OneNote for Teachers

Although it isn’t marketed this way, it seems like they made OneNote for teachers.

OneNote is the Microsoft Office tool for taking notes and storing information. It can be a powerful tool to help you organize all of your information and for sharing information back and forth between you and your students. The magic thing about OneNote is that it syncs across all of your devices. You can add a note on your phone, and moments later it shows up on your desktop, laptop, and iPad.

OneNote has a few different flavors, and there is some difference between each. These versions are OneNote 2016, OneNote for Windows 10, and a few “app” versions that you can install on your phone, tablet, or iPad,

OneNote 2016

OneNote 2016 is the older version, and in some ways the most powerful. It allows you to include some things like spreadsheets that the later versions don’t allow quite yet. For a while, it looked like OneNote 2016 was going to be phased out, but that decision was later postponed. Its interface is a bit clunkier than the newer version.

OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote Apps

OneNote for Windows 10 is the most common version. It has a streamlined interface. If you have bought a computer recently, you probably already have it installed. It is free, but does want you to have an Outlook email address, which you can sign up for at If you are of a certain age, you may have a address. That will work too. The email is necessary so that your notebooks can sync across devices.

The OneNote Apps that you download to your phone, tablet, or iPad look very similar to the OneNote for Windows 10 that resides on your PC. There may be some features that don’t work on the app version, but the app does seem to be catching up with the PC version.

The Paradigm of OneNote

OneNote is really an electronic bookshelf of notebooks. When you have a particular project, you create a new notebook. Think of the notebook as a three ring binder. This notebook is then divided into Sections and Pages. If you’ve ever used tab inserts, you’ve got the idea. The tabs mark off the Sections that consist of Pages. It is easy to add a new page whenever you need to do so.

A screenshot of OneNote showing Sections, Section Groups, and Pages.

If you want one more level of organization, you can also add section groups. These consist of, you guessed it, sections of groups. These section groups can be nested within each other, so a section group could have a section group inside of it. We’ll talk about organizing your OneNote on a later page.

OneNote for Teachers and Students

Teachers and students can both use OneNote to organize their course materials. Because it is electronic, you can carry all of your notebooks at once, without a big bulky backpack. There is also an option for Classroom Notebooks, which we will cover in much more detail elsewhere on the site.