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Using OneNote beyond Taking Notes - Student's Edition
  • Post type:
  • Knowledge
  • Posted by:
  • Sarah Chao
  • Published on:
  • 10/5/2017
  • Suitable for:
  • Students
  • Level of difficulty:
  • Intermediate
  • Office tool:
  • OneNote; Class Notebook
Last modified: 3/14/2019 2:07 PM by Sarah Chao

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Before you start

Although you can access OneNote from Office 365, it is a good idea to also install the OneNote desktop application onto your personal computer/laptop, so that you can use the full functionalities of the software that will be discussed in this post. As part of the VSB district users, you can download the​ latest Office to your personal devices for free​. Read thru this post first BEFORE attempting to creating your Notebook, it'll save you some headache.​​

Everyday note taking

As the name indicates,  OneNote is great for taking notes for your day-to-day classes. Similar to a physical notebook, you can create different sections and pages that you can relocate to other OneNote notebook for better organization of your notes at a later time.

What else can you do?

​​​The following screenshots are from the OneNote desktop application, so if you're viewing OneNote online from Office 365, you might notice some missing ​functionalities​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Brainstorming Ideas with your classmate

During a group project, you might need to brainstorm with the rest of your team. Traditionally, if you brainstorm with just a word document, you are limited to using just text. However with OneNote, you can:

  • Draw or sketch out an idea with a stylus (from the "Draw" tab)
  • Change the page ​layout to include rule line or grid lines​ (from the "View" tab)
  • Insert various files, video or audio recording (from the "Insert" tab)

Doing Research, Embedding and Content Sourcing

​One of the greatest features I find super handy with OneNote is the way it process URL links or text when copied from the browser and pasted into the page.

  • It turns a video link into more the proper title of the video, as well as embedding the video into the page and letting you play the video without leaving your OneNote notebook. See all supported embedded content in OneNote​. This is quite handy if you are taking notes alongside a video.

  • You can paste images and screenshots. Taking screenshots is also available with the OneNote desktop application via "Screen Clipping" in the "Insert" tab.

  • It provides the source of copied text from a website, ex. a news post or an article, as well as PDF files online.
    Please note that this source behavior is only available with the OneNote desktop application, otherwise when pasted into the OneNote in Office 365, you can ​​


Printout and inserting file

You can also include a document into the page as file or you can printout a word doc content or PDF content directly into the page. This way you can quickly make references and highlight right onto the page.

Class Notebook

Your teachers might include interactive assignments and digital resources in their lessons thru Class Notebook, which they shared with you. This is ​going beyond the traditional lecture-style lesson format or paper-based presentations and assignments.

These Class Notebook will be available to you from the "Shared with me" tab on the left side of your OneDrive (see Squared Bullet 3 in below screenshot) after logging into Office 365. 

At the end of the school year, your teachers would give you notice before removing you from the Class Notebook. If you want to save your content, make sure you make a copy of the necessary information you need to keep a record of​.

A few tips and reminders

#1 - Always start your OneNote in your OneDrive

To avoid syncing problems down the road, it's always a good idea to start your OneNote in the browser via Office 365. Once it's created, you can then access it on your OneNote desktop application.

​#2 - Moving and Copying OneNote Notebooks

Whether you are copying or moving an entire OneNote notebook or just pages within/between OneNote notebooks in your OneDrive or Class Notebooks. HIGHLY recommend that you read these two articles:

When it comes to pages: 

  • right-click on a page in Office 365 in browser will only let you move within sections of the same notebook
  • right-click in on a page in OneNote desktop application will let​ you move within sections of the different currently-opened notebooks

#3 - Copyrights of videos and audios

Videos often are automatically linked to the corresponding video sources​.

Just as you would provide reference to sources you found when​ writing a report, please always provide credits or link of the original videos, recording or images that you include in your OneNote files if it isn't created by you.

Summary of Notebook overview​

If you have reached this end of the post, it means that you are ready to create a Notebook! Great work!​​

Additional Resources

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