Microsoft OneNote

10 tips to work smarter with Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a digital note-taking app that is packed full of features. It is easy to use and can be organised like a real paper notebook, whilst having all the benefits of a cloud application. It works on Windows and Mac devices, and has native Android and iOS apps for note taking on the go. In this article we will discuss our top 10 tips to work smarter and be more productive in Microsoft OneNote.

Create Multiple Notebooks

Within OneNote, there are notebooks, sections, pages and subpages, similar to a paper notebook. Users can create a different notebook for work projects, study notes or for personal notetaking. To create a new notebook, go to the notebook section and click ‘Add notebook’.

Split Notebooks into Sections

Within a notebook, users can create categories of pages, called sections. This may be used for adding a section for meeting notes, ideas and to-do lists. To create a new section, click the ‘Add section’ button in the section pane.

Create Subpages Within Pages

To truly organise pages, it is possible to create subpages within pages, or even go the next step and create subpages of subpages! To do this, right click on the page you wish to make a subpage and select ‘Make Subpage’. To revert a subpage back to a page, right click the subpage and select ‘Promote Subpage’.

Tag Your Notes

Within OneNote, users can tag notes to make them easier to find. There are some pre-defined tags, such as ‘Important’ and ‘Question’, however users can also define their own tags. In order to tag a note, select the note and click the ‘Tags’ drop down from the home panel. To define custom tags, click ‘Create New Tag’ from this drop-down.

Use Dictation on Mobile Devices

If you are on the go, it is often easier to dictate your notes rather than type them. To do this within OneNote, simply click the microphone icon on the home panel and OneNote will convert your speech into text.

Share Your OneNote Pages

Like many other Microsoft 365 applications, pages can be shared with colleagues, or can even be collaborated on in real time from anywhere, on any device. To share a page, click File, then Share, from here you will be able to select who to share the page with, if they are able to edit it, and there is the option to include a personal note.

Link to Files

One of the benefits of a cloud notebook is that it can include links to files, audio, videos and webpages. To link to any of these formats and more, go to the insert tab and select which format you would like to link to.

Add Outlook Task Flags to Notes

OneNote can integrate with Outlook to help manage deadlines with automatic notifications of due dates for tasks. To add a task flag to a note, simply highlight the words you want to be the task and select the flag for the due date from the menu that appears. To view the tasks, click the ‘Find Tasks’ button on the home panel and your Outlook tasks will appear in the Tags summary section.  

Convert Handwritten Notes to Text

If you use a stylus or tablet to take notes, it can be beneficial to convert the handwritten notes to text for ease of sharing. To do this, after writing the notes, go to the Draw tab, select the lasso and select all the notes you want to convert. From here you are able to click the ‘Ink to Text’ button and all selected notes will be converted to text.

Use Templates

If you find yourself using the same layout for multiple pages or if you want to use a predefined template for a page, such as a Kanban board or goal tracker, templates will save you time and increase productivity. To create a page with a template, go to the Insert tab, click Page Layout, then Page Templates. A pop-up will appear with many different templates available for use.

Microsoft OneNote is one of the best solutions for digital notetaking and can greatly increase productivity in your day-to-day work.

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