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Get to know OneNote

Schematic of structure of OneNote and basic OneNote window with no notes on page

Fig. 1  The storage hierarchy in OneNote. Pages are stored in sections, which can be stored in folders, all of which are in My Notebook.
Fig. 2  A typical page in OneNote showing folders, sections, and pages.
Callout 1 Tabs across the top of the page show the sections.
Callout 2 An icon indicates a folder tab.
Callout 3 Tabs show the pages in a section.
Callout 4 Add more pages to a section by using the New Page tab.

The basic structure of OneNote includes:

  • My Notebook    Everything in OneNote is within My Notebook. Both folders and sections are stored here.
  • Folders    These are an organizational aid. You don't have to use folders — they're optional — but they're useful if you do. Each folder can hold many sections.
  • Sections    Sections are another organizational aid, but they're not optional. Sections are used to keep pages of a similar type grouped together.
  • Pages    This is where you actually put your notes. You can write, type, or draw on a page just as you do on paper. It's easy to add pages to a section by clicking the New Page tab.

A useful analogy is to think of My Notebook as a filing cabinet. Folders are separate drawers, sections the file dividers within each drawer, and pages the pieces of paper in the files.

For example, a marketing manager might organize her notebook with a folder called Products, and then have an individual section for each product.

There are several folders and sections already in OneNote when you open it for the first time; you can delete or rename them as well as add your own. After you use Side Note, it will appear as a section (more about that in the last lesson).

Sections and folders are all colored; each will be a different color. You can specify which colors to use — you'll see how in the next lesson.

You'll use folders, sections, and pages in the practice session.

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