Tips for Using OneNote As Your To-Do List

By | January 8, 2022

To-do lists can be a great way to make sure you’re making progress on daily tasks. Setting up a to-do list in Microsoft OneNote is easy and offers several advantages over pen and paper.

OneNote is available on all your devices and lets you find important tasks quickly. If you mark the agenda, OneNote compiles all the marked notes for easy access, search, and printout. That’s just one basic benefit. We’ll show you some easier tips for creating actionable lists in OneNote to get your work done on time.

Use Shortcuts to Create Checklists as Breeze

The to-do tag adds a checkbox next to the note. You can use it to mark pending activities and check them when they are done. You can also use it to create checklists for tasks or daily tasks you need to do.

Just highlight some text and press Ctrl + 1 to pair it with a checkbox. You can combine this shortcut with some other tags too. Press Ctrl + 2 to add a star, Ctrl + 3 to add a question mark, and more.

If a preset tag doesn’t meet your needs, you can assign a custom tag and assign it with a keyboard shortcut. You don’t have to search for or click through a long menu of tags.

In OneNote Desktop 2016, click the Home tab, and select Customize Tags. From the dialog box that appears, move your tag up in the list to one of the top nine. OneNote for Windows 10 lets you create custom tags but doesn’t allow you to modify existing tags.

Embed Your Files in OneNote

When you’re working on a project, it’s easy to lose track of what things you need to get done to complete the project. On a disorganized computer, you further waste time searching for your files. OneNote lets you embed files directly into your notes.

In OneNote for Windows 10, go to Settings > Options and then toggle the Store attachment in cloud option. When you attach a file on a OneNote page, it uploads the file to OneDrive and inserts a referensi to that file. In the case of a Word document, OneNote will show a live preview of the Office document. You can also see changes made to files in real time.

For all other document types, the attachment will display a referensi. If the document is a PDF, you can annotate your document directly on OneDrive, and your changes will be synced to OneNote.

Once you’ve pinned the file, create a to-do list and start working on your document. You’ll never forget things, and the latest copy will always be in OneNote.

Create a Kanban Board in OneNote

If you’re trying to tackle multiple tasks yourself and have a hard time prioritizing them, then the Kanban method will work for you. With Kanban, you can break down complex tasks into smaller steps and lay them out visually. You can understand the progress of your assignments, the problems they are having, and build room for improvement.

Initially, we will create three columns Project, Task, and Priority. Think of the table as a central point for all your tasks. Design it in a way that makes sense to you. Open a new page and name it “My Board.”
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Type in the first column, hit tab, and turn it into a table. Type in the next column and repeat the steps. Repeat these steps until you have created three To Do, This Week, and Archive tables.

Once you have completed the task, hover your mouse over the left of the line to reveal the anchor. With your mouse, click and drag rows between tables. You can also add attachments to column cells and insert links to different pages for more details on assignments.

Kanban Templates by Auscomp

If you don’t want to waste time creating and managing Kanban templates, there are readymade templates by Auscomp. This template implements all the best practices from Kanban. The board has multiple columns — Backlog, Next, In Progress, Focus, and more.

Visually organize tasks and to-dos, then drag and drop tasks into other columns. The pro version of this template lets you customize the fields and remove the company logo.

Turning To Do Lists into Pages

OneNote 2016 offers a useful feature that lets you turn a list of items into individual pages instantly. Each task is assigned to a separate page in your notebook. Create your to-do list, right-click and select referensi to page from the context menu.

OneNote will instantly create a new blank page in the current section. Each page will have item content as its page title. At the same time, the list of items is converted to internal links, pointing to the appropriate page. Note that this feature only appears on the list context menu.

Experiment with Display Options

The standard OneNote view does a great job of presenting different notebooks, sections, and pages without burdening you with information. If you maintain a to-do list, OneNote’s full-screen view doesn’t use display space efficiently. Even the normal display doesn’t offer much help to keep your focus.

You can dock the OneNote window so it sits on top of all the other apps. Click the View tab and select Dock to Desktop. While you’re working on a task in another app, you can quickly glance back and forth between two open windows, copy and paste links to your tasks, and more.

Or, you can use a custom desktop shortcut to directly start OneNote in docked mode. Just add “/docked” to “ONENOTE.EXE.” The path will look like

C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficerootOffice16ONENOTE.EXE/anchored

Depending on the drive and folder where Microsoft Office 2016 is installed, you may have to change the path. “Office 2016” becomes “Office15” if you’re using Office 2013. As of now, OneNote for Windows 10 doesn’t have this feature.

Filter Your Agenda on the Summary Page

Once you’ve tagged a lot of items on your OneNote page, you’ll want to use the Find Tags feature to get an overview of your to-do list. Click the Home tab, then select Find Tags. The newly created Tag Summary page contains all the tags listed in the Tag Summary task pane.

If you want to know the remaining tasks, check Show only unchecked items. To search within a specific section, notebook, or all notebooks, click the Search drop-down arrow and select where you want to search for tags.

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