OneNote’s Best Organization Feature Is Hidden in Plain Sight

Ben Stegner 09-02-2017

After Evernote crippled its free plan and had its questionable privacy policy exposed, OneNote is now the best note-taking app around The Best Evernote Alternative Is OneNote and It's Free The market is drenched in note-taking apps competing with Evernote. But there is only one serious Evernote alternative. Let us explain why that is OneNote. Read More . It’s completely free, available on every platform, and chock-full of useful features.


We’ve discussed OneNote tags Why Every OneNote User Needs to Start Using Tags Right Now Microsoft OneNote tags are easy to overlook. But if you're a note-taker, tags are crucial for organization and productivity! Read More and how they can help you organize your notes, but there’s another useful feature hiding in the user interface. Section Groups help you keep your sections in order.

OneNote's Best Organization Feature Is Hidden in Plain Sight OneNote Section Groups

To create a section group, just open a notebook in OneNote and right-click on the top bar where the section tabs are. Choose New Section Group and give it a name, and you’ve created a group! You can drag and drop an existing tab onto the section group name to add it to the group, or right-click and choose New section to create one inside the group.

When you do so, all the pages in a section come along with it, so you don’t lose any of your setup. Click on the group name to open it — you’ll notice its sections listed along the top. When you’re ready to go back, just click the green arrow icon to the left of the section tabs to move up a level. If you want to get really crafty, you can even create a group inside a group!

Section groups are a great way to keep everything organized. Without them, you might be tempted to break larger notebooks into smaller ones, but that just adds more noise.


For more OneNote tricks, check out lesser-known OneNote features you’ll love 12 Little-Known Microsoft OneNote Features You Will Love Microsoft OneNote is free and packed with features. Here are some little features to boost your note-taking productivity! Read More .

Do you use section groups in OneNote? We want to hear your best OneNote productivity tips down in the comments!

Image Credit: NarongchaiHlaw via

Related topics: Microsoft OneNote, Organization Software.

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  1. Laurie
    February 6, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    I am trying to figure out if there is a way to 'block' a section group when searching in OneNote. We use OneNote for our team's knowledge base, and as items are archived, they go into the Archived section for a while....but if someone searches all of OneNote (which most of our team does), it pulls the archived stuff as well....wondering how to get around that - if that is even possible.

  2. Jay Farnsworth
    April 29, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Section Groups work differently on different platforms. They seem to work best on the full-blown Windows Office version. They display alright in mobile versions, but you can't move sections around between them. They don't work at all on the Windows 10 App Store Version that "comes with" Windows 10. Am I doing something wrong, or do I need to just be aware of the limitations and work around them, or give them up and break into smaller notebooks? I'd love to hear a "best practices" approach to Section Groups. Thanks.

  3. Katinya Lilly
    February 10, 2017 at 5:37 am

    I use section groups to organize each phase of a project into one group, or group all projects for one client in one section group. It is amazing.

  4. Michel
    February 9, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Onenote is not available on Linux, so not every platform. And in my experience the synching of notebooks between devices is terrible. The Onenote to Evernote importer tool is far from perfect. Creating different notebooks for every Evernote notebook you have.

    Other than that, I prefer Onenote's formatting options.

    • Bill Hayes
      February 14, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      I put OneNote notebooks in Dropbox to synce them across devices.

  5. Lou
    February 9, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    The problem again comes to privacy this is not a free product if you consider anything you put in one note and goes to the cloud has zero privacy according to Microsoft privacy policy. Zero privacy of your data is the price you pay for using this and pretty much any Microsoft product these days especially cloud-based I supported Microsoft since initial dos and I'm now moving to macOS and Linux. Due to privacy concerns and any lack of control over windows 10 when it comes to updates and privacy currently after the January 25 update that I cannot uninstall even trying to roll back to a previous shared state I now have a laptop that is useless until I install Linux Wi-Fi won't stay connected computer won't sleep on it supposed to and it is very slow compared to for the update.

    • Michel
      February 9, 2017 at 3:33 pm


  6. Benita Kavi
    February 9, 2017 at 11:11 am

    nice steps you are covered in this topic. its much useful to me. keep update more things about more test preparation and questions and how to rectify absolute answer.