Frequently Asked Questions about OneNote

OneNote FAQ

Microsoft OneNote is a powerful and versatile note-taking application and one of my favorites to use every day!

Yet, as with any software program, there are certain questions that pop up. Let’s answer some of these frequently asked questions about OneNote now. Then you can get the most out of this amazing tool.

What is Microsoft OneNote?

OneNote is a digital notebook application. This app allows you to take notes, organize information, and collaborate with others. It is available as a free application for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, as well as a web-based version. OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office suite. OneNote integrates with other Office applications, such as Outlook and Teams.

what is OneNote

How do I create a new notebook in OneNote?

Creating a new notebook in OneNote is very simple. There are different versions of OneNote so we will expand on how to create a notebook in each version.

OneNote with Microsoft 365

If you are using the OneNote app which is a part of Microsoft 365 follow these instructions:

  1. Open the OneNote application and click on the “File” menu at the top of the screen. F
  2. Select “New” and then “Notebook.”
  3. You will then be prompted to name your new notebook and choose where you would like to save it.

Once you have done this, you can start taking notes and organizing your information. 

OneNote for Windows 10

If you are using OneNote that comes with Windows 10, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the notebook name at the top left of your screen (under the Toolbar).
  2. At the bottom of that notebooks column, click on + Add notebook.
  3. Name your notebook.

By default this notebook will be saved in your personal OneDrive.

How to add a Notebook

OneNote within Microsoft Teams

If you are in Microsoft Teams it is easy to add a notebook for the team.

  1. Add a Tab in your channel, choose OneNote
  2. There will be a default notebook for your team, you can choose that one.
  3. This notebook is immediately available and shared with the entire Team. 
Adding OneNote to your Team
Use the plus sign in a Teams Channel to add the OneNote App.

Any notebooks created in Microsoft Teams will be stored in SharePoint.

How do I organize my notes in OneNote?

OneNote allows you to organize your notes in a variety of ways, including by using sections and pages. Sections group related pages together, while pages store individual notes. You can also create sub-pages and use tags to organize your notes even further.

Sections in OneNote showing vertically on the left
OneNote for Windows 10 or OneNote in Teams App
Sections in OneNote showing horizontally at the top
Sections are across the top in the OneNote app within Microsoft 365.

How do I share my notes with others?

OneNote makes it easy to share your notes with others via the Share button.

To share a notebook follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on it in the navigation pane and select “Share.”
  2. From there, you can invite specific people to view or edit your notebook.
Share button in OneNote so you can share a page or a notebook
Share button at top right corner of OneNote screen.

How do I access my notes on different devices?

OneNote lets you access your notes on any device.

  • Install OneNote app on your computer or laptop, your smart phone and your tablet.
  • From all devices, log in to your Microsoft account (make sure you use the same Microsoft account and password on all devices)
  • Open up the desired notebook and update your notes.

Once you update a notebook on one device, it automatically syncs with all your devices. This means you can easily access your notes no matter where you are or what device you are using.

Can I add pictures, audio, or video to my notes?

Yes, OneNote allows you to add pictures, audio, and video to your notes. To add a picture, simply click on the “Insert” menu at the top of the screen and select “Picture.” You can also insert audio and video by selecting those options from the “Insert” menu as well.

Insert toolbar in OneNote

Can I search for specific notes in OneNote?

Yes, OneNote has a built-in search feature that allows you to quickly find specific notes.

Simply click on the “Search or Magnifying glass” button at the top of the screen and enter the text or keywords you are looking for. OneNote will then display all the notes that match your search criteria.

Search all notebooks in OneNote
Search Magnifying glass shows on left, within OneNote for Windows 10 or within Teams.
Search box in Onenote, using Ctrl+E
Search box and magnifying glass shows at top right of page, within the OneNote App.

There are a number of searches you can do.

  • search within the current page
  • search within the current notebook
  • search throughout all the notebooks

There are search keyboard short-cuts available to you as well:

  • Ctrl-F will find a word or phrase on the current page
  • Ctrl-E will find a word or phrase within any of your open notebooks

Searching in OneNote is one of the best reasons to use OneNote. Find anything fast, no matter where you put it!

How do I print my notes?

Printing your notes is possible but keep in mind this is not why you should use OneNote.

A word of caution about printing

You can type your notes neatly on a OneNote page so printing works well. But OneNote does not constrain you to any margins or boundaries. So if you add notes to the right side of currently typed notes, it will attempt to print these as well. OneNote is designed to be like a giant whiteboard not a piece of paper.

How to print

Within the OneNote App (with Microsoft 365) follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the “File” menu at the top of the screen and select “Print.”
  2. You will then be prompted to choose which pages or sections you would like to print.

Within OneNote for Windows 10:

  1. Click on 3 Dots at the top right corner of the screen
  2. Choose Print.
  3. It will then print all the pages it needs for the page you are on within OneNote.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Microsoft OneNote is an amazing application that can help you stay organized and on top of your work. Whether you are a student, a professional, or just someone who likes to keep their thoughts and ideas in one place, OneNote is a great program to use.

For more tips on OneNote see this blog article: Best Practices for OneNote

Work Smarter with Microsoft OneNote
Purchase my book – Work Smarter with Microsoft OneNote