BPR247: OneNote 2003

Tips for OneNote

  • Create separate work and personal folders and store everything else below that level

  • Can create custom note flags and then search easily for them; for example, to store items for follow-up with your line manager or (for academic use) to highlight whenever a lecturer says "this will appear on the exam"!

  • When you send a OneNote page as email, it sends both the OneNote page as a .one file and also as HTML in case the recipient doesn't have OneNote installed.

  • Press Windows + N to create a new side note. This can be handy when you're in another application and you want to take notes in a smaller window without having to tile windows: side notes have a reduced UI to minimise clutter. Side notes are also ideal for taking "Post-It" style notes such as telephone numbers.

  • You can also drag and drop from a web page in IE into a OneNote page and it automatically adds the URL that it came from.

  • Use audio notes to take a recording of a meeting and have this bookmarked against what you're typing - you can then bring back the audio that matches your notes with a single click.

New SP1 Features

  • Screen clippings allow you to do a screen capture of a selected area and have it dumped directly into OneNote.

  • Insert Outlook Meeting Details automatically dumps the calendar details from Outlook at the top of a page: this makes it really easy to (for example) search notes for the attendees.

  • You can create a peer-to-peer shared session: great for status meetings, where everyone can add updates for their own project area. This can also be used in a read-only mode for broadcasting your own notes out (for example, in a presentation).

  • You can insert an Office document (along with a link to the original document) and then annotate that document using ink or text.

  • Video notes - they work in the same way as audio.

  • Create a group notebook by sharing out a directory containing a notebook; if someone is writing in the section at the time, you see a read-only view until they finish or time out. You could use this to share a single notebook across multiple machines.

  • There's a Pocket PC and Smartphone import feature that allows notes and voice notes to be imported into OneNote. This is unidirectional, however.

  • COM Extensibility API - one class (CSimpleImportClass) containing two methods: Import and Navigate. There's a preview of the documentation available on the web. The Import method takes an XML document that allows you to specify a page (keyed by GUID) and even insert ink.


  • When you search for handwritten text, OneNote automatically searches for alternates, so even if the text hasn't been properly recognised it shouldn't stop it from working effectively.

  • There was a lot of internal debate about whether OneNote would be accepted without a manual save button; in the end it turns out that not many people found this hard to deal with, and that most customers quickly got used to the auto-save feature.

  • The OneNote team use Feedster to search blogs for entries relating to OneNote - so whenever you blog about OneNote the team will automatically read it as customer feedback!

  • The development team are "thinking" about a OneNote viewer - presumably a free redistributable for sharing notebooks with users who don't have it.

Comments (1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is there a way to have the shared session send send keep-alives? Or to rejoin a shared session without having OneNote create a new copy of the (unchanged) page?

    After about a minute or so of inactivity I find that the session disconnects with "The shared session ended unexpectedly. To rejoin the session, follow the instructions on the Join Shared Session task pane." I think that the problem may be NAT session timeout or similar (though nothing else seems to manifest a similar problem – I keep ssh connections open for days). There is no option to rejoin a session. Joining again gives me a new copy of the shared page.

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