Blog: Store papers, websites and your ideas automatically in onenote

Make use of online tools for seamless inclusion of ideas, new publications and shared items into your onenote library.

Save web content automatically to Onenote

Save web content automatically to Onenote

I started using onenote for my literature searches, writing tasks and studies when it became my electronic lab notebook of choice. While note taking is the core purpose of onenote and many places have published tips and ideas on how to use it during undergraduate courses, general topic research and team work projects, there have been recent developments which enable easy integration of external content through a new application programming interface.

Publication updates send automatically into onenote for your reference

In my field, I heavily rely in PubMed and other databases (e.g. Scopus) to keep me up to date on relevant work. Like many of you I used to get weekly key-word based updates on new publications about to me relevant topics (for those you aren’t doing it yet, here are good instructions on how to). Through the integration of IFTTT, one can now get the latest PubMed article entry directly saved into a designated notebook in onenote.

Example entry created through the PubMed RSS update resulting in a Feedly-triggered onenote entry

Example entry created through the PubMed RSS update resulting in a Feedly-triggered onenote entry

Setup instructions

  1. Connect IFTTT to your online onenote notebook (you might have to create a new notebook if you only use local/network shares)
  2. Run a PubMED search with your keyword of interest
  3. Click Create RSS, below the search box, make the appropriate adjustments to the settings and click Create RSS (detailed instructions)
  4. Copy the address of the newly created XML feed
  5. In IFTTT, setup a new recipe with RSS feed as the trigger option and paste the XML feed url from pubmed as the feed source
  6. Pick onenote as the response option and select create a new page for new feed items
  7. Select the appropriate notebook and section where the page will be created
  8. Test it and done!

From now on, every time a new item is added to the pubmed database that matches your initial search criteria (keyword, author, journal, etc.) a new note will be created, containing all the pubmed entry details (title, authors, abstract, etc.) for your reference.


Save newsfeed entries instantly into your notebook for selected reading

New onenote page created by Feedly from a selected blog entry

New onenote page created by Feedly from a selected blog entry

Aside from publication alerts, you might be following journals or blogs via newsreaders. I continually browse Science, various Nature journals and a handful of blogs via RSS through Feedly on my phone while on the move. Feedly has recently added the option of sending any item to a dedicated onenote notebook with a single tap on the screen. While sending websites to onenote has worked via email for some time, the websites ended up as screenshot in the notebook. Not so with Feedly. The entry will be exactly like the website, so you can edit the text, copy images and search through it at your leisure.


Email thoughts and ideas into onenote to keep everything in one place

This is a simple, but easily overlook handy feature. You can send content from any application (or just plain text) directly to your onenote notebook as long as you can share it via email. There is already a simple guide on the onenote page on how to do this, so I won’t repeat it here. I use this feature particularly during conferences after visiting a poster, during a talk or any other time something relevant comes up that could be useful at some point in the future.

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