If you haven’t had the pleasure of working inside OneNote, then you’re really missing out.  OneNote is like the Holy Grail of notetaking and organization.


Notebooks can be organized by sections, which can then be organized into pages.  Pages can quite literally go on forever, and the possibilities inside these pages are endless.

Create detailed meeting minutes, imbed audio, video, and excel spreadsheets, build impressive to-do lists, and easily search through notebooks with keywords.  Share individual pages or entire notebooks with friends and family, and access your notes from any connected device.


Here are a few quick and easy tips to keep in mind the next time you find yourself working inside OneNote.

Add horizontal lines to your page.

OneNote’s default setting is a blank page (it looks a lot like Microsoft Word).  But, OneNote operates a little differently than Word.  If you have a touch device, you can write directly into your notebook with your finger or a stylus.  Because of this, writing on a blank page can look sort of hectic.  To avoid too many staggered lines, go to the “View” tab and select “Rule Lines” or “Style” (this option will change depending on which version of OneNote you’re using).  From here, you can change to grids, narrow lines, or wide spaced lines.


Convert your handwriting to text.

If you do decide to use your finger or stylus to write notes, things won’t always look so neat.  This is why OneNote chose to include an “Ink to Text” option, which can be found on the “Draw” tab.  From this tab, you can convert your handwriting to clean text.  There’s even an option to convert math equations to text formulas.  The option to do this can be found next to “Ink to Text.”


Quickly build to-do lists.

Don’t reach for that mouse.  There’s a much quicker way to add checkboxes and checkmarks to your to-do lists.  Just use your keyboard.  Ctrl + 1 adds a checkbox, Ctrl + 2 adds a star, Ctrl + 3 adds a question mark, and Ctrl + Shift + 3 adds a flag first and then a checkmark if pressed a second time.


Simplify sourcing.

Bibliographies are a pain.  Heck, even if you just want to remember where you pulled something from, that can be a pain, too.  Thankfully, OneNote has taken all the pain out of this.  If you copy and paste something from the internet, it automatically sources it for you.  Genius.


Imbed a spreadsheet.

With OneNote, there are a variety of things you can imbed – audio, video, images, spreadsheets.  And each one is simpler to accomplish than the last, especially spreadsheets.  To imbed a spreadsheet, go to the “Insert” tab and click on “Spreadsheet.”


From here, you can add a new spreadsheet or insert a preexisting one.  If you need to edit the spreadsheet, click on the table and edit the data from within Excel.