OneNote Wizardry: 3 Tips for Enhanced Notetaking

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 If you’re not using Microsoft OneNote to improve your notetaking abilities, it is something to consider doing to help complete your day-to-day tasks. As one of the many productivity-enhancing tools in the Microsoft ecosystem, OneNote shines when it comes to business applications, as there are many everyday use cases for which it is applicable. OneNote can be used as: 

  • A central repository for meeting notes where teams can collaborate and share their insights on the fly. 
  • A project management tool that can be leveraged to track progress, manage tasks, and store relevant documents all in one place. 
  • A way for sales staff to store and maintain customer profiles and meeting logs for follow-up conversations. 
  • A method of organizing and storing training materials, company policies, and other employee resources.  
  • And so much more!  

When used to its full potential, OneNote is more than just a tool; it is your key to unmatched productivity. To help you understand how it can be used to save you time and free space up in your day for the things that truly matter, we have outlined three tips for improved notetaking.  

How to Simply Navigate OneNote  

Before we dive into tips and tricks for using OneNote to improve your notetaking abilities, it is important to first understand how to navigate the tool in order to be able to use it to your advantage. In OneNote, your digital notetaking is structured into: 

  • Notebooks: Akin to a physical notebook you might have used to take notes in school, this hosts all related sections. 
  • Sections: Similar to dividers in a binder, these help to organize related note pages together. 
  • Pages: An individual (electronic) sheet of paper where you jot down notes, ideas, or meeting minutes.  

This organizational structure provides a powerful yet flexible framework for keeping your notes in order and easily accessible. 

1. Customize OneNote for Easy-to-Read Sections and Pages    

OneNote is most effective when it’s set up the way that works best for you. To do this, you can customize your notebooks with settings in the “View” tab of OneNote that allow you to: 

  • Change the color of Notebooks, Sections, and Pages to visually differentiate between them. 
  • Update the layout of Section tabs from Horizontal to Vertical 
  • Add Rule Lines to your Pages for the look of a real notebook.  
  • Change your background from light mode to dark mode. 

 For a demonstration of how to make changes to the set-up of your OneNote, check out this helpful tutorial:  

2. Use Templates for More Efficient Notetaking 

Templates are a great resource for reducing the time it takes to build out your pages in OneNote, as they eliminate the need to create outlines for your notes from scratch. This feature is particularly helpful for recurring meetings that require consistent and repeatable annotations such as: 

  • Weekly 1-on-1s with your team 
  • Performance reviews 
  • Project intake discussions 
  • Sales conversations 

While there are a number of preset templates readily available in OneNote, you can also create custom templates to meet your unique needs. To learn how, watch the video below for step-by-step instructions on setting up and using templates in OneNote.   

3. Leverage Tags to Quickly Locate Content 

Once your notes have been transcribed, OneNote makes it easy to sort, organize, and find the content you’ve created with the Tag feature. With tags such as “To-Do,” “Idea,” “Remember for Later,” and more, you can mark action items, highlight important points, and categorize information, making it easier to circle back later on. 

Additionally, you can create a summary page that gathers all the line items with a particular tag in one place, providing an efficient way to sift through all your notes and find information easily. 

And like templates, you have the ability to create custom tags to help organize your content as needed.  

Watch the video below to see how.  

Unlock the Magic of Microsoft OneNote    

The real magic of OneNote lies in using it in a way that best fits your unique workflow, so the best way to use it to your advantage is to experiment and discover new ways to use this digital notetaking tool. And at SUCCESS, we can help your team get more out of not just OneNote but the entire Microsoft 365 ecosystem of tools. Request a call and discover what’s possible for your business.