How to Use OneNote with Microsoft Teams

One of the most remarkable Microsoft Teams features is its integration with other Microsoft products. It combines the power of several tools in one platform. Moreover, when you create a new team in Microsoft Teams, you automatically create a Microsoft 365 group. It goes along with its own SharePoint site, Outlook mailbox, Planner, Yammer, Power BI, and OneNote notebook. These apps are synced together to allow you and your team to collaborate more efficiently and accomplish more.

In this article we will take a closer look at Microsoft Teams and OneNote integration and how to make the most out of both tools.

What is Microsoft OneNote?

See OneNote as a digital version of a notepad. This app helps you capture your thoughts and ideas, organize them into separate notebooks, sections and pages, share them and collaborate with your teammates.

  • All the information stored in OneNote is backed in a cloud and synced across all your devices. You can start taking your notes from a laptop and then easily access and edit them from your mobile device or a tablet.
  • You can easily navigate and surface your notes by categorizing them with tags. Mark them as Important, To-Do, or use custom tags to group together notes even if they belong to different hierarchies.
  • If you’re more of a ‘take-handwritten-notes’ type of person, you may find OneNote quite handy. You can draw and annotate your notes using a stylus or a finger and later convert them to typed text.
  • OneNote supports various multimedia formats, allowing you to insert in your notes various files. You can add video, audio, pdf files, images, and other files. Moreover, with OneNote you can record audio or video right inside your notes and convert your speech into text.
  • You can also use OneNote Web Clipper to clip and save content from websites, add screenshots. Moreover, you can extract text from images.

OneNote has so many useful features that once you get a hang of it, it’ll become your favorite personal organizer tools.

How to use OneNote in Microsoft Teams?

Add OneNote in Teams

To add OneNote in Teams, navigate to the team and the channel where you wish to add it. Then, click +Add tab button and choose OneNote app. You will be given the following options:

  • select a notebok among existing ones
  • create a new notebook
  • insert a link to an existing notebook.

FYI: Each team has a default notebook in OneNote. Your team members can use to organize their work, store ideas and best practices, organize campaigns, etc. If you don’t have a notebook that you want to use to collaborate with your team yet, we recommend using the pre-existing one.

You can choose to add a section of the notebook, or even a page of the section as a tab in your channel.

The option you choose will show up on your top bar, ensuring easy access to it for your team members. You can add the same notebook in multiple teams and channels.

How OneNote in Teams works

When you open your notebook in Teams, you see the web interface of the app. It gives you access to some of its basic capabilities. For more functionalities, you may want to open its desktop version. If you want to learn about the differences between the web and desktop versions, you may find it here.

You can share notes with others in your organization by coping links to notebooks, sections, pages and even paragraphs and sharing them with the right people through Teams chat or channel posts. Your colleagues can edit/co-author notes and the app will keep track of all the changes each person is making.

OneNote also has security measures in place to protect your sensitive information. So, you can make sure all confidential data will stay safe. It enables users to set up a password for individual sections, ensuring that only the right people have access to them.

The feature is available only in the desktop version of the app. To enable it, right-click on the section you want to protect and select Password Protect This Section.

You can use OneNote as a knowledge base for your entire company, department, or team where you work together on key ideas. Below we will list some use case examples for OneNote that you can implement in your work routine.

Microsoft Teams and OneNote use case examples

Meeting minutes

Probably one of the most common uses of OneNote is taking meeting notes. To automate this process, you can use the Outlook and OneNote integration.

When you open your notebook in Teams, click Insert > Meeting notes. You will be asked to sign in with a Microsoft account. Once that is done, you will get the list of your upcoming meetings. Once you click on the right meeting, it will automatically import its details. You’ll see the meeting date, location date, invitation message, the list of participants and a note-taking part. Once you’re finished, you can email the notes to meeting participants through a link provided.

Sales Playbook

You can use OneNote as a repository for guidelines in your organization. For example, you can develop an entire Sales Playbook with best practices, tactics and strategies your sales reps can use during different stages of the sales process. Due to OneNote hierarchical level you can divide your playbook into various sections, section groups, pages and subpages, keeping your playbook well-structured and easy to navigate.

Administrative data

OneNote is an excellent document management tool that you can leverage for storing administrative data. That can be employee information, office inventory, procurement details, organizational rules and policies, etc.

Contact details

It’s worth considering using OneNote for storing information about your prospects, clients, partners, vendors, suppliers, etc. For example, you can dedicate a separate page for each of your key accounts with subpages such as contact info, meeting notes, case, etc. depending on the nature of your interactions.

Resources

Use OneNote to store information about useful resources that can benefit your team. That may be training materials, courses, e-books, articles, infographics, webinars, etc. Possibilities are endless!

Ideas

Use OneNote during your brainstorming sessions – be that online meetings or office gatherings. Everyone in your team can have their OneNote notebook open on their device and contribute to idea sharing. You may want to add stick-it notes, draw, handwrite, type. This way, you’ll make sure all the brilliant ideas will be captured.

Similarly, each team member can add their ideas at their own rhythm, working asynchronously from others. Shared notebook will guarantee everyone will be able to see their contribution and elaborate on details.

Personal notes

Finally, OneNote is an excellent personal organizer tool. Use it to organize your own day-to-day, weekly and monthly tasks, add motivational quotes, ideas for game nights, favorite recipes or vacation plans. Just make sure to keep your notebook private 😊

How to create teams with OneNote from Microsoft Teams templates

OneNote can become a knowledge repository for your organization. So, you may want all or some of your teams to have specific notebooks at hand to guarantee an easy and quick access to key data.

Link to a single notebook

For example, if your organization uses OneNote to create Execution Playbooks – let’s say, for sales – you may want all your sales teams in Microsoft Teams to have a OneNote tab linking to this specific notebook.


This is possible with Microsoft Teams Collaboration templates. Templates are pre-built definitions of team structure that allow to create teams faster with already established settings, pre-defined channels (both standard and private), files, tabs with apps and other content. In this case, you can add OneNote notebooks, pages, or sections at the template level.


You can create templates for teams that correspond to your organization’s structure – departments, business units, agencies, sites, etc. – or for repetitive processes – projects, campaigns, events, accounts, cases, and so on. Then, use these templates to create customized teams with all the content already included and the right governance policies pre-configured.

OneNote templates

You may also want to have a OneNote template that you could copy and paste to your teams. For example, you may want all your project management teams to have a pre-built notebook with already pre-built sections and pages for meeting notes, best practices, useful resources, etc.

You can also do that with Collaboration templates.


To do so, create an original team on which you’ll base your template. Customize channels and add relevant information. Upload the OneNote notebook that you want to use as a template to this team. The copy of this notebook will be added to all new teams. Plus, you can create a new tab in the channel of your choice and pin the right notebook for linking all your teams to it, as we discussed in our Playbook example.


Then, you can turn this team into a template. With the SalesTim app that you can download from Teams AppSource, click on +New Template, select the original team you just built, and configure governance policies according to your business needs and click on Save.

Your template is created! Now whenever your users use this template to create new teams, they will automatically get the OneNote notebook that you pinned as a tab in the original team. Plus, they will get the copy of the notebook that you added as a file. Later, if needed, you can add this file as a tab in the right channel.

Learn more about how to build templates with files and folders.

Talk with our team to learn more about Collaboration template capabilities and see how templates work in action.

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