Taking Meeting Notes in OneNote 2013

Taking Meeting Notes in OneNote 2013

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This post was authored by Po-Yan Tsang,  Program Manager on the Meetings Team

One of the most common scenarios for taking notes at work is during meetings - whether it is about tracking attendees, remembering what was discussed or listing out follow up items. However, meetings are often rushed and busy, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible to start taking notes and collaborating with other attendees. 


Meeting Notes for an Outlook Meeting

In OneNote 2013, you can start taking notes by going to Home -> Insert -> Meeting Details, which lets you choose from a list of current meetings in Outlook.  This automatically adds details about the meeting to your current page 

And it’s as easy as that – you now have a page with all the details of your meeting, so you can get right down to taking notes and still have all the context about where the meeting was and who attended the event.

We’ve also added some extra features to enrich and keep notes relevant: 

  • New Format - the participants list now has checkboxes by default, so you can track attendance
  • Up To Date Meeting Details - if you're you’re the meeting organizer and you make a change to the location or time, your notes will get updated when you send the update from Outlook. If you’re not the organizer, you can right-click on the page tab and select ‘Refresh Meeting Details’ to have it update.


Meeting Notes for a Lync Online Meeting

Similar to the Outlook meeting notes experience, you can also take meeting notes from Lync. Once you’ve set everything up, we will automatically update your notes page with:

  1. List of attendees
  2. Any files uploaded to the Lync Meeting
  3. Links to any other notebooks shared within this meeting.


Sharing Meeting Notes with Others

Why take notes on your own when you can get everyone to help out? Get others to help make sure you don’t miss an action item or a key decision in your notes. In OneNote 2013, set up a shared note taking space for everyone in the meeting is a snap. 

Before a Meeting:
  1. In the Outlook meeting request, go to the Meeting Tab -> Meeting Notes -> Share notes with the meeting
  2. Select the notebook page you want to share with the meeting. Remember, this has to be in a shared location like SkyDrive or SharePoint.
  3. Now you can send out the meeting invite, which will have a link to your Outlook meeting


During a Meeting:
  1. From OneNote, select the page you want to share with the meeting and go to File -> Share -> Share with Meeting
  2. You can choose an existing meeting here or create a new Lync Meeting
  3. Once a meeting is selected, a link to the OneNote page is shared with all the Lync participants



We believe that taking notes is a significant part of the meeting experience and we've put a lot of thought into improving this experience and making it effortless in OneNote 2013. If you have feedback on any of the updates and additions to these features, please let us know in the comments below.


Po-Yan Tsang
Program Manager on the Meetings Team


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  • These options don't exist in Outlook 2011 for the Mac!  

  • Great additions!  I use this feature everyday in ON2010.  The auto-update feature for meeting details will definitely be useful to me.  

  • Cool features for SkyDrive, but some of us work in organizations that don't allow us (for many reasons) to store documents in the cloud.  I really hope you bring corporate SharePoint integration up to feature parity with SkyDrive.

  • Hello,

    you say "2.Select the notebook page you want to share with the meeting. Remember, this has to be in a shared location like SkyDrive or SharePoint.


    But how can I share it on local enterprise SharePoint2013 Team Site ?


  • Hi, I am a frequent user of the OneNote meeting notes feature. While the new features of 2013 are useful additions, the overall look and feel and formatting of the notes has suffered a bit. The OneNote 2010 had a nice table header format. Whereas the 2013 format looks a bit clumsy and disorgnised..

  • I will *never* want to "share notes with the meeting."

    How can I permanently disable the prompt that asks me each and every time I click the OneNote button to take notes on an appointment?

  • I agree with Howard - I could save an extra step about 10 days a day if I could remove the "Share notes with the meeting" dialog box and default directly to "Take notes on your own." I also dislike that every time I click the Meeting Notes link from the calendar using the context menu, the meeting opens up, which I then have to close. For me, Outlook 2013 had just added two extra and unwanted steps every time I take meeting notes. I hope there are settings to change both of these behaviors, but I have not been able to find them in either Outlook or OneNote options.


  • I also strongly agree with Howard and Chris.  It is frustrating that this prompt comes up everytime I right click on a meeting and try to start writing notes.  I have to click through this about 5 times a day (25x a week) since I use OneNote exclusively instead of any written notebook.  There truly needs to be a way to default to "Take notes on your own".  While I understand there are circumstances that warrant taking notes with groups of people, that happens a lot less frequently than the need to take notes on your own.

  • I frequently use the "Take notes on your own" button, however it always defaults to a particular section (in fact one that I almost never use). What setting do I tweak so that Outlook makes me select a section to add the page under?

  • Sounds like great feature. Can't wait to benefit by it. Immediate issues were- 1) Couldn't find the "Meeting Details" button in the Insert Pane. (Sorted. found in the 'other' insert pane !) and 2: My calendar doesn't appear. I'm assuming this is because I have several calendars and it's picking the wrong one. -  So how do you configure it to identify the correct Calendar source for the pick list? (not sorted)

  • Any idea why the participating list is not alphabetized?

  • The OneNote 2010 method of inserting meeting details was MUCH better for me.  I don't do one page per meeting - I have one page per month, with all the meetings for that month on it.  (This project is entering its third year.  One page per meeting would easily come out to 300-500 pages.)  So with the previous method, I could create a clean, easy-to-read table for each meeting, making it easy to recognize where one meeting ended and the next began.  Now I get a messy list of data that automatically inserts at the top of the page instead of where the cursor is, and it isn't easy to see where one meeting starts and the next begins.

    If I did do one page per meeting, the new method would be fantastic (if still visually unappealing).  I particularly like having a check box for attendees.  I also like being able to expand or collapse the details, and I like having a link back to the Outlook item.  I could see this method working very well for, say, major design reviews.  But it just doesn't work for a project with hundreds of meetings over its lifetime.  I'd appreciate an option to do it the old way.

  • Is it mandatory for us to have Microsoft Account to access One Note that is shared in the Lync Meeting?

  • Is there a way to insert meeting details from a persons calendar that I manage within outlook?  Everytime I click meeting details it pulls only from my calendar.  I would like the option to select from different calendars I manage-is that possible?

  • I thought that the new participant list with the checked attendees was really cool until I realized that much to my horror, the unchecked attendees are now included in my to-do list I generate using the Find Tags feature and showing only unchecked items. Is there a way to filter the "In Attendance" tag name out of the Tags Summary task pane without needing to ensure that meeting notes are kept in a separate notebook or section with any action items discussed during a meeting duplicated within the notebook or sections searched by the Tags Summary?

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