A Guide to Organising Your Notes in Microsoft OneNote
Are you overwhelmed with notes scattered everywhere and have no system for managing them? Are you looking for a way to organise your notes and be more productive? For many people, keeping their notes organised can be a challenge.
There is away you can improve the management of your notes, using Microsoft OneNote. In this blog, I will explain what OneNote is and how you may use it to manage your notes.
What Is OneNote?
OneNote is a digital notebook that allows you to take notes digitally. OneNote is a Microsoft product which you get when you purchase Microsoft Office.
What Are the Benefits of Using OneNote?
There are many benefits of using OneNote, here are just a few.
Greater Flexibility in Organising Your Notes.
OneNote gives you more control and flexibility over how to organise your notes. You can group your notes together in topics, themes and projects, unlike traditional notebooks where you continue from the previous page. For example, I have a personal interest and projects notebook. That I can breakdown into sections (subcategories), such as health, recipes, plants etc.
You Can Capture More in One Central Location.
With OneNote, you are no longer restricted to just capturing typed or handwritten notes, but you can also add screenshots, links, videos, voice recordings and much more. Ultimately, OneNote will allow you to create a one-stop-shop for everything relating to a topic or project. I have added a YouTube video, hyperlink, image, and typed notes in the below OneNote page.
You Can Access Your Notes on Multiple Devices.
You can sync and access your notes to multiple devices such as your laptop, phone, tablet etc. Which means you can access and capture notes on the go. I access both my notes on my laptop and smartphone.
Improve Collaboration Through Sharing Your Notebooks.
You can also share your notebooks, enabling you to collaborate with others.
How You Can Organise Your Notes in OneNote.
OneNote comprises of four core sections:
Let's go through these in more detail. Note my screenshots are displaying OneNote using the desktop version. The layout may look different depending on the device you use.
Notebooks appear on the left a hand side in OneNote and are designed to divide your OneNote into categories, topics, subjects or projects. OneNote allows you to have multiple notebooks. How many notebooks you have is very much a personal decision. It will depend on the type of notes you are capturing and why you are using it, e.g. for business, personal or both.
For example, in my OneNote, I have one notebook dedicated to personal interest and projects. I have other notebooks related to different areas of my business, such as business development and sales, marketing and comms, etc. I also have another notebook called archive where I store notes that I don't need anymore but may need to reference later.
This is how I have chosen to set up my OneNote, and this setup works well for me. Again how many notebooks you have will depend on what you are using OneNote for.
Sections are located in the centre in OneNote just below the ribbon. Sections are a great way to divide up your notebooks into subcategories. For example, when I go to my personal interest and projects notebook, it's divided into the following sections:
These sections are either personal interests of mine or personal projects I'm working on.
Breaking my notebook down this way makes it much easier for me to quickly find what I'm looking for. If I need information on plants, I click into the plant section or if I'm working on my digital organising project, I will click on the digital organising section. Again, the types of sections you create will depend on what you will be using the notebook for and what information you are capturing and how much notes you are taking.
Pages are where you capture your notes, and the page you are currently working on appears in the centre in OneNote. Additional pages within a section appear on the right-hand side. You have the option to create multiple pages within a section. For example, when I click on plants, you can see numerous pages, such as future plants for home, care instructions and general information.
You can add text and other stuff to a page by using the ribbon.
The ribbon is located at the top in OneNote and comprises of 8 tabs:
I like to think of the ribbon as a toolbox that allows you to add text, insert pictures and videos, draw and do many other things on a page. I won't be covering the ribbon in detail in this blog; however, stay tuned for some videos that will cover some of the ribbon's functionality in more detail.
Your OneNote doesn't need to be perfect, so avoid setting up all your notebooks, sections and pages from the get-go. The great thing about OneNote is you can add, delete and move items around as things change. I've been using OneNote for years, and it's always evolving as my life changes. My recommendation is to get in there and start using it.
Finally, avoid creating too many notebooks, sections and pages as managing them can be overwhelming.
This is an overview of what OneNote is and how you might organise your notes in it. Remember, OneNote is just one system you can use to organise your notes, and it's great for people who are comfortable using technology. If you would like to improve the efficiency of managing your notes, consider exploring OneNote.
This page will be my one-stop-shop on all things OneNote. I will be adding more information to it over time, so please join my Facebook community and sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with the latest changes.
Please let me know in the comments if there is anything else you would like to know about Microsoft OneNote. Finally, if you need help organising your notes, please get in touch to see how we can work together.