OneNote logoOneNote - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

OneNote is a note taking app from Microsoft that makes it easy to sync your ideas, sketches and notes across all your devices!

Works with OneNote Online and personal OneDrive accounts; OneNote in Office 365 for Business not currently supported.

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OneNote Features

  • Capture notes, images, and more into notebooks
  • Save anything from the web into your notebook
  • Organize notes into pages, subpages, sections, and notebooks
  • Search inside notebooks to find information
  • Share specific pages or whole notebooks for collaboration
  • iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Web apps available

OneNote Pricing

  • Free for basic features
  • Included with a Microsoft Office purchase or Office 365, from $6.99/month for Home editions

Last updated October 7, 2015. Please visit the official site for the most up-to-date information.

OneNote Review

Taking notes, brainstorming ideas, making lists, and saving favorite online content all need somewhere to save stuff to find again later. It's easy to end up with information scattered across multiple apps and devices, with bookmarks here, notes there, and list scattered across Word documents. OneNote is designed to keep all your information in one place.

OneNote is Microsoft’s note-taking app that is designed to make it easy to capture and find information. You can open up a new page and start typing anywhere on the page to add notes, or drag in images and files you want to save. OneNote uses the standard word processing functionality you see in other Microsoft products, and is designed much like other Office apps. The difference is, OneNote acts like a piece of paper—you can click anywhere and start typing, then drag around sections to the part of the page you want. Or, on a touch-sensitive device, you can sketch drawings in OneNote, or use your device's microphone to record audio notes. Then, if you’re searching the web and come across something you want to save, you can use OneNote’s web clipper to easily capture the full page or just the important sections.

See something you need to remember when you’re out and about? Images captured on your mobile device can be added to OneNote, too. OneNote will then use OCR to find text in your images, and let you find text inside images through search. In the Windows desktop version, OneNote allows you to right-click on an image and extract any text to paste elsewhere. For example, if you snap a picture of a business card, you can use this function to pull out the contact information without needing to transcribe it.

All of your information is saved in pages, which can be further organized into subpages, sections, and notebooks. OneNote also has a variety of tag graphics you can use to identify bits of data. If you’re taking notes in a meeting and want to capture some follow ups, you can use the “To Do” tag to make a list and flag the tasks. Reviewing notes from a previous meeting? Use tags like “Important” or “Discuss with Manager” to visually call out pieces of information you don’t want to lose. In the desktop version of the app, you can use the “Find Tag” feature to locate these notes at a later time—though unfortunately, you can't search for tags on mobile, and there's no way to sort notes with tags as you could with other notes app.

With that, you'll end up using tags to visually call out items, then use notebooks and search to organize and find information. You can search for a specific note, notebook, or even text in an image to find anything you've saved.

Not only does OneNote allow you to capture and organize your own information, but it is a powerful tool for collaborating with others. You can share specific pages, sections, or notebooks with teammates, then collaborate on content in real-time. No more emailing documents back and forth and losing the most current version—with OneNote, everyone gets the most up-to-date content in real time. And with OneNote's free-form note style, your notes are similar to a digital whiteboard where you can brainstorm and collaborate on ideas.

Because OneNote is a Microsoft product, it is no surprise that the app tightly integrates with other Microsoft software. When scheduling a meeting in Outlook, you can send a meeting agenda as part of a shared page to attendees. You can then use the same page to take notes from the meeting, and everyone will have access to the updated version.

It started out as just another app in the Office suite, but today OneNote works on iPad and iPhones, Android phones and tablets, Macs, PCs, and on anything else with its web apps. You can snap a photo on your iPhone, sketch some annotations on your Android tablet, then share the finished note from your Mac—all using the now-free Microsoft OneNote apps. If you’re looking for a free-form notes app that lets you take data from everywhere and organize it in one place, OneNote is a great option.


Reviewed by Vicky Cassidy, Zapier. Last updated October 7, 2015.

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