From John Guin
1. Holding down the SHIFT key while dragging outlines around the page will cause them to merge together. Try it: type on the top of a page, and then again near the bottom. SHIFT+drag the bottom outline onto the top. They become one larger area.
2. File | Backup is where you can get to your most recently changed pages. This crops up fairly frequently, and is usually phrased as “Ack! I just deleted something important! Now what?”
3. I almost exclusively use WINDOWS + S to get a screen clipping. A surprising number of users I meet rely only on the menu commands. This would save a little time if you don’t want to force OneNote to the top to access the command, and works whenever there is a little OneNote icon by the clock (technically, if OneNoteM.exe is running). You don’t need OneNote running to use this.
4. My screen is small, especially on a tablet. I rename notebooks to save vertical real estate. For instance, our “Test Team Notebook” has a relatively long name. I right click it and select Rename to “ttn” and it uses much less space. This does not actually rename the notebook – just the notebook name in the UI.
5. I have meetings with all the people on my team regularly, and have a separate section for each. But that is boring. I asked everyone to give me a photo, and used MS Paint.net to “fade” the photo. Then I enlarged them each to about screen size, pasted them onto a page, and made a template for each section with a background photo of the person. I would post a picture of this, but I had to promise none of these photos would wind up on the internet.
1. Insert Space to Widen the Page
You probably know you can make the page longer by inserting space, but did you know you can make the page wider by inserting space? Click the “Insert/Remove Space” button and move the cursor to the edge of the page. You should see the insert/remove line change to a vertical bar instead of horizontal.
2. Open the Pen Toolbar
The default OneNote set-up doesn’t have the pen toolbar exposed. The first thing I recommend for people with a Tablet PC to do is bring out the toolbar (View—>My Pens Toolbar) and find a nice home for it. You can even dock it on the bottom of the screen if that works best for you.
3. There are Lefty Settings!
For us poor lefty’s out there, forced to sit in awkward lecture seats, at least OneNote thought of us. In the Options panel, the Display category will have all you need to make OneNote lefty-friendly.
4. Changing the Ink Color
In Journal, you can select a bit of ink and right-click to format the ink to a different color. This doesn’t work in OneNote, but don’t fret! Simply select the ink and select the desired color using the color wheel in the toolbar.
5. Name Pages Faster
It’s probably the perfectionist in me poking through, but when I write out the title of a page, it’s not always recognized right away, or it’s recognized slightly wrong. A quick fix for this is to just ink the title, select the ink, and convert to text. You’ll quickly know if it’s right or if it needs tweaked to fit your exact naming scheme.
6. OneNote SideNote: Keep-Window-on-Top
If you haven’t enabled the OneNote SideNote, you should (Options Panel—>Other). This gives you instant access to a notepad with all the benefits of OneNote. My favorite way to use this is with the keep-window-on-top option. This should be default, but if it’s not, it’s the little push-pin on the top left corner. This is great for research, homework, or shopping lists ^_^.
I thought I’d re-publish Chris Prately’s great post where his lists his top 15 tips – he blogged about this here a few months ago – and if you haven’t seen it, here it is again:
Top fifteen OneNote tips
I tried to do ten but couldn’t stop myself.
15. Send to OneNote printer driver. Print anything to OneNote from any app. PDF, Word, web pages, AutoCAD, whatever! (currently not now also on 64-bit Windows – bummer yippee!)
14. Email these notes button (Ctrl-Shift-E). Click the button in the toolbar, choose recipients, and my notes are distributed without any retyping or hassle. Even sends ink. (you need Outlook 2007 for this to work best)
13. Type a word, right click on it, click “Create Linked page”, then click the link and presto you’re on a new page with that title that is linked to from the first page. Great for things like “here is the recipe for Grandma’s cookies”. highlight “Grandma’s cookies”, right click, create linked page.
12. Type simple math (like “12*29.99= “) on the page, hit Enter (or space bar) and OneNote solves it!
11. Right click on anything (notebook, section, page, piece of text or image on page), and choose “copy hyperlink to this”. Paste that in OneNote or in other documents. You can even hyperlink to other places on the same page. I often type “see note above” right click on the referenced note elsewhere on the page, copy hyperlink then put cursor on the word “above”, then Ctrl-K, Ctrl-V, Enter to add that link.
10. Ctrl “.” (period) to toggle bullets on and off. Tab to indent.
9. Ctrl-1 to triple-toggle ToDo checkbox (Todo|Done|nuthin). Customize the built-in tags and use Ctrl-1-9 to tag things, Ctrl-0 to remove tags. Don’t forget View/All tagged notes to query across all your notes and build summary pages pulling out quotes you liked, questions to follow up on, ToDos, etc.
8. Right-click on image (e.g. screen clipping), copy text from picture (also works great when searching for a screen clipping – Find (Ctrl-F) will find text inside your images!)
7. Using Live Mesh (mesh.com) to put notebooks in folders that are synced across my many machines
6. Win-N for a new “always on top” side note. Great for taking notes while reading other stuff like web pages, docs, PDFs.
5. Shared notebooks with my team (File/New/Notebook, select shared when the instructions ask you). anyone can edit at any time, even offline! Don’t forget to use features like ‘View/Pages I Haven’t Read’ and ‘View/Pages Changed Recently’. Also right click on anything to see who added it. Work disconnected if you like – your changes will sync and merge cleanly later. Offline/online, easy to use super capable group wiki!
4. Tab key after text to create tables on the fly. Type the first column heading, then Tab (Table magically appears!), next column heading, Tab and so on. Enter when finished the header row, keep going. Use Enter twice on an empty row to break out – never touch a mouse while taking notes!
3. I’m falling behind with my notes! Click “record audio” button to capture what people are saying so I can participate instead of take notes. Take the occasional one word note to indicate what was happening. Later click on those words to hear what we were saying. Great for brainstorming and interviews!
2. Flag OneNote items as Tasks to track in Outlook with Ctrl-Shift-1 through 5. The task is created in Outlook, and the done/not done status is kept in sync with OneNote.
1. Win-S to take a screen clipping and auto-file it in OneNote! Bonus: right click on the system tray OneNote icon, customize screen clipping to send only to clipboard to paste in other apps or OneNote as you like. (my all-time fave)
Ok one more for bonus: Full Page view. F11 to toggle, or the button to the right of the Help menu. Nice clean screen for uncluttered note taking and maximum “paper”.