Thu 30/10/2014 - 09:40 EDT

How to Use OneNote for the Mac

One of the most popular – and free – note taking apps available for the Mac is OneNote. OneNote feels like a compilation of several Microsoft programs, from Excel to Word and more, and allows you to take notes and store information on a Microsoft server (not actually on your computer or device).

If your device did not already come with OneNote, you can go to the App Store and search for the app, then simply download and install the app. Now you’re ready to start using OneNote – with a few helpful hints and tricks.


Tips and Tricks for Using OneNote for Mac


  • You will get 15 GB of data storage for free. Office 365 subscribers get more storage (but the 15 GB is enough for typical users).
  • OneNote operates on a hierarchy system of notebooks, sections, and pages.
  • Your notebook list appears in the top left tab, your notebook sections are listed in tabs across the top, and your individual pages are listed in a column to the right.
  • Your default notebook to which items will be saved is the notebook that is first on your list. To change your default notebook, just drag and drop the notebook title you want as your default to the first position in the list.
  • Double clicking on the page screen opens a new text box for notes. You can move this textbox around on the page to arrange your information.
  • You can add tags with graphics – such as an Idea with a light-bulb graphic – but these tags are not searchable within your notebooks.
  • You can password protect sections of a notebook, but not an entire notebook.
  • To include a website reference in your notes you need the “Clipper” feature of OneNote. To add this, go to the OneNote homepage and drag the “Clipper” icon to your web browser’s menu bar. Now when you find a website you want added to your notes, just click on the “Clipper” icon on your menu bar. This information will automatically be stored in your default notebook.


Another popular alternative to OneNote is Evernote. Those who want a note-taking application for gathering information online tend to prefer Evernote, while those who want to compile notes from a variety of methods and organize them usually prefer OneNote.


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