What is OneNote? How Microsoft's note-taking app can help you organize your work

Microsoft OneNote is a dynamic and multimedia friendly way for Office 365 users to organize their notes.dennizn/Shutterstock
  • OneNote is a Microsoft Office app similar to Evernote or Dropbox Paper, for taking notes and storing information.
  • OneNote lets you create notebooks for different topics, with each notebook featuring any number of sections and unlimited pages.
  • Within a OneNote notebook, you can take notes, type or write with a stylus, add drawings and photos, store links, and more.

Microsoft OneNote is an app that is designed for research, note-taking, and information storage. Similar to apps like Evernote and Dropbox Paper, it lets you store text and images in free-form documents which you can keep private or share with others. OneNote is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite, along with programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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Microsoft Office (From $149.99 at Microsoft)

How OneNote organizes your material

OneNote uses the metaphor of a notebook, complete with books, sections, and pages. Your copy of OneNote can have multiple notebooks, each dedicated to a different topic. You might have a notebook for work and one for personal information, for example, or you might create a handful of different notebooks for each major project.

OneNote uses notebooks, sections, and pages to organize your notes.Dave Johnson/Business Insider
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Within the notebook, you can create sections to organize your notes even further. If you work in sales, for example, you could create a different section for each client. Finally, within any section, you can have an unlimited number of pages, making it easy to track information over long periods.

What you can do in OneNote

Once you set up a notebook and create a section, you are faced with a blank page. Like any word processor, you can start typing. As you do, OneNote will offer Word-like tools in the ribbon atop the screen: font selection, text style, bullets and numbering, highlighting, and more. You can also create tables to organize your notes and insert images, photos, audio, and video. The app also grants users the ability to create links or paste in URLs from web browsers.

Entering information in OneNote is very much like using a word processor.Dave Johnson/Business Insider
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If you are using OneNote on a tablet or a computer with a stylus, you can also draw, sketch, and write notes longhand.

Sharing notes from OneNote

OneNote is a versatile tool that you can use privately, or share with others – and with yourself on different devices. If you store your OneNote notebooks in the cloud on OneDrive, you can open OneNote on any device connected to your Microsoft Office account. Whether that's a phone, tablet, PC, or laptop, you'll always be in sync with all your notes across devices. Advertisement

Sharing with others is easy.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

You can share entire notebooks with other people using the Share button in the ribbon, though know you're sharing the whole notebook, not only a section or a page.

A feature called Replay lets you create a page of notes and then play it back like an animation. This is a tool you can use in the classroom or for delivering a presentation. Advertisement

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