Taking Daily Notes in OneNote


One of the tricks I use every day to keep my notes organized for my client work is to leverage OneNote’s ability to create note pages on the fly.  Keep in mind this process works best in OneNote 2016 but can work in Windows 10 with a little patience.  You could probably make it work on mobile as well but personally I haven’t tried that yet.

Let’s start with a typical OneNote section.  In that section, I create a page with the date and a consistent header:

The next step is to start adding topic headers for each topic of the day.  I do this by using the [[ ]] technique around the names of the topics:

On the last one I didn’t’ add the final ] yet so you can see what it looks like on the page.  You’ll notice that as soon as you add the final ] and press enter, OneNote converts the title into a link, creates a page with the title as it’s name in the list of pages, and then links the two together.

At this point I normally indent the topic pages under the day page in the pages list to keep things neat and tidy, but that’s not critical.

Now comes the important part. As I go into each topic I capture all the notes for that topic while they happen.  If it’s a meeting, often I’ll use the Meeting Details option in the ribbon bar to add the meeting information into the note quickly.

When I do my weekly review, I drag each of the topic pages into a section specifically for that topic and organize them in date order. The perk is the link on the day notes page will still work after you’ve moved the topic notes to their sections.

Once you get into the habit of capturing your notes in this way, you’ll find quickly that you’re missing fewer things and it’s easier to keep your notes neat and organized.

Next up…I’ll show you how to use tags in OneNote 2016 in some ways you may not have tried before.