Create and organize notebooks, sections, and pages

Using Microsoft OneNote 2010 is similar to the experience of taking notes in a paper notebook, but it offers many features that are possible only in an electronic notebook. Like a paper notebook, your OneNote notebooks can be organized by multiple sections that let you categorize information by project, subject, location, and similar criteria. Each section holds one or more pages that hold information specific to that notebook section.

Unlike paper notebooks, which have a limited amount of sections and pages, your electronic notebooks in OneNote will never run out of space because they can hold as many sections and pages as you need.

What do you want to do?


Create a new notebook

When you first install and run OneNote 2010, a guide notebook is created for you that you can read through to learn more about how to use OneNote. While you can certainly append this notebook with your own notes, you might prefer creating a fresh notebook instead. In OneNote, you can have as many notebooks as you want.

To create a new notebook, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab, and then click New.
  2. Under New Notebook, click where the new notebook should be stored (for example, on your computer), and then type a description for the notebook into the Name box.
  3. If necessary, specify the Location or accept the suggested folder where the new notebook will be created.
  4. Click Create Notebook.

By default, a new notebook contains one notebook section that contains a blank page. You can rename the first section to give it a meaningful description. You can create additional sections and pages in your notebook at any time.

Notebooks that you currently have open appear on the Navigation Bar, a vertical area near the left side of the OneNote program window. You can click the notebook icons on the Navigation Bar to switch between multiple notebooks that you may have open and you can right-click notebooks on the Navigation Bar to further interact with them. When you close a notebook by clicking to open another, the closed notebook is not deleted; it merely disappears from view until you open it again.

You can organize notebooks by dragging their icons up or down on the Navigation Bar until they are shown in the order in which you want them to appear.

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Create a new section

Whenever you create a new notebook, it automatically creates one new section for you. You can right-click its section tab and click the Rename command to give the first section a meaningful description. You can create additional sections at any time.

To create a new section, do the following:

  1. Right-click any existing section tab in your notebook, and then click New Section.
  2. Type a meaningful description for the new section, and then press ENTER.

You can organize sections by dragging their tabs to the left or to the right until they are shown in the order in which you want them to appear.

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Create a new page

Whenever you create a new section in your notebook, it automatically contains a single blank page. You can type a title for this page and begin to take notes on it. You can keep writing on the page for as long as you need (unlike on paper, you won't run out of space), or you can create additional pages at any time.

To create a new page, do the following:

  1. On the right side of the OneNote program window, over the column of page tabs, click the New Page button.
  2. Type a page title into the dotted heading area at the top of the page, and then press ENTER.

You can organize pages by dragging their tabs up or down in the page tabs column until they are shown in the order in which you want them to appear.

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Create a new subpage

Subpages are optional page designations that are displayed as indented page tabs. While they work just like regular pages, the visual indentation of their page tabs can make it easier for you to keep information separate when organizing information in parent/child format. For example, you could have a main page in your notebook called "E-mail accounts" and then have 5-6 subpages, each of which holds the username and password for the various e-mail accounts you have (one account per subpage). This can make scanning or searching for information easier later on when you're trying to find a specific piece of information again.

There's no need to create and use subpages. However, if you find them useful, you can create subpages at any time.

To create a new subpage, do the following:

  1. On the right side of the OneNote program window, click the tab of the page under which you want to create a new subpage.
  2. Over the column of page tabs, click the small arrow next to the New Page button.
  3. On the shortcut menu that appears, click New Subpage.
  4. Type a page title into the dotted heading area at the top of the new subpage, and then press ENTER.

You can promote subpages to normal pages by clicking their page tab, and then dragging the mouse pointer to the left, until the subpage tab appears lined up with your normal pages. Likewise, you can demote any existing page (or subpage) by clicking its page tab, and then dragging the mouse pointer to the left by one or two indent positions.

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Applies to:
OneNote 2010