OneNote layout query

I’ve been using OneNote a lot to keep track of coronavirus related info for work. I feel like I’m being dumb and missing something, but I cannot find a way to make inserted files (mainly PDFs) not look like shit. The placement is haphazard unless I manually arrange them, file names are cut off, and they just show a generic icon rather than a thumbnail or something useful. I’m fudging it by putting them in a text box with a full description, but it still looks like crap. Is there any more automated and/or elegant way of organising this stuff (I don’t want to do the insert printout as the files are often dozens of pages long)? I wouldn’t mind so much if it were just me looking at it, but this is for the whole team to use.

I really don’t want to have to create a separate page for each file, but it’s beginning to feel like I’ll have to.

Any other OneNote layout supertips would also be appreciated.

I had a similar issue trying to organize PDFs for a personal project. I gave OneNote a try but had a lot of the same issues. The other limitation was I needed to heavily tag the files as well.

I looked at Evernote, also, which was slightly cleaner. I ended up just storing the files on my Mac and tagging them. I don’t think Windows lets you tag files, but maybe just storing them in folders of the most-common subject matter?

Have you tried putting PDFs in a table? Then at least you can have a grid. I might do something like 2-3 columns, put a small amount of summary text at the top, then the PDF. I’m on the OSX client, but AFAIK the windows client is more feature rich.

This is what I usually do, but as we’re all WFH, that involves using the VPN, and I’d rather not have to. OneNote also integrates with Teams, which makes coordination a bit easier.

Another stupid WFH Microsoft complaint: the browserclient for Outlook won’t update RSS feeds, so I have to go into the app client via the VPN to manually sync them. For fuck’s sake.

What about a SharePoint site and meta tagging files?

I find Sharepoint enough of a 'mare, I doubt I can persuade my team to get on board.

Are these research papers you’re organizing? If so, probably go for Zotero/Mendeley/Endnote?

I don’t need anything as formal as that. It’s mostly text snippets from webpages, my own notes, the odd graphic, and lots of PDFs.OneNote has basically all the functionality I need, it just looks ugly AF.

I insert pdfs as printouts on my surface.