Unfiled Notes

Sometimes you won’t have time to think about where to put a particular note. For example, suppose you’re in a meeting where you’re discussing the week’s activities with your colleagues. Suddenly, you have a thought about your stock portfolio, something completely unrelated to the meeting. Rather than disrupt the flow of the meeting to run OneNote, find the section containing your portfolio information and type a note to yourself, you can create a quick reminder note in your Unfiled Notes where you can follow up with it later. It’s easy and there’s only one step to remember, <Windows key + N>.

Unfiled Notes is a special area in OneNote where you can just throw a bunch of your stuff and then deal with it later. To create a new unfiled note, press the <Windows key + N>.

    clip_image001 You’ll see a new smaller OneNote window appear in the form of a sticky note, where you can jot down your thought and then close the window so you don’t have to think about it any more.

Then, After the meeting, when you have more time to organize your notes, you can click on the Unfiled Notes button in OneNote, found at the bottom-left of the NavBar.

    clip_image002 Here, you’ll see the note you took, but in the more familiar looking OneNote window, with the section tabs and page tabs. You can move the page with the note on it to whatever section/notebook you prefer.

This can be done in one of 3 ways:

    1. drag the page to the desired section.
    2. Cut/copy/paste the page to any section you desire.
    3. Right-click on the page -> select Move Page To -> then select the desire section.


  • You can customize the location of your unfiled notes. Just click Tools -> Options -> Save -> select Unfiled Notes -> Modify -> select the folder you would like to use -> OK.
  • You can also create a new unfiled note using any of these options:
    1. Click the Side Note icon in the Windows System Tray


    2. In OneNote, click Window -> New Side Note Window
    3. In OneNote, press <Ctrl + Shift + M>
  • Side note default options can be changed by simply right-clicking on the Side Note icon in the Windows System Tray -> selecting Options -> and then clicking on OneNote Icon Defaults.

    • Open New Side Note: Sets Side Note as the default mode when left-clicking on the icon.
    • Open OneNote: Sets OneNote as the default mode when left-clicking on the icon.
    • Start Recording Audio: Begins recording audio when Side Note is started.
    • Screen Clipping: Starts Side Note in Screen Clipping mode.
  • If you don’t see the Side Note icon in the Windows System Tray, open OneNote and click Tools -> Options -> Other -> add a checkmark to Place OneNote icon in the notification area of the taskbar.
  • You can customize Side Note to do any of the following startup options by default (these will only be the default when the Side Note icon in the Windows System Tray is clicked):
      1. Open OneNote (instead of Side Note).
      2. Begin recording audio when Side Note is opened.
      3. Automatically set Side Note in Screen Clipping when it’s opened.
Comments (5)

  1. Before OneNote came along, I would typically attend a meeting, bring a pen, and take lots of notes right

  2. Seraphim says:

    Can you change the template for a side note?   I'd prefer to have a note with a real title.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How to perform these tasks via WP7?

  4. JeffreyC says:

    Ditto what Seraphim said – I'd like the change the template or format of a new side note or Unfiled Note.

  5. Danielle McDavis says:

    Hi, How can I make screen clippings lie in my clip board and not create a new page in onenote?