8 Notes app features you should be using, but aren’t

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If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you’re probably familiar with the Notes app. Apple’s digital note-taking app is a great place to keep lists, jot down quick ideas, draw sketches, and write long drafts, and it can be an incredibly powerful tool because, as long as it’s in sync. with iCloud, everything on your notes The app will sync quickly across all your devices. No need to share via AirDrop or email. If you write on Note on your iPhone, it will automatically appear on your iPad and Mac as well.

The great thing about the Notes app is that Apple is updating it and adding new features to it all the time. For example, you probably didn’t know that the Notes app’s search feature can recognize typed or handwritten text, as well as images and scanned documents (like a recipe or receipt). It allows you to organize folders in files too. (I know, mind blowing.) And this fall Apple rolled out iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 and with it brought a bunch of handy new features to the Notes app.

Are you looking for useful tips and tricks? Come on, master the Notes app.

Group notes with the new “Tag” feature.

Apple has given the Notes app a new tagging feature with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 and it’s great because it lets you instantly group notes on the same theme by just adding a common hashtag to each note. For example, if you have several different notes that focus on beach (#beach), vacation (#vacation), or work (#work), you can just add this hashtag to that note and then it will be automatically grouped / organized with the other Notes with this hashtag. And you add multiple hashtags to each note so that it gets added to the different groups it relates to.

To add a tag to a note, just type # followed by the name of the tag. Once you’ve written #, a drop-down menu of your existing tags will appear from which you can also select. To add a tag to multiple notes, select the folder with the list of notes> select the More button with the three dots (…)> press “Select notes”> select the notes you want to tag> select the Tags option at the bottom center of your screen> and select the # where you want to group them all.

Once you’ve created one or more tags, you can find them in the Tag Browser. You can select one tag or multiple tags at the same time. If you select two tags, all notes containing those two tags will appear.

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Create a smart folder.

Smart Folders are another new feature Apple added with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, and they’re really useful for people who take advantage of the new markup system. A “smart” folder is like any other folder in the Notes application, but groups notes that have the same tag – and it does so automatically (hence the “smart” folder).

To create a smart folder, all you need to do is select the New Folder button (in the lower left corner) and select the option to create a “New Smart Folder”. Then you just need to select which tag (or multiple tags) you want the notes to fill this smart folder. From there, any note with that specific tag will automatically populate in that smart folder.

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Quickly undo a typo.

Did you accidentally highlight something and delete it (also by accident)? This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re using the Notes app on an iPhone or iPad and you don’t have access to an actual keyboard (you can’t press Command + Z to undo on a keyboard at the screen). In addition, there is no quick “Cancel” menu to select on the iPhone. Fortunately, Apple has built in a “Shake to Undo” feature where you can actually shake your iPhone to bring up an “Undo Typing” menu. This feature is enabled by default, but you can change it by going to Settings> General> Accessibility> Shake to Undo.

Quickly scan a document and sign it.

The Notes app actually has a built-in scan feature that makes it easy to scan an actual document, sign or mark it (via the markup feature in Notes), and then share it with whomever you need. . All you need to do is create a new note, select the camera icon at the bottom center of that note, and select “Scan documents”. The application then shows you how to align the document so that it is scanned correctly.

Share a folder with a friend.

The Notes app makes it incredibly easy to share your notes with others. You can set the permissions to “view only” if you don’t want other people to make changes, or you can open the changes if it’s a more collaborative project. To share, just open the note in question and select the share button at the top right; you can then select how you want to share: AirDrop, iMessage, Mail or another third party app like Slack or Gmail.

If you are using the multi-person shared notes feature, Apple added a handy feature with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. It’s called “Activity View” and shows you the changes made by each person who accesses the note, as well as the date and time when the modification was made. For example, you can find out which person added which specific item to a shared list. To access the activity view of a shared note, select the More button (three dots) in the upper right corner and select “View note activity”.

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Password protect specific notes.

If you are worried that unwanted eyes will see any of your notes, you can password protect it. To do this, simply go to the note in question, select the “share” icon in the upper right corner of the screen, and then select “Lock note”. From there, you can set a password (with a hint in case you need help remembering) or enable Face ID (or Touch ID) to access the note. All password protected notes are covered with a lock icon.

Ask Siri to take a note for you.

Siri, Apple’s voice assistant built into your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, can actually be great for taking notes. You can say “Hey sir, start a new note,” then say what you want the note to say, and Siri writes everything down for you and saves it as a note. This is a great option if you don’t feel like typing or want to create a note hands-free.

Create a checklist, not just a list.

A checklist is essentially an interactive list where you can mark tasks as completed while leaving others open. To create a checklist, just create a new note and then at the bottom of the note select the icon that has a check mark inside a circle. Then type something and press Enter (Return) when you’re done. Each time you press Enter (Return), a new task will be created. To mark a task as complete, simply select the circle (or bullet) next to it. You can deselect it in the same way.

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