In a recent article about the hidden gems inside Microsoft OneNote, I mentioned a little known tool for copying text from pictures. I’ve had a lot of comments about that, so I thought I’d find a few more gems for you to add to the collection.

Another little known tool in OneNote is the Audio Recording feature. This is something really very special indeed, and is perfect for meeting minutes, conference calls or taking notes during a conference or webinar.

How to Record Your Notes

(Note: you need a microphone for this to work)

Firstly open OneNote onto the page where you will be taking the notes, and start the recording by going to insert > recording group > audio recording (if you have a webcam , you can also do the same with video recording)

OneNote will start recording straight away, and you will see a ‘Playback‘  tab appear in the ribbon at the top. From here you can stop and start you recording with this function and also playback, fast forward and rewind your files.

As you are recording, continue to take notes as you would normally and (here’s the clever bit!) OneNote will automatically link your notes to that section of the audio recording. That means if you miss something the speaker says, or if you don’t manage to write everything down in time, or even if you just don’t want to take notes at all, you have it all there for your listening pleasure whenever you feel like it!

After you have finished recording, you’ll get a small icon next to each note you took while you were recording. If you click on it, this will start playback. What’s great about this is your notes will be highlighted as the audio is playing so that you can follow along with the audio. If you then add additional notes whilst the audio is playing back, these will also automatically link to the audio file. If you pause the recording and then add notes, these won’t be linked. If you don’t want to see your notes selected alongside the recording, just unselect the ‘See Playback‘ button on the ‘Audio Recording’ toolbar as highlighted in the image above

Just for reference: sadly, my next article isn’t going to tell you that OneNote will transcribe your recording for you – that’s what VAs are for!!


    • Thanks Claire! Glad you found it useful! It’s amazing the amount of hidden tricks and tip there are within some of the Microsoft Office programs 🙂