MVPs for Windows Phone 7: How To Sync Multiple Notebooks in OneNote Mobile on Windows Phone 7

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Windows Phone MVP Adam Lein as part of the MVP Award Program Blog’s “MVPs for Windows Phone 7” series. Adam
is a Windows Phone MVP from Westchester NY. He has been using Windows CE,
Pocket PC, and Windows Mobile devices since the late 90’s and has been writing
for; one of the top mobile phone news sites; since 2002. He is
now a senior editor with expertise in the Windows Phone platform and intimate
knowledge of all mobile platforms. During the day, he works as a graphic
designer and at a small design firm called Roher/Sprague Partners.

When you launch OneNote Mobile on Windows
Phone 7 for the first time, you might expect it to list all of your OneNote
notebooks that are already saved on the SkyDrive storage associated with your
primary Windows Live account that’s assigned to the phone.  Incidentally,
the Apple iOS version of Microsoft OneNote Mobile does automatically list all
of your SkyDrive notebooks when you sign in with your Live ID. 

 On Windows Phone 7, you’ll only see a
default “Personal (Web)” Notebook and two default notebook pages. 
If you press the “All” button in OneNote, and then the
“Refresh” button, it will ask you if you want to sync with
SkyDrive.  This will set up the “Personal (Web)” notebook for
syncing with SkyDrive, but that’s all.  It still isn’t going to show you
any of the other notebooks you might already have syncing on SkyDrive with
OneNote 2010 on your desktop. 

 Fortunately, there is a way to get other
notebooks to sync with OneNote 2010 Mobile on Windows Phone 7.

  1. Launch
    Internet Explorer and make sure the “Website Preference” settings are
    set to the “Mobile Version” view.  
  2. Navigate
    to and log in with
    the same Live ID used for your phone’s primary Live ID account.
  3. From there you’ll be
    able to browse your SkyDrive folders within the web browser.  After you
    tap a OneNote notebook stored on SkyDrive, it will load a secondary page with a
    larger OneNote file icon along with a few details.
  4. Tap the large icon,
    and all of a sudden, it will switch to OneNote 2010 Mobile and initialize a
    sync relationship while downloading the notebook.  From that point
    forward, you’ll be able to access all of the OneNote Notebook pages from within
    OneNote Mobile. 

If you go to Settings
> Applications > Office > OneNote, you’ll see an option to turn on
Automatic Sync.  This isn’t the same as automatic sync in OneNote 2010 on
the desktop however.  It will only sync when you “open a page, save a
page or open a section.”   There’s no button for saving OneNote
pages, so I’m not sure why it says that.  Even with that turned on, it
doesn’t always sync, so be sure you hit the “Refresh” button often in
order to save your OneNote notebook changes back to SkyDrive. 

Comments (4)

  1. AQ_NM says:

    Thanks a million for this!  I was banging my head on the wall trying to figure this out.  Onenote ftw!

  2. Daniel Harris says:

    Thanks, easy enough to do, hopefully with the Mango update you won't need to do this one-time manual process for each notebook.

  3. tcs says:

    How can one sync with multiple skydrive accounts?  I have one that I use for my own files and another that we use for the family.  i would like the family to all be able to add to things like todo lists, grocery lists, etc. but need to keep my personal skydrive separate as i have book ideas and some professional notes i don't want disturbed.  thoughts?

  4. Andrés says: