Apple’s Notes has come a long way since it was first introduced with the iPhone as a simple note-taking app, but many users are still unaware of its expanded capabilities. Now available on Macs, on iOS/iPadOS devices, and on the web at iCloud.com, Notes has become a surprisingly powerful tool for writing, sketching, organizing, and sharing information of all kinds.
Note: An update to this book that covers changes in macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, and iPadOS 16 is planned for late 2022. The update will be free to everyone who purchases the book now.
In Take Control of Notes, TidBITS Managing Editor Josh Centers provides a quick but thorough guide to this deceptively simple app, showing you how to master its many tools—and avoid or work around its limitations.
Among many other things, you’ll learn how to:
- Choose where to store notes (iCloud, IMAP, or a device) and whether or how they sync
- Import notes from other apps and services
- Apply and modify character-level and paragraph-level formatting in a note
- Make lists (including checklists and lists with multiple levels of indentation)
- Work with tables in notes
- Encrypt notes with a password
- Add photos, videos, audio, maps, and other content to your notes
- Scan printed documents into Notes and save them as PDF attachments
- Draw and sketch using your finger or an Apple Pencil
- Share notes with other users, and add @-mentions
- Use the Quick Note feature in macOS and iPadOS to start a note from anywhere
- Organize your notes into folders, tag notes, and search their contents
What’s New in Version 1.6
Version 1.5 of Take Control of Notes focuses on the changes in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey:
- In iPadOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey, there is a new Quick Note feature that lets you quickly take a note without opening the Notes app. See “Make a Quick Note.”
- You can now tag notes to organize them. See “Tag Notes.”
- In shared notes, you can swipe right to highlight changes in a note and reveal who made them. There is now a new Activity view to see all See “Share from Notes.”
- Also in shared notes, you can @-mention other people in the note—for example, if you want to assign a task. See “Mention Another Person in a Shared Note.”
- You can make tables in iCloud Notes for the web. See “Make Tables.”
- Search in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey can recognize text in images on newer devices, and that extends to the Notes app. See “Take Control of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15” for more details on that and other useful things like capturing text from real-world sources.
September 28, 2022—An update to this book that covers changes in macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, and iPadOS 16 is planned for late 2022. The update will be free to everyone who purchases the book now.