How to Use Microsoft OneNote: Become a Pro in No Time

Learn how to use Microsoft OneNote and get two bonuses:

Youll find your Bonuses at the end of this post, so Keep reading.

Are you Tired of looking for that note you wrote down in a mess of papers? Or maybe you want an easier way to jot down some quick notes to remind yourself of an upcoming event later. And what about that grocery list of yours that you left home?How to use microsoft onenote

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that list on your cell phone, I mean who goes anywhere without a cell phone right?

Well with OneNote you can do these things and more. You can enter your notes by typing, handwriting with stylus or finger. And even audio recording them into OneNote that you can access later from anywhere on any device.

Highlight what’s important and express ideas with colors or shapes, add images, photos, and attach any type of document, picture, article, or whatever you come across on the Web.

And with the new feature the Web Clipper extension for Chrome, you can capture any web page to your OneNote. And later you can edit, change, add to, or whatever and even share it. For further information on this new features look for it at the end of this article.

Anywhere, Anytime:

You will find it’s easy to pull up your notes from anywhere, even if you’re offline. You can start on your laptop then update notes on your phone, sync them with your Desktop or any other device. OneNote will work on any device or platform.

So if you would like to learn more on how to use Microsoft OneNote, great, because that’s what this article is all about. I will cover what can be done with OneNote and how to use the features. And let’s not forget you can use it on any device like a Mac, any Windows device, iOS, Android or, an iPad.

I think you’re going to love this, no more searching through a bunch of papers for that note. And you will have your notes available to you anywhere and anytime, neatly organized and easy to find no matter how many notes you have taken.

Getting Started:

To get started you need to download OneNote to your devices (It will already be installed on your Window devices running Windows 8.1 or 10), then sign in with your Microsoft account (or sign-up for a free account).

Across the top of each notebook you’re going to notice tabs, each representing a different notebook called Sections and inside each section, you can add as many pages as you would like.How to use microsoft onenote

As an example you could take Section 1 and rename it to Recipes by right clicking on it then select “Rename section”, and type in the title (Recipe). Next, click on the plus sign in the left column (this is where your pages are located) and give it a label like the name of a recipe.

When you want to add a new recipe all you have to do is click on the plus sign and you can add countless recipes by doing this. Later when you want to find a recipe you can use the search bar (located in the main menu) where you can type in the recipe name or an ingredient and OneNote will locate it for you. 

To add another section Like one for a To-do-list, all you have to do is click on the plus sign just right of the last Section (Recipes) and rename it to whatever you want and you’re all set to start adding pages to it.

So, what you’ve got here is something like an endless supply of whiteboards (Sections) where each will have their own endless supply of separate pages.

Setting up more than one notebook:

What if you want another notebook for another person that shares this account with you, say a family member?

Well, you can set up as many notebooks as you want. Just click on the Menu tab located in the far left top corner of your Onenote then click on the plus sign to the right of “Notebooks” and give it a name.

Keeping in mind, that each Notebook can contain unlimited Sections, which in turn contain unlimited “pages”.

So if you end up having more than one Notebook, this is where you will go to select the notebook that you want to work on.

Setting up your pages under each “Section”:  

In the left-hand corner will be a list of your pages you create under each “Section”.  As you can see in the above example I have created four Sections, labeled “To-do-list”, “Grocery list”, “Family project”, and “Notes for Website” this will help give you an idea of what you can accomplish here.

Now by clicking on the Plus sign at the top of the “To-Do-List” I have created a page labeled “To-do before Wed” where I can add all the things I want to accomplish before Wed.

And keeping in mind you are not limited to the amount of content that you can add to each page, or to how many pages you want to add to the To-Do-List column.

This page can then be edited by you or anyone else that you give permission to do so, keeping in mind that all your notes are being synced to the cloud so you can access them from anywhere on any device that you have installed OneNote on.

And you can share any note with anyone, just by sharing a link to that specific note or page.

Now by placing your mouse over any of your pages in this column and right clicking, you get the options to “Delete the page”, “Rename the page”, “Move or Copy” the page to another location (page or notebook), “Copy a link” to the page to share it, or “Pin it to your taskbar” for quicker access.

How to Edit your Pages:

how to use microsoft onenote

Starting with the Home tab you will see all your editing tools needed to edit your pages like Bold, Italic, underline etc, along with creating a bullet or numbered list, changing your font style, highlighting and more. 

And with the “Paragraph formatting arrow” you can even tag the content with stickers like (Important, Question, Critical, Contact, Address, or Phone Number) this way you or the person you’re sharing this with can see at a glance what the content is about.

Using the Insert bar to insert objects into a page:

how to use microsoft onenote

This is where you can insert anything from a spreadsheet table, file, picture, photo from your webcam, or a website URL link. Just by clicking on any of the five choices, which are as follows.

  • Table: Customize a table to fit anything you need.
  • File: You can choose to insert a file as an Attachment, or you can insert the file as a PDF printout.
  • Camera: Take a picture with your Webcam and have it inserted into your page.
  • Picture: Choose a photo from your files to insert into the page.
  • Link: Add a website address related to your note.

Using the Draw bar to customize the way you draw on a page:

how to use microsoft onenote

As you can see along the Draw bar you have various choices to choose from like drawing with a pen or a pencil and doing it in any color that you would like. You can use the mouse by clicking and hold as you draw, or if you have a touch screen you use your finger or stylus. Let’s take a look at them starting at the far left side.

  • Select Objects or Type Text: By clicking on this button you can either select an object to modify or type in any text.
  • Lasso Select: Use this button to lasso any drawing in conjunction with the math button to turn your drawing into a typed math problem.
  • Eraser: Click on this to erase any part of drawings that need to be undone.
  • Pen and Pencil: Pick which one you want to use; using the pencil will give your note the look of a lead pencil. Using the Pen will come out looking like ink.
  • Yellow Highlighter: Using your mouse or finger strike through any text to highlight.
  • Color Dots: Pick your choice of colors from Black, Blue, Green, or Red.
  • Ink Color: More colors to choose from with four different effects.
  • Thickness: Using the plus or minus buttons you can increase or decrease the thickness of your drawings or writings with either the pen or pencil.
  • Math: This is the math button you can use to translate your drawings into an equation and even solve the math problem. Here you will use the Lasso button to lasso the equation then click the math problem to solve it.
  • Full-Screen Drawing: Use this button to enable the full-screen option to utilize the whole screen.

Changing how you View your pages:

Using the View bar you can change the color of your pages, add Rule or Grid lines to the page and Zoom in or out. On the bar, you can also choose to hide the navigation column for fewer distractions or restore navigation.

Want to Share your Notes, no problem:

Go to the page you want to share and Click on the Share button located in the upper-right corner of OneNote. From there click the “Create” button and Microsoft will create a link that you can share with anyone you want. how to use microsoft onenote

All they have to do is enter the link address into any browser and they will see your page (note). How to use microsoft onenoteAnd then when you want to stop sharing the page come back to the share button and click on “Anyone with the view link” (under the caption) “This page shared with”, then click “Stop Sharing” give it a couple of seconds to take effect.

You can also click on Send a copy at the bottom of the share menu which will bring up a screen where you can choose an email account (like your Gmail or outlook account) to email with the attached link to the note you are sharing.

You will also see a list of your email contacts, whereby clicking on one will open up your email account with the attached note ready to send. And you can even share it on Twitter, or to a separate OneNote account holder on another computer.

Let’s take a closer look at the Menu Tab:

Inside the menu tab (triple hamburger patty, lol) you have a few options for managing your notebooks. Starting at the top you will notice a search bar where you can enter any keyword to locate a specific note.

For example, you want to search for a specific recipe, all you have to do is enter a keyword that you know is contained inside that note and let OneNote search through all your recipes. And you can have it search a specific notebook to bring up all reference to that keyword. This will save you the hassle of scrolling through everything yourself. (wow what a relief 🙂 )

Next in line is the Recent Notes button whereby clicking it will take to your latest note. And next, you will notice where you can add an addition Notebook by click on the plus sign and entering a name for the new notebook.

Following, you will see a list of all your notebooks by name, this is where you will select the notebook you want to manage. This will then be the default one until you select another one. 

At the bottom of the page is where you can select your printer to print any of your pages, change your Feedback options, and open up the Settings menu where you have several options to set.

Settings Menu:

  • Options: Here is where you can turn on or off your sync settings for your notebooks. Allowing them to automatically Sync and to Sync all files and images on future pages.
  • Privacy: Here you will see your privacy setting.
  • Help: Get help on “Getting Started” which will cover everything in the menu’s tab and on “Formatting notes”. Other questions you have will take you to Microsoft support page.
  • Accounts: See all your accounts and add new accounts.
  • Trust Center: Turn on or off whether you send personal information to Microsoft to help make improvements. You can also enable Office to connect to online services from Microsoft to provide functionality that’s relevant to your usage.
  • Feedback: See your settings on feedback.
  • About: See OneNote’s version number you’re using.

OneNote Web Clicker: Bonus One!

With the new OneNote Web Clipper for Google Chrome, you can quickly capture any web page you visit and add it to your OneNote. how to use microsoft onenoteIf you’re familiar with Evernote’s clipper you will find it to be similar and easy to use.

You can remove the clutter like all the comments at the bottom of the page by selecting “Region” and highlighting the area you want clipped or select “Full Page” or “Article”, your choice :).

Add your clippings to any of your notebooks and pages. And then you can access your clipped pages on any device that you have OneNote installed on, even when you’re offline.

What do you get with OneNote compared with Evernote.

You will notice that the layout between the two is similar, so if you’re used to Evernote you should have no problems with navigating OneNote.

You will find that OneNote is tailored more to the taking of notes with more tools for drawing, scanning images, recording audio and videos, and writing anywhere on the canvas. You can also embed spreadsheets, PDFs, and anything else you can think of.

Evernote is more about clipping content from Website versus creating notes from scratch like you do with OneNote. Therefore, it outperforms OneNote in that area. You will find they both use the left-hand side of the screen to use for their navigation.

It’s easier to search for your notes with Evernote where you add tags to each of your notes when you capture or write them. Then on the front navigation page, you will be able to view your notes by their tags.

Now if you want a more detailed comparison, you can take a look at what Preston Gralla from Computerworld has written about the two.

Transferring your notes from Evernote to OneNote: Bonus Two!

It’s easy to transfer your notes from Evernote to your OneNote account. how to use microsoft onenoteAll you have to do is download the “Importer”, once downloaded click on the “Get started” button. The program will then search your computer for your Evernote’s and show you a list of the files associated with your account.

Click next and you will be prompted to sign into your OneNote account with either your Microsoft account or with a work or school account.

From there you will have a screen showing you how the content will be organized and a chance to use your Evernote tags to organize the content in your OneNote account. Click on the “Import” button and let OneNote do its thing.

Would you like to see how easy it is? Watch below.


Now Your a Pro With OneNote:

So as you can see, if you are someone that does significant note taking, like when you’re in a meeting, sitting at the computer collaborating with others. Or you’re just out and about and need to jot down a note to remind yourself of something later when you’re back at the office or home. And as you have seen, it’s easy to learn how to use Microsoft Onenote. And the more you use it, the better it will get.

Do You Have any Questions or Comments on OneNote?

I love to hear from my readers so if you Have any questions? You can leave them below and I will be happy to answer them for you. And if you would like to pitch in with a comment or two, great! I would love to hear from you!


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About Author

Hello, my name is Kim and I am the owner of this site. I have been working with computers since they first became available to the public.I have built several computers over the years and enjoy helping others with their everyday computing. Should you have any questions about using your computer, or any other device, please leave me a note below in the comment section and I will be more than happy to help you out. Come back often for more tips and solutions to your every day computing.


  1. Simon

    Hi Kim,

    I consider myself being quite useful with most of the Microsoft programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), but I have never looked at OneNote before.

    Your post had identified a lot of features I would have never considered using until now. I’m not the most organized person in the world, so this was an interesting read for me.

    All the best.

    1. Kim (Post author)

      Hi Simon, I’m not the most organized person myself lol. That is why I took a harder look at OneNote. I have found the more I use it the better I’m getting at organizing my clutter of notes. Since I’m at my computer most of the days I have found that instead of jotting down notes on paper (and then not able to find that one particular note later 🙂 ) I am using OneNote more and more. And now I can find that particular note whenever I want.

      I’m happy you found this interesting, give it a try, the more you use it, it will just get better. It will also complement Microsoft’s other program.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Roopesh

    Hey Kim
    Honestly speaking, I am jealous.Why? Because Onenote, is what I need but can’t get.My laptop is a little outdated, only having Windows 7.

    As you mentioned, this stuff, only works with Windows 8 or later.Bummer, but I am going to try this out on my android, though I won’t be able to sync it with my laptop, I need something to keep order of all my notes.

    By the time I get home, I find that I have pieces of paper here and there, with important stuff. At times I misplace these, and it can get really frustrating.

    I like the fact, that Onenote, has got plenty of pages, which allows me to categorize things easier.

    Thanks so much for this, it’s really helpful

    1. Kim (Post author)

      Hey there Roopesh, I’m happy you have found this to be helpful!

      Have you given any thought as to upgrading to Windows 10? If you want you can check out my post on whether one should upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7. And if you decide that you would like to, you can still get the update for free! Click here to find out how.

      And best of all if you upgrade and later wish to go back to Windows 7, you can do it with little effort, which will be explained in that article.

      I hope this has helped and Thank you for stopping by!


  3. Leo

    Honestly speaking, I had always preferred using pen and paper (I am ancient in this aspect lol). I used to have a Samsung Note mobile phone and I hardly write anythings on it.

    However the features you mentioned in your article is especially nifty, especially the sync between all your devices part. Maybe… maybe I will starting using OneNote soon.

    Thank you for the great loads of information!

    1. Kim (Post author)

      Thank you Leo for stopping by! I was always using pencil and paper to jot down notes also, but always had a problem finding the ones I wanted to refer back to later. Yeah I’m not to organized that way lol.

      That’s why I turned my attention to OneNote, and the more I use it the better it gets. And now I can find those darn notes, plus like you noted I can find them anywhere on any of my device when I need them.

      I’m glad this has given you something to think about!


  4. Kevin

    Interesting Article… I use windows and have never tried One Note…
    That’s what I liked about this post, it really nails what One Note is and now I’m confident it Is exactly what I need.
    I tried Evernote in the past but to be honest, it seems so complicated and is so much to handle when what I need is something that facilitate my work.
    I have one question though, it may sound dumb but… Does One Note integrate with iOs Apps?
    That’s a must, cause I use my iPhone so much.
    Thank you.

    1. Kim (Post author)

      HI Kevin, I’m glad you found this article to be helpful and hope you put OneNote to work for you as I have. I have installed it on my android phone and have found it to be very useful in the ability to access my note notes no mater where I am. The answer to your question is yes, it is integrated across both platforms.

      Should you have further questions please let me know and I hope you enjoy OneNote.



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