How to create templates in OneNote on Windows and Mac

Despite tough competition from modular productivity software like Notion, Craft, Roam Research, etc., Microsoft OneNote continues to win the hearts of productivity gurus. The oldest of them all, OneNote sets the basics like Notes organization, notebook sharing, cross-platform availability, and templates. You can find and incorporate OneNote templates from the web, or better yet, you can create one from scratch.

When you create a template in OneNote, you can implement your most frequently used fonts, page styles, colors, and more with a single click. Similar to Notion, OneNote also uses third-party templates to get you started.

The real treasure, however, lies in the personalized templates that are tailored to your needs and preferences. In this post, we’ll create a template in OneNote Windows and Mac apps.

What is a template in OneNote?

Before we show you how to create a template in OneNote, let’s understand what a template is and why you need to create a template in OneNote.

A template is a pre-made OneNote page that comes standard with your commonly used heading, font style, color, and other elements. It significantly cuts the time it takes to build the OneNote page.

Templates are also beneficial for students. A student can create a template for a specific subject using different page styles and fonts. And he can share them with classmates or create similar pages using the same template. The possibilities are endless here.

Templates greatly reduce the time it takes to set up your OneNote page. You can also find templates created by others on the web, implement them in your OneNote notebook, and make the necessary changes according to your preferences.

Without further ado, let’s create a OneNote template.

OneNote Mac and Windows apps

The OneNote app on Mac and Windows looks almost similar with the same options and menus. The steps to create a template on both are also the same. You can download the app from the Mac App Store or Windows Store, sign in with account credentials, and sync notebooks and pages.

By doing example Let’s create a OneNote page, add elements that we can reuse on other OneNote pages, and create a template from that.

Step 1: Open the OneNote app on the Mac or Windows.

Step 2: Go to the appropriate notebook> section.

Step 3: At the bottom, click Add Page.

Create a new onenote page

Step 4: Give the OneNote page a relevant name and start making changes.

In the following steps we will make changes based on our needs. And it’s only one example. Your process for creating a OneNote template page may vary. We’ll create a Physics OneNote page with different colors, page styles, tables, and assignments.

Step 5: Go to View> Page Color and change the OneNote page color to your liking.

Change the page color

Step 6: Navigate to Paper Style and Rule Lines or Grid Lines. You can also change the line color.

Add rule lines

Step 7: Go to Insert and add a 5×5 table.

Add a table in Onenote

Step 8: Open Home> To-Do and add tasks to the page.

To do add

The final OneNote page looks perfect and we’d like to reuse it for various purposes in the future. For this we will now convert this page into a template. Here is how.

Step 1: Go to Notebook> Section> Page.

Step 2: Right click on the page and choose Set as Default Template.

Set as default template

That’s it. OneNote will remember your page as a template, and whenever you try to create a new page in the same section, it will use the template and create an identical OneNote page.

Remember, the template you add is limited to that particular section only. To use the same OneNote Page Template in other Notebook sections, you can move the page to another Notebook> Section and create a template for that section.

OneNote desktop app

Microsoft currently has two OneNote apps under Windows 10. The modern-looking one is available for download from the Microsoft Store. The old OneNote app is part of the Microsoft 365 package, which you can download from the web.

Microsoft has attempted to discontinue the OneNote desktop app in the past, but due to backlash from fans, the company has brought the app back and added new features like Dark Mode, Ribbon Redesign and more.

A big benefit of using the OneNote desktop app is built-in templates that other OneNote apps lack. How to use them and create a custom template.

Step 1: Open the OneNote desktop app on Windows.

Step 2: Go to Insert> Page Templates.

Open menu for page templates

Step 3: A sidebar opens with templates divided into certain categories, e.g. B. Academic, Blank, Business, Planner, Decorative.

Available templates for use in onenote

Step 4: Select a template that you want to use and make the necessary changes according to your needs.

Step 5: Click Save Current Page As Template.

Create a template on the desktop

Step 6: Give the template a relevant name and enable the “Set as default template for new pages in current section” toggle button.

Save Template

Step 7: Hit save and you’re good to go.

You can access your created templates via the same menu Insert> Page Templates.

Third-party templates for OneNote

The web is filled with third-party OneNote templates to meet any of your needs. You can use them to activate Trello-like Kanban boards, create a GTD (Get Things Done) system, add a calendar and planner, and even integrate a personal journal with OneNote.

Onenote templates

If you’re looking for good resources to find free and paid OneNote templates off the web, we’ve compiled a list of websites for you. Choose a OneNote template based on your needs, import it into your notebook, and use the steps above to save it as the default template.

Start taking notes in OneNote

Templates are a boon to someone who works with similar types of OneNote pages. It’s an essential feature for OneNote power users out there. However, the template functionality has not received an update in recent years. We hope that Microsoft will offer a Notion-style template gallery and some elements of the drag-and-drop editor in future updates.

Next Up:

OneNote is a pleasure to use with keyboard shortcuts. Read the following post to find the thirteen top keyboard shortcuts for Windows and Mac.

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