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OneNote is probably one of the most under-used, yet powerful, pieces of software that I have ever come across.  It is a part of the Microsoft Office suite, likely just sitting there waiting for you to open it up and say “Where have you been all of my life!”.  And it gets better, have a Mac?, don’t have Office?  No problem, recently Microsoft issued OneNote free for both PC, Android and Mac.

So what is OneNote exactly?  I like to think of it in its most simple manifestation; as a digital three-ring binder.  However, unlike a paper binder you can drag and drop virtually any type of file into it: .pdf, .docx, .pptx, .jpg, .gif, and on and on.  What’s more, the Office documents can be embedded as working, editable versions of the original that can then be taken out of OneNote wherever and whenever you need them.  With the Mathematics addon you can perform higher level math.  Pair this with the power of a tablet and OneNote’s robust OCR and you have an instant lab write-up, math worksheet with the students work shown or a set of lecture notes.  Speaking of lectures, students can record the audio, or video, of the lecture while taking notes.  So what you say?  Well, if you happen to have forgotten what the instructor was discussing at a certain point in your notes OneNote will take you back to that point in the audio/video so you can revisit the lecture.  Did I mention that the audio/video (and any pictures with text) are searchable using OneNote’s built-in search feature?  And not just in the notebook you may have open at the time, but in all of your notebooks.

Okay, so I could go on and on about all of the great features of OneNote, but to avoid boring you to death, check out their official info page, for a few tutorials check out this search, here is one geared specifically for education, and lastly, for a good laugh watch this official Surface Pro 3 / OneNote video – I want the dude’s shirt!

Remember, it is free, what do you have to loose?  🙂


  1. Adam McBride says:

    I was bummed to discover that the iPad version of OneNote doesn’t support handwritten notes or drawings


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