Hidden secrets, tips and tricks – Taking notes

Attending more meetings than you’d like, and picking up more actions at each one? Yet very little time to complete these actions… Not to mention, keeping on top of other projects you have on the to-do list.

I’ve had numerous paper notepads that all seem to start off with my, well-intentioned, best handwriting on page 1, only to deteriorate to scrawls and scribbles by page 3. Scrawls that not even I could read when I needed to refer back to them at a later date. Hmmm, I’m glad it’s not just me then…

I then tried numerous note-taking apps on the iPad, including:

  • Outline 6/10 😐 If you haven’t got one more.
  • Nebo 6/0 😐 Not bad
  • Notes 5/10 😏  Ok for notes on the go that Siri can help with
  • Noted. 7/10🙂
  • Otter 9/10😉 Great app that converts conversation to text.
  • Voice memo 3/1. No note taking option
  • Sound note 7/10🙂 Great in 2015..
  • OneNote 2016 6/10 😐 | O365 10/10😁 Love it, now it’s on O365!

Here’s why OneNote became my go-to.

OneNote is packed with hidden secrets, tips and tricks, and I find more each time I use it. Here’s some of my favorite tips.

OneNotes from Outlook Calendar Invite

73A7F45D-9D38-4F55-BDC1-9C2E811A2680 If you use Microsoft’s Outlook, you can open an new OneNote page from each meeting invite. A OneNote page will open in your chosen OneNote location and will auto-populate with:

  • a handy list of invitees and their status of attendance.
  • The meeting subject
  • a handy link back to the calendar invite.3126D0AA-4E23-4AA6-A34F-9B72F28B43A1.jpeg

Record a meeting… 

By clicking/tapping on the record button (laptop) or insert audio (iPad). 3115CCDA-A79D-4119-8A57-3A9E953AEA52 This will record the discussion in the background as you take notes and when you refer back to your notes, you can tap on a sentence and choose to play the audio from that point in the meeting. 

Create By collaboration team OneNote …

There are a couple of ways to do this, eg allowing others to access the OneNote by option to share. Or a meeting organiser can opt to add a collaboration One Note to an Outlook meeting invite. ADFC7C44-D378-4B4B-B39F-FE0ED1BEC6FA

This will allow all meeting attendees to make notes on the same OneNote at the same time.  one more OneNote will tag the author of each note so you can see who wrote what.

Dictate notes

Quickly convert your voice, to notes, using the dictate feature. (laptop feature)


Quick sums

Try typing a quick sum in OneNote eg. 6789534/5.2=(then hit the return key or space bar to reveal the answer, , or any other sum.

Password protect a Note, Page or Book 

Use the view tab in the ribbon and select ’password protect’

Research while making notes

Select the ’research’ icon on the ’insert’ tab to open a panel that will allow you to quickly research without leaving OneNote.


Send any file to OneNote

Select print from the program you are using and select ’Send to OneNote’. Handy for adding related content to your OneNotes.1901F197-F509-4CC6-A65F-6AFE8C63C407

Well I could continue but i’ll leave it here for now. It’s great to explore and I’m a great believer in maximising your current assets before seeking additional, often costly solutions.

If you have any great tips, feel free to leave a comment.

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