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How to Use OneNote to Store Information in Digital Notebooks on Your iPad

This chapter from Microsoft Office for iPad Step by Step guides you through procedures related to creating and opening notebooks, adding sections to notebooks, adding pages to sections, adding content to pages, managing notebook content, and closing notebooks in OneNote.

OneNote is a very useful program that you can use to store many types of information and then access that information from any device. OneNote is equally useful for home and business purposes and is available for a wide variety of computer, tablet, and smartphone systems.

After you spend a short time using OneNote for iPad, you’ll undoubtedly find it a convenient way to store many types of information, such as task lists, itineraries, frequent flyer accounts, supplier contact information, meeting notes, research findings, technical data, and printouts of contracts, receipts, and other documents you want to archive for future reference.

This chapter guides you through procedures related to creating and opening notebooks, adding sections to notebooks, adding pages to sections, adding content to pages, managing notebook content, and closing notebooks.

Create, open, and close notebooks

OneNote stores information in files that are referred to as notebooks. You can store all your information in one notebook or create multiple notebooks for different purposes. For example, you could store general business information in one notebook, sensitive business information in a second notebook, and personal information in a third notebook.

In some versions of OneNote, you can create and work with notebooks that are stored locally on your computer or remotely in a connected storage location such as a OneDrive site or SharePoint site. In OneNote for iPad, you can work only with notebooks that are stored remotely.

Create notebooks

When creating a notebook in OneNote for iPad, you must create it on a OneDrive site or SharePoint site. A benefit of creating a notebook in one of these remote storage locations is that you can get to the information from any location or device. If you want to share some or all of the information in your notebook with other people, you can do that, too.

To create a notebook

  1. Start OneNote and display the Backstage view.
  2. On the File bar, tap Notebooks.
  3. On the Notebooks page of the Backstage view, tap Create Notebook.
  4. In the Create Notebook box, enter a name for the new notebook in the Name box.
  5. If the Location box doesn’t display the storage location you want to use, tap the box. Then on the Location page that appears, tap the storage location you want.
  6. In the Create Notebook box, tap the Create button to create and open a notebook that has the basic storage structure as a starting point.

Open and switch among notebooks

The first time you open an existing notebook in OneNote for iPad, you must open it from its source location, which can be any storage location you’re connected to. When you open a notebook from a remote storage location, OneNote creates a copy on the device you’re working on, and synchronizes the local copy with the server copy. Because of this feature, you can access information that is stored in a notebook even when you’re offline, from any device on which you’ve previously opened the notebook.

If you store or reference information in multiple notebooks, OneNote can maintain active connections to all of them when it’s running. You can display the content of only one notebook in the main app window at a time, but all the connected notebooks are “open” and synchronizing content, and you can easily switch among them. The currently open notebooks are shown on the Notebooks page of the Backstage view and the Notebooks menu in the OneNote app window.

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Open or create notebooks from the Notebooks page of the Backstage view

To open an existing notebook for the first time

  1. Start OneNote and display the Backstage view.
  2. On the File bar, tap Open to display the storage locations you’re connected to.
  3. If the storage location the notebook is stored in doesn’t already appear in your Places list, connect to it.

  4. Tap the storage location. If necessary, tap through the folder structure until you reach the notebook. Then tap the notebook.
  5. If OneNote prompts you to enter user credentials, enter the account name and password for the account that has permission to access the notebook.

To switch to a different open notebook

  1. Start OneNote and display the Backstage view.
  2. On the File bar, tap Notebooks.
  3. In the list of open notebooks on the Notebooks page of the Backstage view, tap the notebook you want to display.

Or

  1. With any notebook displayed in OneNote for iPad, tap the Notebooks button at the left end of the notebook header to display the currently open notebooks.

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    You can manage currently open notebooks from the Notebooks menu

  2. On the Notebooks menu, tap the notebook you want to display.

Close and reopen notebooks

It isn’t necessary to close a notebook before exiting OneNote. It’s simplest to leave all the notebooks that you use open all the time so that you can easily search their content. The notebooks will continue to synchronize in the background and you’ll have access to current content when you need it. If you no longer need access to the information that is stored in a notebook—for example, if its content pertains only to a completed project—you can close it to keep the Notebooks menu and the Notebooks page of the Backstage view tidy.

After you close a notebook, it remains available to reopen from the Recent page of the Backstage view, or from its original storage location. If you want to ensure that you can quickly access a closed notebook at a later time, you can pin it to the Recent page and it will always be available from the Pinned section at the top of the page.

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Pinned notebooks are convenient to access

To close a notebook

  1. On the Notebooks page of the Backstage view, tap the File Actions button for the notebook you want to close.
  2. On the Notebook Options menu, tap Close Notebook.

Or

  1. At the left end of the notebook header, tap the Notebooks button.
  2. On the Notebooks menu, tap the File Actions button for the notebook you want to close.
  3. On the notebook-specific menu, tap Close Notebook.

To reopen a notebook

  1. On the Recent page of the Backstage view, tap the notebook you want to open.