Helpful OneNote tips and tricks

Many small and medium-sized businesses use OneNote to take, store, and share notes between employees. This digital notebook automatically backs up notes to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud.

To make the most of this powerful and versatile tool, follow these top tips and tricks.

Use Quick Notes to Jot Down Ideas

When you do not have time to organize your ideas in a fully formatted document, you can use Quick Notes to jot down a few words that will jog your memory later. OneNote saves Quick Notes in a notebook that you can access from any device, which means you can make a quick note on your phone during a meeting and access it on your computer when you get back to your desk.

Search Your Notes

The more you use OneNote, the more notes will accumulate on your account. You can organize these notes to make them easier to find. Even if you save everything in Unfiled Notes, finding what you need is easy thanks to the built-in search function. Simply select the magnifying glass or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F to open the search box. Type a phrase or word from the note into the box and OneNote will immediately return relevant results.

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Collaborate in Real Time

To share your notes with coworkers, navigate to the note you want to share. Select “Share from the File” menu, and then select the option “Share with People”. This function allows you to select the people you want to share the notes with.

These people can then open or edit your notebook, depending on the permissions you choose to give them.

Store Handwritten Notes

Many people don’t realize they can store handwritten notes in OneNote. If you prefer to flesh out your ideas using a pen, select the Draw tab, choose the pen of your choice, and start doodling. You can also convert handwritten notes into text to make your scribbled ideas digitized and searchable.

Tag Your Notes

Some notes are more important than others. You can use tags to label the notes that are most important to you. Add them to To Do lists, label them as Important, or highlight important questions within your notes that you need to resolve. When you want to view your lists of tagged notes, simply open the Tags Summary pane.

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Use Passwords to Protect Privacy

OneNote allows you to use passwords to add an extra layer of security to your notes. When you add a password, no one can view that note unless they know the password. That includes Microsoft’s customer support teams, so choose your password carefully if you do not want to be permanently locked out! Password-protecting individual sections within OneNote notebooks is a fantastic way to control the content you share with the various members of a group.

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You can share a notebook with a large group of people, all of whom will be able to see the non-protected sections, but only those to whom you provide the password will be able to view the protected sections. This is useful when large teams of people are collaborating on projects which contain sensitive data.


Use these tips to supercharge OneNote usage within your small or medium-sized business. When everyone uses these tips, productivity can skyrocket thanks to better collaboration and access to information. Want more advice on getting your business to collaborate better?

Contact us today – we’re always open to a good conversation.