Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • OneNote enables you to create to-do lists, record audio and video, and even translate text directly within the application.
  • Its whiteboard feature is perfect for planning projects and brainstorming ideas. Also, its robust collaborative features make it easy to work efficiently with team members.
  • OneNote helps you organize your data more effectively, and the smartphone app’s built-in scanner feature allows you to conveniently scan and save documents.


OneNote offers an impressive array of features that eliminate the need for numerous other applications. Using it, you can manage most of your daily tasks. You can create to-do lists, collaborate with your team, manage projects, record audio and video, and use it as a more organized storage solution.


1. Create To-Do Lists With OneNote

With OneNote, you can create to-do lists to manage your daily tasks, weekly plans, or entire projects. The app allows you to add checkboxes for tasks and mark them off as you complete them. By sharing pages with these checklists, collaboration with your team on projects becomes effortless. You can also outline your plan using headings and subheadings.

Besides that, integration with Outlook enables you to set up reminders for tasks or use tags to prioritize them.


To create a to-do list in OneNote, launch the app and add a new section by clicking on the “+” button. Then, click on “Add Page” to create a page for your list. Go to the “Home” tab on the toolbar, write out your tasks, and select them. Then, click on “To Do Tag.” As you complete tasks, click the checkbox to mark them as complete.

Creating a Todo list in OneNote.

2. Record Audio and Video With OneNote

OneNote allows you to record audio and video and embed them directly within your notes. This feature is particularly useful for capturing lectures, meetings, interviews, and more, which makes OneNote a versatile tool in a variety of settings.

To record audio, navigate to the “Insert” tab, then expand the “Transcribe” menu and click on “Record Audio.” To stop recording, go to the “Recording” tab and click “Stop.”


Recording an audio in OneNote.

To record a video, go to the “Insert” tab and click on “Record Video.” Complete your recording, and when you’re done, click “Stop.”

The recorded file will be automatically embedded into your note at the location where you started the recording.

Microsoft OneNote features a convenient translation tool that enables you to translate text into various languages directly within the app. Whether you need to translate an entire page or just a specific section, this feature ensures you can stay within your workspace without needing to switch to another tool.


To translate an entire page, go to the “Review” tab, then “Translate,” and select “Translate Page.” Choose the language you want to translate the page into and click “Translate.” For translating a specific section, go to the “Review” tab, then “Translate,” and select “Translate Selected Text.”

Translating the selected text in OneNote.

After that, highlight the text you wish to translate, choose the original and target languages, and click “Insert.” This will translate your selected text and replace the original text with the translated version.

4. Improve Team Collaboration With OneNote

When used effectively, OneNote offers a comprehensive set of features for collaborating on projects with your team members. You can create a dedicated notebook for a project, share it with your team, and manage editing permissions. Team members can make real-time edits to any plan, and the “Show Authors” feature lets you see who made specific changes.


Additionally, team members can provide feedback by commenting on your notes, and you can respond to their feedback in real-time. OneNote can also be integrated with Microsoft Teams and Outlook to improve project management. To share a notebook, click on File > Share, enter the email addresses of your team members, manage the permissions, and click “Send.”

5. Manage Your Data Efficiently With OneNote

Using OneNote, you can organize and manage data more efficiently, alleviating the need to handle it locally on your computer or juggle with multiple cloud storage services.

To streamline data management, create a notebook for a specific project and use sections for subcategories like “Finances Record,” “Research,” and more. Within each section, you can have multiple pages for different data types, such as “Employee’s Monthly Payment,” “Software Cost,” and more.


You can embed spreadsheets directly into these pages for easy review later, add voice notes or videos to explain critical details about the embedded files, and use hyperlinks to connect to related notes or external sources. Additionally, you can color code pages to visually differentiate various types of information.

6. OneNote Is a Great Digital Whiteboard

OneNote’s freeform canvas feature allows you to draw diagrams, brainstorm ideas, and plan projects directly within the workspace. The drawing tools enable you to sketch ideas and visualize concepts in your notes, effectively replacing tools like Microsoft Whiteboard, Miro, and other Whiteboard apps.

To get started, go to the “Draw” tab, select a pen type, choose your desired color and thickness, and click on “Automatic Shapes.” You can then draw shapes freehand, and OneNote will automatically convert your sketches into more precise shapes. You can use lines to connect these shapes, linking sub-ideas according to their relevance.

Drawing in OneNote.


Also, you can use text boxes to label your diagrams and add relevant images to improve your project planning.

7. Scan and Manage Documents With OneNote

The OneNote mobile app features a convenient document scanner that allows you to scan documents, receipts, and notes and save them directly into your notes. This eliminates the need for scanning apps. The app also supports OCR technology, which enables us to extract text from images.

To use the scanning feature, install the OneNote app on your phone and open it. Navigate to the notebook section or page where you want to save the scanned document. Tap the camera icon, usually found at the bottom-left of the screen or within the “Insert” menu. Align your document within the frame and capture the scan.

Scanning a page using OneNote's smartphone app.


If you have multiple pages, tap “Add,” capture the scan, and repeat the process for each page. Once finished, tap “Done” or “Save.” Later, you can convert your notes to a PDF.


With these impressive OneNote features, you can effectively replace to-do list apps, audio and video recorders, data management solutions, whiteboard apps, collaboration tools, and more. Give these features a try to see how they can help you manage everything within OneNote’s workspace, eliminating the need to switch between multiple apps.



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By John P.

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