How to Use Microsoft OneNote Effectively

Microsoft OneNote is a practical, free online tool for capturing digital or handwritten notes into Notebooks, Sections, and Pages.

Your Guide on How to Use Microsoft OneNote Effectively

Microsoft OneNote is a practical, free online tool for capturing digital or handwritten notes into Notebooks, Sections, and Pages. That's what most of its users and businesses use it for. The application also allows users to add images, audio, diagrams, video, and other content, making it the ideal application for organizing essential data.

If you have multiple tasks to complete, sudden (clicking) ideas to capture, or other essential things to recall at a later date, you should try Microsoft OneNote. This post provides a comprehensive overview of OneNote and how you can use the application to enhance your productivity.

Microsoft OneNote Guide

What is Microsoft OneNote?

Microsoft OneNote is a free digital note-taking application used by businesses and for personal use to gather and store information in Microsoft's Office 365 Cloud. The OneNote desktop application is part of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Office 2019, but users can also download it as a standalone app.

Users can take notes, make drawings, record audio commentaries, capture screen clippings, and share this data on the OneNote platform. It features an entire Office ribbon interface that can be shown or hidden until needed.

OneNote allows users to make real-time collaborations over the internet or through a network to edit the same document simultaneously. Edits appear immediately, though syncing delays may sometimes occur due to different factors.

OneNote allows you to organize your content in one location and is optimized for consistent performance across multiple operating systems. So long as your device can connect to the internet, you can access your content anywhere.

Why OneNote?

OneNote allows you to organize all your notes and thoughts into one platform. You can use it to organize your notes into separate notebooks, sections within notebooks, and pages. Users can pin different multimedia documents as the application is compatible with different digital formats, including:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Diagrams
  • Audio

The application also makes it easier for users to use other programs on desktop and mobile devices. Other features that make OneNote a versatile tool is that businesses can use it to:

  • Take meeting notes
  • Embed Excel sheets in notes
  • Create and share lists
  • Pull text out of images

How to Use Microsoft OneNote

Whether you want to use Microsoft OneNote for work, classes, teaching, in teams, or project management, this segment provides you with the basics of how to use OneNote for maximum productivity in the workplace and at home:

1.     Create a Quick Note

Quick Notes help capture thoughtful ideas on one device (this can be a phone) and then retrieve them on another device (your computer) while working in the office or while traveling. You can use Quick Notes to jot down ideas and thoughts that come to you instantaneously, just like Sticky Notes.

This section explains how to create a Quick Note on the OneNote application:

  • Open the OneNote application
  • Click the (Show Notebook) tab next to the (user Notebook) drop down
  • At the bottom of the Notebook lists, click "Quick Notes"

When creating a Quick Note, it is saved as Unfiled Notes in the Quick Notes notebook. OneNote uses Quick Notes and your username to sync notes to OneDrive, allowing you to access them from any device connected to your Microsoft account.

2.     Create a Notebook

OneNote also allows users to create multiple notebooks for different projects or subjects. This section explains how you can create a Notebook on the OneNote application:

  • Open the OneNote application
  • Click the (Show Notebook) tab next to the (user Notebook) dropdown
  • Then click the (+Add Notebook) button at the top of the list that opens from the dropdown
  • Name your new Notebook in the "Notebook Name" box
  • Click (Create Notebook)

That's it; you have your new Notebook ready to populate with data.

3.     Open Your Notebooks

Apart from creating Notebooks and Quick notes on the OneNote application, you can also open Notebooks created by other users and shared with you. Here's how:

  • Click the "Show Notebooks" button
  • Select "More Notebooks" from the list in the next interface on your device
  • Choose the Notebook you want to open and click "Open Notebook"

NOTE: confirm that you are signed in with the account where the Notebook is stored if you do not see the Notebook you're looking for.

4.     Create Sections

This feature is for OneNote users looking to organize their notes. The user can create topical Sections for better organization and customization by allowing users to arrange notes by topic and date. Follow this guide to create a section on Microsoft OneNote:

  • Click the (+Add Section) or (+Section) tab at the bottom of the sections list

5.     Switch Between Your Open Notebook

OneNote also allows users to open several notebooks simultaneously and switch between open notebooks to maximize productivity. Here's how:

  • Click "Open Other Notebooks"
  • A list of Notebooks linked to the account will open. Choose the Notebooks you want to open
  • Repeat the above steps to switch between the available Notebooks

6.     Sharing and Collaboration

Users can immediately share their notes with friends, co-workers, and team members.

To share a notebook, navigate to File> Share and select the required share options. OneNote provides users with three different ways to share notes, including:

  • Share entire Notebook: this option allows users to share entire Notebooks with specific people. You must have the other person or team's email address to share the entire Notebook. You can grant editing or viewing permissions to the receiving party.
  • Copy Link to Windows: this option allows users to share their notebooks with multiple people in an organization. You can send a link exclusive to the Notebook you're currently working on.
  • Email Copy of Page: this option allows you to share a single page with other people without disclosing the contents of other sections of your Notebook. This option opens your default email client to select the recipients to send the selected OneNote page to.

TIP: Microsoft OneNote allows you to edit or remove access to shared Pages, Sections, or Quick Notes from the "Manage Access" settings.

Use Microsoft OneNote to Be More Organized

The Microsoft OneNote application is a powerful tool that allows you to get more work done in the workplace, school, home, or while moving. The deeper you dive into OneNote's features, the more you discover what the app offers, allowing you to maximize your and your team's productivity.

If you are considering setting up your Microsoft OneNote application, get in touch or email us at for more information.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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