3 OneNote Tips for Students

It's back to school time for students (or at least it is at the time of this writing), and part of that means gathering all the tools you need to be successful in the classroom - a laptop or tablet, books, backpack, along with something that can make the job of collecting and organizing notes simple and easy.

OneNote should be considered an essential part of that back-to-school kit. Not only does OneNote help keep all your notes in one place, it makes those notes easy to search, and the notes are available across multiple devices - you can easily sync your laptop notes to your iPhone, for example.

And perhaps best of all, OneNote is free. It's bundled on Windows 10 machines, and it's a free App Store download if you're using a Mac.

Once it's up and running and you get comfortable with the interface and capabilities, I recommend that you commit these three OneNote tips to memory for more effective use in the classroom.

One. Use Tags to Find Shit

Using tags, you can quickly return to important items, remind yourself about action items, or filter notes you’d like to share with others. You can tag anything from a single line of text to an entire paragraph.

Search for the tags by using tag keywords. If you're using OneNote 2016, the results can even appear in an easy-to-read summary. If you want to view the tag search results as a notes page, click the “Create Summary Page” button at the bottom of the Tags Summary task pane.

Eventually, however, tags can become clutter. To remove a single tag, toggle the tag using the same method you used to apply the tag.

But the better way is to use the keyboard shortcut of CTRL+0 (zero, not an "o"). And to remove multiple tags, select all of the text containing the tags you want to remove, and then do CTRL+0.

Two. Use Sharing for Group Projects

Remember that you can share your notebook with other people. In the Win10 version, notebooks are shared on OneDrive by default, so granting others access is easy as Comp 101.

If you ever change your mind, you can change permissions or stop sharing your notebook. It will still be on OneDrive so you can get to it on all your devices. And, if you use tags, that's a great way to communicate important points to your classmates.

Three. Organize with Section Groups

I really like staying organized with a page-subpages hierarchy, but for classes, it can be really helpful to use Section Groups. Just organize a class in a Section Group, and then create sections for specific course units.

You can then combine these hierarchy skills with even more techniques like adding a table of contents on the first page of a section.


Whether in a classroom or meeting room, taking notes is a critical life skill. (In fact, it's never a bad idea to get really efficient with the apps you use every day.)

During our back to school special, save over 90% on the planet's best-selling and best-reviewed OneNote course. Was $149, now is just 5 bucks.

But we're limiting this promotion to the first 300 students, and the deal expires when the bell rings for first period!

Ready for kick ass notes?