Taking Meeting Notes in OneNote 2013

This post was authored by Po-Yan Tsang,  Program Manager on the Meetings Team

One of the most common scenarios for taking notes at work is during meetings - whether it is about tracking attendees, remembering what was discussed or listing out follow up items. However, meetings are often rushed and busy, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible to start taking notes and collaborating with other attendees. 


Meeting Notes for an Outlook Meeting

In OneNote 2013, you can start taking notes by going to Home -> Insert -> Meeting Details, which lets you choose from a list of current meetings in Outlook.  This automatically adds details about the meeting to your current page 

And it’s as easy as that – you now have a page with all the details of your meeting, so you can get right down to taking notes and still have all the context about where the meeting was and who attended the event.

We’ve also added some extra features to enrich and keep notes relevant: 

  • New Format - the participants list now has checkboxes by default, so you can track attendance
  • Up To Date Meeting Details - if you're you’re the meeting organizer and you make a change to the location or time, your notes will get updated when you send the update from Outlook. If you’re not the organizer, you can right-click on the page tab and select ‘Refresh Meeting Details’ to have it update.


Meeting Notes for a Lync Online Meeting

Similar to the Outlook meeting notes experience, you can also take meeting notes from Lync. Once you’ve set everything up, we will automatically update your notes page with:

  1. List of attendees
  2. Any files uploaded to the Lync Meeting
  3. Links to any other notebooks shared within this meeting.


Sharing Meeting Notes with Others

Why take notes on your own when you can get everyone to help out? Get others to help make sure you don’t miss an action item or a key decision in your notes. In OneNote 2013, set up a shared note taking space for everyone in the meeting is a snap. 

Before a Meeting:
  1. In the Outlook meeting request, go to the Meeting Tab -> Meeting Notes -> Share notes with the meeting
  2. Select the notebook page you want to share with the meeting. Remember, this has to be in a shared location like SkyDrive or SharePoint.
  3. Now you can send out the meeting invite, which will have a link to your Outlook meeting


During a Meeting:
  1. From OneNote, select the page you want to share with the meeting and go to File -> Share -> Share with Meeting
  2. You can choose an existing meeting here or create a new Lync Meeting
  3. Once a meeting is selected, a link to the OneNote page is shared with all the Lync participants



We believe that taking notes is a significant part of the meeting experience and we've put a lot of thought into improving this experience and making it effortless in OneNote 2013. If you have feedback on any of the updates and additions to these features, please let us know in the comments below.


Po-Yan Tsang
Program Manager on the Meetings Team


Comments (27)

  1. Steve says:

    These options don't exist in Outlook 2011 for the Mac!  

  2. Great additions!  I use this feature everyday in ON2010.  The auto-update feature for meeting details will definitely be useful to me.  

  3. Timothy says:

    Cool features for SkyDrive, but some of us work in organizations that don't allow us (for many reasons) to store documents in the cloud.  I really hope you bring corporate SharePoint integration up to feature parity with SkyDrive.

  4. Luc Gagnon says:


    you say "2.Select the notebook page you want to share with the meeting. Remember, this has to be in a shared location like SkyDrive or SharePoint.


    But how can I share it on local enterprise SharePoint2013 Team Site ?


  5. Vinoth says:

    Hi, I am a frequent user of the OneNote meeting notes feature. While the new features of 2013 are useful additions, the overall look and feel and formatting of the notes has suffered a bit. The OneNote 2010 had a nice table header format. Whereas the 2013 format looks a bit clumsy and disorgnised..

  6. Howard says:

    I will *never* want to "share notes with the meeting."

    How can I permanently disable the prompt that asks me each and every time I click the OneNote button to take notes on an appointment?

  7. Chris says:

    I agree with Howard – I could save an extra step about 10 days a day if I could remove the "Share notes with the meeting" dialog box and default directly to "Take notes on your own." I also dislike that every time I click the Meeting Notes link from the calendar using the context menu, the meeting opens up, which I then have to close. For me, Outlook 2013 had just added two extra and unwanted steps every time I take meeting notes. I hope there are settings to change both of these behaviors, but I have not been able to find them in either Outlook or OneNote options.


  8. Todd says:

    I also strongly agree with Howard and Chris.  It is frustrating that this prompt comes up everytime I right click on a meeting and try to start writing notes.  I have to click through this about 5 times a day (25x a week) since I use OneNote exclusively instead of any written notebook.  There truly needs to be a way to default to "Take notes on your own".  While I understand there are circumstances that warrant taking notes with groups of people, that happens a lot less frequently than the need to take notes on your own.

  9. Merwan says:

    I frequently use the "Take notes on your own" button, however it always defaults to a particular section (in fact one that I almost never use). What setting do I tweak so that Outlook makes me select a section to add the page under?

  10. Tom Croft says:

    Sounds like great feature. Can't wait to benefit by it. Immediate issues were- 1) Couldn't find the "Meeting Details" button in the Insert Pane. (Sorted. found in the 'other' insert pane !) and 2: My calendar doesn't appear. I'm assuming this is because I have several calendars and it's picking the wrong one. –  So how do you configure it to identify the correct Calendar source for the pick list? (not sorted)

  11. Melany says:

    Any idea why the participating list is not alphabetized?

  12. Kathryn says:

    The OneNote 2010 method of inserting meeting details was MUCH better for me.  I don't do one page per meeting – I have one page per month, with all the meetings for that month on it.  (This project is entering its third year.  One page per meeting would easily come out to 300-500 pages.)  So with the previous method, I could create a clean, easy-to-read table for each meeting, making it easy to recognize where one meeting ended and the next began.  Now I get a messy list of data that automatically inserts at the top of the page instead of where the cursor is, and it isn't easy to see where one meeting starts and the next begins.

    If I did do one page per meeting, the new method would be fantastic (if still visually unappealing).  I particularly like having a check box for attendees.  I also like being able to expand or collapse the details, and I like having a link back to the Outlook item.  I could see this method working very well for, say, major design reviews.  But it just doesn't work for a project with hundreds of meetings over its lifetime.  I'd appreciate an option to do it the old way.

  13. AV says:

    Is it mandatory for us to have Microsoft Account to access One Note that is shared in the Lync Meeting?

  14. Christie says:

    Is there a way to insert meeting details from a persons calendar that I manage within outlook?  Everytime I click meeting details it pulls only from my calendar.  I would like the option to select from different calendars I manage-is that possible?

  15. Wayne says:

    I thought that the new participant list with the checked attendees was really cool until I realized that much to my horror, the unchecked attendees are now included in my to-do list I generate using the Find Tags feature and showing only unchecked items. Is there a way to filter the "In Attendance" tag name out of the Tags Summary task pane without needing to ensure that meeting notes are kept in a separate notebook or section with any action items discussed during a meeting duplicated within the notebook or sections searched by the Tags Summary?

  16. Jitin says:

    I AM THE NEW USER OF Onenote.

    please help how can I use.

  17. Nick says:

    Is there any visual indicator in Outlook to notify me that I have notes in OneNote for that meeting?  In other words, whether I click "meeting Details" in OneNote to select a meeting or if I click the "Meeting Notes", I've essentially "linked" the note and the appointment.  If I am in OneNote, I'll see the meeting information and there is a link to take me back to that appointment.  Is there anything in Outlook that I can click to take me FROM the meeting TO the note?  If I click to create a note, it WILL take me to the note, but there is no visual indicator that there was a note to begin with.

  18. Sudeep says:

    We maintain a document set of the "relevant documents for the meeting (typically 20)" in SharePoint. We want to export the documents into a single Onenote file for the attendees.

    1) Is that a good idea?

    2) How can this be achieved programmatically?

  19. Eddie W says:

    Agreed with the comments about "take notes on my own."  While the idea of a choice is good, It's quite frustrating to have to select this option every time I send a meeting from my calendar into OneNote.  Where is the choice to disable this and just create a note in OneNote like in the previous OneNotes??  If I want to share the notes, I'll do that from within OneNote itself.  Thanks for reading!

  20. carol says:

    Yeah, but how do I sort the meeting participants alphabetically? tracking meeting attendance for a meeting where the attendees were not original alphabetized in outlook is a major pain.

  21. Michael says:

    I have been using these meeting notes for a long time, after a patch process they all disappeared.

  22. Ilsa M says:

    Agreed with other comment – please bring back table formatting – it looks cleaner and easier to read. Great idea to add a checkbox for participants, but can you also add columns Attendance (Required, Optional attendee) and Response (none, accepted, declined, so on) – I keep relying on Excel still by doing copying status to Clipboard because these attributes are missing and it's hard to take attendance without it.

  23. Dave says:

    Thanks for publishing this info. In Outlook 2010, I could right click on the meeting in the To-Do bar on the right and open a meeting note page in OneNote with one click.  That functionality was eliminated in 2013.  Now I'm glad that I can open OneNote and start a meeting note page with a lot less clicks using this method in 2013. Still one more click than the old method but definitely an improvement.

  24. Rich says:

    After all that above is done, and 6 months later you click on that appointment. There is no way to find your notes? This is not acceptable. I dont see any links in my outlook meeting linking to my notes in onenote? this is useless if you actually plan to lookup your notes sometime after the meeting/appointment is long over.

  25. Rich says:

    Agree with NICK! Again MS appears to not use their own products in real life situations. How can there be no link from outlook cal back to the notes in Onenote? Yes I know if you enter notes in one specific way when you make believe you want ot share notes when you really dont need to share and then you get a link in your cal to the notes. But if you do it by clicking Meeting Details in Onenote and selecting your meeting and take notes there is no link in outlook back to your notes. its always so freakin annoying with MS because on the surface these things always look great until you try to use them in real life and you realize you wasted so much time because its not working like you need or like it should.

  26. Rich says:

    how about improving how you find the notes after they are taken? There are a few ways to add notes to meetings but only way adds a link from outlook cal to the notes you took. EVERY single way you add notes NEEDS TO HAVE A LINK FROM CAL TO ONENOTE AND FROM ONENOTE TO CAL so you can find your notes when you need them or its useless.

  27. Shefali Mittal says:

    I am unable to find Meeting Notes option in Meeting.

    I am using Outlook 2013,part of Microst Office 365 pro plus.

    Can anyone please suggest.

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