5 Cool Things You Can Do Using OneNote


Prepare to fall in love with OneNote, the unsung hero app of Office 365. We’ve come up with a list of 5 handy things you can do with the app to get you started. Because we are doing these tasks on the go, we’re using the OneNote app for mobile devices, which will sync to your OneNote account in the cloud.


  1. Keep your shopping lists under control

OneNote is the perfect solution for anyone who has ever struggled to remember a shopping list or read a hand written scrawl in the middle of a busy shopping aisle.

Once you have the app, open it and select or tap the plus sign to create a new list. Then use ‘Add item’ or the return button to build your list. The ‘Edit’ option lets you indent items to create groups. For example, we used the indent feature to group our vegetable list together. Once the list is finished, select ‘Done’.


Then when you are shopping simply select the little box beside each item to tick it off. This will give you a very satisfied feeling as your list shrinks before your eyes.


  1. Organise all those recipes

Some of us are recipe junkies and collect them as if they are an endangered species. Now you can keep them somewhere, together, forever.  Start by creating a new Section in your OneNote notebook. We called ours ‘Recipes’.

Now you are ready to get busy building your recipe collection.

  • If the recipes are printed in books or magazines, select the big + button in the OneNote app on your device and take a photo. You can also send photos to your recipe notebook directly from the photo library on your device.
  • Try typing recipes directly into the note, along with a photo of your handiwork, like my banana bread example above.
  • Save URLs of recipes directly into the notebook from your browser. On a phone save them directly from your browser, the same way you would email it. On a laptop or desktop select Print and select OneNote as your destination.
  • Add your own thoughts to the recipe by selecting the recipe in question and typing on its page. For example, you could add cooking times or any changes you made to the recipe.

Remember everything you add into OneNote is searchable, so you can find specific recipes easily.






  1. Save your important personal documents

Can’t find your flight or passport details when you really need them? Do you find yourself digging around for your insurance documents or receipts in drawers and folders?

Make notes of your key personal information with OneNote to keep everything securely together.

In the example image I created a Holidays section in my notebook by selecting the + sign on the tabs. I then selected the bottom right + sign and added a new note.

  • You can type your information, for example in the first note.
  • Or you can take photos on your phone, for example of your passport, then send them to OneNote from your photo library.

If you have OneNote installed on your phone or tablet you will always have your information with you when travelling. You can also access your OneNote account online so if you don’t have your phone or tablet you can log onto www.OneNote.com to view all your information.

This is a great way to save important information, and the powerful search feature in OneNote, makes it easy to find it.




  1. Record lectures, interviews, or your own musical ideas

Typing isn’t always the best option for note taking when you are at a lecture or seminar. If you are permitted to make audio recordings, simply create a note, then tap on the microphone symbol to start recording. You can add key thoughts on the note next to the recording.

This means you can focus on what’s being said at the time, using the audio to transcribe the notes later. You will need to you test a recording beforehand to ensure your device can pick up the audio clearly.

If you are running a Q&A or interview one way to organise yourself is to type out your questions beforehand in OneNote. Once you are ready to begin, click on the location on the page where you want to place the recording, and select Insert>Record Audio or tap the microphone symbol on your touchscreen device. This means your recordings are all nicely organised alongside your questions.

For the musically talented, you can jot down your musical thoughts using the audio recorder. OneNote lets you add typed notes, photos and other details in order to really create a place to store your inspiration.



How to record audio or video


  1. Keep a baby diary

Newborn babies are wonderful, but they can do terrible things to your memory. Many new parents like to keep detailed track of their baby’s first weeks – feeds, sleep, and nappy changes.

Use OneNote to create a section where you can keep track of all that important stuff. Then you can share the notes with your partner or local health nurse. So, if you can’t remember, OneNote can do the job for you.

You can also track your baby’s first days by adding adorable photos to the section. OneNote is perfect for creating lists of all the stuff your tiny bundle seems to need. Finally, it’s a great way to keep track of any gifts you receive, so when it comes to the thank you cards, you are really organised.




Available to Office 365 subscribers

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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