How to organise your Microsoft OneNote notes with subpages

Think about the best way to organise your notes

If you use Microsoft OneNote to store notes, you will be aware of how easy it is for them to become disorganised. Here’s how to keep them organised and stop them from becoming a muddled mess.

We tend to create notes when we are browsing the web, when an idea comes to us, on the PC or on mobile. If you have a thought and want to remember it or if you find something useful for a project when browsing the web, we jot it down in OneNote.

This leads to disorganised notes that are ordered by the date we had the idea or discovered the resource we want to remember. That may not be the best way to store them and it often involves extra work when we need to access those notes or when we need to find something.

Notes can be organised into sections of course, and each section can have any number of pages. But you can go further than this and a page within a section can have a subpage and a subpage can also have a subpage.

By creating pages, subpages and subpages of subpages you can organise your notes so that they make sense and it is easier to find what you need. If you are making notes for a report or project, it can be useful to create an organisational structure that is similar to it.

For the screenshots I am going to be using the Windows 10 app. However, the full OneNote program can be used or you can even use the OneDrive website. The site is useful if you are using Linux and it enables you to use the same features as in the Windows 10 app.

Related: Create and store notes in Windows 10 Action Center
Related: Share your Google Keep notes with friends, co-workers
Related: Photos and font tricks for OneNote on the iPhone

1 Create a new section

Let’s start by creating a new section. Click the plus symbol at the right side of the section headings. Afterwards, right click the New Section title and select Rename Section on the menu.

 Create a new section in Microsoft OneNote

2 Add pages

The section has been named Recipes and it will be used to collect and store recipes for meals. Click + Page on the left and enter Main courses. Click it again to add a second page and enter Meat.

 Create notes and store them in Microsoft OneNote

3 Make Subpage

Right click the Meat page on the left and on the menu, select Make Subpage. This will make Meat a subpage of Main courses.

 Make a page a subpage in Microsoft OneNote

4 Add more subpages

Several more pages have been added. Vegetarian was added and as in the previous step, it was right clicked and Make Subpage was selected on the menu.

Two more pages were added - Pasta and Rice. These were right clicked and Make Subpage was selected. This was repeated to make it a subpage of a subpage.

You can see in the screenshot below that now we have Main course with Meat and Vegetarian subpages, and Pasta and Rice are subpages of Vegetarian. Subpages are indicated by being indented.
Drag and drop pages

 Make pages subpages in Microsoft OneNote

Suppose you wanted to add subpages of Meat, such as Beef and Turkey. You would add the pages to the bottom of the list, make them a subpage (twice), then click and drag them to just below Meat. , You could also add a Starters page and then drag it up to the top and inserti it before Main courses.

Remember, if your notes are not in the best order, click and drag them up or down the list to reorder them.

You can’t make a subpage of a subpage of a subpage and a page can only be indented twice.

OneNote in Linux and the web

If you are using someone else’s computer, such as at work or at home, you can go to the OneDrive website and log in to your account. Click the menu button in the top right corner and click OneNote to open it in the browser.

 The OneNote web app

This works in Linux and the Office web apps enable Linux users to access web versions of OneNote, Word, Excel and other Office programs.

The layout of OneNote in a browser is different, but the features are more or less the same. The section list is down the left side instead of across the top.

 Microsoft OneNote on the OneDrive website

Select a section and a list of pages is displayed. Here is our Recipe section. Right click a page and select Increase indent to make it a subpage. Indent it again to make it a subpage of a subpage.

Your OneNote notes will be a disorganised mess if you allow it. Don’t allow it! Either create subpages on the go or whenever you have a few minutes to spare, open OneNote and click and drag pages to reorder them and right click them to make them subpages. Add extra pages as headings, as with Main courses, Meat and Vegetarian.


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