Collaboration tricks for Microsoft OneNote 2010

OneNote 2010 on its own is a good collaboration tool. But combining OneNote with the SharePoint features in Office 365 takes things to the next level. With Microsoft OneNote 2010, not only can you send static notebook pages via email, you can also share notebooks online or over networks to allow for multiple user access. Unlike other programs where editing is locked by one person, OneNote 2010 allows multiple people to access a notebook and edit it simultaneously. In addition, OneNote saves automatically, so when you are working in a shared notebook, OneNote saves every change made and instantly synchronises the changes so that everyone is working on an up to date version of the notebook.

OneNote also stores an offline copy of the shared notebook so that you can continue to edit a notebook, even if the Internet connection is temporarily lost. Once the connection is re-established, OneNote synchronises and atomically merges the changes with the online version. Using the Sharing tools also allows you to access your OneNote notebook from multiple locations. So, if you use a number of different PCs, you can update your OneNote notebook from wherever you are, as long as you have access to the Internet. With the use of apps you can also view, and to some degree edit, your notebooks on the go from some mobile phones. In the steps below we walk you through some of the main methods to share notebooks.

All the command buttons for sharing can be found on the Share tab of the Ribbon.

How to share on a network

Sharing a notebook across a network allows for multiple user access while keeping the notebook safely within your network. OneNote 2010 hosts the notebook on a location in your network and allows any user on the network to access the notebook, and edit it simultaneously with anyone else. To share on a network, click on the Share This Notebook command from the Share tab of the Ribbon. This opens up the Share menu in the File tab. From here you can select which notebook you wish to share and whether you are sharing your notebook on a network or on the web. Select the required notebook and then select Share on Network. Finally, using the Browse button, find the location where you would like to host the notebook so that other users can access it. When complete click the Select icon and then select the Share Notebook button. The notebook is now accessible from within your network.

Share online

By default when you have Office 365, you automatically have access to sharing your notebook online. Using the SharePoint team sites, you can grant notebook access to anyone who can access the location where it is stored. Another great benefit of sharing your notebook online is that it means you can use it from wherever is most convenient.

Tip: Without Office 365, you can still share a notebook online. To share a notebook online you will require Microsoft SkyDrive, you can get SkyDrive with a Windows Live account which is free to join.

To share a notebook online go to the Share tab of the ribbon and click on the Share this Notebook command. This opens up the Share menu in the File tab. From here you can select which notebook you wish to share and whether you are sharing your notebook on a network or on the web. Select the required notebook and then select Share on Web. In section three choose whether you want to share the notebook publicly or not. When complete, click the Share Notebook button.

Create a new shared notebook.

You may wish to create a new shared notebook for a number of people to access. For example, you may be creating a team notebook for a project at work such as an office move or a migration from your local infrastructure to Office 365.

To create a new shared notebook, go to the Share tab of the Ribbon and click on the New Shared Notebook command. This will take you to the New menu on the File tab of the Ribbon. First, select where you want the notebook to be stored; on a network, on the Internet, or on your computer. Secondly, choose a name for the new notebook and type it into the Name box. Finally, choose the location of where the notebook is going to be hosted. Once the three fields are completed, click the Create Notebook button.

Emailing a page

The final way to share a page from OneNote 2010 is via email. When you send a copy of the page using email, you are not granting access to your notebook, you are only sending them a static copy of one of your pages. When emailing a page to a recipient, first make sure that the OneNote page that you wish to email is open on your screen. Once you are ready, click the Email Page command on the Share tab of the ribbon. A new email from your Outlook account will then appear with a copy of the page in it. Fill out the email as usual and click Send to ping it off to your recipient.

Tip: Password protecting sections

If you have a shared notebook with sections that you only want certain people to have access too, then you can Password Protect those sections. To put a password on a section, right-click the tab of the section in the relevant notebook. From the right-click menu that appears, select Password Protect this Section from the list. This will open a pane on the right-hand side of the page. Use the Set Password button to enter and confirm the password that you wish to be used on the section. Please note that you must unlock password protected sections to search within them.

Caution: If you lose or forget your password, OneNote cannot recover your data.

In this article we have looked at the various ways in which you can share Microsoft OneNote 2010 notebooks. You can share a notebook that you have already created and put data into, or you can create a new shared notebook for your chosen participants to populate with you. Now you can comfortably collaborate with colleagues or family members on any number of projects from anywhere in the world. If you have enjoyed reading this article do read our QAT and Drawing guide on how to integrate drawing and configure your favourite command buttons into OneNote 2010.