Capture notes into OneNote using Cortana

Updated 15/09/2018

I just happen to discover that Cortana provides a convenient way to capture Notes in OneNote.

So, how do I add a Quick Note into OneNote with Cortana ?

To trigger the recording, simply say “Note” and wait. When prompted “what’s your note ?”, dictate your note.

It will create a new note (with a blank title) in your “Quick notes” section, with an audio file (.WAV format) and a written transcript of your speech.

Windows Phone screen while capturing a note with Cortana
Windows Phone screen
Quick note with audio capture
Quick note with audio capture


Therefore, it’s very usefull when you are driving (hand free) !

To invoke Cortana from your car’ dashboard, all you need is adding Cortana in your car’ telephone diary :

  • place a call from your phone with Cortana,
  • after pairing your phone with your car,
  • search for last call,
  • save it in your car’ diary (if it doesn’t work that way, enter a new entry called Cortana with the following number : 555-555-9876),
  • when you want to place a call, head to “saved number”, and press Cortana.


Reference : Office Blog, Windows Central

Nota 15/09/2018 : Switching from a Windows Phone to Android, I can’t use Cortana any more, because the “Microsoft Cortana – Digital assistant ” App. doesn’t support French. I can still install it, through an APK file (Android Package File), but only in English. It’s the same with Cortana on iOS :

Cortana on the Google Play Store : « this item isn’t available in your country »
Cortana isn’t available in the french’ App Store













This means that the feature described in this post may not be available in your country, or if you don’t use English.

As a consequence, I had to find an alternative : in my new smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy) I use the “Voice recorder”. It has a Speech to Text feature, which works smoothly. If you send (share) the recording to OneNote, it embeds an audio + a text file in a new note, and let you choose a title (a missing feature in Cortana, in my point of view).

The major drawback of this alternative, is you can’t use it while driving (hand free). Another annoyance is your transcription remains in a separate .txt file, so you can’t read the text you have capture until you open this separate file (or play the audio file).

Nota : Cortana is designed to process “voice commands” : thus you can’t record more than one sentence. Indeed, as soon as it hears a blank, or a pause between two sentences, it processes the first sentence. That’s a serious limitation…

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