OneNote Productivity Tips to help you get the best out of it

OneNote is a computer software by Microsoft that lets users share their typed and handwritten notes, drawings, audio commentaries, and screen clippings. Moreover, it is a digital notebook where users can share the data with other OneNote users over a network. We have already covered some basic OneNote tutorials and some OneNote Tips & Tricks. In this post, we will learn about a few OneNote Productivity Tips that will help you increase your efficiency while using OneNote.

OneNote Productivity Tips

1] Shortcuts in OneNote

As we know OneNote is all about making notes quickly, so how about opening your OneNote account quickly with a shortcut.

  • Press Win+R and type OneNote in the command box. It will open your OneNote Notebook in real-time.
  • To create a new page, press Ctrl+N.
  • Ctrl+R takes your cursor to the extreme right and Ctrl+L takes it to the extreme left.
  • Windows + S is a shortcut to taking Screen Clipping.
  • Ctrl + Enter adds a new row in your table.
  • Ctrl+1 makes a To-Do list
  • Ctrl+2 stars an item in your list
  • Ctrl + M opens another OneNote Window.
  • Ctrl + Alt + 1/2/3 creates headings.

2] Add a design to your page

Click on Insert > and select Page Templates. The right panel of your Notebook will show you a list of Page Templates available in various categories. Select the one you want. You can set any template as the default template, or can also customize a page with your own design and colors and set it as a template. 

You can give a completely personalized touch to your page. Add a page color and some rule lines to make it neater and more organized.

3] Get a feel of real Notebook with Rule Lines

Add some rule lines and colors to your OneNote page and get a feel of real notebooks and pages. Click on View > Select Page Color to change your page color or select Rule Line to add the lines to your page. You can also select the color of Rule Lines in your page. If you want all your pages to have the rule lines, click on Always Create Pages with Rule Lines

4] Indenting, Outdenting and Re-arranging your notes

No need to take your mouse for indenting, outdenting, or re-arranging the notes. Alt+Shift plus Arrow buttons will help you do things faster.

  • Indenting- Alt+Shift+?
  • Outdenting- Alt + Shift + ?
  • To move the text down- Alt + Shift + ?
  • To move the text up- Alt + Shift + ?

5] Classify and prioritize important notes With Tags

Click the line of text you want to tag > select the suitable tag from the drop-down and you are done. You can also apply multiple tags to a note.
To check your tags, you can create a summary of your tags to quickly find and follow up on important notes.

On the ribbon, click the Home tab > Click the Find Tags button > In the Tags Summary pane, click any tag you want to follow.

6] Screen Clipping

Use this easy shortcut to create screen clippings and tell OneNote where you want to file them.Win+Shift+S shortcut opens the screen clipping tool. Select the area you want to capture and save the clipping wherever you want.

7] Record Audio Notes

If you are not in the mood of typing you can record your audio notes right in your OneNote page. Click on Insert > and select Record Audio. The audio file will automatically get saved to your OneNote page. Press the Stop button to stop your audio recording. You can actually record all the minutes of your meeting for reference later. 

Audio Notes search is disabled by default. To enable the Audio Notes search, go to File > Options > Select the Audio and Video category and click the checkbox and approve the dialog box prompt Enable Searching notes now finds words in audio & video clips. 

8] Email Your Notes/Pages

Maybe it is your text page, a picture, an audio note, or a video note, you can mail it to anyone right from your OneNote account. Click on Home tab and select Email Page tab. The recipient will receive the page as an email attachment.

9] Add Links to your pages

You can link up any of your pages with each other. Just type the name of your page and type [[ and ]] in the beginning and the end of the name, OneNote will automatically create the link. One click and you can land on any of your pages. Make sure that you type the correct name of the page you want to link.  If you type a title for a page that doesn’t exist, OneNote creates a new, blank page that the link will point to. The link underlines will appear dotted until you add notes to that new page.

“If you type a title for a page that doesn’t exist, OneNote creates a new, blank page that the link will point to. The link underlines will appear dotted until you add notes to that new page”.

10] Draw your ideas

Click on Draw tab on the ribbon and you will get all the color options, the thickness of the pencil, eraser, shapes, and lots more. Just draw down your ideas and save them on your OneNote pages.


11] Copy text from a picture

Do you know that OneNote lets you copy the text from any picture? Yes, you can now extract any text from any picture using the Optical Character Recognition technology of OneNote. Just insert the image on your page, right-click on the image and select ‘Copy Text From Picture‘ and it will be copied on your clipboard. You can then paste it anywhere you want.

12] Other features of OneNote that help you with productivity

  • Create a To-Do list instantly.
  • Use OneNote Web Clipper Chrome extension to take notes while browsing
  • You can drag and drop any document, image, or video directly on your OneNote page.
  • When you copy something from the web and paste it on your page, OneNote adds the source link automatically.
  • When you open OneNote, it also opens a New Quick Note tab which lets you add a new note without really opening OneNote.
  • You can do any type of calculations right on your OneNote page. Just type any equation and press Spacebar to get the answer.
  • You can create password protection for any of your pages. Just right-click on the Section and select Password Protect this section. 
  • You can easily embed an excel sheet in OneNote. Click on Insert > Table > New Excel Spreadsheet.
  • Ink to Math tab under Draw tab matches your handwriting and convert your handwritten equations.
  • You can integrate OneNote to your Microsoft’s OneDrive and get 7GB of cloud storage to store all your notes.
  • OneNote is a cross-platform app and thus, you can take it anywhere you go. There is a free OneNote app available for your phone, your Surface, your iPad as well as your web browser.
  • Sharing on OneNote is super-easy. Click File > Share > Get a Sharing Link and share it with anyone you want. You can make it only readable or editable.
  • OneNote online help is available for free.

OneNote is one of the best features of Microsoft Office, and it has been around for more than a decade now – and it gets better after every update.

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