This post is brought to you by Perfect Wiki, a tool that helps you create a database of your company resources right in Microsoft Teams. Try us out for FREE today, no sign-in or credit card required.
Microsoft Teams users looking for an alternative to the largely disappointing built-in wiki are often pointed in the direction of OneNote, the note-taking app that can be added as a tab to any MS Teams channel.
And although OneNote is definitely a step up from the built-in wiki (for example, you can export your pages), it’s still missing a few integral features that would qualify it as an option for large-scale knowledge management.
But don’t take our word for it - read on to see how OneNote features compare to those of our MS Teams native knowledge management app, Perfect Wiki.
If you don’t have the time to read the whole post, see the summary table at the end for a side-by-side comparison of Perfect Wiki and OneNote.
If you’ve heard of OneNote, you probably associate it with taking brief notes during a virtual meeting or jotting down thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness format. You wouldn’t be far off - that’s what it was designed for.
However, you can use OneNote collaboratively - it’s a reasonable-ish solution for small teams that need a space to compile notes together in Microsoft Teams. It comes with the Microsoft 365 bundle.
Perfect Wiki is a knowledge management solution that considered every flaw the built-in MS Teams wiki has, and countered it. Our workspace was made for collaborative content creation, and it lives right inside Microsoft Teams channels, where you can freely store, share and create company resources for the whole team to use.
OneNote is part of your Microsoft 365 bundle, so you and your team members can add it to your workspace without needing to sign on. Just find OneNote in the “Apps” menu in Microsoft Teams and add it to your desired channel.
Adding Perfect Wiki to MS Teams takes just a couple clicks. You and your team won’t need to sign in to use the app - Perfect Wiki uses your Microsoft Teams credentials and logs everyone on automatically. Simply add Perfect Wiki to a channel and your free version is ready to go.
OneNote can be added as a tab to a channel for you and your team to take notes together. It’s actually pretty convenient and straightforward if you need to take quick notes and compile basic snapshots of meetings.
Perfect Wiki was designed for Microsoft Teams. We came up with this solution when we became frustrated with all the supposedly feature-rich third-party apps that really didn’t integrate with Microsoft Teams at all. Many claim to, but alas, the majority of wikis are reduced to just bots and if you’re lucky, an option to search through your content and send it to the channel chat (in read-only format, obviously).
Easy, if you’re okay with copying and pasting all your content. There is no actual import option, and it looks like OneDrive is picky with images (mine didn’t import at all even though it was just a PNG image).
Easy as pie - we have an “Import” menu that’s visible right from your main workspace. From there, you can import documents in Word format and HTML/Text/Markdown. And Perfect Wiki preserves your formatting, images included.
Unfortunately, you can’t. If you already have data stored in the Microsoft Teams built-in wiki, you will have to manually download it all from the SharePoint folder associated with the channel where the wiki is located, and then copy-and-paste each page separately.
And there’s no guarantee OneNote will preserve your formatting, as we’ve seen above.
Yep! Perfect Wiki has an import option that helps you get all your files from the built-in wiki quickly and easily. You will be taken to the SharePoint folder with your files where you can download them, and bring them into your Perfect Wiki workspace.
Learn how to get your content from the built-in wiki here.
You can export a page by selecting the “Print” option and saving the file as a PDF to your device, but only one page at a time. It seems that’s the only option for getting your data from OneNote - more of a workaround than a feature.
Exporting is also very straightforward. Find the “Download” option in the ellipses menu next to a page name, and you can export any page as a PDF, Web page, or even send it directly to print.
You can try OneNote’s full-text search, but it’s not typo-tolerant and it’s picky with things like apostrophes. In the screenshot below, you can see that “we’re” doesn’t even come up as a search result. It also doesn’t give you text snippets with the search hit, and it only searches through the pages associated with that channel.
Perfect Wiki’s full-text search goes through all the pages in every channel, giving you text snippets and spelling suggestions as you search. Bonus - it’s typo-tolerant!
You can try to open OneNote in the Microsoft Teams app, but it will keep trying to redirect you to the separate OneNote app. And even if you do decide to use the separate mobile app, beware - your pages could open like mine did in the screenshot below. The formatting didn’t stabilize even after I started editing. But if your document opens normally, you do have the option of editing your pages right from your phone.
Perfect Wiki follows Microsoft Teams wherever it goes. That means the mobile version too! You can open Perfect Wiki in your mobile MS Teams app and continue editing and creating content right from your phone.
Yes, you can restrict your pages to “Can edit” or “Can view,” and you can give separate access levels to team members and visitors. Owners remain in “Can edit” status unless you remove someone as an owner in the MS Teams team itself.
Unfortunately, to make changes to editing permissions, you need to find the Manage access menu in the web app of OneNote. You can’t do this from the MS Teams tab.
Absolutely. You can assign editing or read-only roles to each team member individually. Those with read-only access will not be able to change content in any way. You can also assign admin and members, the former being able to edit permissions and assign new admin.
Access the permissions menu right from the MS Teams tab in your channel in “Account and settings.”
No, OneNote is a free-form note-taking app at its core, so it’s assumed that users don’t want a predefined structure for their pages. However, for creating a company knowledge base, templates are actually almost necessary, especially if you’re starting from scratch and need a scaffold for your content.
Yes we do! We’ve got simple, accessible templates for everything from FAQ pages, workflow procedures, media kits, and more. All our templates are free for users of every plan, even the free forever one.
This information is not easy to find (it took some snooping through Microsoft support forums), OneNote data is stored in the Documents folder of your OneDrive account (you get one with your Microsoft 365 subscription).
All user content is encrypted in transit using TLS 1.2+ with perfect forward secrecy and full GDPR compliance. Our servers are located in the US and EU (Ireland and Germany) and use full disk, industry-standard AES 256 encryption.
Customers who wish to have their data processed within the EU will have the option to specify it as their data region of choice.
We have to hand it to OneNote, it comes pretty close to a usable wiki solution. However, it is still primarily a basic note-taking app designed for individual use, with the option of collaborating in an MS Teams channel tab.
While it does have pretty extensive Word-like formatting options, it’s really not suited for large-scale content creation. It still lacks integral features like a navigable table of contents, content import, and in-app permissions management.
So, if all you need is a tool that’s slightly better than the built-in wiki, give OneNote a try.
When it comes to knowledge management solutions built specifically for Microsoft Teams, Perfect Wiki really has it all. We set out to tackle the pain points of MS Teams users and make knowledge-building intuitive and enjoyable.
Not only that - Perfect Wiki will not cost you an arm and a leg like most other knowledge management solutions. For as little as $35 a month, you get 100 pages, unlimited space on each page and unlimited users.
Our free forever version includes 15 pages (and unlimited users!) - try Perfect Wiki right inside your MS Teams channels today, no credit card or set-up needed.
To simplify your decision-making process, we summarized our key findings in the table below. What are you looking for in a wiki? See the features of OneNote and Perfect Wiki side by side to help you find the perfect fit for your team.
|Easy to install?||✅|
Installs in seconds
Uses MS teams credentials
Included in MS Teams bundle
|Microsoft Teams integration||✅|
From built-in wiki and device (Word, Web Page)
|Import files from built-in wiki||✅|
|Navigable table of contents||✅||❌|
|See all pages from any channel||✅||❌|
PDF, Web Page or print
Save as PDF from the “Print” option
Search through all channels
No punctuation recognition
Searches only current channel
|Access & editing permissions||✅|
Change access in web version only
Can edit in MS Teams app
|Editing only in OneNote app, MS Teams app is read-only|