OneNote Vs. Outlook

By Tom Gresham

Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft OneNote are two of the programs in Microsoft Office, which is a suite of work-related applications. Microsoft Outlook is an e-mail management system, while OneNote serves as a kind of electronic notebook. They work in tandem in the Office suite, integrating on certain functions.


Microsoft OneNote serves as a way for you to compose notes electronically and then to store, organize and access them from a single source. In addition to creating your own content for storage in OneNote, the program also allows you to save content from other sources, including from the Internet, so that you can gather disparate materials in one place. Once items are stored in OneNote they are searchable, so you can locate relevant files when there are large numbers of them.


Outlook does have a note-taking function, too, but it is not designed for extensive notes. Instead, Outlook allows smaller, reminder-type notes that it likens to sticky notes. Outlook's focus is on managing a large scale of e-mails for an individual. It also features a personal calendar on which you can post your appointments and other obligations. The integration with your e-mail allows you to move new appointments to your calendar swiftly. You can use the integration of your calendar and e-mail to have reminders of key appointments sent to you.

Key Differences and Similarities

Microsoft Outlook's focus is more on an individual's external communications and daily obligations, while OneNote facilitates your internal organization as it applies to communication -- for instance, notes you take for yourself and your own use, though they may also be shared with others. Both Outlook and OneNote help with personal organization, and they both are designed to help office workers with the information demands of their workday.


The purpose of the Outlook and OneNote integration is to allow you to keep your notes, your e-mails and your schedule connected and organized together. The integration of the two programs through Microsoft Office allows you to perform tasks such as sending notes created in OneNote through an Outlook e-mail, creating an Outlook appointment or meeting request in OneNote, transporting meeting details saved in Outlook to OneNote, creating an Outlook task in OneNote and creating an Outlook contact in OneNote.