Office 365 Series – OneNote to rule them all

Has there ever been a product or program that you hated at first, and then you started to love and now it’s something you can’t live with out. Ok perhaps I am being a little over dramatic, but the product I am talking about is OneNote.

I started supporting (not using) OneNote on the 2010 version, and it was a nightmare. The whole management team started using OneNote for all of their meetings, and it started to break. Nobody warned us that OneNote was the next big thing, and we were stuck trying to fix OneNote files, and it was anything but easy.

Fast forward a few years and I am running meetings myself and I start using OneNote and wow. It was so cool to take notes and drafts of documents and be able to manipulate them by moving sections around and rearranging thing, and not only that it saves and syncs itself. No longer could a blue screen of death derail my document and cause me to lose all of my changes just because I didn’t save it. It still wasn’t a perfect scenario though because if I ever changed computers, I’d have to remember to move my OneNotes and all of my section files to the new computer and bring them back into OneNote.

The next evolution is here, OneNote working with Office 365 is now the new paradigm and it’s AWESOME. Now when I launch my OneNote on my nice new Office 365 joined Windows 10 box, it asks me if I want to sign into my Office 365 tenant. After signing in, my OneNote meetings are synced to the cloud and always available on any device. This is very cool. Also notice that my branding is automatically picked up from Azure AD. Office 365 really has become a very streamlined experience that follows along all of the productivity lines available to it.

Branding login to ONe NOte

OneNote connecting to Office 365

Once you’re in, if you want to see where your files are kept by default you can log into the portal and go into OneDrive you will see your files.


From here you can share with other people, email out the link. Basically manipulating OneNote from here is using SharePoint. You can also change and manage many things from the rich client.

Rich Client

With the Rich Client you could essentially

  • Select Users and Permissions
  • Share OneNote with Skype for Business Meetings
  • View the Skype for Business status of the owner of the file
  • Get the Sharing Link and send it

While OneNote is available with Office 365 Pro Plus and Business Essentials plan, you get the most integrated and complete experience with Office 365 E3 and E5 plans, which is what I would recommend. I currently use the E3 plan, which works perfectly for my uses.

I now use OneNote for many things, it has become one of the essential tools in my toolbox and Office 365 makes it all that much more useful.


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