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OneNote has dozens of amazing features Evernote vs. OneNote: Which Note-Taking App Is Right for You? Evernote vs. OneNote: Which Note-Taking App Is Right for You? Evernote and OneNote are amazing note-taking apps. It's hard to pick between the two. We compared everything from interface to note organization to help you choose. What works best for you? Read More  that distinguish it from all other note-taking apps, but one of those features is subtle and easy to overlook. I’m talking about custom tags, which is one of those features that can truly revolutionize the way you keep notes 7 Little-Known OneNote Features You Will Love 7 Little-Known OneNote Features You Will Love OneNote is 100% free and packed full of advanced features. Let's check out some of the ones you may have missed. If you're not yet using OneNote, these may win you over. Read More .

Here’s the gist of it: OneNote is already quite organized thanks to its notebook/section/page hierarchy of notes, but sometimes you need to group notes together even though they aren’t in the same notebook or section. That’s where tags come in.

onenote-feature-custom-tags

For example, maybe you have a notebook for Course Notes and sections for different courses, like Biology or Chemistry — but maybe you also want a quick way to find all lab notes from any course. Just create a “Lab Notes” tag, then tag all of your lab notes with it.

But tags can be used in other ways, too. You could use an “Unfinished” tag to quickly pinpoint essays and papers that need to be completed. Or use a “Resource” tag to mark notes that contain links to important websites and files. A “Definition” tag could show notes that define important terms.

There are many benefits to using OneNote 10 Unique Ways to Use Microsoft OneNote 10 Unique Ways to Use Microsoft OneNote OneNote is one of Microsoft's most underrated apps. It's available on almost every platform and can do many tricks you wouldn't expect from a note keeping app. Read More , but tags are a must-use feature no matter who you are and what kind of notes you’re taking. That being said, if you’re a student, check out these special OneNote tips for students How to Use OneNote at School: 10 Tips for Students & Teachers How to Use OneNote at School: 10 Tips for Students & Teachers OneNote can transform the modern classroom. The note-taking app from Microsoft is designed for both students and teachers. Go ahead and organize, collaborate, and share with these tips for better note-taking. Read More  that you may find helpful.

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Do you use tags in OneNote? If so, in what way? If not, will you start using them now? What other features do you like in OneNote? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Kelly Brown
    March 29, 2016 at 3:46 am

    And the tags are not shared. If working on a shared OneNote and one person creates tags for the group, only the person that created the tags can see them.

    • Joel Lee
      April 1, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Ah, that's a bummer. I don't share my notes so I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Rob Brydie
    March 24, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Never bother with tags as they only apply to a paragraph and have to be set up (i.e. you need to 'customize tags' to add your own ones) meaning if you regularly add new tags it's a nuisance - and similarly there are only hotkeys for 9 tags which makes it a slow process adding ones that do not have a hotkey. If OneNote had full page tagging capabilities like Evernote I would use tags all the time. Microsoft could easily add something like this through hashtags so it doesn't replace or conflict with the existing tagging system. Instead I do all my tagging of reading notes in Zotero and add links to OneNote pages so I can use Zotero to do my searching and keep OneNote for notes. For my own writing I add tags at the top of the page prefaced with '1' so I can for example search for '1geography' to return all pages I have tagged geography rather than those that happen to mention geography.

    • Joel Lee
      March 25, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Hmm, good points. I hope someone has suggested these things to Microsoft.

  3. Peter Buyze
    March 24, 2016 at 10:42 am

    To tag or not to tag is an "age old" discussion, often getting quite emotional. I personally don't feel the need for it in OneNote because the notebook/section/page organisation in combination with my customised use of tables & page TOCs makes for an almost perfect structure that helps me find my data quickly.
    OneNote tags are not really tags in the true sense of the word. When you want to change the name of a tag, the notes that have the old name will not update automatically, you will have to do that manually. That is a big drawback. Also, nesting tags is not possible in 1N.

    • Joel Lee
      March 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Oh man, I've never had to change tags yet so I didn't know that. That's kind of a disappointment. Hopefully Microsoft fixes that oversight in the future.

      And you're right Peter. If you're perfectly happy without tags, then skip them. No need to bog down your workflow. :)

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