How to Use OneNote
how to use onenote
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Last Updated on 2nd February 2022

How to Use OneNote

If you haven’t already started using OneNote, the note taking application that comes with Microsoft 365 then we really recommend it. It has a lot of little functions to make life easier. Here’s our five tips to get you started. We’ll be using the desktop application for Windows 10 to demonstrate.


The standard view with OneNote is a blank white page that can seem a little bland and uninviting to some people and it can be easily changed if you wish. All you have to do is go into the View tab and select Rule Lines. Here you can give the page grid lines or squares. And if you’d like to change the colour of the page, you can! To the left select Page Color and select your colour of choice. You can also have no distractions here by choosing full page view or keeping your notes open while you browse the web with Dock to Desktop.

onenote customisation


If you would rather concentrate on your meeting than making notes, OneNote also has the ability to record audio, so you’re always able to know exactly what was said however much you get caught up in the conversation. Just go into the Insert tab and choose audio.

onenote audio


You no longer have to bring up a calculator app when in meetings because you can do calculations directly from OneNote. Just type in the equation, press equals (=) and then hit the space bar and it will be worked out for you.

onenote maths

Share Your Notes

If your colleague needs to know what occurred in the meeting but doesn’t have OneNote this isn’t a problem. At the end of the Home tab there is the function to share via email, automatically embedding your notes into the email client. Microsoft removed the functionality to share individual notes, so you can share an entire notebook directly with people in your organisation, or send a frozen in time copy of an individual page. Recipients will not be able to edit these notes. For this, we’d recommend creating a notebook to share, keeping notes you don’t want to share private.

Drag and Drop Files

Have you been sent some slides from a presentation that you would like to keep with your notes from the day? It’s easy to drop and drop these files straight into the note so they’re easily accessible. Just drag them in and choose the option to attach file.

onenote insert file

Four things we love about OneNote

  • Real-Time Collaboration: OneNote is where real-time collaboration can be used at its best within Office 365. Teams are able to have shared notebooks where they can add thoughts and ideas and be really creative.  At ACUTEC we use OneNote to have a shared Marketing notebook where we put all of our ideas and plans. We even keep our to-do lists in it so everyone can see what has been done and what still needs work. If you add something to a list or diagram then it will instantly appear in everyone else’s notebooks.  It even tells you who has put it there so it really feels like a team is working together.
  • Recording: When you are having a conversation with someone it can be really difficult to write things down and keep track, especially if it is one-to-one. With OneNote you are able to have recordings within your notes so you can write stuff down if it’s particularly important for you to remember and have the full recording to refer to later.
  • Screen-Clipping: Sometimes making notes just isn’t enough and you will want to be able to see something for exactly what it was when you refer back. With OneNote you can use the screen-clipping tool to easily save what you need.  If you’re reading an online article or doing some training and don’t want to make notes then the screen-clipping tool within OneNote and Office 365 will become your new best friend.
  • Organisation: We’ve all taken notes and then afterwards put them away never to look at them again. With Office 365’s OneNote everything can be kept in one place and can be easily found through the search functionality. You can keep everything organised with tabs and sub-pages and you can have a hub of information across your devices rather than orphaned pieces of paper shoved in the back of a drawer.

We love OneNote and it’s definitely one of our favourite apps in the Office suite. If you’d like to learn more tips and tricks in OneNote, get in touch with us today.