Microsoft’s OneNote is full of awesome features to help you work smarter.

The Hidden Gem in Your Windows

Microsoft OneNote is a worthy alternative to Evernote, the world’s (by popular opinion) best note-taking application. In fact, as a large number of people in the world already own Microsoft’s Office suite, OneNote may be more convenient to use than Evernote. After all, why do you need another application if you have OneNote installed on your PC already?

OneNote is a pretty powerful note-taking app. It lets you take text, image, audio and video-based notes. Apart from notes, you can use it to make lists, schedule appointments, store your research, and even use it to get your work done more efficiently.

It has lots of other cool features too – it lets you draw, for example, and even helps you with your math homework! OneNote may be a little complicated to handle at first, though, especially if you are new to it, just like the other applications in MS Office. If you spend a little time with it, you’ll find it more than worth your while with the productivity boost you get out of it.

Here are some tips that can help you get more out of MS OneNote and, incidentally, help you impress your boss at the same time.

See Also: OneNote for Mac Released, Microsoft Makes the App Free Across All Platforms

Use Templates

For personal use of official, OneNote templates add the right touch to your notes.

Just like in MS Excel and MS PowerPoint, MS OneNote has a number of useful templates that you can use to get things done quickly. These templates are divided into different sections for use at different times. If you’re in a lecture, you can open a “Simple Lecture Notes” template on your laptop. If you’re in a meeting, you can use the “Simple Meeting Notes” template.

The templates available are sorted into 5 useful sections: Academic, Blank, Business, Decorative, and Planners – with multiple templates available in each section. To access these templates, open the “New Page” submenu at the top right corner of your screen and click on “Templates”.

Also Read : A Look at Microsoft Office 365: OneNote

Index Audio/Video Notes

[youtube] Don’t hesitate to take audio or video notes because they might make it hard for you to find information later. OneNote has a very handy feature that will index audio and video notes to help you find information faster.

Essentially, audio and video notes will be scanned and treated as text, so if you search for a particular word, OneNote will be able to take you to the point(s) in the file where that word appeared. Go to Audio and Video settings and tick the box at the bottom of the window.

Take Notes Conveniently


We recommend you add a OneNote icon to the taskbar, so you can quickly record notes with it even if the app isn’t open. Also, you can quickly take notes (when the app isn’t open) by holding the “Windows” + “N” key. Even if you don’t save these notes manually, they will be saved automatically in the app.

If you use a touch screen tablet or smartphone, you can even hand write notes on OneNote. With handwriting support, taking notes in a lecture or meeting becomes a breeze, and you don’t even need to use your pen and paper. You can take notes, attach files, share, and collaborate with other users seamlessly.

Create Lists


One of the biggest selling points of any productivity app is it’s ability to help you organize your day and help you get things done. With OneNote, you can create lists in a snap. You have the option of choosing from the simple To Do list, Priority To Do list or Project To Do list.

You can create to-do (and other) lists with the app and use it as a planner or a digital assistant. Just click the “To-Do List” option in the “Home” section of the app to create a list quickly. To add new items to the list, use the shortcut “ctrl” and “1”. Once a task is done you can check it off the list as completed and voilà! You’ll never need paper lists again or forget items that your better half added at the last-minute.

Convert Image Text


OneNote lets you convert text on images into plain text that can be copy-pasted. This saves you from finding and downloading a suitable OCR app – and this is also very useful during research.

To do this, navigate to the document or web page with the image and use the “clipping” tool in the “Insert” menu of the app to get the text you want. You can also use the “Windows” and “S” shortcut. Capture screen of the text you want and send the clip to OneNote. On the OneNote page Right-click on the image, and click on Copy Text from Picture. The text from the image is copied to the Clipboard.

Take Advantage of the Powerful (and Fun) Features


OneNote has some very intriguing features. It will let you draw with a free hand on a touch screen device, for example, password-protect your files and let you take a combination of audio, text and video notes. It will also let you organize stuff in easy-to-access notebooks.

Don’t Forget Those Handy Keyboard Shortcuts


For the final, and perhaps, most useful tip, learn as many OneNote shortcuts as you can! This will really save you a lot of time, even if it seems like a bother.

For a list of all available shortcuts, click on the small question mark icon below the cancel button on the top-right corner of your screen and type “shortcuts” in the search bar.

In Conclusion

We reckon that these tips will help make your MS OneNote experience much more productive once you incorporate them into your daily life. We also recommend that you always backup your files online, so that you can access them from anywhere.

MS OneNote has a pretty good mobile app on Apple and Android devices, so don’t forget to take advantage of those and record your notes on the go. MS OneNote is a great tool that will help you organize information and help you get the most out of it.