC. Be that as it may, the OneNote 2013 version allows you to write and draw with your finger.
  4. The program can be integrated with Outlook and other Microsoft Office programs.

Make quick notes without opening the program

ku-xlarge (1)

Two shortcuts help you create new notes even faster. If you press Win + N, a small panel will open, and Win + S will take a screenshot of any part of the screen.

In Windows 8.1 for the screenshot, you must press Win + Shift + S. Quick notes are automatically saved in the “Unfiled Notes” section, and screenshots can be saved in any section.

Another feature is that if you right-click on the OneNote icon on the taskbar, you can start recording audio or assign any other action: a quick note, a screenshot, or the launch of OneNote.

Edit and format notes with a keyboard shortcut

ku-xlarge (2)

You can quickly add tags, insert check boxes and special note names with keyboard shortcuts. In fact, there are a lot of these combinations, but we will mention only four of them, with which you can create a new note:

  • Add a new page at the end of the section – Ctrl + N
  • Add a new page below the current tab at the same level – Ctrl + Alt + N
  • Add a subpage below the current one – Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N
  • Make the current page a subpage or vice versa, move it to a higher level: Ctrl + Alt +] (right bracket) or Ctrl + Alt + [

Cutting a web page for insertion into OneNote

If you have OneNote installed, two convenient tools appear in Internet Explorer: “Send to OneNote” and “Link to OneNote”. The program saves the web page, the time when you use it and adds its URL.

ku-xlarge (3)

If you have not used IE for a long time, you can insert a printout of the document from the browser using the “Send to OneNote” panel.

Insert audio, video, mathematical formulas, links and more


As mentioned above, one of the best features of OneNote is the support for embedding anything, which simplifies not only the work, but also the search. Feel free to experiment with the search. Here are a few ideas on how to use this:

  • scan hand-written recipes;
  • record lectures and then look for them in key terms;
  • add screenshots and search for text in them;

If you need to find something in video and audio files, you can find it like this: File> Options> Audio and Video

If you have a screen that supports a stylus, OneNote will help:

  • draw “mind maps”;
  • turn your scrawl into text;
  • Write notes on the cut or scanned pages;

Change the view to make it more convenient to work

original (1)

In normal mode, you see all the laptops, tabs, sections and pages, but the viewing menu offers other options. F11 opens fullscreen mode, which is great if you work with a note. An unfolded workspace will help you focus on your work without being distracted by something else, and the “Lock to Desktop” mode is great for working with notes and the browser at the same time.

Use templates and add-ons

ku-xlarge (4)

Templates and add-ons expand the capabilities of OneNote. In the “Page Templates” tab you will see what you can work with right now: templates for students, for work and many others. You can also download beautiful templates from the Microsoft Office website. In empty templates, there are even options for changing page sizes, for example, up to 3 × 5 for a card index or a postcard. If you often use the same type of documents, you can customize the template that will be applied to the page and save it to save time.

As with other office programs, OneNote has several applications, for example, free Onetastic, which works with applications in 2010 and 2013. With this application you can view OneNote pages in your calendar, crop and rotate images in the program, create your own macros, pages, sections and much more.

There is another useful addition – Outline, which is useful for cross-platform use. It takes notes made in OneNote and syncs them with the iPad or Mac. You can view OneNote format files on your iPad and they will look exactly like on your computer. There is a free version of this program and Outline + for $ 14.99.

Use with other Microsoft Office programs

If you constantly use Microsoft Office programs, OneNote will help to speed up and simplify the work. In 2013 version, it became possible to insert Microsoft Excel tables or even create them. In this case, the table will be edited in Excel, but all changes will be displayed in real time. You can also add forms for Visio flowcharts and more simple ones.

One of the most useful features is the integration with Outlook. Next to any line on the OneNote page, you can select the checkbox and it will turn into an Outlook task. Also you can send pages with saving format to other users, and they will be able to read your notes even if they do not have OneNote installed on their device. Finally, you can move the meeting notes together with all the details from Outlook to OneNote.

ku-xlarge (5)

These tips only touch on OneNote’s ability to organize records, and if you do not already have a favorite note program, maybe you should try it out?