• May 4, 2020
  • by Sasha Weiman

OneNote: A Basic Overview & Getting Started

OneNote Tips & Tricks – Part 1


Stefano: Hi there. This is Stefano Walker from the WBM marketing team. Thanks for joining us on our OneNote Tips & Tricks vlog series. This is the first module of the series entitled OneNote: A Basic Overview & Getting Started. I’m here with Sasha Weiman who is a solutions consultant and O365 service adoption specialist on WBM’s end user experience and technology enablement team. She’s also a prominent vlog writer and constant contributor to our WBM vlog. Sasha works closely with our clients to plan out the deployment of technical tools that users will adopt as our clients deploy the modern workplace.

As such, she’s an expert and super user when it comes to important O365 apps such at OneNote. OneNote is one of the essential tools in the O365 collection of apps and proper utilization can really help accelerate the transformation from analog to digital. The following are some tips and tricks learned through hundreds of hours of consultations with real users and we thought we’d bring them to you to help answer some common and some not so common questions. First of all, Sasha, I’ve noticed in the past that you seem to have a very different version of OneNote than what I run. Can you explain what’s going on there?

Sasha: On most PCs, if you go to your Start Menu and you look for OneNote, it’s going to bring up OneNote 2016 and then it’s going to bring up an app called OneNote. The main difference between these two is OneNote is meant to function very well on iPads or any device where you can write whereas OneNote 2016 has some advanced features inside of it, like the ability to create custom tags, you can insert Outlook tasks, that sort of thing. The reason I use OneNote 2016 is it has some advanced teachers that this version doesn’t have. If you opened up both side by side and did a comparison, you would see how it looks quite a bit different. For example, I’ve got my notebooks on the side here. That’s similar. I don’t have this view here and then the ribbon is very much smaller. You can see I’ve got my home tab and I’ve got all these different options. What I want to focus in on is how to set up a OneNote 2016 notebook because it has advanced features inside of it that I want to use.

Stefano: Okay, thanks. What do users see when they turn on OneNote for the first time?

Sasha: It’s going to look like this when you first get into it, very where are my options. I can’t see anything. I want to be able to work quickly inside of this. The first thing I want to do is I want to click this and I want to pin this to the side because if I have multiple notebooks, I want to be able to see all of them on the side view. I leave that pinned, and then if I hit home here, you can see my ribbon drops down. This is where all of my options are. I always want to be able to see these so what I would do is I would just pin that as well. Now I’ve got this good view of my notebook but what I don’t like is that it’s got my notebooks and my pages on the side over here. That doesn’t make sense to me.

If I go to OneNote for Windows, it’s different. I can search notebooks and it would have my notebooks and my pages all on this side. What you can do is you can go to File and then you can go to Options. Here you have some different capabilities in setting up your notebook. You can change the background. You can change the color of your OneNote. You can pick your favorite font if you’d like to. You can change how OneNote looks. You can create all of your new pages with rule lines. Maybe I don’t want to do that. I like when my pad page tabs appear on the left. I go Okay and all of a sudden that switches to the side. I’ve got my notebooks, then I’ve got my pages, then I’ve got my actual page. I like this flow much better.

I just recommend really just going to File and Options and going in and really customizing it to look the way you would like it to look. You’ve got different options for spellchecking. You’ve got different options for add-ins so you can see I added in different things here that helped me out a little bit in my OneNote. You have a quick access toolbar at the top as well. Right at the top here, you see I have nothing showing up. There might be some quick actions that you want to use inside of your OneNote. For example, maybe I want to quickly be able to email a OneNote page to someone, I can add that in. Maybe I want to be able to delete a page quickly. You can do a bullets button, maybe a back button. You can go through here and you could do all types of things. Maybe you want to record audio quickly, add a tag, add an undo.

Then when you do that, it makes all of those different options appear at the top. Then you can even add more if you’d like to so you could do more commands and then it takes you right back into there where you can customize your ribbon along the top. This just customizes your tabs. You can see I’ve got my home tab, my insert. I’m just making sure all those are checked off so I have everything I need. I won’t get into the advanced but anyone can feel free to go into here and look at the different features that it has and customize it to look the way they really want it to.

Stefano: Okay, great. Thanks, Sasha. Please join us for the next installment of this series, which is entitled Creating New Notebooks with OneNote.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

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Sasha Weiman

Sasha Weiman

Sasha works as a Solutions Consultant and Office 365 Service Adoption Specialist on WBM’s End User Experience team. Having started out in Customer Care at WBM, she is passionate about working with users to understand how they work and what technical resources they feel could better enable them. She works closely with our clients to plan out the deployment of technical tools that users will not only adopt, but also continue to use to drive the organization forward into a more modern and mobile workplace.

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