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12 Amazing Things You Can Do With Microsoft OneNote

Zett is a high school student who loves reading light novels, web novels, and manga.

Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking application developed and released by Microsoft Corporation. OneNote has been very useful to many people, most especially students who attend classes and office workers who do their jobs. The application generally lets users take and organize notes in a form of notebooks and compress and share organize notes to other OneNote users. However, OneNote is not only limited to your simple kind of note-taking. To give you some ideas, here are some of the most useful and significant features of OneNote.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote

1. Video and Audio Recording

As previously mentioned, note-taking in OneNote is not only limited to type-written notes, as it compasses videos and audio recordings. This feature will surely aid you if you have any plans to record crowd discussions or meetings or just log on your daily journal. With a webcam and a microphone, recording will fairly be simple and easy.

OneNote Video Recordng

OneNote Video Recordng

To record a video or an audio, simply click INSERT Tab and then click RECORD AUDIO or RECORD VIDEO in the RECORDING SECTION. The recorded audio and video will automatically be added on an open page on your notebook, with the date and time or the recording.

OneNote has taken organization and searching to the next level. Tags – categories that can be freely created and added by the user – can be link from text, videos, audios, images and other files. Simply, files tagged on the same category will appear on the same part of the tag summary. For instance, the texts ‘health’ and ‘manager’ will be tagged with (!) critical, then both texts would appear on the critical tag section.

List of OneNote Tags with Search Bar

List of OneNote Tags with Search Bar

If you forgot to tag files, then another way to view it is possible. You can simply search the file on the search box located on the upper right part of the page. However, be reminded that using the search box is only limited to text and no other file types (e.g. images, videos, audios, etc.).

3. Team Sharing

Sharing notes has also been the best especially in times of quarterly exams in high school or college. And now, OneNote has given its users to share their notes, in the selected file types (notebook, document, pdf file, etc.) to other fellow users. Users can either share their notebook via network or web, though most users also copy the file directly from its location.

OneNote Sharing Options

OneNote Sharing Options

Sharing your notebooks has several benefits, especially in group or team projects and works: individual assigned works would be easy to manage, proofreading and editing is easier with tags, and corrections and comments could easily be handled. You can even plan and brainstorm together as easy as writing in a white bulletin board.

4. Simple Attachments

Attaching Files in OneNote

Attaching Files in OneNote

Attaching files in OneNote is like attaching files to your own email account. However unlike attaching files to emails, OneNote lets you attach any file types from .mp4 to .pdf without minding the size of the file (though keep in mind that compressing and sharing notes will now take a whole lot of time). Not to mention, the duration of attachment is fairly fast. Like recording video or audio clips, your attached file will automatically be added on an opened page. Clicking on the file, likewise, will prompt your computer to open it.

Linking Files and Sites in OneNote

Linking Files and Sites in OneNote

To improve organization and minimize duration in file search, OneNote takes us on to hyperlinks. Users can add links of different kinds, which could either be from inside your computer or on the web. To view the links, users similarly click on the link, which appear like the normal hyperlink text – in blue and underlined. Conversely, the said feature would be a lot of help to many wide readers and researchers out there who are struggling to organize their ideas to place.

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6. Protect Yourself

OneNote Password Protection

OneNote Password Protection

Now this might seem funny, but there are times when you need to protect yourself. If you have any private data such as a personal journal, then surely you would lock it away from anyone’s eyes. OneNote lets its users set password for sections on the notebook. Setting your password is easy, however just make sure you remember your password as there no “forgot password?” or “hint” to give you any clue if your password has been forgotten.

7. Handwritten Notes

Handwritten Notes in OneNote

Handwritten Notes in OneNote

Typing will surely be faster than writing notes. However, we also know that typing has its own limitations. You can’t type equations as easy as you could write one. Additionally, you obviously can’t type images and drawings. Good thing, OneNote is capable of handwritten notes. Using touch-interface on your tablet and mobile, surely handwritten notes will prove to be a no problem at all.

8. Fast-Notes and Shortcuts

Ever want to take a note as quickly? Or just too lazy to use the mouse in jotting? Then, OneNote can handle all of that. The application has tons of keyboard shortcuts you can try for an easy management. Here are some of the most important shortcuts that will be crucial in your use:


Open a new OneNote window


Open a small OneNote window to create a side note


Open a notebook


Create a new section


Add a new page at the end of the selection section


Insert a hyperlink


Insert a document or file on the current page

ALT + N, F

Insert a picture from file

ALT + N, P

Insert a screen clipping

Windows Logo Key + S

Search all notebooks


9. Equations

Adding an Equation in OneNote

Adding an Equation in OneNote

As stated earlier, you can’t draw or type equations, but OneNote allows you to add mathematical equations directly or convert your writings to equations. Simply, you can insert symbols, variables, and constant directly to make several simple or complex equations, or you can write your equation directly on the INSERT INK EQUATION window for the program to convert your writings into an equation. With this interesting feature, math enthusiasts and the like leaves no worries in their virtual note-taking.

10. Customize Your Notes

Customizing Your Notebook in OneNote

Customizing Your Notebook in OneNote

Want to completely personalize your notebooks? Then, OneNote has a lot to offer. The program allows its users to customize the notebooks, pages, sections, etc. which is not only limited to the font color and style but all with the overall appearance. Users can freely change the page color, presence of lines, line color, notebook cover, etc. Moreover, users can even change the color of the program itself.

11. Global Access

OneNote Shared Notebook Synchronization

OneNote Shared Notebook Synchronization

Though it’s trending and more common now, synchronization is definitely a plus of OneNote. You can now access your notebooks and notes all around the globe in different devices (mobile, tablet, or PC) given that you have a stable internet access and an account. So you probably don’t need to worry in you’ve forgot to bring your notes in work or at school.

12. Complete Freedom

You are a free man and OneNote supports you on that. You can do what you want with your notes, as long as you don’t break any laws (though I don’t think anyone is going to). Finally, always keep it in your mind that OneNote provides you a new experience of mote-taking, so do not waste that golden opportunity. Don’t forget to enjoy and have fun!

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