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OneNote icon, OneNote is an advanced note organisation tool originally included with Microsoft Office, but is now a default app in Windows 10 and 11. OneNote can also be accessed online via your University of Cumbria Office 365 subscription.

OneNote has the potential to replace a number of tools that you use to record information. You may take notes in Word or on paper whilst reading. Where are you recording your lecture notes? Do you doodle shapes or diagrams to separate notes or to describe concepts? Do you want to dictate your notes onto a page? OneNote can give you all of this and more.

On this page, we will introduce you to some of the basic things that OneNote can do for you and how to achieve them with the online version. We also point you to some more comprehensive guidance and tutorials from Linkedin Learning.

  • Access OneNote

    Access OneNote online

    There are two main ways to access the online version of OneNote, either via the Student Hub (which will automatically log you in and will provide the full OneNote experience) or direct to (login with your university credentials and view existing Notebooks).

    Login via the Student Hub

    1. Login to the Student Hub at

    2. Select Email:


    3. With your student email account open, select the 9-dots menu (top left) and choose OneNote:


    Login at

    Note: This route will only give you access to your existing Notebooks - for the full experience and to create new Notebooks, use the Student Hub method (above).

    1. Visit

    2. Select Sign in:


    3. Enter your full University of Cumbria email address:


    4. If you have previously set your university email address as a "back-up" email for a personal Hotmail or Outlook account, you will be prompted to select that you are trying to access a Work or School Account:


    5. You are now redirected to a University of Cumbria login page to enter your university password:



    6. Unless you are working from a university computer/laptop, you will now be prompted to confirm your login via MFA on your mobile device.

  • Create your first Notebook

    To begin capturing notes and other content, you will first need to create a Notebook and then Sections & Pages within that Notebook in order to stay organised.

    Create a New Notebook

    1. With the full version of OneNote open in either a browser window or on the desktop, you should see a purple button for creating a New Notebook. Click this and a popup window will allow you to name your new Notebook. 


    2. We would suggest that you name your Notebook(s) with something relevant e.g. using either the module code or module name for the piece of work that you are collecting notes for. With a name entered - hit the Create button.


    3. You now have an empty Notebook with the name you gave it (mine is HLLB7001). 


    Clicking to the right of the screen "This notebook is empty" will popup a window that is asking you to name a new Section within the Notebook. 

    Create a Section in your new Notebook

    4. With the new Section popup open - you can add a name for the section. Think about how you will be using this space. What sort of notes will you be collecting? Reading & research? Lecture notes? Images? Data? Or maybe by subject such as a Section just about a specific concept or theory? 


    Each Section will contain pages, so you can divide-up and organise your notes on separate pages and/or add more Sections if required.

    Add another Section

    5. To add additional Sections, you simply right-click on the existing section name (in the left-hand menu) and choose New Section. Repeat Step 4 (above) to name the new Section.


    Create a new Page in your new Section

    Now you have a Notebook and one or more Sections inside the Notebook, you need to add Pages. Pages are where you start recording your notes and adding other content.

    6. Each new Section includes a blank "Untitled Page" by default: 


    7. Clicking into the page (just above the date) will allow you to name this page


    8. You can add more pages by right-clicking on the Section name (Research Notes in my example) and choose New Page


    So now I have:

    • a Notebook called HLLB7001
    • a Section called Research Notes
    • three Pages called Websites, Books and Journals 


    I am ready to begin using my OneNote Notebook.

  • Adding content to a Notebook

    Click to open any of the pages that have been created in a Section:

    Writing notes


    You can simply click anywhere on a OneNote page and begin typing. The text will appear within a text box that you can:

    • Drag around the page - if you need to reorder your thoughts or ideas
    • Resize by dragging the edges of a text box
    • Recolour, centre, embolded text using a standard Microsoft text editing toolbar


    Copy and Paste

    You can copy text from any location that will allow it - Word, PDF and the web are usually OK - ebooks not so much.

    And then paste it into a OneNote page. The pasting can be done by either:

    • Right click on the OneNote Page and select Paste
    • Or click onto OneNote Page and press Ctrl+V on your keyboard

    This will add your copied text into the page within a text box that you can treat as though you had typed into the page.

    Referencing: Don't forget to Reference everything that you have taken from another source.

    Adding images

    It is very easy to add images to a Page. You can:

    • Drag an image from your computer
    • Select an image on a web page - copy it and paste back into your own page
    • Use the Insert tab in the main toolbar to browse for an image (inc. on your computer, from your webcam or open source images on the web)


    Free images: Lots of free image repositories are listed on our Copyright and Images page.

    Referencing: Don't forget to Reference everything that you have taken from another source.


    Whether you are sketching out an idea, creating a storyboard for a media project or drawing a chart, the Draw tools will allow you to do this with either your mouse pointer or a stylus/finger on touchscreens.

    • Select the Draw tab at the top of the page


    • Choose a colour or a drawing tool to begin drawing on the page


    •  To stop drawing, you will need to select the text tool on the Draw toolbar


    Text, Images and Drawing

    With a bit of everything on the page, this is what I have:



  • Further guidance and videos

    A beginners guide to Microsoft OneNote (from Collaboration Coach)

    OneNote video training from Microsoft


    • Intro
    • Taking notes
    • Formatting notes
    • Draw and sketch
    • More...

    OneNote Video Training

    Linkedin Learning

    Use your University of Cumbria Linkedin Learning account to access 16000+ video-based courses including:

  • OneNote desktop version

    The desktop version of OneNote work in the same way as the web-based version and is freely available to all students and staff at the University of Cumbria.

    OneNote is now included as a default app in Windows 11 and some versions of Windows 10 - simply open it and click on the login/profile link (top right) to enter your University of Cumbria email address and password.

    For all other users, you can get OneNote for Windows and Mac as part of the FREE Microsoft Office software offer. Visit Free Software and follow the instructions for downloading and installing Office 365 Pro.

    The desktop version of OneNote syncs with OneNote in the cloud, so notes made on the desktop will immediately appear in the web and mobile versions.

  • Notes on the go with the OneNote App

    You can also take OneNote notes on your mobile device(s) if they use Apple iOS or Android. This includes iPhone, iPad, Android phones and Android tablets.

    See our Mobile Apps page for the direct links to the App Store and Play Store.

    The page also includes links for the other Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Word, OneDrive, etc.) and additional useful apps like the Student Hub and Blackboard.

    The mobile version of OneNote syncs with OneNote in the cloud, so notes made on a mobile or tablet will immediately appear in the web and desktop versions.

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