Use Microsoft OneNote notes in Microsoft Outlook mail

Access notes created in Outlook mail on the desktop and phone

If you use Microsoft OneNote notes and Outlook for email on PC or Mac, access your notes and create new notes without leaving Outlook. This great time-saving feature boosts productivity.

OneNote and Outlook are two essential tools for either work or personal use and many people already use them both either at home or work. The apps for iPhone and Andriod phone are excellent for accessing email and notes on the go.

There is an Outlook application, but here I will look at the outlook.com website in a browser on a desktop computer. Outlook can be accessed on Windows PC, Apple Mac or Linux computer and all you need is an up to date web browser like Chrome or Edge.

Although it is possible to access OneNote notes using a web browser at office.com, it is much better when a desktop app is used and there is one for Windows PC and Apple Mac. Search the Microsoft Store on PC and Apple Store on Mac for the app.

If the screenshots do not look like what you see at outlook.com in a browser, it is because I have dark mode enabled and a blue pattern theme selected.

See OneNote notes in Outlook

Screenshot: OneNote feed panel in Outlook web mail
Show the OneNote feed panel in Outlook web mail

At the right side of the toolbar at the top of the Outlook web page is a collection of buttons. Click the OneNote notes button to open a OneNote feed panel on the right side of the page.

What is the OneNote feed? It is a list of the latest notes organized in descending chronological order. The newest notes are at the top and they get older as you go down the feed.

Add a new note to OneNote

Screenshot: Creating a new OneNote note within Outlook web mail
Create notes from within Outlook web mail

Click the + Add note link and the note editor appears so you can enter a new note. You can’t see it in this screenshot, but right down at the bottom of the new note panel is a toolbar. Use the buttons to make text bold, italic, underline, create bullet lists or insert images.

Screenshot: Set the color of a note in Outlook OneNote feed panel
Set the color of the note

Click the three dots on the right at the top and choose a color for the note. This is not a background color and it only adds a colored stripe across the top. However, it is still useful for organizing, categorizing or making notes stand out. A certain color could be used to indicate something, such as important notes you do not want to forget.

See Outlook notes in OneNote

If you open the OneNote app on the computer, you will not be able to find the notes you created in Outlook. Where are the OneNote notes?

Screenshot: Showing the feed panel in OneNote app for Windows PC
See notes in the feed panel in OneNote

You must click the Feed button at the right side of the OneNote toolbar. This opens a notes Feed panel on the right that looks identical to the OneNote Feed panel in Outlook. You might expect notes to be added to the Quick Notes section or someplace else in OneNote, but they are in a separate feed panel.

Outlook notes on the desktop

If you have a Windows computer and you open the Sticky Notes app, you will find that notes created in Outlook web mail automatically appear as colored sticky notes on the desktop. This is excellent.

Screenshot: OneNote notes on the desktop in Windows
Outlook notes appear in Sticky Notes on the desktop

Imagine logging into your work email from home. It might even be on an Apple Mac or Linux. You create one or nore notes in Outlook. When you get to work and log into your work PC, there are your notes stuck to the desktop right in front of you where you cannot miss them. That is very clever.

Notes in Outlook

After creating one or more notes in Outlook web mail, there is no need to open the OneNote notes feed panel on the right because there is a Notes folder in the sidebar on the left among your other folders, like Inbox, Sent Items, Archive and others.

Screenshot: Viewing notes created in Outlook web mail
Select the Notes folder in Outlook to see notes

Select Notes and all the notes created in Outlook can be seen. Select a note and in the list column and it is displayed full size in the next column. This is another great feature of Outlook notes.

This view is different to the OneNote feed. The feed shows all notes in descending date order. Select the Notes folder in the left sidebar in Outlook and only Outlook notes are shown. No others are visible. Sometimes you only want to see Outlook notes and sometimes you want to see all OneNote notes. You could even have Notes selected on the left and the OneNote feed on the right.

Outlook notes on a phone

Notes created in Outlook web mail on a computer do not appear in the Outlook mail app on the iPhone or Android phone. However, they do appear in the OneNote phone app.

Sticky notes in OneNote on a phone
OneNote notes appear as sticky notes on phones

To see your Outlook notes on a phone, open the OneNote app on iPhone or Android phone and press the Sticky Notes icon in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Your notes are them displayed.


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