How to use Microsoft OneNote at work: What you need to know

Microsoft 365 (Microsoft Office 365 or M365) is a cloud-based productivity toolkit that helps businesses improve workplace productivity and optimize operations. Each of the programs offer solutions for streamlining business work processes and delivering value to customers and stakeholders.

Microsoft OneNote is no exception to this rule. But with its reputation as an innovative educational tool, it can be easy to overlook the program’s potential as a business asset. The truth is that OneNote can be a powerful productivity tool for your organization, especially if you and your team members make the most of its features to manage and store critical information.

What is OneNote?

OneNote is a powerful note-taking solution that allows users to write notes and store, organize, and share information. The platform supports text notes, images, videos, audio, and drawings. With the program, users can create to-do lists and tables to manage their information. OneNote is available on a variety of operating systems and is part of the M365 suite, making it accessible and usable on a range of devices.

Why do businesses need OneNote notebooks?

According to reports, “the average person will typically have more than 6000 thoughts in a single day”, and when business picks up, you are going to need a space to document any company-relevant ideas that come to mind. OneNote notebooks are a great way to keep track of business information, including agendas, meeting notes, brainstorming sessions, and research results. You can create new notebooks as needed or insert data from other sources, such as Excel.

In other words, creating a notebook in OneNote grants you a powerful tool that combines the practicalities of the sticky note with the convenience of technology. However, unlike paper notebooks, OneNote notebooks are searchable. Rather than forcing you to flip through sections and pages to find a particular piece of information, OneNote lets you search through your catalog with a convenient search box, allowing you to get back to your team members and customers with the information they need quickly.

Is OneNote different from Microsoft Word?

While both solutions are offered by Microsoft, OneNote and Word are different programs. Microsoft Word is a word processing application best used for writing and editing text-based content of any length, such as reports and client contracts.

OneNote is built upon a similar idea, but diverts from Word in its execution. OneNote serves as your team’s graphical note-taking application. It is a digital notebook intended for quick notes, not necessarily long-form text. 

Notes in OneNote can be shared with other employees, providing more opportunities for productive, real-time collaboration. It ​​can also be used to make sketches and handwritten notes when needed—features that are not available in Microsoft Word. 

OneNote for business: 5 features for streamlining work processes

The question of “how to use Microsoft OneNote at work” has multiple answers, depending on your business’s niche and the size of your employee base. But a common thread that runs through all companies that use OneNote is that it is an adaptable tool that can be used for anything from data storage to monitoring to-do lists. 

Outside of note taking, there are numerous OneNote features that organizations can leverage to improve the quality of their procedures and services. They are:

1. Cloud synchronization

OneNote’s cloud-based nature means that the program can be accessed from authorized devices. Any changes made syncs your notes automatically across all your devices, ensuring that you and your employees can track edits and work with the same updated information. It also saves you from having to invest in on-site hardware specifically to maintain the program.

2. Sections and section groups

Sections are necessary for businesses as they let you group your notes by topic. Section groups serve as folders for sections, allowing you to store related material together for better information management.

3. Video and audio notes

Video and audio notes in OneNote are helpful for many reasons. They can be used to provide a brief overview of a meeting or conversation, quickly capture notes about a topic, or reference a specific point in a presentation. OneNote lets you use your devices to create multimedia memos that upload straight to the platform.

4. Internal hyperlinks

OneNote allows you to hyperlink sections of your notes to other notes, increasing the accessibility of the information and establishing a chain of knowledge for your team to follow. This helps to innovate work processes by breaking down information silos, leading to fresh ideas and streamlined collaboration.

5. Access management measures around certain sections

Cybersecurity is built into every aspect of Microsoft’s work tools, including OneNote. The program provides you with the option to add additional security layers to your notes by letting you bar access to certain sections with a password of your choosing. You can also lock protected sections from unauthorized personnel to mitigate the likelihood of them accessing, altering, or stealing data.

Deploy OneNote for business and elevate your organization's work processes

The ideas that you and your staff generate are the lifeblood of your business. They’re what drive you to explore new opportunities, improve your procedures, and lead the competition. Leveraging OneNote for business is an innovative move that can help you catalog your organization’s information and plans for future growth.

The Microsoft specialists at IT Gurus can lend you comprehensive expertise in all areas of the OneNote platform, from training your employees on how to use Microsoft OneNote to correctly implementing it into your business. If you are ready to take your company’s information catalog to the next level, contact the team today and enjoy cost-effective support that will help your revenue grow.

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