Using Microsoft Office OneNote Effectively

Microsoft’s OneNote program is an excellent program for keeping details, notes, and data together in one place. Onenote also keeps itself synced to other computers – meaning all your data is always with you.
When you first open OneNote you’re met with an excellent introductory “notebook.” Be sure you go through this so you get a good sense of how robust the application is.

You’ll notice that your notebooks run along the left-hand side of the screen. Think of each notebook like one of the three-ring binders you used in high school. Open a notebook and you’ll see tabs running along the top of the screen. These tabs are like the dividers in your three-ring binder. Look along the right-hand side of the screen and you’ll see another set of smaller tabs. These tabs are like the sheets of notebook paper in your binder.
Microsoft has done a really good job with Onenote – this format is intuitive and easy to use. You’ll quickly get used to it.
If you have a very big project you can allocate a whole notebook to it. Or you can allocate one notebook to work notes and one for personal notes.

Set the divider tabs of each of your notebooks to what makes the most sense for you. For instance, you can have a general notes tab in your work notebook, then have a tab for each big project you’re working on.
Onenote has a great search feature so you’ll be able to search quickly and easily through each section, notebook, or the entire program if you can’t find where you’ve stored a piece of data.
You can also nest a whole series of tabs inside one notebook. Say you have a very big project inside your work notebook. It’s outgrowing just one tab and you want to give it more tabs – without creating a new notebook. You can make this a sub-notebook, contained within your existing notebook.
It’s easy to drag and drop pages and sections around inside the program. You can also create sub-pages if you want to group sets of pages together.

As I mentioned above, Onenote really shines with its ability to sync. This makes it ideal for keeping your notes coordinated between home and work computers, or perhaps between your desktop and your laptop computers.
Another great way to use this is to have notebooks you share with coworkers or your spouse. You can share out a notebook that contains notes and project plans with your coworkers – everyone gets the notebook in their own copy of Onenote. The program automatically syncs your data so you can keep up with what’s going on with the project – live. You and your spouse can share important family information with each other, keeping everything up-to-date between you.
You can use Onenote for taking notes on everything, and as you use the program you’ll find that you do. It’s important to use it effectively. Keep your information organized and placed in logical notebooks. Use sub-pages and sub-notebooks when you need to to keep the information clean. Add notebooks if it’s a really big project and it makes sense to do so. And don’t hesitate to use the search function if you can’t find anything!

John Abrams a Microsoft Office expert has been working in the technology industry from the last 7 year. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as