Unlock the potential of Apple’s Notes app!

Take Control of

Josh Centers
(2 customer reviews)

This book tells you everything you need to know about Apple’s Notes app for iOS, macOS, and the web, from basic features like formatting to advanced features like scanning documents, password protecting notes, making sketches, and managing attachments.

All Take Control books are delivered in two ebook formats—PDF and EPUB—and can be read on nearly any device.


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.

In Take Control of Notes, 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
Josh Centers

About Josh Centers

Josh Centers is is a Business Journalist at TextExpander, editor-in-chief of Unprepared, and founder of Apple Buying Advice. He has been featured in USA Today, Macworld, Scientific American, the Washington Post, Boing Boing, the Wirecutter, and other publications, as well as on Comedy Central, HuffPost Live, and Voice of America. Josh lives in Tennessee with his wife and children.

What’s New in Version 1.6

This update focuses on changes in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 Ventura:

  • The Quick Note feature is now available on iPhones. See “Make a Quick Note in iOS.” There is also a new “Make a Quick Note in Safari” section that highlights some interesting Quick Note features built into the Safari browser.
  • You can now use your device password or passcode to lock notes without creating a separate password. See “Password-Protect Notes.”
  • Smart Folders weren’t very useful when they were first introduced, but have since been greatly improved. See “Create and Use Smart Folders.”
  • Note collaboration has been changed and improved, and you can how share a note for collaboration with anyone who has the link. See “Share from Notes.”
  • Drawing Tools in iOS/iPadOS Notes have seen many improvements, with several new drawing tools, and options to add text, signatures, and shapes. There is also an option to straighten handwriting.
  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 1.6
    • What Was New in Version 1.5
  • Introduction
  • Notes Quick Start
  • Why Notes
  • Use iCloud Notes
  • Make and Manage Notes
    • Choose Where to Put Notes
    • Make a New Note
    • Make a Quick Note
    • Import Notes from Other Services
    • Organize Notes
    • Search Notes
    • Password-Protect Notes
  • Format Notes
    • Learn Basic Formatting
    • Work with Lists
    • Make Tables
  • Use Graphics in Notes
    • Add Photos or Videos
    • Scan Documents
    • Write and Draw with Notes
    • Browse Notes Attachments
  • Share to and from Notes
    • Share to Notes
    • Share from Notes
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print

2 reviews for Take Control of Notes

  1. David Forsyth (verified owner)

    Thank you very much for the book Take Control of Notes. I had not used the Notes app until I read about this book and bought it. I now use Notes daily for keeping track of a wide variety of information, adding photos, etc. I was using Evernote for many of these things but found that Notes works just about as well so have cancelled my Evernote account and saved several times the cost of the book.

    Thanks, David Forsyth

  2. Mike McGraw (verified owner)

    Josh, I’m reading your Notes book to learn the tool. One small issue I’ve found is that I cannot use your method to upload phots to notes. You say “In a note tap the “plus” icon and choose Photo Library to bring up the photo browser.” However, there is no plus icon in my version of Notes. (iPhone XR, all updates installed) I have found that I can open Photos, select and copy what I want, and then paste directly into a note.

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