9 Ways on How to Use OneNote Effectively (Update 2021)

share onenote to use onenote effectively

OneNote is one of the most popular note-taking apps for Android and iOS. It is also available to download across all device. If you’re a fan of OneNote as your favorite note-taking app, you may want to know how to use OneNote effectively, and making organizing notes a lot easier. This will make your work more productive and fun.

OneNote also has many great features you probably miss. If you use all those features, using OneNote will become easier and that could improve your productivity as well.

The most complete OneNote features are on OneNote 2016. It is the desktop version of OneNote and you can download it for free.

The simpler features are on OneNote Windows 10. You can also get it free from Microsoft Store.

You can also use OneNote on Android or iPhone. That is probably the simplest OneNote features you can get on mobile.

Either you use OneNote for work, job, school, or even business, here are the tips you can do to maximize your OneNote experience and use OneNote effectively.

ALSO READ: How to Export OneNote

Disable Spell Check in OneNote so You Don’t Have to Write in Proper Grammar

Not everyone want to use spell checker in a writing software. Some people don’t want to use spell checker so that they can get away with many words on the notes. It is not so necessarily important either because writing notes isn’t the same thing as writing an formal article where you have to use proper grammar.

OneNote has spell check feature so that you can know for sure which words are typed wrongly and you can rewrite that again quicker. If you don’t want to use spell checker, just disable easily in OneNote, so that you can use OneNote effectively, depending on your needs.

To do this, just click right three dots button at the corner.

how to use onenote

Now, you’ll just need to click Options, is where all your options you can set easily to use OneNote more effectively.

effectively use onenote and disable spell checker

Now, do disable spell checker just turn on Hide spelling errors.

here's how to disable spell checker to use onenote effectively

That was the Windows 10 version of OneNote. If you want to know more on this feature across all version of OneNote, especially on Android, just read it on our blog.

Enable OneNote Dark Theme for Night

Dark theme or night mode is the thing that many people want when it comes to user-interface of an app. OneNote has dark theme on Windows 10 app version for long time.

Enabling dark theme on OneNote will make it easy for you to use OneNote effectively, and making yourself more productive at night or at 3AM. It’s because light theme probably make some uncomfortable sense for your eyes when seeing screen at night, you need to turn on dark theme sometimes.

To do this, just click three dots button.

how to use onenote effectively

Click Settings and then you’ll see a lot more options.

onenote disable spell checker

Now, you’ll just need to click Options.

disable spell checker in onenote

Now, you’ll just need to click Dark. Or adjusting your Windows 10 theme.

change onenote to dark theme

ALSO READ: How to Change OneNote Theme to Dark

Pin Pages to Make It Easy to Edit Specific Pages to Start Screen

Sometimes OneNote notes are unnoticeable to read them specifically, because there are too many of them. If you always confuse when looking for notes/pages and don’t want to manually search the notes, you can just pin them so you can edit them quicker. That will make you use OneNote effectively and getting everything done faster.

To do this, just look for the desired note/page you would like to pin.

change onenote to dark theme to use onenote effectively

Now, you’ll just need to right click at the note, then click Pin Page to Start.

how to pin pages in onenote to use it more effectively

Now, a popup will show up. Just click Yes.

pin pages to start to use onenote effectively

Now, it will be notes on Start screen Windows 10. You can now make it easy to edit that note.

pin pages in onenote

Change Default Font in OneNote

OneNote has actually different sets of font you can use just like in Word and PowerPoint. But you probably miss that feature and never use them. Now, it’s time to use them and make it easier to use OneNote effectively thus improving your productivity.

To change default font, just click the three dots button at the corner.

change onenote font to use onenote effectively

Then, click Settings.

how to use onenote effectively

Click Options to see more options.

change onenote font effectively

Now, scroll a little bit, you’ll find some fonts and font size you can set as default.

change onenote font

Click at the font, choose any font you want. In OneNote 2016, you will probably see the example of the font look.

onenote best feature

Don’t forget to set the font size. This way you can use OneNote effectively and making your work a little bit easier.

onenote favorited feature

ALSO READ: How to Change Default Font in OneNote

Use OneNote Keyboard Shortcut to Make Everything a Lot Easier

OneNote also has many keyboard shortcuts you can use. Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two keyboard or more that make organizing notes easier.

Here is the list of best OneNote keyboard shortcuts:

  • Insert a link of a website pages — Ctrl+K
  • Set or unset numbered list formatting from the selected paragraph — Ctrl+Slash
  • Set a Heading 1 style to the current note — Ctrl+Alt+1
  • Set a Heading 2 style to the current note — Ctrl+Alt+2
  • Set a Heading 3 style to the current note — Ctrl+Alt+3
  • Set a Heading 4 style to the current note — Ctrl+Alt+4
  • Set a Heading 5 style to the current note — Ctrl+Alt+5
  • Set a Heading 6 style to the current note — Ctrl+Alt+6
  • Highlight a selected text — Ctrl+Shift+H or Ctrl+Alt+H
  • Set or unset superscript formatting from the selected text — Ctrl+Shift+=
  • Set or unset bulleted list formatting from the selected paragraph — Ctrl+Period
  • Set or unset subscript formatting from the selected text — Ctrl+=
  • Set the Normal style to the current note — Ctrl+Shift+N
  • Delete a paragraph indent from the left — Alt+Shift+Left Arrow
  • Right-align the selected paragraph — Ctrl+R
  • Decrease the font size of selected text — Ctrl+Shift+<
  • Increase the font size of selected text — Ctrl+Shift+>
  • Clear all formatting — Ctrl+Shift+N
  • Left-align the selected paragraph — Ctrl+L
  • Show/hide rule lines on the current page — Ctrl+Shift+R
  • Indent a paragraph from the left — Alt+Shift+Right Arrow

Use OneNote 2016 to Gain More Features

OneNote has the desktop version, and the last one was OneNote 2016. It is actually discontinued but you can still use it right now. It is now completely free, too, so you don’t have to buy the whole Office suite to get the desktop version of OneNote.

To download OneNote, just head to onenote.com/download. Click Download.

how to download onenote

Now, you’ll just need to click Run.

install onenote 2016 to use onenote effectively

OneNote will then start installation process. You probably need to wait for approximately 30 minutes until installation is done.

installing onenote 2016

READ: How to Download OneNote 2016

Backup OneNote so You Can Restore Them at Anytime

OneNote also has backup features on OneNote 2016. You can backup OneNote in case something bad happen in the future and you can restore them right away. This will make OneNote easier, and you can use OneNote effectively, making your work more productive and preventing bad impact in worst-case scenario.

Now, just need open File > Options > Save & Backup. To backup OneNote, just click Back Up All Notebooks Now. Or, you can set the automatic time interval to backup your notebook automatically in OneNote.

To change backup folder, just click Modify.

backup onenote to use it effectively

Then, select backup folder you want.

saving onenote notebook

You can choose the time interval to backup automatically. OneNote has many range of times you can set.

backup interval onenote

Share OneNote as PDF (or Other Format)

OneNote also has share feature that lets you share your OneNote notebook to anyone in any format you want. You can share OneNote as link, by email, or share as PDF or any other format. This makes you using OneNote effectively.

To do this, just open File > Share in OneNote 2016. In this example, we’re going to share by email. Click Share with People.

share onenote to use onenote effectively

Then, enter the email address destination. Click Share to send the note, section, or notebooks by email.

how to use onenote effectively

ALSO READ: How to Share OneNote

Delete a OneNote Notebook

Deleting OneNote notebook isn’t simple because OneNote itself doesn’t provide a delete button. It provide close button, that works like “hide” button but it doesn’t delete that notebook. Now, you can delete OneNote notebook using this trick to use OneNote effectively.

To do that, just open OneDrive. Open Documents > OneNote Notebooks. And select OneNote notebook you want to remove, and then just Delete.

how to use onenote effectively


OneNote, one of the most used note-taking app of all time, has a bunch of simple features letting you to manage and organize your notes. After you learn how to use OneNote effectively and making it more productive for your work or school, life can be a lot easier.

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