Notes app for iPhone and iPad: the ultimate guide

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Source: iMore

We’ve all been in this situation – there’s important information we need to write down, but we don’t have pen or paper with us. I mean, who still carries a pen and paper with them these days, right? Luckily, your favorite iPhone and iPad come with a native Notes app, which acts as a great notepad, letting you jot down anything you might need to reference later.

But did you know that the Notes app can do more than just text notes? You can even do things like add photos and videos, files, sketches, links and more. Here’s everything you need to know about using the Notes app on your best iPhone and iPad.

How to sync notes

iPhone Notes HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

To get the most out of Notes, you should make sure to sync your notes with iCloud so everything is available on all your devices, including the best iPhones and iPads and your favorite Mac.

While iCloud syncing is the way to go if you want the most versatility with embeds, attachments, and formatting; you can also sync notes with your Google or Microsoft Exchange accounts. Keep in mind that this only supports plain text notes.

How to share and collaborate with others in Notes

Ipad Pro Shared Notes HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

The Notes app also lets you share and collaborate with other people in Notes. It’s perfect when you need to share checklists with your partner or when you need to work with a colleague on project notes. New features in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 even let you do things like mention specific users to get their attention, plus a new Activity view that lets you see all edits and edits at a glance. ‘eye.

How to create, edit and delete notes

Now that you’ve configured your Notes app to sync with your favorite service, it’s time to start creating notes! It’s a fairly simple affair, and once a note is created, it’s just as easy to edit, delete, or move it to another folder! And if you accidentally deleted a note but changed your mind, it’s actually possible to recover it before it’s permanently deleted.

How to lock notes with password or Touch/Face ID

Sometimes you may have sensitive information in the Notes app that you don’t want others to be able to access. This may include information such as credit card information, passwords, medical data or other personal information. In such situations, it is better to lock your note with a password or even use Touch ID or Face ID, depending on the model of iPhone or iPad you have.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to lock an entire folder or the Notes app itself, so you’ll have to selectively choose which notes to lock. But once you’ve created your Notes password, it becomes your global Notes password — that means it works on your iOS devices as well as the Mac version of Notes. So any note you lock will require this unique password to unlock. For faster access, we recommend adding Touch ID or Face ID.

How to Format Notes

Ipad Pro Notes Formatting HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

You can add a little pizzazz to your notes by adding rich formatting to text in Notes. Formatting includes titles and headings, bold/italics/underline/strikethrough, checklists, and even tables. However, as I mentioned before, to take advantage of all these formatting options, you need to make sure you’re using iCloud for syncing. Otherwise, Google and Microsoft Exchange accounts only support plain text without formatting.

How to add photos, sketches, links, locations and more to notes

How to Add Photos, Videos, Scans, and Sketches to Notes on iPhone and iPadSource: iMore

The Notes app on iPhone and iPad can also do more than just send text. In fact, you can add photos, videos, document scans, and sketches in a single note. Additionally, you can also add other attachments such as web links, Maps locations, and even text snippets from mobile Safari or your web browser of choice to Notes.

With the ability to add all kinds of attachments to notes, it’s your one-stop-shop for memorizing just about anything you need.

How to draw in Notes

Notes App Sketch Ipad Pro Apple PencilSource: Lory Gil / iMore

Earlier I mentioned that you can add sketches directly in Notes. But you might be wondering, “How can I draw in a text-based Note app?” No problem! Once you find the sketchbook in the Notes app, you might find it better to use it than just type your notes. After all, some people are more visual and drawing diagrams and doodles is more productive for them. It’s just another layer of flexibility to make Notes work for you!

How to take notes with Siri

Sometimes you may be too busy to pull out your iPhone or iPad to take a note. Fortunately, you can also use Siri to take a note, which is especially handy if you also have the best Apple Watch.

With Siri, she can help you take a new note, and you can even find and view certain notes. So no matter what life throws at you, the Notes app is always there for you, ready to help you write things down for later!

How to Use Quick Note on iPad

Ipados 15 Hero PreviewSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

A new feature in iPadOS 15 is Quick Note. This feature lets you summon a Notes notebook anytime, when you’re in any app (or no app), on your best iPad. It’s a great new tool because you can jot down small bits of information while working in other apps, and even drag and drop text, images, and web links into your note.

Quick Note works best with a stylus like an Apple Pencil, but you can also use your finger if you don’t have one.

Note everything!

As you can see, Notes app on your iPhone and iPad is one of the most useful apps and it is already installed on your device. It can save not just text, but pretty much any type of attachment you need. And if you have an iPad, the Quick Note feature is incredibly handy when working and multitasking in other apps.

Update February 2022: With new updates for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.


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