How to use OneDrive for homework


If you are a college or university student, cloud storage is a must. Keeping your work online means you won’t lose your job, even if you run out of battery or forget your device at home. OneDrive has long been a leader in cloud storage and continues to be a great choice for students.

Here are some ways to use OneDrive to manage your homework.

Get OneDrive for free

Microsoft Office applications on a mobile phone

Ed Hardie /Unsplash

First of all, you will need to get OneDrive, if you don’t already have it. If you have a Microsoft account, you already have access to the free version of OneDrive. For seamless integration, you should get Microsoft 365 for free while you’re at it.

To download: Microsoft OneDrive | Microsoft 365

Digitize your paper notes

With the OneDrive mobile app, you can turn your handwritten notes into PDF files. Writing notes by hand helps you remember material better, so it’s a great feature for students.

To get started, place your page of notes on a flat surface. It will work best if the surface is darker than the paper. Then open the OneDrive app on your phone and select your notes folder.

Tap the Plus (+) sign to download a file, then choose To analyse among the options. When you take the photo, an outline will appear around the page. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, as you can always adjust the crop after taking the photo.

OneDrive also lets you optimize the image for documents, whiteboard photos, and more. After processing a page, you can add more pages to the same file by pressing Add new.

This process turns your notes into a multi-page PDF file. This way you can keep all the notes from a course or textbook chapter in one file. It’s much better than navigating between multiple photos or single page files.

Share files directly from OneDrive

Google no longer dominates the world of easy file sharing. With OneDrive, all you have to do is right-click or long-press on a file and select to share. This generates a sharing link which works right away. No access request necessary!

If your class uses Microsoft Teams, you can also submit files directly from OneDrive. When submitting a job to Microsoft Teams, just tap Add work and select OneDrive.

You can also share a file from a computer to a mobile device. Right click on it in OneDrive, select send to and choose Bluetooth device. If Bluetooth is activated on the recipient’s smartphone, they will receive it immediately. Right-clicking on a file also gives you the option to email a share link.

Related: How to Transfer Files Between Mac and Android Using Bluetooth

On mobile, you can also tap the ellipsis () under a file and select To share in the context menu. This allows you to send the file via Bluetooth to another phone. You can also select a messaging or social media app to send a share link.

The final benefit of sharing from OneDrive is that you won’t have to convert any formatting. You can store, edit, and share your .docx files without needing to convert them to a different file type.

Keep all your documents organized on OneDrive

Person at rest using a Macbook

Mimi Thian /Unsplash

A challenge for school organization is the variety of files you need to keep. A single class can stack with lecture notes, required readings, drafts and more! It’s best if you can keep them all in one place.

The easiest way is to use the folders like you do in local storage. Create a top-level folder for each class. Then create three folders in each class folder. One for assignments, one for Remarks, and one for reading material. Give each assignment its own folder in the Homework case.

Remember that you can also store web pages on OneDrive. Simply save the page as the Web page, complete File type. Then you can open it on desktop or mobile using your browser or HTML viewer app.

Related: Key Tips for Managing and Organizing Your Computer Files

You can even connect related documents in an Office 365 file. For example, a Word or PowerPoint document.

Follow these steps to create a file link in an Office 365 program. First, select the text you want to link, choose the Connect menu and select OneDrive from the folder options.

Use details to avoid losing important files

Viewing searchable details about a file in OneDrive

It’s easy to find any file in OneDrive, even if you forgot the name of the file. Each file supports details such as title, category, subject, and tags. They are good for research and organization.

To add tags, first make sure that the Details pane is visible. You can activate and deactivate it in the Seen tongue. You can also activate it by clicking the list icon in the corner of the window.

Then click on any file and then use the Details pane to add tags, categories, etc. You can even add a brief description on PDFs and photos. This is useful for summarizing research papers.

OneDrive indexes all of these when searching. So even if you forgot the name of the file, you can still find it if you put related words in the details.

Attach OneDrive files to Outlook calendar

An Outlook student calendar showing an attachment imported from OneDrive

You can attach OneDrive files to your Outlook calendar for a complete planner. The files are attached directly to your events and you can open them from the calendar.

The best way is with the “Connect OneDrive + Microsoft Outlook” integration of Zapier. You don’t need any code to use it. This allows you to share and send files between OneDrive and your Outlook calendar.

Attaching files to your events can save you a lot of time. You can attach your draft for a group project on the day of the meeting. If you schedule time to work on an assignment, you can click on your draft directly from the event.

If your calendar connects to your OneDrive, you can take immediate action on engagements.

Store sensitive documents in the safe

A laptop computer displaying a security symbol

Dan Nelson /Pexels

OneDrive provides a password-protected safe for sensitive files. This makes it a great place to file your tuition or scholarship information or tax forms.

It is convenient to have it in the same place as your other school items, as it makes it easier to memorize. That way, you won’t have to go through all of your storage space when you need it.

Once you’ve activated the safe, it’s located in your top-level OneDrive folder called Files. To access it, you must configure a PIN code. This is different from your Microsoft login.

Free OneDrive users can only store a few files in the vault. But if you upgrade to a premium plan, you get extended storage.

Drive through school with OneDrive

If you are using OneDrive for your school needs, you never have to worry about converting the file type or format. You can also easily share files with teachers, classmates, and your other devices. Finally, you will benefit from unparalleled organization and a robust search system.

Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to move your current setup to OneDrive. With all your things in one place, you can get through the school year with confidence!

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