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For Business
September 25, 2014

7 ways to get the best out of OneNote on your Lumia

Working life in the 21st century can be a never-ending whirlwind.

Happily, there’s plenty of apps to help make your day a little easier handle. One of the best is Microsoft OneNote, a powerful note-taking tool that can help you get (and stay!) organized. Many people only use it for making a quick note (which it’s admittedly great for), but there’s a lot more that this hidden gem can do. We’ve come up with 7 tips for using OneNote on your Lumia, so that you can get even more out of it, every single day.

1. Simplify your life with Quick Notes

Quick Notes are perfect for creating lists of all types, such as shopping lists, to-dos, or checklists. The interactive tick box feature makes it simple to keep track of what has been done, and extras like bullet points or numbered lists let your choose which format is best for your needs. You can even use Quick Notes with Family Room to create lists with others, which is great for families and team work. Pin a New Note to your Start Screen for even quicker note-taking!

OneNote 1

2. Save web pages to read later

You can read web content offline by saving pages to OneNote. There are several apps that make this quick and easy, such as Nextgen Reader and Weave News Reader. There’s also an option to save to OneDrive, Email, Facebook and Messaging.

3. Add photos to your notes

You can add photos directly into your notes by just clicking the camera icon and either choosing a photo from your photo albums or taking a new one. This can be especially useful when used along with Office Lens, which lets you “scan” documents and whiteboards. You can, for example, compile a set of notes from your meetings at work, combining text and photos of handouts.

OneNote 3

4. Add voice recordings to your notes

Adding a recording is just as easy as adding a photo! Simply click the microphone icon at the bottom and it will start recording, inserting the finished product into your selected space within the note. Voice recordings can be replayed by clicking the play button that is now in your note. If you want to create a new voice-to-text note, hold the Home button and say “Note” followed by whatever speech you want. It will be added to your Quick Notes as both a recording and text.

5. Sync with your desktop

OneNote is useful by itself on your Lumia, but it’s also a scaled down version of desktop OneNote. Sync with your desktop to really see its full potential! Not only will you be able to access your notes from multiple points by automatic syncing via OneDrive, but you’ll be able to do more, especially if you use a Windows desktop. One great way to make use of a desktop sync is to create highly customizable Notebooks, which you can organize into sections and pages. You can view and add to your Notebooks from your phone, or share them with others to create a group Notebook.

6. Find what you’re looking for

Search works extremely well and comes in especially handy for those that use OneNote heavily. You can search for words and Search will pull up all results quickly. It works with Office Lens, so don’t worry about losing information if you tend to scan a lot of documents. If you sync with Windows desktop OneNote, even photos of printed text are searchable.

7. Use the OCR function to edit text

Using Office Lens is one option for including hard-copy documents in your notes, but you can also use your phone’s built-in Optical character recognition, (OCR) which is perfect for the times that you’d like to actually edit text rather than just plop a photo in there. To do this, tap your Bing search button (the button at the bottom right of your phone) and then tap the eye icon. Your phone will scan the text, and you can copy it to your clipboard to be pasted into a note. This function is awesome, but it works best on smaller chunks of texts, as it sometimes has trouble reading an entire page.

While the Windows Phone version of OneNote is a useful tool for making notes and getting down bits of information, it’s a scaled down companion app for the desktop OneNote. You’ll get the best results by syncing! We hope that these 7 tips will help you get the most out of OneNote on your Lumia, and we’d love to hear your own tips in the comments.