8 Tips for Improving Productivity Using OneNote

8 Tips for Improving Productivity Using OneNote

When looking for productivity tools that can make life easier, people can run into a problem with too many options.

There may be tools for tasks or note-taking already installed on an OS or multiple free apps out there to try. It can be a challenge trying to find just the right one with all the features you need. In fact, it’s not unusual for companies to churn through apps as they try them for a month or so and then leave them for one reason or another.

Companies churn through over 30% of their apps annually, which is non-productive in itself. It means time and training involved in learning a new app, fitting it into a workflow, then starting the process all over again with another one.

One way to avoid high app churn and the wasted time and effort that goes along with it is to research applications thoroughly before they’re adopted and look for those that already integrate well with other tools you’re using.

Some of the hallmarks of a solid note taking and task management app are:

  • Easy to use
  • Good mobile interface
  • Does more than just one thing
  • Integrates with the applications you’re already using
  • Fast loading
  • Versatile to use in multiple ways

One of the small powerhouses in Microsoft 365 that meets all those criteria is OneNote.

What is OneNote?

OneNote is a Microsoft 365 app that is akin to an organised digital notebook. It allows you to keep track of notes in multiple media formats:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Annotations
  • Websites
  • Emails

You can organise notes across notebooks, sections, and pages. You can also add tags to help you highlight notes of importance.

OneNote brings all your content on a specific subject or project into one area. So, if you’re working on a client presentation, for example, instead of having to reference related emails, stored images in a hard drive folder, and bookmarked webpages in your browser, you can gather and reference all those things in a single OneNote page.

One more feature OneNote has that makes it incredibly powerful is the ability to share notebooks with others so you can collaborate easily online.

Efficiency & Productivity Tricks in OneNote

One you begin using OneNote, you’ll find all sorts of uses for it in your workflow. Here are several ways the app can help you improve productivity.

Quick Notes

You can replace all those messy sticky notes on your computer monitor with the digital version called Quick Notes. You can access Quick Notes in OneNote on the View menu while OneNote is running. These little notes can be moved anywhere on your screen.

You can use these notes even when the OneNote application isn’t running by using Windows+N on your keyboard. 


When you’re manually writing down notes, or you have them in different areas (email, browser bookmarks, etc.), trying to search for all the information you need can be time consuming.

If you gather all your notes and media into OneNote, you can use its powerful search feature to quickly find what you need.

You an also create custom tags to make searching even easier by searching by tag.

 Collaborative Sharing

When you’re using a static To-Do app that only you can access, it’s limiting and not going to help you with collaborative workflows. OneNote allows you to share notebooks with others, so you can all collaborate in the same space.

Everyone can add notes, images, weblinks, and other media into the notebook for everyone else to access quickly. This saves time and effort because you don’t have to message or email items back and forth, instead you have them all available in the same shared space. 

Organise with Sections and Subpages

Another helpful way that OneNote keeps you productive is that it allows you to stay organised, so your projects and notes are comprehensive.

You have a hierarchy of organisation that goes like this: Notebook > Section > Page

Each notebook can have multiple sections and each section can have multiple pages, making it easy to set up an organisational strategy that makes sense and keeps information easy to find.

Password Protect Sections

You have the ability to add additional security to your work in OneNote. You can password protect notebook sections by right-clicking the section tab and choosing “Password Protect this Section.”

Manage Meetings & Project

OneNote is a great way to take meeting notes and keep projects organised, and its integration with Outlook meetings allows you to instantly add meeting schedule notes in one click.

Two helpful meeting management features include:

  • Record meetings by using the audio feature inside OneNote
  • Click to add meeting details into a page from your Outlook calendar

Use Templates

Page templates in OneNote save you time by setting you up with a preset page that has an attractive background and gives your notebooks a more uniform appearance.

You an access Page Templates from the Insert menu. You also have the ability to save your own pages as templates and edit preset templates.

Use OneNote Mobile App

Just like all the other Microsoft 365 apps, you can use OneNote on mobile as well as desktop. This makes it easy to coordinate notes that you may take across different devices, in one place.

Collaboration is also more flexible because people can access a shared notebook from computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Get the Most From Microsoft 365 with Help from GKM2

There are multiple workflow enhancements inside Microsoft 365, but many companies miss out on these by not customising. We can help your Sydney business with otpimised customisation to save you time and money.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.