One of the most popular articles on The Idea Pump is about deleting and managing OneNote notebooks. To make the process a little easier, here’s how I recommend you handle those pesky notebooks you need but don’t need anymore.
To get the notebooks out of the way you can always close them. They’ll sit in your storage area happily waiting for the next time you need them opened. However, if you’re using cloud based storage such as OneDrive you may not want them tying up your space in the cloud. This is where the Export function comes in handy.
Take the notebook you want to archive and while you have it open in OneNote 2016 (the Windows Desktop version) select File: Export: Notebook and choose OneNote Package from the list of options. Select Export and then choose a location to store the exported package file. It can be on your local computer, or as I like to do, on a flash drive I place into storage for when I need it later.
Pro tip – at this point you can choose to export the entire notebook, the current section, or only selected pages as you wish. This can be exceptionally handy as I’ll explain in a little bit.
Once you’ve exported the notebook to a package file, you can go into OneDrive and delete the original notebook or locate the original notebook on your hard drive and delete it there. Either way you’ll have a compacted single file of your old notebook ready to be stored.
Now back to the pro-tip. If you don’t want to archive the entire notebook but there is content you do want to move out of your current notebook, you can use the package trick for that as well. Create a section in your notebook called…wait for it…Archive. Now move the pages you want to keep into that section, create a package for that section, and then delete it when done. This trick works great for archiving old project records, accounts, or anything else that’s not immediately necessary but not something you want to lose either.