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Microsoft Onenote 2010 : Organizing and Searching Notes - Organizing Items on a Page (part 1) - Merging Note Containers on a Page

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1/2/2015 8:33:00 PM

Before we look at how you can keep all elements of your electronic notebooks organized, let’s first examine how you can organize content that you’ve created or imported on your notes pages.

OneNote 2010 is great tool for capturing thoughts and ideas that you’re just starting to ruminate in your head. But it’s just as great at taking early ideas, writing drafts, and half-baked plans to the next level by streamlining your notes about them into a more cohesive plan or narrative.

Whether you’re organizing your notes only for yourself to keep things straight, or you’ll eventually put together a proposal or presentation to persuade someone why the time is right for your ideas, OneNote can help you.

Merging Note Containers on a Page

Those features are immensely helpful when you’re still in the process of taking notes, collecting information, or capturing ideas.

When you’re ready to clean up some of your early drafts and begin to put those thoughts and ideas in order, you’ll see that note containers offer a couple of additional tricks to help you organize and consolidate the notes they contain.

For example, note containers provide the capability to merge text from one note container with the text in another. This lets you move important items into your main notes, leaving the things that don’t make the cut on the side, where you can review them once more before deleting them. This is especially useful if you’re tasked with organizing ideas that come out of a brainstorming meeting, for example, where you might have several note containers created by people who contributed their suggestions and ideas.

By merging multiple note containers into one, you can simplify tasks such as formatting and sharing when the main flow of text has been combined.

To see how this works, follow these steps:

1.
Click anywhere on a blank page and type a line of text.

2.
Click outside of the note container that holds the text you just typed and then type a second line of text so that you’re left with two separate note containers (see Figure 1).



Figure 1. You can arrange notes on the page by creating separate note containers for certain blocks of text. When you’re ready to consolidate notes from various note containers into your main body of notes, dragging text from one note container into another will merge their contents.


3.
Move the mouse pointer over the line of text in the second note container until you see the four-headed arrow icon next to it.

4.
Using the left mouse button, click the arrow icon and then drag the text over the first note container until the text pops into place. You’ll notice that OneNote offers to snap the text to certain indentation choices near the margin by hesitating at points while you drag (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. When you drag the text from the second note container over the first, the text from both containers is combined. You can finish dragging the text to the left to align it with the other text in the combined note container.


5.
Align the text you’re dragging to the first note container with the text that was already there, and then release the mouse button.

The reason I like this approach better than, say, cutting and pasting text from one note container to another is because I get immediate visual confirmation of where text comes from and where I want it to end up. Additionally, I can always change my mind and organize consolidated text again in its new location, as you’ll see in the next procedure.

For best results, snap text out of its original note container by dragging with the mouse in a diagonal or vertical motion. If you drag horizontally, OneNote will assume you want to change the indentation of the text you’ve selected and extend the width of the note container. Remember that you can always use the Undo command (Ctrl+Z) while practicing if you need to correct a mistake before trying again.

 
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