Default Note Location

Hello, I am Di Ye, a program manager on the OneNote Team and I am writing to share where we put the content your Apps create in users' OneNote notebooks.

Where can users find their content created through the API?

In OneNote, all information is stored in a hierarchy that looks like this: Notebook >> Section Group (optional) >> Section >> Page.

Each POST to the pages endpoint creates a new page in your users' default section in their default notebook. As OneNote has been around quite a long time, the names of these have evolved somewhat, so it's a bit more complex than we'd like.

  • If your users are pretty new to OneNote, they’ll find their content in the Quick Notes section of <User's First name>’s Notebook on OneDrive.
  • If your users have been using OneNote for a while, their notebooks may have a different name, like Personal, Personal (web), or My Notebook and their content will be in the Unfiled Notes section.

Can you create content into a specific notebook and section?

There's currently no way via the API to select a specific notebook and section for content to be created into. All created content will go to the users' default notebook and section.

However, we are already hard at work extending our API to expose all of a users' notebooks and sections and allow you to specify where to create content for a user. We expect this to be functional in the next few months and will be asking you for feedback here as we design this.

How can you tell your users where to find the created pages?

If you are building an app or service with a UI, we encourage you to expose one of the deep links to the newly created page that are returned from each POST. These links allow your users to launch the OneNote client or OneNote Online on their device and immediately view the new page. Check out how to embed a deep link in your client.

There is also an article targeted at end users here that you can use to help your users figure it out where their default notes are stored.


Comments (8)

  1. Bucko says:

    I’m not sure if this is still being monitored, but I was wondering if there was any progress on extending the API to allow developers to create content in specific notebooks? This post is more than two years old and you mention you’re working on extending to include this functionality but I can’t find anywhere in the API docs to allow this. It seems possible to choose a section, and the API allows making requests to specific notebooks but there’s nothing about something that combines these where I can specific a notebook for a note to be created in.

  2. Piotr says:

    I don't want the <User's First name>’s Notebook, but Office Lens CREATES it every time I tell it to use the "default section". I have set the "default section" in various places (OneNote desktop, Android…) but the Lens (API?) disregards this. Does it really have to be this way forever?

  3. Lori Reed says:

    I have the same question as Sebastian. I've gone into the settings and changed all the default locations for OneNote yet using IFTTT new content goes to my Personal/Quick Notes folder. Not a huge deal as I can change my processes but it would be amazing if we could change the location of where new pages are created. So far I'm impressed. As an avid David Allen GTD follower OneNote combined with IFTTT is just the solution I've been looking for!

  4. Sebastian says:

    Any way to change the default notebook to something other than the personal notebook created when first used?

  5. Strategerizer says:

    OneNote seems to have set an old Notebook as the default location. I can't find anywhere how to change that. Would deleting (and re-importing somehow) that Notebook help? If this is not possible yet, do you know when it will be?

    I am using the OneNote on Android KitKat and it sends the notes to the notebook OneNote has somehow decided (wrongly) to be default.

    Any advice?


  6. Mary Branscombe says:

    might be worth noting that changing the default location for new notes in OneNote on Windows Phone doesn't change the default location used by the API (I'm glad it doesn't, would have been a real pain, but people might expect that)

  7. @Karen – Yup – this is something we want you to be able to do to. This should be coming soon after we update the ability to specify what notebook and section you want to put a note into.

  8. Karen says:

    I have just tried out the new API on windows phone, and it works like a charm!  I would love for my app to be able to create an app-specific notebook with sections also created by the app.  My customers are most likely not OneNote users, so I need to make it as turnkey (simple) for them as I can.

    Thanks for giving us such a great capability!

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