How to Assign a Task in OneNote 2013

Assigning tasks to others from within OneNote enables a user to quickly delegate without having to open Outlook or toggle between the programs. OneNote opens a window so you can create a new task directly from within Outlook.


  1. Type out task in OneNote on a page.
  2. Use Outlook Tasks to create a Custom Task
  3. You will see “Assign Task” button in your Task Tab in the Manage Task Group.
  4. Type the person’s email address in the To Field.
  5. Set Start Date, End Date and Priority.
  6. Keep two checkboxes selected:
    a. “Keep an updated copy of this task on my task list”
    b. “Send me a status report when this task is complete”


OneNote – Assign Custom Outlook Task:


OneNote: New Custom Outlook Task Menu:


OneNote: New Assigned Outlook Task in your Outlook Task List:


If you want to change the assigned Outlook task from within OneNote, right click on the red flag to access the menu – select Custom to make edits, or you can select Open the Task in Outlook…
(both options open windows that contain the exact same set of Tabs, Groups, and Commands).


To the best of my knowledge (without testing in every single environment), the functionality is available in the desktop versions of OneNote 2007, 2010 and 2013, because it is available in  the desktop versions Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013.

And it appears, that you cannot assign tasks in Outlook Web App (yet). (That functionality is likely on its way.)



My suggestion: test out these steps in your environment. If you hit any snags, capture a screenshot and send it my way. I’ll be happy to investigate further.

5 responses to “How to Assign a Task in OneNote 2013

  1. Hi Kelly, thanks for taking the time to post the article. I am aware of this functionality and have used it. However, I am curious how I would best use this in a project team environment, in particular with a SharePoint Online task list perhaps.

    My issue with originating the tasks in OneNote like this is that then they are dispersed throughout OneNote. How do I see all the tasks associated with a given project for example. Currently I have a OneNote notebook on the SPO team site, but you would still have to browse through all the meeting minutes and such where tasks were originated to see them. My hope/though is that somehow they could be integrated with an SPO task list so that all team members could easily see tasks. Their assignments could be seen in that SPO task list or their Outlook presumably.

    Perhaps (yes I MIGHT be answering my own question) there is a way that I could see all the tasks Outlook and I could manage them this way, but that still wouldn’t provide the team a view to them all.


    Many thanks for any response.

    1. Greg,

      Yeah, the easiest approach is to manage all the tasks in Outlook.

      I would suggest using “To Do Tags” in conjunction with the Outlook Tasks flags in OneNote because you could then use the “Find Tags” button to the right of the “To Do Tag” button in the Tags Group in the Home Tab of OneNote. This allows you to search for all “To Do tags” on a particular page, section, or notebook – and then refine your search. Make sure you Group tags by: Tag name, select the checkbox for “show only unchecked items”, refine your search by location or timeline, and press Refresh Results. You then have the option to “Create Summary Page” where it puts all the incomplete to do items on one page.

      To my knowledge I have not come across a way to enter a task on a OneNote page and have it auto-update a SharePoint Task list.

      What we do at itgroove is open and use both OneNote and SharePoint site at the same time when having a Project Team meeting.

      We review the larger project tasks and timeline by looking at the SharePoint Task List, and make the update there as well. We then look at the Outlook page to get an update on progress on specific smaller, actions assigned to individuals – which are synced between OneNote and their Outlook Tasks lists.

      Those are my thoughts at this time. There may be more as I mull it over and do more research. I will reply to my comment if I discover any other workarounds or potential solutions.

  2. This is very helpful. I would like to extend it by one step. Is it possible to change the display of the tasking to include not only a flag, but also the name of the person assigned.


    1. Interesting feature request Steve.

      That’s not possible as far as I can see via some really quick testing. The only workaround I can think of to see who the “owner” of the task (aka who it’s assigned to) is to right click on the flag, and “Open Task in Outlook”. And that’s too many clicks in my opinion.

      You’re asking for an automatic feature, not a manual process, so I will go explore the Macros available at Onetastic ( to see if someone’s built a macro script for either of those requests.

      I also highly recommend that you post both your suggestions in the OneNote User Voice forum –

      The OneNote team watches it closely to guide their roadmap for new and improved features.

      I will post a reply to this comment if I come across any Macros that meet your needs.

  3. Almost three years later and I am back LOL. I don’t think I ever saw that you responded to my original request. Interestingly, and somewhat disappointingly, I think it is still relevant now. Your suggestion works as advertised. The one thing that MIGHT have changed is the Find Tags function returning Outlook tasks inserted into OneNote. I am not sure, but I gather you were suggesting to tag items as both OneNote task and an Outlook task in order to get the checkbox function from the OneNote task and the Outlook link from the Outlook task. However, this appeared to return both (two) tasks in the search results – not great. I wonder if this is your experience or new. Still no way to link to a SPO list from what I see BUT the Create Summary page is definitely interesting.

    Thanks again.

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