The stock iOS Notes app has a very simple name, but it doesn’t just let you type quick notes. We have some useful iOS Notes tips for you, and if you didn’t know them already, you’re missing out on some of the app’s best features.
You can easily make Notes as functional as you want, and even if you’re not a frequent user of the app, these tips may still come in handy.
Useful iOS Notes tips everyone should know
Password-protect your Notes
iOS 9.3 introduced the ability to secure the Notes app, although this feature is not in plain sight. You can either go to Settings -> Notes -> Password Protection (read our detailed guide here) and setup a password for the Notes app or open a note, tap the share button and select the ‘Lock Note’ option. The password you’ll be prompted to enter, will be used to unlock all your notes.
You can simply tap the lock icon while viewing a note to lock/unlock it as you please. There’s also a Lock Now button available at the bottom of the screen while viewing the list of all your notes. However, if you use this option to lock your notes, you’ll only be able to unlock all of them and not just specific ones.
Sync your Notes
You can sync notes between your Mac and iOS devices via iCloud and access the same information on all of them. To do this, go to Settings -> iCloud on your iPhone or iPad and togge on the ‘iCloud for Notes‘ option. On your Mac, navigate to System Preferences -> iCloud and check the Notes option.
Keep in mind the sync features works if you’re using OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9, plus you need to use the same iCloud account on all the devices.
Dictate your Notes
No need to type notes if you’re not feeling like it. Simply ask Siri (say ‘take a note’ or ‘add a note’) to do it for you. Once you speak one of these commands, the assistant will ask what you want to be written down.
Draw your Notes
Sometimes plain text is not enough in which case, the Notes app offers a tool you can use to draw your notes. Whenever you need to doodle, open a note, tap the ‘+’ button and then select the wavy line icon. There, you’ll be able to use three pens, a color picker, and an eraser, as well as a ruler if you need to draw any straight lines.
Also, you can add multiple sketches in the same note. To start a new sketch, swipe left with two fingers and use the same gesture to browse the rest of the sketches.
Not all iOS devices have the drawing tools available in Notes, but you can use them on the iPad Pro, fourth-gen iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and later, iPhone 5 and later, and the sixth-gen iPod touch.
View all attachments
I recently discussed how you can view all attachments in the Mail app although you should know Notes offers the same option. It allows you to view all the attachments you have saved to Notes in an effortless manner.
On the app’s main screen, tap the four-squares icon located in the lower-left corner and you’ll be taken to the Attachments screen where you can see all the photos, web page and maps saved to the app so far.
Save links to Notes
iOS 9 represented a major improvement for the Notes app (with minor ones added in following updates). One of the new features is the ability to save links to Notes. This option is not available just in Safari, but in any other app that provides the Share sheet.
You can quickly add a web page to the Notes app from Safari, by tapping the share button and then selecting the Add to Notes option. If this button is not in the Share sheet, swipe left until you find the More button, select it and then add the ‘Add to Notes’ option to the share menu. What’s more, locations can also be sent to the Notes app from Apple Maps following the same procedure.
Links and locations are stored as thumbnails and tapping on them will open their content in Apple Maps or Safari, depending on the case. Not all apps will allow you to save URLs and locations to Notes – for example, this doesn’t work in the Google Maps app, but you can open its web-based version in Safari and save the map from there.
Create nested Notes
There’s no support for nested notes on iOS, so technically Apple doesn’t offer a way to create a folder structure in the Notes app on your mobile device. However, there is a workaround you can use to get this feature on your iPhone or iPad.
If the Notes app is being synced between your Mac and your iDevice(s) you can nest folders on the computer and the structure will be preserved on iOS as well. Simply open Notes on your Mac, drag a folder on top of the other and you’ll be able to access the nested folders on your iPhone and iPad.
However, you should be aware there’s no way to reorganize the nested folders on iOS, so you’ll have to do this on your Mac.
Do you know any other clever iOS Notes tips worth sharing with the world? Let us know in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to stay up to date with the latest apps, games, guides and everything Android, iOS and Windows Phone.