Take notes together with other people

As a collaborative tool, Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 offers far more than the ability to share static notebook pages via e-mail. Depending on your team and the nature of your projects, you can use OneNote to brainstorm together in meetings, use the notebook pages as a whiteboard, or set up shared notebooks in which everyone can view, add, and edit information.

This article describes the ways you can share notes and notebooks with other people by setting up a new shared notebook or by setting up a Live Sharing Session. If you want to share a previously created, private notebook on your computer, see Share an existing notebook (Windows Vista) or Share an existing notebook (Windows XP) for more information.

What do you want to do?


Set up a new shared notebook

Taking notes as a group is a collaborative process. Unlike other programs that "lock" files for editing by one person at a time, OneNote lets multiple users access a shared set of notes at the same time. It automatically synchronizes everyone's changes to the notebook, so that the notebook is always up-to-date.

OneNote also maintains a separate offline copy of the notes on each user's computer. That way, participants can edit the notes locally even when they are disconnected from the network. The next time they connect to the shared notebook, OneNote automatically merges their changes with the changes made by everyone else.

Setting up a shared notebook is easy. The New Notebook Wizard guides you through the steps for creating a shared notebook in a network location that you and your team members have access to. You can also create the notebook on a file share on your computer.

Create a new shared notebook

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Notebook.
  2. In the New Notebook Wizard, do the following:
    • In the Name box, enter a name for the shared notebook (for example, Weekly Team Status Reports or Philosophy study group notes).
    • Optionally, select a color for the notebook cover, which will be displayed as an icon on the Notebooks navigation bar.
    • Optionally, in the From Template list, select a default template to be used for the pages in the shared notebook.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Under Who will use this notebook?, click Multiple people will share the notebook, and then do one of the following:
    • Click On a server if you and the people who will be using the shared notebook have permission to access and change the files on a network file share or server.

       Note   You may need to contact your network administrator to obtain permission to access a file share on a server.

    • Click In a shared folder on this computer to create a file share on your computer that others will be able to access. You need to be logged in as an Administrator on your computer in order to create a shared folder on your hard disk drive.

       Note   Choose this option only if your computer is available on the network most of the time. If you frequently take your computer offline or travel with it, consider creating the shared notebook on a network file share.

  5. Click Next.
  6. Choose a suitable location for your new shared notebook. We recommend the following locations:
    • An internal or public file share on your company's or school's computer network
    • A shared folder on a computer on which you have administrator permissions
    • A document library on a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Web site
    • A high-storage-capacity USB (Universal Serial Bus) drive

We recommend that you do not use shared notebooks with any other file-sharing or folder-sharing and synchronization technologies.

  1. In the Location box, verify the suggested location for the shared notebook.

 Note   The notebook name that you enter in step 2 is automatically added to the location path.

  1. To compose an e-mail message that contains a link to the location of the shared notebook, select the Create an e-mail with a link to this notebook that I can send to other people check box.

 Tip   To send a link to the shared notebook after it is created, on the Share menu, click Send Shared Notebook Link to Others.

  1. Click Create.

 Note   OneNote creates a shared notebook at the location that you named. Depending on the options that you selected in the New Notebook Wizard, OneNote displays a dialog box and an additional Help topic to guide you through the steps to set the permissions for other users.

If you want to share a previously created notebook on your computer or share a notebook that was previously private, see Share an existing notebook (Windows Vista) or Share an existing notebook (Windows XP) for more information.

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Host or participate in a Live Sharing Session

When your computer is connected to the Internet or a network, you can participate in shared note-taking sessions with other OneNote users, such as coworkers, classmates, or friends. Shared note-taking sessions make it possible for all participants to view and edit each other's notes in real time.

During a shared note-taking session, you can share one or more specific sections in a notebook. Typed text and handwritten digital ink are transmitted in real time, as though you are watching a participant work on his or her own computer. You can use a telephone or instant messaging to clarify which participants are adding comments or editing notes.

As a OneNote user, you can either start a new shared note-taking session or join an existing session as a participant. When you participate in a shared note-taking session, the names of all of the participants are listed in the Current Live Session task pane. If you initiate the shared note-taking session, you can set a password for the session, so that only participants who enter the password can join.

If you initiate a shared note-taking session, you can select the section that you want to share and then invite the participants you want. If OneNote is installed on your computer, when you invite others to a shared note-taking session, an e-mail message is automatically created that contains the invitation to the session, the IP address of the session host's computer, and the password for the session, if one is needed. After you review the message, you can send it to the participants.

Participants can leave a shared note-taking session at any time.

 Notes 

Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.

It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

  • If you want to send the password or IP address for a shared note-taking session, we recommend that you use an e-mail program that supports Information Rights Management, such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. By creating an e-mail message with restricted permission, you can help secure the password or IP address for a shared note-taking session. If recipients don't have Office Outlook 2007 installed on their computers, they can download the Windows Rights Management Add-on for Internet Explorer or another program that supports content with restricted permission.

Host a shared note-taking session

If you are hosting a shared note-taking session, you can do the following:

ShowStart a Live Sharing Session

  1. Open the notebook and section that you want to share with others.
  2. On the Share menu, point to Live Sharing Session, and then click Start Sharing Current Section.

The Start Live Session task pane opens.

  1. To assign a password that participants must provide to join the Live Sharing Session, type a password in the Session password box in the Start Live Session task pane.

 Note    Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

  1. Click Start Live Sharing Session.
  2. In the Current Live Session task pane, set the options that you want.

ShowInvite participants to a Live Sharing Session

  1. In the Current Live Session task pane, do one of the following:
    • To allow participants in the Live Sharing Session to edit the pages that you share, select the Allow participants to edit check box.
    • To allow participants in the Live Sharing Session to view but not change the pages that you share, clear the Allow participants to edit check box.
  2. Click Invite participants.
  3. In the To box in the e-mail message that opens, type the e-mail addresses of the participants whom you want to invite, and then click Send.

 Notes 

  • You can create e-mail messages with restricted permission by using an e-mail program that supports Information Rights Management, such as Office Outlook 2007. By creating an e-mail message with restricted permission, you can help secure the password or IP address for a shared note-taking session. If recipients don't have Outlook installed on their computers, they can download the Windows Rights Management Add-on for Internet Explorer or another program that supports content with restricted permission.
  • If you do not have Outlook installed on your computer, when you click Invite participants, a dialog box appears containing information about the shared note-taking session. You should send the participants the relevant information — such as the password or the IP address — by using a secure method of communication.

Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.

It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.


ShowLeave a shared note-taking session

  • In the Current Live Session task pane, click Leave Shared Session.

 Note   Closing the Current Live Session task pane does not end the session.


Participate in a shared note-taking session

If you are not the host of a shared note-taking session, you can do the following:

ShowJoin a shared note-taking session

  1. On the Share menu, point to Shared Session, and then click Join Session.
  2. In the Live Sharing Session Address box in the Join Live Session task pane, type the IP address of the session host's computer.
  3. If a password is required in order to join the session, in the Session Password box, type the password.
  4. Click Join Session.

 Note   Contact the session host if you do not know the password.


ShowLeave a shared note-taking session

  • In the Current Live Session task pane, click Leave Live Sharing Session.

 Note   Closing the Current Live Session task pane does not end the session.


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Applies to:
OneNote 2007