Using OneNote: (1) Collecting Web Links

One of the tools I use a lot is Microsoft’s OneNote. I am currently using OneNote 2010.

OneNote, or ON which is how a lot of people who write about it tend to abbreviate it, is quite an amazing utility and it gets a little better with each release. As useful and amazing as I think it is I often come across people who use computers a lot but have never heard of it, or if they have heard of it they have never really tried using it.

So I thought I might do up the occasional posting about how I use OneNote and that might inspire others to have more of a play with it.

In this posting I am going to cover a couple of ways of putting Web links into a OneNote note page.

1st Method: The first method is what might be called the “URL drag method”. Using this method you drag the URL icon over to the OneNote note where you want to store the link. This does require that you can see part of OneNote on the screen in order to be able to drag something to it. Having a 1920 x 1200 screen makes this very easy, and if you are using Windows 7 then you can use the snap-to-left-half and snap-to-right-half functions of the Aero interface to get both on screen very quickly.

So in the following example I want to save the link for the TIME Moneyland article “5 Signs That You’re Borrowing Too Much” into the OneNote note pad page called Web Link Examples.


To do this I click and drag the URL icon, shown circled in blue in the above screen capture, across onto the OneNote note page. After doing this the OneNote note page will have the URL in it, as shown in the following screen capture.

OneNoteLInkIf you wanted to you could put some words with it in the OneNote note, as shown in the next example.


Or you could also use the OneNote screen clipping tool to take a small clipping of the Web article and put that into the OneNote note page as well. To do this you simply bring up onto the screen the Web page you want to take the clipping from, then:

  • Switch over to OneNote and put the cursor where you want the screen clipping to go
  • On the OneNote ribbon go to Insert and click on “Screen Clipping”.

At that point OneNote will disappear off the screen and the the last thing you had on the screen before OneNote will come back on the screen, which will be the Web page. Then, using the mouse, you simply marquee the section you want to clip and it will be clipped and placed into your OneNote note page exactly where you wanted it to go.


In the above example I have clipped in the heading from the Web article I have saved the link to, just to remind me a little more about the article in case I have totally forgotten why I saved the URL to it when I come back to it.

Another little trick of OneNote’s is that is can search the text in clippings. So if I were to search for ‘darned’ or ‘frugal’ OneNote would find it even though it is actually part of a graphical clipping.

2nd Method: The second method sort of seems easier at first but really it’s not once you take the time to get used to using the first method.

The second method is simply to highlight and then copy the URL from the browser, and then paste it into your OneNote note.


I use OneNote to collect links to Web sites I stumble across as I surf around the Web. I used to put them into a Word document but using OneNote is much better.


If others have any tips about OneNote they would like to share then please post a comment and I will put these ideas in my list of things to craft up articles about. If you know of any better ways to get Web page URLs into a OneNote note then please also share those thoughts.