Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking, information storage, and research application. It allows users to save text, images, and audio files in a central document that can be accessed for personal use, as well as shared with others. Similar to the way a physical notebook functions, OneNote includes books, as well as sections and pages. Users can choose to have one notebook or a variety of notebooks, each of which is dedicated to a different topic or project. 

This powerful tool allows users to take notes that include drawings and tables to supplement textual components. This app runs in a document window in which any spot on the canvas can be selected to make a new text box. Data is automatically saved in OneNote, which ensures that any edits to files are backed up in real-time. OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite and is also offered as a free standalone app. In addition, there is also a web-based version of OneNote available. 

Benefits of Using Microsoft OneNote

OneNote users cite many benefits to this note-taking app:

  • Most users consider OneNote to be easy to learn and to operate, especially for those with experience using other Office 365 applications. As such, people from all backgrounds and all ages rely on this app for their note-taking needs. 
  • Notes that were taken on OneNote can be synchronized with cloud services, such as Evernote, Dropbox, and Salesforce, among others.
  • It’s easy to get organized with the help of OneNote’s ability to arrange content into sections and pages.
  • OneNote’s helpful search and navigation features ensure that users can easily retrieve notes, which can save them time, especially when revisiting extensive notes.
  • Revision is easy thanks to features such as highlighting, To-Do tags, and ink annotations.
  • Content in OneNote can be sorted across pages, sections, and entire notebooks for optimal organization.
  • Those using OneNote can use their finger or a stylus to draw or annotate thoughts directly into their notes.
  • Not only is OneNote a powerful tool for organizing written text, but its mixed-media capabilities also allow users to incorporate online videos, files, and audio notes. These visual elements help cement concepts and lead to greater information retention.
  • Web content can be easily saved with just one click using OneNote’s Web Clipper.
  • Notebooks can be shared with family, friends, teachers, or coworkers.
  • OneNote was created around the concept that there is a process behind almost everything. This app provides a convenient way to see a project through from brainstorming to outlining to presenting and sharing, all in one place.
  • This software’s mobility is another perk of working with it. OneNote syncs content from phones, tablets, and desktop devices so that important information is always readily available.
  • Task-oriented individuals find OneNote’s features, such as color-coding, reminders, and tagging, to be helpful for streamlining tasks in order to stay on target for completing a project.
  • Collaboration is easy with OneNote. Users can elect to share their whole notebook or just one section with a team member or classmate.
  • Those who are working with sensitive information in the OneNote notebook can ensure that it is kept safe and protected thanks to the app’s password protection options. These allow users to create passwords for sections of their notebooks so that they are accessible only to those who are given the password. In addition, those who work with OneNote and leave it inactive can rest assured that their information is safe because this app automatically locks the sections that are password-protected so that they will remain private.
  • OneNote has a feature that scans handwritten notes and rewrites them into the user’s notebook.

Which Industries Use Microsoft OneNote?

Because OneNote provides users with the necessary tools to organize notes, create presentations, save research and important information, and share it with others, it has many applications across industries, as well as for personal task management. Currently, over 10,000 companies and organizations around the world use this software, such as Zendesk Incorporated and FEMA.

In addition, OneNote is a great tool for those in academia. Its features can lead to more effective teaching and learning, and provide an array of options to help customize learning to individual styles. This versatile, engaging software has applications for educators, staff, and students:

  • Teachers rely on OneNote’s searchable digital notebooks for lesson planning. They can also use it to share lesson materials with students. OneNote is a convenient platform onto which lesson plans, class activities, audio recordings, and supplementary materials can all be stored and shared. When creating presentations for the class, the teacher uses OneNote to modify content on the fly to better adjust to the classroom environment and students’ needs. Pictures can be added and voice notes can be inserted to supplement written lessons. In addition, OneNote enables teachers to connect with students’ notebooks and share content with one student, or the entire class. 
  • Staff work with OneNote to share content libraries and make presentations.
  • Students create diagrams and handwritten notes with the help of OneNote. It facilitates an interactive classroom experience that extends far beyond notetaking, into a tool for presentations, online study, and collaboration. More than ever, students are learning in a technology-driven environment. OneNote provides a way for them to learn independently or in a group setting. One of the main benefits of working with OneNote is that its notebooks are stored online, which means that even once the lesson is over and the student is home, they can revisit course content for a better understanding.

Different OneNote notebooks are available for students, teachers, and school leaders, to ensure that individual learning and educational outcomes are reached by all users.

Start Learning Microsoft OneNote with Hands-On Classes

Proficiency in Microsoft Office and its many applications can open professional doors across industries, as well as lead to upward career mobility. A great way to begin learning about Microsoft Office is to sign up for one of Noble Desktop’s Microsoft Office courses. These small group classes are offered in-person in Manhattan, as well as in the live online format. For students and professionals on the go, there are also in-person and live online Microsoft Office courses available through Noble Desktop or one of its affiliate schools. A variety of course options are offered, ranging in duration from three hours to three days and costing between $219 and $1,785. You can also browse in-person Microsoft Office classes in a city near you to find ones that specifically offer instruction in OneNote.