Microsoft Automation with Outlook and OneNote

For my work, I like to keep daily notes (for each day) and meeting notes (for each meeting). Due to corporate policies, I need to use our company productivity tools, which mainly consist of the Microsoft 365 suite of tools for the Mac.

I would like to automate the creation of these daily and meeting notes in OneNote as much as possible, driven by my Outlook calendar. I’d also like to have links between the Outlook calendar item, daily note, and meeting notes. For example, I would like to press a key and 1) create a daily note in OneNote with all of my appointments/meetings for the day in Outlook, 2) create a meeting notes template in OneNote for each meeting with a link back to that meeting in Outlook (doesn’t need to be complicated at first – it doesn’t need to contain anything more than placeholders for me to complete), 3) create links between each meeting item in my daily note to the meetings notes template in OneNote.

I have Hook for creating links between the Outlook calendar entry and OneNote (I’m using the “old” version of Outlook since the “new” version of Outlook doesn’t work with Hook), and Alfred 5 with the Powerpack (which I’m thinking may be able to orchestrate all of this through a workflow).

I recognize the Microsoft tools on a Mac don’t play nicely with automation; however, I have to use these tools given our corporate policies.

Any ideas on how this could be done? Even partial solutions would be greatly appreciated as I think this is something that will have to be developed over time. For what it’s worth, I’m running Monterrey on an M1 MBP 14".


Microsoft PowerAutomate is awesome! You should be able to create a flow to do this automatically once something is added to your calendar.


Do you have any suggestions where a time poor not very techy person could learn about Microsoft PowerAutomate?

I tried looking at the Microsoft documentation but, apart from all the warnings that I would need administrator privileges, it mostly went over my head.

If you have access to LinkedIn Learning, I know there are some resources there. Microsoft provides some templates in PowerAutomate that I’ve found helpful to get started.

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From time to time I do get an offer of a free month of linkedin premium and/or learning so I shall keep an eye out for that.

Unfortunately, I found the Microsoft examples rather confusing as they assume rather more knowledge of Microsoft-speak than I have.

You’re right – it looks like Power Automate can do quite a bit. I played around with it a little and found that there is a connector from Outlook 365 to create a note in a specific OneNote notebook and section (which is what I want), but it has all kinds of formatting issues. When I try to format through the template (which is actually HTML that can be modified) it doesn’t seem to “take” (e.g., fonts that are set to be the same show up differently). It seems like it is going to take quite a bit of trial and error to get this right. In the end it could work, but I’ll have to spend a whole lot of time getting there.

It is nice to know the Power Automate tool exists though. It looks very versatile for all O365 applications. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

Power Automate is a decent attempt by Microsoft, but it isn’t there. Another “me too” product from them that will ultimately gain traction because of bundling of the enterprise office applications.

I think it’ll get there someday. In general, Microsoft’s web apps seem to be getting better. I wish Zapier allowed for multi-step Zaps on its free plan. I haven’t looked into IFTT since most of what I need I can do with PowerAutomate.