Office 365


What is OneNote?

OneNote is your very own digital notebook. You might even describe it as an extension of your brain.

  • Jot down that idea before you forget it.
  • Make a check list of tasks to do the next time you are in the office.
  • Sketch out a concept and add some photos that will help get the point across in that next meeting.
  • Organise all your lesson plans so you can easily find them each term.

Do this on any device - PC, Mac, phone or tablet; and wherever you happen to be. OneNote works offline and saves all your content automatically. Yes, say goodbye to remembering to click save every few minutes.

And the next time you connect to the internet? Well, all that content is synchronised across all your devices. So the notes you made with your phone, on the bus, on the way home will appear on your PC when you log in that evening. And when you need those notes in a meeting the next morning, there they are in OneNote on your tablet. It's like magic. Which is probably the best way to describe OneNote. It kind of does everything. Which is kind of magic!

Tell me a bit more. Why should I use OneNote?

Microsoft summarizes OneNote in 3 words: Capture, Organise and Share. For such a wide ranging, do everything application, that is actually quite a good way of beginning to understand why it is so useful, and why you will want to use it.


OneNote is all about making it as easy as possible to capture all your ideas and information, and in whatever way best suits you. Sit down at your PC and type out neat lists.  Scribble down random thoughts, either with your finger or a Surface pen, on your tablet. Take a photo or record some audio directly into OneNote with your phone. Use Office Lens to capture the page of a book directly into OneNote, and have it converted to editable text. Use OneNote Web Clipper to capture whole webpages, selected sections or just a bookmark link.The point is that the technology doesn't get in the way of capturing an idea, but just lets you get it into OneNote as quickly and easily as possible. You can then find and organise it later.


OneNote has a canny knack of being all things to all people. Are you the sort of person who likes to have everything neatly sorted and colour coded? Is your desk always neat and tidy? Then you'll love OneNote. You can have separate notebooks for different parts of your life; for example school and home. Within an individual notebook you can then have different sections; for example different topics at school. And within each section you can have different pages. Tidy and Neat, as you might say.

Or are you the sort of person who has a messy desk, paper scattered everywhere? But you always know where to find everything. You'll love OneNote too. Just bung down your ideas and thoughts wherever suits you. No need to organise. And when you need to find them again, just click on search, type in a key word or phrase, and OneNote will pull up all the places where it finds that search term. So you find that article you wrote a year ago, without ever having to worry about where you might have filed it.

But don't take my word for it. See what Doug has to say.


You get the most out of OneNote when you use it in conjunction with OneDrive and SharePoint, as part of Office 365. This means that your OneNote notebooks will be available wherever you are and on all your different devices. It also means that it is really easy to share information with work colleagues and collaborate on projects together. Once a notebook is shared you can all access it and add in your own thoughts, ideas and content - even working in the same notebook at the same time. Any changes that someone else adds will be highlighted with their initials. For example, take the minutes for a meeting in a shared notebook, and those minutes are immediately available to everyone who was in the meeting. No need to type them up and e-mail them around the group. And at the next meeting, somebody else takes the next set of minutes in that same notebook. Work and results shared instantly.

And because OneNote is part of the Office suite, it integrates with other Office 365 apps. Flag an item as a task in OneNote, and it will appear in your list of tasks in Outlook. Received an e-mail from a customer about a project you are working on? Save that e-mail into OneNote to easily share with colleagues and access later in the context of other relevant information. Have you created some instructions in OneNote that you would now like to e-mail to some people. Send a page as an e-mail directly from within OneNote.

Learn More About OneNote

As you might have gathered, we think OneNote is brilliant. So if you'd like to find out more and learn how to use it, then why not check out this Microsoft training. It will take you through installing from Office 365*, setting up a notebook in OneDrive and getting started with the all the basics. You won't look back once you've started.



Downloadable Guides

 OneNote2016 Training OneNote2016
OneNote 2016 Training

 OneNote QuickStart Guide - View as PDF

OneNote 2016 Quick Start  OneNote Quick Start Guide - View as Sway
   eBook: OneNote 2016 Tips & Tricks


We'll be covering other aspects of OneNote in future articles, including OneNote Learning Tools and OneNote Class Notebook. So stay tuned for even more OneNote goodness over the coming weeks.


* You can download and install OneNote 2016 from Office 365 if your subscription includes it, or if your school has an EES agreement. But don't worry if you can't install OneNote 2016. You can also install the OneNote app from the Windows store, the Apple store or the Google Play store, and the app is preinstalled on Winodws 10. This has nearly as much fuctionality as the full blown Office 2016 desktop product, so you won't be missing out on much. And don't forget, you can use OneNote online from within your Office 365 subscription as well.



OneDrive gives you one place to store, share, and sync your work or school files. As part of your organization's Office 365 subscription, you can save your files in OneDrive and then work with them from almost any device. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account, so you can:

  • Upload files from your PC or Mac.
  • Share files with others.
  • Give others permission to edit files and work on them at the same time.
  • Get to your files from anywhere, on your computer, tablet, or phone.
  • Sync OneDrive to your PC or Mac, so you can access your files even when you're offline.


Why Use OneDrive?

Still not sure why OneDrive is such a great tool?

You have just finished writing a newsletter, but you need to get 3 other teachers to add some content specific to their classes, and you want the head teacher to do an overall editorial check. How do you currently achieve this?

Most likely you e-mail each of your colleagues with a copy of the newsletter, and ask them to check and add content as required. Each of them downloads and saves a copy of that newsletter somewhere on the schools network, then reads it and either updates that new copy and sends it back to you, or just notes down the information and changes they want to make you aware of and e-mails them back separately.

You then get 4 e-mails back and have to sort through all the information they contain before copying and pasting the appropriate information back into your master copy, hoping you don't make any mistakes as you do it. And with that done your newsletter is ready to go.

You might delete the e-mails you got back from each or your colleagues or you might leave them cluttering up your inbox. It is unlikely anyone will delete the multiple copies of the newsletter that were created on the school network as part of that process.


How can OneDrive help?

You finish writing the original draft of your newsletter and save it in OneDrive. You select the file and click share. You select the four colleagues you want to contribute, type a quick message telling them what to do and click send.

They each get an e-mail with a link to the newsletter shared in OneDrive. They click the link, the newsletter opens and they edit it directly - even at the same time as each other!

When finished they let you know, and you just publish that single original, but now updated, newsletter. No cutting and pasting. No chance of new mistakes. And only ever just the single master document. Quicker. Easier. Better.


Not Forgetting...

So long as you have an internet connection, all of this could have been done from any device, any place, any time. That's what makes Office 365 so great. And OneDrive is a really good place to start to learn that you can do so much more with Office 365 than just send e-mail.


Learn More About OneDrive

If you want to learn how you might make better use of OneDrive, then please take a look at this Microsoft provided One Drive Quick Start tutorial. This will cover all the basics.

Then, if you would like to learn more and discover how you can really get the most out of OneDrive, please check out the links below to access further training videos and articles provided by Microsoft. Just remember, as Office 365 is being constantly updated, the interfaces and exact methods for performing certain tasks can sometimes change over time.


Understanding Office 365 tenancies

What is a tenancy?

A tenancy in Office 365 refers to the full Office 365 suite attached to a domain. When Office 365 is set up, it creates a tenancy to store all the data for Office 365 including things like SharePoint, OneDrive and Yammer. This allows all of your organisations data to sit in the same environment and be moved around within the tenant with ease.

The second part of the tenant is the data that feeds into it. Exchange data and Active Directory data are fed directly into your tenant. But what does that actually mean?

  • Exchange is the name of the email service. All the exchange data relates to email and in this scenario can be thought of as the foundation for email.
  • Active Directory is the name of Microsofts domain management system. In this scenario, it helps all the apps talk to each other within the same tenant.

Read more: Understanding Office 365 tenancies

Accepting External SharePoint Invites

How to accept an external invite to a SharePoint site (non-Microsoft account)

  1. You should have received an email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject [Someone's name] wants to share [name of site]. Open this email
  2. Click the link in the email to go to the Microsoft sign in page.
  3. You should see a page asking you to log in with an account. If you don’t have a Microsoft account or an organisational account, you can create one for your current email address by clicking Create a Microsoft account, its quick and easy!
  4. Fill out your current email address and create a new password
  5. Once you have done this, it will request you to enter a code. The code will have been sent to your email address. Once you have received the code, enter it
  6. Once you press next, it will automatically redirect you to the site that was originally shared with you

Read more: Accepting External SharePoint Invites

What is Office 365

Office 365 is more than just email. Office 365 is a suite of cloud products offered by Microsoft designed to improve collaboration and productivity. Because all of the data associated with your account is stored in the clould, it means instead of hosting all your school data being stored on a server in school, it is stored in one of Microsofts data centers and can be accessed from anywhere on any device with an internet connection.

One of the advantages of using Office 365 is that it includes Office Online which consists of lighter versions of the full Windows desktop Office applications with fewer of the functions, but they do give you access to everything you will need to work

  • Work on your Office Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and OneNote workbooks anywhere you have internet access
  • Share Office files with other Office 365 users

Read more: What is Office 365

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