OneNote – the Connected Learner

Here is another SWAY showing us how OneNote can be used for collaboration and in the classroom.

Just note that this teacher is using the CLASS NOTEBOOK app that exists within Office 365, and thus there are a few features that don’t exist in the standard OneNote app, such as read only content areas, and private student sections, which exist in the CLASS and STAFF notebook versions.

You’re welcome to work with the CLASS Notebook or STAFF Notebook apps within Office 365 but there’s just a small (ok, not so small) glitch with those: you are unable to transfer the ownership of a CLASS or STAFF NOTEBOOK to another person. This is a big deal to me: I’d like Microsoft to realize people do switch jobs occasionally and that these notebooks need to be transferred in a secure and seamless way. Hopefully they will work on that soon.

In the meantime, if you like what this presentation is about, and you want to use CLASS or STAFF NOTEBOOK apps, just know that while you can back up the Notebook, it loses its connections with the online setup.


How to Turn a Teacher into a OneNote Ninja

As much as I try to explain how OneNote can be used, sometimes you just need examples, and so here is another Pinterest find for me. I thought that it was too good to keep a secret. This is a great use of SWAY to show you how to use OneNote in the classroom.

I have attended a few “Tweet Meets” surrounding use of OneNote in education and it’s amazing how much this tool is being used in the classroom at all levels. Check out this neat SWAY on How to Turn a Teacher into a OneNote Ninja.

Connecting OneNote Notebooks to your desktop

We’re seeing more and more usage around the division for OneNote, especially for meeting notes. One of the reasons I think it has caught on it because all of the meeting notes live in one file, and you can connect the OneNote file directly to the desktop version of OneNote, and it remains accessible to you wherever you are, and syncs to the online version whenever you’re connected to the Internet.

You will get the best experience if you link it to the 2013 or 2016 versions of the software. Surface and Ipad “app” versions are limited in features.

Before you get started

Just a quick note: you will need to follow this procedure for each of your devices: your desktop computer, your laptop, your Surface, Ipad. Connecting it to one device does not automatically connect it to others.

There are several ways to connect your online file (either from OneDrive or from SharePoint) to your desktop client, some easier than others:

Navigate to the SharePoint site or OneDrive folder where your file resides.

Open the file in your browser, then click on Edit in OneNote.

OneNote: Edit in OneNote

If you are asked which application to use – choose the one with the 2013 or 2016 in the title.

Log into your company’s Office 365 portal and click on the OneNote app in your browser.

This will take you to
From here you will be able to click on the files in your OneDrive, recent files you have accessed, and files that have been explicitly shared with you.

OneNote: Notebook list online

Click on the file name to open the file in your browser, then click on Edit in OneNote.

OneNote: Edit in OneNote

If you are asked which application to use – choose the one with the 2013 or 2016 in the title.

Connecting from OneNote

My least favorite way to connect your OneNote is to do directly from the OneNote desktop application. It’s my least favorite way because you have to navigate to your OneNote file by knowing where the file lives on SharePoint site or within OneDrive.

From within your OneNote desktop application, go to File > Open

The Recent Notebook section would be the quickest way to open your OneNote file.

OneNote: Recent Notebooks

If your file lives on SharePoint
Click on Sites – Virginia Tech. You would need to start with the URL: and from there navigate to the site you need.

If your file lives on OneDrive
Click on OneDrive – Your Company.
Locate the file within your folder structure.

Once your file is open in your OneNote desktop application

Use the Pin Notebook function within OneNote to show all of your notebooks on the left side of your application.

OneNote: Pin Notebooks

That will pin all your notebooks on the left hand pane.

Notebooks: My Notebook, Projects, DSA OneNote

Ribbon Toggle Button – hide and show your ribbon easily

How many of you know about the Ribbon Toggle Button that appears in all of the Microsoft Office suite of products? The little button appears in the top right hand corner of Microsoft products, next to the minimize, maximize/restore, and X to close buttons. It’s a little up-arrow in a window. I don’t know if I ever noticed it was there, and even if I had, I might never have thought to click on it.

This little button lets you toggle the ribbon and choose between Auto-hide Ribbon, Show Tabs and Show Tabs and Commands.

Microsoft Office: Ribbon Toggle

Auto-hide hides pretty much everything including the main window controls, replacing them with the ellipses, which will temporarily show the ribbon and other window controls so you can minimize, maximizer/restore buttons so you can use them before the ribbon hides again. While a nice feature to reduce clutter, I doubt I will use the Auto-hide function very often.

Microsoft Office: Ribbon Collapse

The Show Tabs option returns the Quick Access Menu as well as the tabs (or menu bar). At the very least I like to have this view turned on, so I can use the menu and access the commands.

Microsoft Office: Ribbon Tabs Only

In most cases, however, I tend to PIN the ribbon using the little push pin that appears underneath my name, or, using this newly discovered feature, choosing the Show Tabs and Commands.

Microsoft Office: Ribbon Expanded

If you’re looking for this feature, it shows up in OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Save time using Format Painter

A feature that I use so often I almost take it for granted, is the Format Painter, which allows me to quickly copy formatting from one thing in a document to another.

The Format Painter tool appears under the HOME tab in most of the Microsoft Office programs. In Outlook it appears in the MESSAGE tab. It looks like a little paint brush.

Sometimes all you want to do is make the formatting of one thing match another. I have several practical applications for this. Most notably, any time you copy something from one program to another.

As much as Microsoft likes to think that formatting is the same across the board, it’s mistaken. Copying information from Word to OneNote or from OneNote to Outlook, I always end up having to update the formatting. Using Format Painter lets me do that very quickly.

To use the Format Painter tool, select a part of the document (the in case of Excel, the cells) that contain the formatting you want.

Click the Format Painter tool, and then select the part of the document (or cells) that need this formatting. Voilà!

BONUS TIP: If you double-click on the Format Painter icon, it will maintain the formatting copy function which allows you to paste the formatting to multiple locations within the document.

Outlook: Advanced Find

One of the best features of Outlook is the built-in Address Book, which contains all users within the university. Unlike Gmail, which shows only people you’ve already contacted, and you’d have to visit your website’s online directory to find new contacts, in the Outlook address book you can start spelling their name, and it pops up with the various options. But even having all that information at your fingertips, you might find yourself missing someone’s last name, or misspelling it. This is where the Advanced Find option comes in handy.

Advanced Find will pop a dialog box. You can do more complex searches including first names and departments.


Using the SEARCH TOOL ribbon in Outlook

You know, there’s nothing more fun than the obvious hitting you over the head. Many of you may read this post and think, gosh Vianne, I use this all the time! Why haven’t you seen this before?

And yet here I am, confessing that I have apparently ignored something that’s been right in my face the entire time: the SEARCH TOOLS ribbon.

When searching something in Outlook, I always use the quick search bar that appears above my email listing. I knew that I can just type something and it will find all the emails related to that topic. Over time I also learned that I can type “From: ” followed by the person’s last name, to get all the emails that person sent me.

What I didn’t know is that Outlook helps us out by showing us the SEARCH TOOLS ribbon every time we search.

It allows us to create a search on multiple features, so I can search all emails from someone with attachments for example, or all flagged emails about a particular subject. I figured there would be a syntax (i.e. a way of typing the commands) but never really put the time into learning how. And now I learned I don’t have to.

If this is not new to you, please share your favorite search combinations. If it is new to you, welcome to the club. This will soon be my favorite new feature.