OneNote: The Underappreciated Genius in Microsoft Office

Using OneNote on a mobile device while commuting

You’ve almost certainly used Microsoft Word or Excel at some point. But what about OneNote? Most people don’t even know it exists! (Just so you know, it’s the app with the purple and white logo that comes with Microsoft Office). Despite its relative obscurity, OneNote is actually pretty awesome. It lets you share content with friends, family and colleagues. Typed notes, hand-scribbled letters, drawings, clippings audio files — you can share them all. Here at Knack Training, we think OneNote deserves just as much love as PowerPoint and Outlook, so we’ve compiled some of the app’s benefits and best features below.

What is OneNote?

Think of OneNote as a digital desk pad — somewhere to jot down all of your ideas, lists, plans and seemingly pointless thoughts. Type, scribble, draw — OneNote lets you collect notes just the way you like.

Microsoft explains OneNote better than we ever could. "OneNote is a digital notebook," they say on their website. "Whether you’re at home, in school or in the office, use OneNote to take notes wherever you go. And OneNote automatically saves and synchronizes your notes so you can focus on your thoughts and ideas."

Microsoft first bundled OneNote in their Office suite back in 2010. Seeing as there are now 1.2 billion Office users, hundreds of millions of people must already have this note-taking app. There’s a good chance it’s already installed on your PC. If you have a Microsoft phone or tablet, it’s probably installed on there, too. Open it up and give it a shot! The app’s really easy to use, and it could optimize the way you manage and share notes.

You can also download OneNote if you own a Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android device.

What Can You Do With OneNote?

OneNote comes with loads of features, and you can do so much more with this app than just take notes. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Share Clippings

You can clip content from the internet and share it with your contacts. This content includes photos, articles and more.

  • Clip Content From Other Office Apps

You can also clip content from other apps in the Office suite. Embed spreadsheets from Excel, for example, or incorporate emails from Outlook.

  • Take Notes by Hand

OneNote lets you take notes with your finger or a stylus (if you have the right type of touch screen monitor on your PC, smartphone or tablet). You can then convert these handwritten notes into typed text. This might seem complicated at first but you should get used to it with a little practice.

  • Access Your Notes Offline

No internet connection? No problem. OneNote lets you access all your notes offline.

  • Access Your Notes from Any Microsoft Device

Desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet — you can access your notes from any Microsoft device.

  • Highlight Important Information

Use colors and shapes to highlight important facts, figures and statistics in your notes.

All of these features will encourage you to take more notes, which is definitely a good thing. Sixty-five percent of students say that taking notes on their laptop improves learning, according to research from the University of Ontario.

Microsoft OneNote might not command the same attention as other apps in the Office suite, but it’s great for note-taking and sharing documents. If you’re new to OneNote, Knack Training’s specialized course can help you learn everything you need to know. Just click here to find out more!

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