I have been using Microsoft OneNote since 2007—long before I found other genealogists extolling its virtues for family history research. I have almost two dozen different OneNote notebooks for various projects, hobbies, and personal information. For my family history, I have a general Genealogy Notebook and one for each of my four grandparents’ surnames−Williamson, Buisch, Duthie and McEvoy and another notebook called Research that is a temporary holding place for information until it is ready to be organized.

One of the best features of OneNote, for me, is ease of access. I have access to my OneNote notebooks anywhere. Everything I store in OneNote is automatically saved for me on OneDrive (formally SkyDrive). The screen shot below shows a view with the Home Ribbon visible and a list of my Notebooks than can be pinned in place if you want to see all your notebooks at once. Normally, I work with both those things hidden in a drop-down menu so I have more white space to work with.


Because of where I might be staying any given week, there are times when I do not have Internet access. I can still use OneNote on my laptop during those times when the Internet is not available.


I can also view and edit my notebooks on my Windows phone. Being able to use Microsoft Office on my Windows phone was a main consideration when I chose it. However OneNote is now available across multiple platforms, so it no longer matters what kind of phone I have.

access3(Yes, it is 69°F at 6:16pm on 4 February 2015 here while the east coast is getting slammed with snow.
The weather is ridiculous.

When I am back in a location with Internet service, OneNote will sync my files with OneDrive when I open it. Because OneNote is storing my files on OneDrive, it will sync with my other computers and mobile devices also.


Since my notebooks are stored on OneDrive, I can view and edit my notebooks in my web browser.



What if you don’t have Microsoft Office on your computer or use a Windows 8 phone? There are options available for almost everyone, I think. Visit the OneNote page for free downloads for the following devices:

    • Windows 7 & 8
    • Windows 7 & 8 phones
    • Mac
    • ipad
    • iphone
    • Android

While the free versions may not have all the features of the paid versions, you can’t beat free if you want to give OneNote a try!

Sign up for OneDrive here.


This post was updated on 4 February 2015 with screenshots from OneNote 2013 and a few changes in wording.

Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “Access OneNote Anywhere.” My Family History Files, 1 April 2014 (https://myfamilyhistoryfiles.com/organization/access-onenote-anywhere: [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.

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A bit about me

Erin Williamson Klein
New York to Nevada
Started my research in 1993
Following the GPS!
Sourced Database Statistics:

2 of 2 people identified as parents
4 of 4 people identified as grandparents
8 of 8 people identified as great-grandparents
16 of 16 people identified as 2x great-parents
30 of 32 people identified as 3x great-grandparents
44 of 64 people identified as 4x great-grandparents
52 of 128 people identified as 5x great-grandparents
32 of 256 people identified as 6x great-grandparents
14 of 512 people identified as 7x great-grandparents
8 of 1024 people identified as 8x great-grandparents
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November 2020 NanoWriMo
50,404 of 50,000 words written about my ancestors.