The OneNote Class Notebook app lets an educator quickly set up a personal workspace for each student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities, all within one powerful notebook. OneNote, along with online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now freely available to educators at eligible institutions. Educators also receive 1 TB of space in OneDrive to store all of their documents.

This guide helps you get a free Microsoft 365 account and OneNote Class Notebooks in a couple easy steps.

Step 1. Sign up for a free Microsoft 365 account

  1. Go to oneNote.com/classnotebook.

  2. Select Sign up for a free Office 365 account.

    Screenshot of how to get a free Office 365 account.

  3. On the Office in Education page, enter your school email address and press Get Started.

    Screenshot of the Getting Started signin page.

    We'll first check if your school already has a Microsoft 365 account and direct you to sign in. If not, we'll check if your school is eligible and take you through a sign-up process.

  4. On the next page, choose I’m a teacher so that you can get a teacher account. You'll need a teacher account to use OneNote Class Notebooks.

    Screenshot of the teacher or student sign in options

  5. Next, we'll send you an email to verify your identity. When you receive the email asking you to verify your identity, select Yes, that’s me.

    Screenshot of the final verification screen for Office 365 sign in.

  6. You'll be asked to provide your name and a password for your account in the next step.

    Screenshot of the password creation page for the Office 365 sign up process.

  7. On the account setup page, enter your details and select a password (You'll use your school email and this password to sign into Microsoft 365 in the future).

    Your apps will begin to be set up on the Microsoft 365 Portal. You should see the following screen as soon as setup is complete.

    Screenshot of how to install Office 365 on a PC.

Step 2. Create a new OneNote Class Notebook

  1. Select the App launcher  App launcher button.

  2. Select Class Notebook.

    Screenshot of the OneNote Class Notebook app.

  3. Select Create a class notebook.

    Screenshot of the Class Notebook app welcome page.

  4. Name your new notebook, then select Next.

    the notebook structure

  5. (Optional) Add another educator to your Class Notebook, then selectNext.

    Screenshot of the optional additional teacher permissions step.

    Note: You can invite other educators to co-own your OneNote Class Notebook. Simply add their school email addresses and we will send them invites to sign up for a free Microsoft 365 account. After signup, they will have the same level of access to your notebook.

  6. To add students to your Class Notebook, type their school email addresses in the Add Student Names tab, then select Next.

    Screenshot of how to add student names to the Notebook Creator.

    We'll email an invitation to your students asking them to join your Class Notebook.

  7. Choose which sections should be included in each student’s notebook. Keep the boxes checked next to the default sections you'd like created in each student’s notebook.

    create sections

    Notes: 

    • We recommend creating section names that correspond to activities. For example, use activity names such as "Handouts," "Class Notes," or "Quizzes."

    • This will make it easier for students to locate the resources or tasks they need.

  8. Confirm a preview of your Class Notebook, then select Create.

  9. Select Teacher's notebook, and Student's notebook to verify how the sub-notebooks and sections will be created for the class.

  10. Select  Inline b Back Arrow if you need to return to previous sections to modify them.

  11. When you're ready, select Create to create your class notebook!

    Screenshot of the O365 preview screen.

  12. On the final Done view, you'll see a link to the notebook, in case you’d like to email to your students or post it up on a shared page. Select the link containing the notebook name to open your Class Notebook in OneNote. Your students will receive an email asking them to accept your invitation to join the Class Notebook. Make sure they accept so that they can access your notebook.

    notebook link

    Tip: The same link is used by everyone in one class to access the Class Notebook. If you make notebooks for several classes, each link will be different.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access OneNote Class Notebooks after I have signed up for Microsoft 365?

  1. Sign-in to Microsoft 365 at https://portal.office.com/Home.

  2. Select the App launcher App launcher button.

  3. You'll see the OneNote Class Notebook app in the list of apps available to you.

    Screenshot of the OneNote Class Notebook app.

    For more details, check out the OneNote Class Notebook FAQs here.

Where can I learn more about using the OneNote Class Notebook?

  • To learn more about how to use OneNote Class Notebooks in your class, check out our interactive guides at onenoteineducation.com.

I am not sure if I have a Microsoft 365 account. How can I check?

  1. Go to onenote.com/classnotebook.

  2. Select Sign up for a free Office 365 account.

    Screenshot of how to get a free Office 365 account.

  3. On the Office in Education page, enter your school email address and select Get Started. We'll first check if your school already has a Microsoft 365 account. If you do, you'll be directed to Microsoft 365 sign-in page where you can sign-in or try to recover your password.

I didn't receive an invitation to join Microsoft 365. What should I do?

  1. Check your junk/spam folder to see if the email got filtered.

  2. Go through Step 1: Sign up for a free Microsoft 365 account shown above to try again. Make sure you enter your school email address correctly.

My student didn't receive an invitation to join Microsoft 365. What should I do?

  1. Ask the student to check their junk/spam folder to see if the invitation got filtered.

  2. If the student didn't receive your invite, check to see if you entered their correct school email addresses when adding them to the notebook. If you aren't sure, simply try adding their email addresses again by going to the Class Notebook app and selecting Add or Remove Students.

My students get an error when joining my Class Notebook after signing up for Microsoft 365. What should I do?

  • First, make sure that the students got added you your notebook.

    1. Sign in to Microsoft 365 at portal.office.com.

    2. Select the App launcher  App launcher button.

    3. Select Class Notebook.

    4. Select Add or Remove Students. In the list of notebooks that appear, choose the notebook that the student is not be able join.

    5. Check whether the student is in the list of students in the notebook.

  • If the student is not there, add the student again and proceed to update the notebook. If the student is there, it might be because the app hasn't been able to add the student just yet. Please ask the student to try again after some time.

When can students and other educators find their notebooks?

  1. Students and other educators should sign in to Microsoft 365 at portal.office.com.

  2. From there, they can select the App launcher  App launcher button, then select OneDrive.

  3. In the left navigation of the OneDrive folder, they can navigate to Shared with me. Here they'll find all of their Class Notebooks.

    Screenshot of the Shared with me screen.

I need help. Who can I reach out to for questions?

I would like to make updates to the notebook I just created. What should I do?

  • Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for OneNote Class Notebooks here.

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