12 Little-Known Microsoft OneNote Features You Will Love

OneNote is great for taking notes of all kinds and keeping them in a digital notebook. But there are plenty of little-known OneNote features that will make you more productive. Here are some of the best.

1. Set a Page Style as the Default Template

Do you have a page style in OneNote that you use for most of your notes? If so, you may want to set it as a default template. Doing so is very simple:

  1. Right-click on the note you want to use as a default template. If you have a Mac, press Control + trackpad click.
  2. Select Set as Default Template when you see the list of options.
    Set Your Default Template in the OneNote App for Easy Access

You can use OneNote templates in recurring projects to organize notes in a particular way. If you’re the minute taker for office meetings, for example, you can manage attendees, conversations, and key points in a fixed tabular format.

OneNote’s system of organization with a typical notebook, section, and page approach is excellent for organizing notes. However, you can add visual markers to identify information and contextual relationships across your notebooks or sections. To do this, use the Custom Tags feature.

  1. Click on the Home tab.
    Select the Home Tab in Microsoft OneNote

  2. Hover over the list of options where you see To-Do and Important. Then, select the downward-facing arrow and choose Create New Tag.
    Create a New Tag in Microsoft OneNote

  3. Name your tag, choose a symbol, and select Create.
    Customize the new tag that you want to create in OneNote

  4. To access your tag, use the arrow on the right to scroll through.
    Created tab appearing in OneNote

3. Internal and External Linking in OneNote

OneNote has a deep linking structure that helps you quickly engage in knowledge construction, critical thinking, and contextual learning. You can link to different pages and external websites.

To link to different pages in OneNote:

  1. Right-click on the page you want to copy (or press Command + trackpad click on macOS).
  2. Select Copy Link to Page.
    Copy a Link to Your Page in Microsoft OneNote

  3. Highlight the text on your new page where you want to insert the link, then press Ctrl + K (Windows) or Command + K (Mac).
  4. Paste the link and click OK. When you click on the link, you should go to the page you want.
    The option to link internally to a page in OneNote

READ MORE  The 7 Most Useful Excel Formulas for Inventory Management

If you’d rather link to external pages in OneNote (e.g. website URLs), follow these instructions.

  1. Copy the link you want to paste.
  2. Go into OneNote and select the text you want to add the hyperlink to. Select Ctrl + K (Windows) or Command + K (Mac).
    Paste a Link From an External Source in Microsoft OneNote

  3. Paste the link and click OK.

How to Copy a Page in OneNote

Another handy feature in OneNote is the ability to copy a page to another notebook.

  1. Right-click or press Command + trackpad click on the page you want to copy.
  2. Select Copy Page to.
    Copy a Page to Somewhere Else in Microsoft Outlook

  3. Choose the notebook you’d like to copy your page to and click Copy when finished.
    Choose a new notebook to share your pages to in OneNote

4. Use Page Versions to Keep Track of Changes

Every time you make changes to a note, OneNote keeps track of the previous versions instead of completely overriding them. So, if you delete any note by mistake, you can look through the page’s history to find the item you want.

Go to View > Page Versions to use this feature.

Select Page Versions to view previous pages in OneNote

5. Translate Text or the Entire Page

As communication at work is increasingly becoming multilingual, the need to translate text into different languages is becoming essential. Microsoft provides you with powerful Office translation tools to decipher content in various languages and put it into a note.

  1. Go to View > Translate > Set Language if you want to translate the entire page.
    Set a New Language in OneNote to Translate To

  2. Choose your language and select Translate.
    Choose Languages to Translate to in OneNote

To translate just one part of your document:

  1. Go to View > Translate > Selection.
    Language Adjustment Settings in Microsoft OneNote

  2. Select the text you want to translate; if you need further context, you can also type in new words.
    Translate different texts in Microsoft OneNote

  3. Choose the languages you want to translate between.
  4. Choose Insert to add the translation to your note. It will replace what you already have.

Besides OneNote, you can also adjust your language configurations for Microsoft Word and other apps.

READ MORE  What Is the Microsoft Office Desktop App and Is It Any Good?

6. Sort Pages in OneNote

To sort your pages in OneNote, click the Sort button next to your notebook. Then, choose one option from the list: Alphabetical, Date Created, or Date Modified.

Adjust different page views in Microsoft OneNote

7. Save Emails to OneNote

If you want to save an email in OneNote, you can use the Email to OneNote feature. It consists of an email address ([email protected]), to which you can forward email messages (trip confirmation, receipts, or important emails) or share any type of content.

The subject field of the email becomes the title of your OneNote page. Also, any link you include in the body of the message automatically gets expanded into an article and a full-page screenshot.

Here’s how to set up the Email to OneNote feature:

  1. Go to the Email to OneNote setup page.
  2. Select Set up email to OneNote.
    Set up your emails to send to OneNote

  3. Sign in to your Microsoft account.
    Sign Into your Microsoft Account to Set Up Features With OneNote

  4. Choose the default location to save your emailed notes. You should also pick the address that you’ll use to send emails; you have to send them to [email protected] for them to save successfully.
    Email and Location Settings for OneNote to Save Automatically

  5. Select Save once you’re happy with these configurations. Then, run a test email in Outlook to confirm that you’ve successfully set everything up.

When using Outlook, you can also encrypt emails that you send to others. Doing so will ensure that you don’t let sensitive information get into the wrong hands.

8. Paste Text Without Formatting

When you copy and paste content, OneNote will paste the text along with its formatting and a source link, whether you use the Ctrl + V shortcut or the Paste option from the context menu.

If you don’t want pasted text in OneNote to have formatting, go to Home > Paste > Keep Text Only.

Keep Text Only Feature in OneNote

Another option to try is selecting Option + Command + Shift + V if you use OneNote on a Mac.

READ MORE  How to Merge Multiple Excel Sheets (4 Ways)

9. Add Equations to Your Notes

While you may know of OneNote as being useful for text, you can also add equations. To do this:

  1. Go to Insert > Equation.
    Insert an Equation Into Your OneNote Document

  2. Enter your equation in the box that appears within your note.

10. Sync All Notebooks

If you have multiple notebooks in OneNote, you can easily synchronize everything. Synchronization is usually on by default, but manually switching the feature on is a good idea if you’ve noticed that it isn’t working properly.

To synchronize all of your notebooks, simply go to File > Sync All Notebooks. You can also choose to synchronize only one notebook if you would prefer.

Synchronize Your Notes in Microsoft OneNote

11. Use Immersive Reader to Read Out the Text

Immersive Reader is an excellent and accessible tool that exists in OneNote and several other Microsoft apps, such as Teams and Outlook. The feature lets you read out text on your screen in full-screen mode.

Enabling Immersive Reader in Outlook is very straightforward:

  1. Tap on View in the toolbar.
  2. Select Immersive Reader.
    The Immersive Reader Settings in Microsoft OneNote

  3. Tap the play button to have OneNote read out your text.
    The Complete Immersive Reader View in OneNote

  4. Choose the left-hand arrow to exit full-screen mode when you’ve finished.

12. Use Paper Style to Structure Your Writing

By default, OneNote gives you a blank page to type on. But if you want to structure your writing better, you can adjust the paper style that you see on your page. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Select View > Paper Style.
  2. Tap the downward-facing arrow.
    Select the Different Paper Style Options in Microsoft OneNote

  3. Choose your preferred paper style when you see the list of options.

OneNote has plenty of helpful features that let you organize your notes more effectively. Beyond that, you can also make visual changes and make your notes more accessible. Try these different features and see which ones enhance your productivity the most.

      Select your currency
      Register New Account