OneNote 2007 and Outlook: Best Buddies

How doth OneNote 2007 love Outlook?

Let me count the ways…

From the beginning of OneNote we've had a lot of requests to deepen our integration with Outlook. In 2003 we had several connection points: you could email notes directly from OneNote if you had Outlook 2003, and you could create tasks from OneNote items. With SP1 of OneNote 2003 we added more Outlook integration features, such as "Insert Meeting Details", and the ability to create Outlook Appointments and Contacts.

When we did 2007 planning, it was clear from our user surveys that anything we could do to integrate better with Outlook would be most welcome. So here it is, my long-awaited post on all the great things OneNote can do with Outlook (and some additional goodies at the end).

First let me says that unless noted otherwise, all the features below work with Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007. Some features may also work with older versions of Outlook but we don’t support that. And a couple of things work with any mail program as noted below.

Starting from Outlook

  1. Outlook now sports a button to send the email you are viewing to OneNote. This is useful if you are collecting research in the form of web pages, emails, documents etc. into one place in your notebook. The screenshot shows this in the Inbox view and also the ribbon (in Outlook 2007) when you open the message. By default these messages are sent to the "Unfiled Notes" area in OneNote. From there you can drag/drop them to where you want them to go. You can also adjust where these messages are put by default using Tools/Options/Filing Rules. In fact you can adjust where all the things sent to OneNote are put using that tab in Options.

    From the Inbox:

    From the message:

  2. In the Calendar view there is now a "Meeting Notes" button. Notice that the icon for this button shows a "link". That's because when you select a meeting in the calendar (or open one up) and use this button, a page is created in OneNote that has information from this meeting, and a link to that page is placed in the meeting notes for the Outlook item. Even better, as you can see, the page created in OneNote includes a link back to the meeting in Outlook:
    So if you like to review your week by going through your calendar it is easy to find the notes in OneNote related to each appointment - clicking that button again takes you to the note page you created earlier. Likewise, if you start from the notes for a meeting in OneNote you can jump to that item in your Outlook calendar. Note that the link is resilient, so if you move that page around in OneNote to different notebooks the link will still work.

    From the Calendar:

    From the Appointment:

  3. In Contacts, there is a button very similar to the one in Calendar. You can use the Contact Notes button to open up a page in OneNote that is linked to the selected Contact. In this way you can build up a whole file on a person (perhaps a customer) including photos, maps, meeting notes, follow-ups, etc. This turns Outlook and OneNote into a very basic Customer Management system. As with meetings, there is a link placed in the Contact pointing to the page in OneNote, and there is a link on the page in OneNote to take you back to the Contact in Outlook.

    From the Contacts folder:

    From the Contact form:

From OneNote

  1. A top request for Outlook Task users was for OneNote to integrate better. Yes, we had the ability in 2003 to make a selected or flagged item into an Outlook task, but this simply copied the text into an Outlook task form and marked the item in OneNote as "moved to Outlook". In OneNote 2007, we now have true Outlook Task integration. You can apply Outlook tasks to items in your note book just as you can apply note flags. Following the Outlook model, these tasks can be "today", "tomorrow", "next week", etc.:

    Even better, these tasks are automatically created - After you use "Ctrl-Shift-2" you do not then have to go deal with the task dialog - the due date and task text are already set. And to top it off, we have two-way status synchronization. That means when you check a task as done in Outlook, it will show as done in OneNote, and vice versa. So you can look at meeting note in OneNote and see which action items are done if they have been checked off in Outlook.

  2. Email notes. In 2003 we supported emailing notes directly from OneNote if you also used Outlook 2003. Now we support this for *any* MAPI mail program, so that includes any version of Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus notes mail, etc. The behavior is a little different depending on what tool you are using. If you have Outlook 2003 or 2007 you will get an HTML message body showing the notes and an attachment in OneNote format that the recipient can use if they also have OneNote for 100% preservation of the OneNote information. If you have another mail client, there will be no HTML message body, just the attachment. We're experimenting with a single attachment in OneNote format or two attachments - one MHTML and one in OneNote format.
  3. Send notes as PDF. Using "File/Send To" you can send any selection of notes as a PDF attachment. We'll automatically create an email for you and also create and attach a PDF of the notes you had selected.
  4. Insert Meeting Details. This feature hasn’t changed from 2003 but I love it so I will plug it here again. Use this feature to select a meeting from your Outlook calendar and insert details of the meeting such as attendees, location, agenda, and so on into your notes just before the meeting starts - a sweet way to gets your notes going by collecting all the "obvious" stuff so you don't have to.
  5.  Create Outlook Appointment or Contact. This is also unchanged from 2003 but people often ask me if we can do this. Yes, you can!
  6. Send a sharing invitation via email. OneNote has two kinds of sharing:

    • "Live Sharing Sessions", which are real-time mass multi-user freeform synchronous editing sessions  designed for meetings, and
    • "Shared Notebooks", which are permanent asynchronously shared notebooks which any number of people can edit simultaneously, online/offline, like a super-wiki for team knowledge.

You can use the command "Send Shared Notebook Link to Others" on the Share menu to invite people to a shared notebook you have set up. If you create a live sharing session, the task pane has a button called "Invite others" which sets up an email for you to send the invitation.

Other nice integration tidbits

  1. OneNote Import Printer Driver. I discussed this back in September, but this is a printer driver that OneNote installs to your system to allow any application that can print to send those printouts directly to OneNote. OneNote "sniffs" the text in the output stream and tucks that in "behind" the printout images it gets to allow you to search the printouts. When you print images rather than text (e.g. many PDFs are actually scans of brochures and not actually text), OneNote will OCR the images to get the text out of them if any and tuck that "behind" the image as metadata so you can search those too: the goal here is for you to never realize how smart we were…it just works
  2. Send to OneNote button in Internet Explorer. OneNote 2007 includes this functionality which previously was available only as a PowerToy. This is a little different from the various PowerToys for 2003. It sends either the page or the selection on the page to the Unfiled section of your notes (this can be changed in Tools/Options/Filing Rules). And of course it includes the URL of the page the web clipping came from.
  3. Copy/Paste from office docs now includes the link back to the document where the text came from. People love the way we include the link back to the source web page when you copy/paste from IE or FireFox. Now we do it for Office doc types too such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

BTW, Darren Strange, "our man in the UK" did a webcast a few weeks ago that shows many of these features and other OneNote 2007 capabilities in action. You should check it out:

And in case you are living under a rock, beta 2 of Office 2007 and OneNote 2007 is now available for download - so go try this stuff out!


Comments (85)
  1. scoobie says:


    thanks for getting the beta out to us all. It should improve my productivity no end.

    Where do want comments posting to?

    Also, are you only after bugs at this stage, or is there a possibility for minor feature improvements if it will improve release?

  2. erik paul says:

    Chris, not really certain where to post bugs.  I tried searching for the name of the business card that you guys scanned, and it came up with the multiple instances.  However, when I converted my notebook (I have 1000’s of sections, but I only converted about 10 of them) only instances of the word on that specific page of the section are found.  The search goes and goes and goes–not really useable for me.  There must be something wrong.

    Also, when I convert, my linked audio is semi-lost.  My audio remains per section, but the "flags" associated with each pen stroke are lost.  This would be VERY disturbing to a student that imported their PowerPoints as one long runon page (I would actually prefer this method, but the note flag searching didn’t work using this method in 2003–it would find the flags, but it wouldn’t jump you to them).

    I know this post sounds SOOO negative.  It shouldn’t be.  These are just the bugs I’ve seen.  The program has had some amazing changes to it that have solved every concern that kept me waffling between it, gobinder, and journal.  I’m here to stay now, but, more stuff needs to be fixed.

    For onenote 2011–could you have an increased playback speed?  I love the option in media player, but I would like to follow the recording in onenote at 1.5 speed.

    sorry this had nothing to do with ONE and Outlook integration.  I haven’t even tried it yet, since it isn’t as important to me as the stuff I talked about.

  3. Paul Rubin says:

    Seems to be a problem getting Activation to work with the new public beta of OneNote. Since there’s a 50 use limit before features get disabled, while I’d like to use it exclusively, since the file formats are apparently not interchangeable with the 2003 version, any word on when activation will start working? I know it’s not a universal problem but there are definitely some who haven’t gotten it to work including myself on two different computers both at home and at work so it’s not a network issue.

  4. rob says:

    chris, I’m unable to get activation to work, any idea when this will be fixed?

  5. dougcar says:

    These commens, such as on activation, are so helpful, because it shows me I am not doing something terribly wrong. This kind of reporting to beta users, say a status email each day, would be terrific.

  6. Paul Rubin says:

    I have access to multiple laptops/tablets as a computer teacher. I’m 0 for 3 in terms of activations now. I guess that’s just not ready for prime time.

  7. Ross says:

    The IE integration (Tools/Send to OneNote) is great, except from those sites that have disabled access to IE’s menu/toolbar.  Any chance of adding this functionality to the Right mouse-click?

  8. Mike Bpyle says:

    Activation is a problem for me too.

  9. About activations: there are some known issues with the activation service right now. It’s overloaded and should clear in a couple of days. Hang on!

    For OneNote 2007 feedback, we have a brand new “Connect” site at After you log in, go to Available programs and at the bottom is “Onenote 2007 beta 2”. This is a new site that allows you to directly file bugs that the Onenote team is piloting. Dan ( has some more details on it.

    A few other gotchas: when you install Windows Desktop Search 3.0 beta, you will lose access to the task bar UI that lets you type queries to search your hard drive. It’s unfortunate but because of the way the engineerign schedules aligned we had to take the beta of their product that didn’t include UI. Later releases will so you’ll have to live without the desktop search Ui for a couple of months if you install WDS 3.0.

    To anyone experiencing bugs: hey it’s a beta! We plan to fix those things! Please let us know what you find at the Connect site mentioned above.

  10. Vickrey says:

    Congratulations, the beta is a very nice and elegant redesign from Onenote2003!   One question though.  Your entry highlights a new ‘OneNote Import Printer Driver.’    Yet I can’t find it anywhere, not even after a ‘repair’ install and reboot.   Is it just me?   Is there a way to add this virtual printer manually?  Any suggestions, anyone?

  11. From the beginning of OneNote we’ve had a lot of requests to deepen our integration with Outlook. In…

  12. Dee says:

    What if…

    What if I install the beta and in Feb 2007 I am not able, financially, to upgrade.  Will I still be able to view my notebook?  I can understand preventing me from adding new content, but I would like to at least be able to retrieve/see my notes until I can afford to upgrade.

  13. Vickrey  – Do you see a printer call "Send to Microsoft OneNote"?  That is the name of what appears in Beta2.  Also did you ever install the Tablet PC Education Pack Send to OneNote 2003 app or the OneNote Image Writer powertoy?  We have heard that those conflict with the OneNote B2 installation.

  14. Jim Hanna says:

    Chris, just had to tell you how nice the B2 release is so far. The search functions of OneNote are incredible, but the one thing I have missed is the ability to view a list of pages according to when they were last modified – and damned if it isn’t "in there".  This is just great because it goes a long way to making OneNote a true "trusted repository" where I can put notes and bits of information and not lose them if I forget where I filed them.

    The new WDS search works well so far – it does take a while to index, so folks need to be a bit patient after installing.

    Can’t wait to try out the audio search ….

    Thanks for a great tool!

  15. Dee: before the beta runs out Onenote will warn you that you are running out of time. If you choose not to buy the full version, the beta will slip into reduced functionality mode, where you can view notes, copy things out of OneNote or move things to Word, etc. You won’t be able to add new content.

    Jim: thanks for the kudos! And search is even better in the post-B2 builds we run internally so expect better later.

  16. Wictor Wilen says:

    I’m a huge fan of Microsoft OneNote since a few years back and I use it to store anything about ever

  17. Dan says:

    Is there anyway to remove the icons from Outlook 2007?  I have tried just dragging them off but they keep on showing up again next time I restart.  I also see those checkboxes are grayed out when I try to edit the buttons the normal way.  Thanks and great job on OneNote!

  18. Ian Goldsmid says:

    I would appreciate any guidance to resolve this:

    I am currently having problems with Instant Search on OneNote 2007 Beta 2. I have installed WDS 3.0 beta – and it works fine in Outlook 2007 Beta 2 – but doesn’t work at all in OneNote.

    I reverted back to the WDS V2.n (latest enterprise version) – and although OneNote complained with an initial error message – with WDS latest V2 – it now finds any search term entered!?

    Is it perhaps the case that WDS V3 doesn’t include the OneNote iFilter for some reason – does anyone know?


  19. yaser says:

    What i really would like to sea in OneNote2007 is format painter button.

    It’s one of most popular button in Word and Visio and i dont undestand why you doesn’t include it in OneNote2007.

  20. Dan, let me look into that. You want to remove them because they are a problem?

    Ian: WDS 3.0 beta works with OneNote – it’s the only way to get the fast search to work. Did you let it sit for awhile so it could index? In Beta 2 it doesn’t index or respond with results as quickly as it will in the final version. If you use WDS 2.6, then OneNote and Outlook both fall back to using slow search.

    yaser: Someday. Hang in there!

  21. Ian Goldsmid says:


    I’ve been hanging in all day pretty much – including extensive time off the computer enabling the search indexing to have free reign for hours. It’s fully indexed Outlook 12 (I have about 20,000 emails) – and search results come as you type there… but with OneNote 12 its dead. I am only using the supplied books/topics, i.e. a tiny file – and it will only return results for words on the same page as the search… that’s it – strange!?

    I’m dead keen to use OneNote, the extensive hyperlinking is brilliant… plus the rest… but I really need to get search working…

    I mentioned before that, as an experiment, I removed WDS V3, and reinstalled V2.6 to make sure that all my "My Documents" Folders were checked for indexing before removing V2.6 and reinstalling V3 – as I thought well maybe because I only had a few My Documents folders checked before installing V3, that V3 had somehow picked up those settings, and hence wasn’t indexing My DocumentsOneNote NoteBooks – but no, that made no difference.

    Yep, your assistance to solve this would be greatly appreciated.


  22. Ian Goldsmid says:

    Chris – one further point – I was wondering if somehow either the OneNote iFilter had got corrupted, or not installed. I’m not sure whether this is a valid question as WDS V3 probably now has this capability natively?


  23. Dan says:

    Hi Chris,

    No, they are not a problem but I do not really use them and they take up valuable space that I would rather go to something else.  I even tried just moving them to the end of the row but that just reset after a restart as well.  Thanks for checking into it!


  24. Julie says:

    Sweet Christopher–

    Magnificent congratulations are, of course, in order. So many more capabilities!

    I do have a small, gnawing question about the new implementation of OneNote. (I bring the problem up here because there does not seem to be any way for bug reports to be sent in, and I know that you read your comments very carefully.)

    The question is: why does it not honor the operating system settings I have chosen using "Display Properties, Appearance, Effects…"?

    Specifically, I have turned off ClearType and all other font smoothing services.  Hence, I would expect to see no font smoothing done in any of the programs that I use.  Unfortunately, that is not the case in OneNote.

    Font smoothing occurs:

    · In text entry

    · When text is dragged and dropped into a OneNote field

    · When a document is printed to OneNote.

    I know that there are tools available to tweak ClearType.  I have tried the Microsoft tool and I have even tried "ClearTweak" — which offers even more refined tweaking capability.  Still, I prefer no font smoothing whatsoever. That is why I have turned it off at the system-level.

    I have consulted both ophthalmologists and opticians about what may cause this discomfort.  While there is no testing to confirm any hypothesis, the best guess is that it has to do with how stereo vision is processed.  Indeed, for me, ClearType looks better with one eye closed.

    Parenthetically, when stereo vision glasses first came out in movie theaters about 5% of the people using them became nauseated.  No wonder that that was only a passing fad in the 50s!

    It is a shame that Microsoft programs do not honor the very settings chosen in the operating system of the same name.  (Non-Office programs seem to honor this choice.) I suspect that it is too much to ask that this consideration be brought to bear at such a late stage in development.

    Perhaps it would be possible to develop some font smoothing resistant fonts.  For me, the least irritating fonts are:

    Estrangelo Edessa






    Given that there is an argument that perturbations in the stereoscopic vision system can result in physiological reactions, you might even consider this problem an accessibility issue. I can’t change my brain connections!

    Notwithstanding my argument for accommodation, I would like to know whether there are design reasons for this bug. I suspect that everyone is so attached to ClearType that no one even checked!  

    Again, congratulations on a tour de force application!

  25. Mike says:

    OneNote 2007 is gonna be a worthy upgrade. I can tell.

    But there is one thing that’s bothering me somehow: How do you change the default path for OneNote notebooks? It defaults to "c:/Documents and Settings/%username%/My Documents/OneNote Notebooks". But I normally dont use c:/Documents and Settings folder.

    Since OneNote users tend to be experienced users, I think OneNote should give users freedom to change the default path.

  26. Julie, thanks for the comments. No, this is not a bug, and we had a lot of debates abotu what to do. What happened was that we received a bunch of great new fonts from the typography team (e.g. Calibri, Cambria) that are optimized for ClearType (which de-optimizes them for non-ClearType). And most people in tests prefer ClearType on for all fonts anyway (although some can’t stand it – sounds like you are one of them).

    So we were stuck with a problem. On Vista, ClearType is on by default, so peopel will get all the benefits without even knowing anything about ClearType, and those who don’t like it can control it in the Display control panel. All Office 2007 apps and IE7 respect that setting and do nothing special on Vista, because on Vista if the setting is OFF it means you didn’t like ClearType.

    On WinXP, ClearType is off by default because way back then there were not fonts optimized for it and there was a concern about having it on for the whole system when the system hadn’t really been optimized for it (CT was still new). If we did nothing, the large majority of people would not be getting the best display in Office 2007 on WinXP simply because they did not know about ClearType or realize that having it on would improve the visuals. Because CT is off by default, we can’t tell if ClearType is off in the system because you don’t like it or you never tried it. The data we have shows most people have never tried it.

    So Office 2007 and IE7 both override the system settings for ClearType. You can tell them not to for example in Word2007: File/Word Options/Personalize/Always use ClearType – uncheck it.  In OneNote beta 2 we don’t have the option exposed yet but it will be there.

    You might ask why we don’t just set the global system setting to "ON" and then let you change it back since you knwo where the display control panel settign is. We considered that but the problem with that approach is that it would actually be more obnoxious – you may have apps that do not work well under ClearType that we know nothing about. So we split the difference and went with the customizable overrides that turn CT on for the apps that are deisnged to use it (Office 2007, IE 7). Fortunately it is just one more option and then you can go back to non-ClearType. You’re still in control.

  27. scoobie says:

    Anyone else having problems with noteflags and converted files from 2003?  I’ve logged a big around this. My converted files don’t look the same as the 2003 files.

  28. Aaron Hall says:


    First of all– I LOVE OFFICE 2007!!!! It is fantastic, and I enjoy the new interface despite previous reservations about it. In terms of OneNote specifically, I am thrilled by the new Drawing Tools and Tables. Congratulations to you, and the rest of the Office 2007 Team for the best version of Office— EVER!

    That said, I have one problem to address, and I’ll follow it up with an unrelated question…



    I’m also having a lot of problems with the Windows Desktop Search Engine… OneNote and Outlook both are causing me a lot of grief about it.

    Here’s the scoop– when I first installed the beta, I loaded Outlook and it nagged me about the Search Engine. I told it No, and eventually stumbled on the option to "Turn off the reminder". Then I noticed OneNote was doing the same, but with no option (grr!). So I broke down and installed it. This morning, search in OneNote was fine, but Outlook was still angry with me even despite turning the search options on… it reports "Outlook cannot perform your search."

    Well, an uninstall and reinstall of all components, Outlook is still broken, and OneNote is no longer listed in WDS "Indexing Options" list.

    I realize you’re probably not able to do much with the Outlook search, but can you offer a solution on the OneNote search? How do I re-enable it in WDS manually?

    >>> My suggestion going forward is to create a section in options for "Search" and to provide some options there for enabling/disabling/repairing search configurations.



    Napkin Math– VERY COOL! Any chance of making it work with "Ink"? As a TabletPC user, it would be much more convenient if it can be done. I realize it’s probably not a priority, and difficult to do, so maybe for service pack 1? 😉

    Best Regards,

    Aaron Hall

  29. Ian Goldsmid says:

    Aaron (and Chris)

    How were you able to tell: "OneNote is no longer listed in WDS "Indexing Options" list" as WDS 3 is an engine only with no user interface?

    Further point about WDS 3 beta. I uninstalled it yesterday, not only because I can’t get any searches to work in OneNote 12, but at the end of the day when I looked at all the open windows processes – the WDS 3 searchindexer.exe process was up to 150MB and climbing!

  30. Aaron Hall says:


    I was able to go to Control Panel > Indexing Options to identify that the OneIndex: entries for OneNote and mapi: entries for Outlook were there or not.

    Fortunately, I can update the status that OneNote or WDS has re-added my OneIndex entries, so hopefully the OneNote search will fix itself over time. The Outlook entry is there as well, but I still am getting "Outlook cannot perform your search" error.

  31. If you are having problems installing WDS please check out this link:

  32. Ian Goldsmid says:

    Aaron & Chris

    The indexing options in control panel I think relate to Windows Indexing Service, and not directly to WDS 3 – though I’m not sure?

    Anyway, I checked to make sure that all my OneNote Folders are included in the indexing properties – and yes they are. I’ve also uninstalled and reinstalled OneNote 2007 – AND STILL NO LUCK WITH SEARCHING in OneNote with WDS 3!! UUUGGGHHH!

    (BTW — WDS 3 as far as it seemed obvious, has installed correctly on my win xp sp2 fully up to date pc…)

    Frustrated but hopeful!

    Ian G

  33. Ian Goldsmid says:

    OK, based on suggestions at: – – I am going to leave my PC running all night – and over the weekend to see if WDS 3 will finally index my OneNote data.

    I have a question for anyone who can answer: I am really enamoured with Office 2007 – and especially OneNote – so I am intending to use it for real work. I don’t think I need to worry unduly about data integrity – perhaps more frequent backups.

    However, I am wondering if the beta license will be functional up to the point where the final version is released to the public – at which time I will be upgrading from 2003.

    So, does anyone know if the beta license will be good up to the final public release? I presume it will be, but just wanted to doulbe check to be on the safe side.

  34. Steven Vore says:

    Chris, any insight you can offer folks on OneNote ’07 in conjunction with Office (and Outlook) ’03 – for those in corporate environments with IT departments that won’t upgrade the "supported" Office environment for a long time (but who can sneak OneNote into the equation)?

    (btw, here’s another vote for Format Painter, but I voiced that in the TR1 beta)

  35. Ian: The beta will functional until the final release is available. No worries. There will actually be one more refresh of the beta bits which will probably extend the expiry date even further. The point of putting the expiry date in 2007 is to make sure the beta lasts until the full product is available.

    Steven: OneNote 2007 works great with Office 2003. Nearly all the Office integration features in OneNote 2007 also work with 2003 (but not with older Office releases in general)

  36. Ian, I double-checked your situation and here’s the deal. When you first installed OneNote and then WDS 3.0, if you had waited then the indexing would have happened after some time. When you uninstalled WDS 3.0, their uninstall removes the reg keys we have to make sure they index our stuff. So reinstalling WDS 3.0 is not good enough. You will need to reinstall OneNote beta 2 (or perhaps just run Detect and Repair from the Help menu), then reboot the computer. And then wait for indexing.

  37. Dan, due to a limitation in the way customization works, those buttons are there to stay as long as the OneNote add-in is present. If you really need them gone, you can disable the add-in via the Outlook add-in management UI:

    OL2007 Tools > Trust Center > Add-ins.

  38. Ian Goldsmid says:


    Your guidance greatly appreciated. Will reinstall OneNote and wait (even for a couple of days within ‘panicking’ :-)). Will let you know.


  39. Shayne says:

    I am in LOVE with the whole of Office 2007. Especially OneNote, which has been one of my top fice favorite programs ever created. ON2007 is all I ever dreamed of, honestly. And I am drooling over the syncing ability between my tablet and desktop! Only issue I’m having is the "Unfiled Notes" section. On my desktop (main machine): fine. On the tablet (secondary): is says "This sections was not cached and is not accesible offline." Mind you, I’m not exactly offline, and everything else syncs beautifully. Anyone have any suggestions or similar problems?

  40. Savagemike says:

    I am trying the beta to see how I would like it for a full time note taker in college this fall.

    I can see why many might like the onenote/outlook marriage; but, for me it’s somewhat discouraging that all the time management functionality which a student GREATLY needs is tied to another product which is not included in the student edition of office.  🙁  🙁

    Maybe students aren’t the core target market; but, we are a potentially large one and with the idea of winning converts for later use in professional life I think this is a HUGE oversight.

    One other comment… I would like the flags to act more like choosing a pen or whatever, not just show up where I most recently put the cursor… let me point where I want it after I have it loaded up.   Otherwise I have to switch from pent to pointer then set up my flag then back to pen….   too much.  Let me set up what flags I want as "pens" or "objects"and make a button for each one if I want.  Then I just grab it and click where I want it and then back to pen.  Maybe even an option for it to single use like the shapes do and then go back to whatever was being used before.

    Along those same lines… sometimes I don’t want single use for shapes.  Having to constantly regrab a shape to set up a flow chart or something is annoying as…. well it’s just very annoying.  Need some little swich there to choose single use or keep until changed.  And I do mean a little switch on the toolbar not a buried option.

    Thanks for the blog, the product, and the space to comment….

    – Mike

  41. Savagemike says:

    One more quick note…

    The clipping tool should also add an url pointing to where the material was clipped from ala the "add to evernote" functionality of evernote.

    I too didn’t get the print to onenote print driver.  I had onenote 2003 trial installed before.  I uninstalled before putting in the current 2007 b2; but, noticed the old print driver was still there.

    So…any thoughts on getting that set up now?

    thanks again,


  42. Ian Goldsmid says:

    Chris – your advice on how to get WDS 3 Instant Search to work – worked! I’m totally delighted. Thank you!


  43. Vickrey says:

     The use of ‘follow up’ note flags to create outlook tasks is a particularly nice touch.   The follow up note flags are mapped onto Outlook’s  ‘flag status’ which is used on the Outlook side to produce a to-do list.  A simple right click on this follow up flag in Onenote opens the task in outlook, where one can add new info such as categories which can be useful on the Outlook side.

    But why didn’t you guys go the last 9 yards and allow the user to map the other note flags onto Outlook categories??  It seems like that would have unleashed a new world of interesting possibilities.     Is there any reason why not?  

  44. Shayne: where is the unfiled section locate don your tablet? Is it in some folder where offline files is enabled? Anything else that might be special about its location?

    Savagemike: sorry we don’t have the bundle you want. We’re bundled with Outlook in the other suites we are in (Ultimate, Enterprise) so it makes a lot of sense there. And in corporations we’ll be deployed alongside Outlook nearly all the time. Unfortunately we don’t have control over what goes in which bundles. Fortunately students can get Outlook standalone pretty cheap through the academic pricing or their schools’ campus agreement. Good comments about noteflags acting like a pen. Maybe next release.

    You asked if there could be a button on the drawing toolbar to let you select a shape tool once then just keep using it. Well, I love it when I get to say "we have that one!" Look for the "Duplicate Shapes" button – it is to the left of "Rotate" on the right. Click it to make the drawing tools sticky. Once it is on, if you just tap the pen or mouse then you will get a duplicate of the shape you just made, or drag out the shape to get one of different dimensions. Sweet, eh?

    When you say the clipping tool should add the URL – it already does – at leats for me. Are you talking about OneNote’s Screen clip feature? (Windows-S, or Insert/Screen clipping, or right click on the system tray icon), or some other clipping tool? The IE add-in we provide also puts the URL in when you use it as does copy/paste from the browser. In fact this behavior for copy/paste from the browser was shipped in the first release before EverNote ever existed…hmm.

    To get the Send to OneNote printer driver for 2007 in beta 2 to work, you need to uninstall whatever previous printer driver you had for sending to OneNote 2003 (either the PowerToy or the one from the Tablet experience/education pack). Then run setup for OneNote 2007 again and repair.

    Ian: glad that worked for you!

    Vickrey: Thanks for the suggestion. Would you have liked labels like Green, Blue, etc as Outlook uses for its flags, or would you expect OneNote to figure out any custom categories?  Those flags and categories are applied to Outlook items in Outlook – so what should show up in Outlook from OneNote? or do you mean you just want the same kind of categories in OneNote?

  45. Beta 1 of "OneNote 12" (and "Office12") is now available for download for those people who are signed…

  46. Shayne says:

    Chris: I did get the Unfiled Notes to show up in their section, but I still cannot get them to sync. They are (were, actually) in the same shared folder that my notebooks are. I ended up just copying the file onto each computer and giving up the syncing of Unfiled Notes. Not a big deal to me! The good points definitely outweigh any small issues I have had so far.

    My newest problem is changing the default ink color in Outlook emails. It is always blue! I change the theme each time, I choose "Set this theme as default," and still: blue! Note that I am on day two of working with the Ribbon, etc., so this may just be me not seeing something….

  47. Ian Goldsmid says:

    I am finding that OneNote goes into CPU thrash mode occassionally – and I think – as far as I have been able to be aware of exactly when this happens, it seems to be connected with dragging and dropping files, like word docs or pdf’s – and selecting "insert a copy of the file onto the page", then opening that file. The cpu utilization on my 3.2 ghz, 1.5gig ram laptop oscillates between 40% – 80%+ of max, and the memory consumption of the onenote.exe process also goes up and down like a yoyo… Then I close out, and reopen and its back to behaving properly.



  48. Ja, Herr A., Office 2007 läuft tatsächlich auf TabletPCs. Und was man davon hat wenn man Outlook 2007…

  49. savagemike says:

    Uninstalling the ON 2003 print to onenote driver and then install/repairing ON 2007 did the trick to put the ‘send to microsoft onenote’ printer in place.

    It also seems to have fixed any issues I was having with urls not showing up on clipped items.  It now works as you mentioned it should.

    The back and forth with onenote re: follow up flags seems a little flaky.  It won’t update subject titles in onenote if I change them in outlook and several of my ‘custom’ time frame ones seem to have ended up in outlook with no subject heading.  Instead there is just a note to see the link inside back to onenote and then there isn’t a link inside??

    MY biggest problem though is the immense resource hog of the indexed searching.  It happily eats up 100 megs ram and seems to still want to stroll through the hard  drive bits at a time which I doubt will have positive effects on my battery life.

    The instant search is nice in onenote; but, my laptop has many tasks and isn’t just a onenote machine.  I would like to be able to turn the index search off and have it stay off when I chose it to, thus relinquishing my computers resources back to me for other purposes.

    If I stop the index search process now it just restarts itself after a little while and happily regobbles ram to sate itself while every other thing I am trying to do is now hitting the hard drive.

    thanks again for the blog and the product,


  50. Rebecca says:

    Greetings.  OneNote 2007 (Beta) is an outstanding program, and it’s getting better every upgrade.  There are a few functions, though, I hope you will include in future versions.  First, please include a search and replace function. Second, please make it possible to collapse and expand subdocs.  Third, please include a search function that will record the number of all hits (and not just the pages where the hits occur). Fourth, please allow a paste / special function (to maintain formatting and the like). And fifth, please include an OLE capability.  Thanks again to the OneNote team for a job well done.

  51. scoobie says:


    Re Vickrey comments above around categories.. she’s hit on my favorite topic!… my view would its having the same type of categories as outlook that we need.

    I wouldn’t expect the categories to show up in Outlook – which could become unmanagable if you’ve got lots of notes. I’m not sure what you would do with them in outlook anyway, unlike tasks where there is an obvious synergy.

    If however you allow an unlimited number of noteflags this might address categories and the need to tag notes.

    However, the current limitation with noteflags is its difficult to remember what they stand for when you’re looking at a note. I’d like an option which allows me to see the text of the noteflags associated with a file like you get in outlook.

    I notice even when you hover over the noteflag in a note it doesn’t display its name, so I’m left asking myself "now what did I allocate that symbol to mean?!"

  52. Hey Chris, any idea why I’d be getting the error:

    "This Outlook item has restricted permissions and cannot be sent to OneNote."

    whenever I try to use the Send to OneNote button on an email message in Outlook 2003? This is for *any* email, including those I’ve sent. As far as I know the messages weren’t explicitly restricted in any way, and we’re not running any IRM as far as I know. (I could be wrong, if something’s running on our SBS 2003 server out of the box.)

  53. Vickrey says:

    More on flags and categories and outlook integration.

    1.  One very simple suggestion first:  it would be absolutely great to be able to apply note flags to an item with a right-click which would open a drop down list of available flags.  Right now it’s a tad tedious to have to navigate away from the item open the drop down Note Flags (or the new Flagged task) menu and then choose your flag (the ctrl-key shortcuts are great of course, but that relies on memory and only gets you 1-7 )

    2. To answer Chris’ question. Yes I had in mind a flexible mapping of note flags onto Outlook categories.  I would be happy if every time I modified or created a new note flag a new outlook category was created.  You could have an ‘add a category with this name to Outlook?’ checkbox on the customize my note flags pane to allow users to opt out from this level of interaction with Outlook).  

    The key point is to give users a fast way to add categories to a flagged item (i.e. to an Outlook task) so that they end up creating a far more useful task in Outlook.  This would really cement the bond between Onenote and Outlook and would open up a new world of ways to use the combination more effectively (e.g. the GTD folks would fall all over themselves since it would allow them to roam freely in Onenote and/or Outlook but then pull together all their action items in one place).

  54. Vickrey says:

    p.s. — I second scoobie’s excellent suggestion to have little text box reminders for note flags.  If however you think that might crowd the screen, then my suggestion to have a mouse right-click open up a drop-down note flag menu would also do the trick if it indicated the name of the currently indicated flag, and gave the user the option to switch to another flag.  

  55. scoobie says:

    More on noteflags and categories.

    I like Vickrey’s idea of a right mouse click to open up a drop down note flag menu. I was thinking that today myself coincidently that adding noteflags could be easier with a right mouse click! (honest!)

    Re text reminders for noteflags,

    I think this is pretty essential.  As you increase the number of noteflags (hopefully more than 100, hint hint!), its going to be more difficult to remember what they stand for. The choice of icons will always be limited compared to the number of noteflags.

    Re Vickrey’s comments re outlook categories.

    I agree with her suggestion that it would be useful to enter outlook categories in some sort of slicker way than as present.   (the value add being you get more useful tasks in outlook)

  56. ds says:

    Why isn’t there a way to get an Outlook Journal Entry into OneNote?  Am I missing something?  Wouldn’t this be a nice feature?  When initiating a phone call from Outlook, I have  a blank journal page which launches automatically.  It would be nice if the phone conversation notes taken within journal could be sent to OneNote like so many of the other nice features discussed in your "Best Buddies" article.

  57. Now that Beta2 is out, it seems like high time I explain how I use the new time management system in…

  58. Outlook -> OneNote error says:

    Quote – Ken Sheppardson:

    "Hey Chris, any idea why I’d be getting the error:

    "This Outlook item has restricted permissions and cannot be sent to OneNote."

    whenever I try to use the Send to OneNote button on an email message in Outlook 2003? This is for *any* email, including those I’ve sent. As far as I know the messages weren’t explicitly restricted in any way, and we’re not running any IRM as far as I know. (I could be wrong, if something’s running on our SBS 2003 server out of the box.) "

    I’m getting the same error message.  Outlook 2003, OneNote 2007.

  59. David G says:

    Hi Chris.

    Just been trying out OneNote and I must say it’s on its way to being a great app.

    Question about product strategy:

    I’m currently a PPC user who synchronizes Outlook Journal entries via PocketInformant Journal Sync. What I’m trying to figure out is how Outlook Journal fits into the suite of tools for 2007. It appears to me that there is a move to make OneNote a replacement of sorts for Journal, especially with OneNote being supported on the PPC and Journal not.

    How would you recommend people use the two products?



  60. LMendez says:


    It seems a know bug is that ON2007 can not send email (OL 2003) and send to Word is greyed out.  I already reported to MS Connect.  This is true for CTR+SHT+E and Send to…

    Any suggestions on what to look for?

    BTW, I also have a little glitch .. sometimes when I click on Send/RCV in Outlook the OneNote 2007 installer launches.  

    I thank you in advanced for your input…

  61. Ian, savagemike and others: We hope to have exorcised the performance demons by the time we refresh the beta next (and certainly by the time we release the final code.) In the meantime, please keep reporting issues liek this because this sor tof thign is what betas are good at flushing out. Be sure to report bugs with details and files on the Connect site (

    Rebecca, thanks for the ideas. For your fourth one (paste special), I’ll point out the "smart tag" that appears when you paste something in OneNote. You can click on that and choose to match destination, keep text only, etc. Even change the default. This is paste special done another way.

    scoobie, Vickrey: thanks for the categories and flags ideas. We’ll keep them in mind for next rel.

    Ken and "outlook -> Onenote error": the restricted permissions thing is weird. We are not able to repro here with 2003/2007 or 2007/2007. Any more details?

    ds and David G: Outlook’s Journal functionality is rarely used according to our usage monitors, so OneNote hasn’t prioritized working with it, and Outlook has had better things to do than improve it in the past releases including 2007. As to the future it is hard to say. We aren’t settled in plans yet, and Outlook Journal could get improved or kept the way it is.

    LMendez: I can send email using OLK 2003 with OneNote 2007. I can also Send to Word 2003. You might try Help/Detect and Repair" in Office 2003. If that doesn’t fix it, try Help/Office Diagnostics in OneNote 2007.

  62. Arthur says:

    Hi Chris,

    Send to Onenote 2007 (beta) doesn’t send the original file’s name into the onenote page that supposed to happen?  In Onenote 2003, when a file was printed to Onenote, its title was also automatically be placed on the Onenote page.  



    P.S.  I’m in 1B Systems Design @ Waterloo right now and I use Onenote to take all of my notes =)

  63. Ken Sheppardson and "Outlook -> Onenote error": to debug the restricted permissions thing it would help us a ton if you could run a little VBScript for us to figure out what settings are on your machine that might cause this.

    Also, do you use Exchange Server? Would your admin possibly have set up any "permission templates"?

    Send me email at chrispr(at) so we can reach you easier. Thanks!

  64. Ian Nelson says:

    OK, well, in contrast to the message box in my previous blog entry, today I was presented with this great…

  65. Dan says:

    ClearType in Outlook 2007 can be turned off via MS Word 2007 by going to "File, Word Options, Personalize, and uncheck "Always use ClearType".

  66. Here is a post from Olya Veselova of OneNote. A few of you have mentioned in comments How I work…

  67. Barbara H. says:

    New OneNote 2003 user here with a quick question.  I keep seeing mention of the "print to OneNote driver" for 2003 as a PowerToy, and I’ve been searching everywhere with no luck in finding this.  I have a tablet pc and 2 desktops, and I could really use the print a document to OneNote feature.  Where can I get this for 2003?

  68. Barbara H.: That PowerToy was removed by its author so it is no longer available (major bummer). You have a couple of options:

    1. For *your Tablet PC only*, install the Send to OneNote 2003 PowerToy that comes with the Tablet PC Experience pack (a free download)

    2. Install OneNote 2007 beta 2, which includes this functionality for all PC types.

  69. Chris B says:

    Hi Chirs – just finish upgrading to the 07 Beta 2. Love the Outlook task, email and appointment linking! One minor issue, my installation didn’t seem to load the new 07 print drive for OneNote, I keep getting the need SP1 for 03 to use the Send to OneNote. Anywhere I can get the new print driver for 07?

    Thanks …

  70. Dan Sisan says:

    It would be nice to have a keyboard shortcut (like Cntrl-Shift-Q) for the symbol font, as in Word.  Also, Cntrl-Space to clear back to the standard font.   Seems easy enough to add, and the lack of this feature is annoying enough for me.

  71. Yaniv says:

    Congratulations on your newborn.

    For some reason, when I insert a task using the same exact shortcut CTR-SHIFT-1 multiple times yields different results different times.  I am not sure if it relative to where the pointer is, but sometime I get the attachment in the message body which links back to onenote and sometimes I just get this:

    [Click the OneNote link in task body for details]

    in the subject line without anything in the task body.  I am using outlook 2003

    Any ideas?

  72. Yaniv says:

    Sorry, another question.

    Also the links that are added to the tasks open the page in a specific location.  Is there an easy way to do that with hyperlinks.   It seems currently there is only a way to add a hyperlink to the page but not to a page location.

  73. Richard Schneider says:

    You write:

    <In Contacts, there is a button very similar to the one in Calendar. You can use the Contact Notes button to open up a page in OneNote that is linked to the selected Contact. In this way you can build up a whole file on a person (perhaps a customer) including photos, maps, meeting notes, follow-ups, etc. This turns Outlook and OneNote into a very basic Customer Management system. As with meetings, there is a link placed in the Contact pointing to the page in OneNote, and there is a link on the page in OneNote to take you back to the Contact in Outlook.>

    However, I cannot figure out how to link the same contact to multiple notes.  Can you only link to one note?  I have reviewed the oneline course and it is very ambiguos about this.



  74. Tiby says:

    I sent something from onenote to outlook that caused it to hang and required two Outlook restarts.

    It said it would cease the synchronization btw the two programs for a while and provided a screen that explained how to restart it that I did not write down.

    I’d like to try resynching the two programs again. How do I reconnect the two?

    Specifically, I’d like to send tasks I create in onenote to Outlook. Thanks.

  75. robazefa says:

    Why is the search calendar function not working? I tried an identical search in Outlook 2007 using the same calendar data in Outlook 2003 ("look for") and Outlook 2003 is the only version that works.

  76. Rick: the design is that you get a "page" in OneNote for each contact. If you want to add links to other pages in your notes, you can go to those pages in OneNote, right clcik on the page tab, choose "copy hyperlink to this page/item", then paste that link in the notes part of the contact in Outlook.

    Tiby, I do not know for sure what we put in beta 2 for this problem. This is fixed for the next refresh so the problem will be moot shortly I hope if it isn’t syncing again for you.

    robazefa: if your question is about Outlook, sorry I can’t help.

  77. Ian Nelson says:

    OK, well, in contrast to the message box in my previous blog entry , today I was presented with this

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