Run Successful Events with OneNote

Work Smart by Microsoft IT

Quick Reference Guide


DownloadQuick Reference Guide, 227 KB, Microsoft Word file

You are planning an event, dreading having to print reams of information that you will then have to stuff into event packets. Moreover, you are likely worrying about how you will let participants know if there are last-minute changes, or what to do if participants forget their event packets. Join the paperless revolution with Microsoft OneNote!

Let Work Smart show how you can plan and manage event minutia digitally, and ensure that your attendees can access all event information from their mobile devices. This guide is part of a series, which introduces the many benefits that OneNote offers with respect to successful collaboration. Be sure to download our easy template to get started quickly.

Advantages of OneNote

OneNote enables you to create, share, and use content in a cloud-based, digital file, known as a notebook. It is the digital equivalent of saving paper files in a binder. Event participants can access the cloud-based notebook from most mobile devices so that event details are at their fingertips, provided they have an Internet connection.

OneNote provides several benefits with respect to event planning, including that you can:

  • Create and store information in the cloud. Share the notebook with participants, so they can access event information on the fly from most devices at any time.

  • Reduce the number of emails that you send and the reams of information that you print out. You can write detailed notes, draw diagrams, and include audio, video, and picture files.

  • Use templates that Microsoft provides, or you can create your own customized OneNote sections and pages.

  • Update changes on the fly. Each time a participant opens the OneNote notebook, it synchronizes automatically so that participants have the most current details.

Get started

OneNote makes it easy to digitally create and store, share, and find content from one central notebook.

Creating a notebook

You can add sections and pages to your notebook for event details that attendees will need, such as an event overview, agendas and schedules, maps and accommodations information, and contact information for participants. Additionally, you can:

  • Store your digital notebook in the cloud, on OneDrive for Business, or in a Microsoft SharePoint Online team site. This enables your recipients to access it from most devices easily.

  • Create page templates with the formatting that you desire. That way, each time that you insert a new notebook page, OneNote uses the template’s format. This saves time and ensures that your notebook has a uniform appearance.

  • Change sections and pages easily. OneNote synchronizes changes automatically so that recipients are accessing the most current information when they open the notebook.

  • Import the contents of other Microsoft Office files into your notebook, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. This provides critical documents to users seamlessly, without requiring that your recipients jump between programs or that you attach large file attachments to emails. To import files:

    1. Open your notebook, click Insert, and then click File Printout.

    2. In the Choose document to insert dialog box, navigate to and select the file that you want to add, and then click OK. OneNote then imports the file.

Sharing a notebook

Use the OneNote file-share functionality to distribute your event notebook:

  1. Open the SharePoint Online or OneDrive site on which you are storing your notebook.

  2. Click the ellipses (…) next to the OneNote notebook, and then click Share.

  3. In the Invite people field, enter your attendees’ email addresses, and then specify whether they can edit or view (read-only access) the notebook.

  4. Enter the text that you want the body of your email message to include, and then click Share.

To customize your email message with specific fonts, graphics, or formatting, follow steps 1 through 3 above, and then:

  1. Click Show Options, clear the Send an email invitation checkbox, and then click Share.

  2. Open your notebook, right-click your notebook, and then select Copy Link to Notebook.

  3. Paste the notebook link into your custom email.

NOTE: If you store your event notebook in a SharePoint Online site, you must ensure that the attendees have access to the site. To find Work Smart guides for SharePoint Online, visit

Best practices

  • Test notebooks before you roll them out. Perform basic user-acceptance testing with two or three people who use different mobile devices.

  • Ensure that your event location provides Internet access, so if you modify your OneNote notebook after you distribute it, event participants will access the most current content.

For more information

Download the OneNote for Events template here.

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