10 of the Best Apple Notes Features You Need to Start Using

Apple Notes Best Featured

Apple Notes received an overhaul with the launch of iOS 15. Some old features received a minor boost, while some new features brought it closer to popular third-party note-taking apps like Evernote. Haven’t tried Apple Notes yet? It’s time you begin using Apple Notes and discover these 10 amazing features.

1. Collaborate Using @Mention

Sharing a note in Apple Notes is nothing new, but now you can also tag a person in the note. This will allow users to tag people with “@” to bring their attention to something important in the note.

Apple Note Share Note

This could be used to create a to-do list where different items need to be bought by different family members. It could also be used to delegate tasks or bring attention to details. Simply share the note as you would normally do and add an “@” before the person’s name anywhere within the note.

Tip: you can also add people to a folder in Apple Notes, in which case all the notes within that folder will be accessible to them.

2. Categorize Notes Using #HashTags

You can now use hashtags in Apple Notes, just as with social media apps like Instagram. Simply add one or more hashtags to a note to categorize them. This makes it easy to find them later, too, using the Tags browser, which is explained more in detail further in this list.

Apple Notes Tagging Function

You can also select multiple notes and add one or more of the existing tags to those notes.

3. Find Tags Using Tags Browser

Not only can you search for tags using the Search bar, but all the tags are neatly organized, alphabetically, under the Tags browser. This makes it easier to find tags if you happen to have many.

Apple Notes Tags Browser

Go to the Notes homepage to find the “Tags” heading. Select a tag right there or tap on “All Tags” to drill down further. Inside, you can search for tags and select more than one tag to further narrow the search results.

4. Categorize Tagged Notes Using Smart Folders

Smart Folders are nothing but notes marked with specific tags that are grouped in a folder. You can then access this folder quickly from the list of folders. I have one for Mails, for example.

Apple Notes Smart Folders

To create a smart folder, simply tap on the “Folder” icon in the bottom-left corner and select “New Smart Folder.” You can name the folder and select one or more tags to group notes inside the folder.

Apple Notes Smart Folders Tags

You may also create new tags on the fly here if you so wish.

5. Track User Activities with Activity View

Things can quickly get out of hand if there are too many members actively participating in a note. Use the Activities View to track who made what changes to the note and when.

Apple Notes Activity View

Tap on the “People” icon at the top and select the “Show All Activity” button to view all activities by date, time, and member name.

6. Use Highlights to Differentiate Changes

Tracking user activities makes sense, but having to go through UI options is a chore. Use the Highlights feature to highlight changes inside the note so that you don’t have to access the menu. This offers much better context while reading notes, too.

Apple Notes Highlights

Tap on the “People” icon and select the “Show Highlights” option. Changes made by other members will be color-coded for better differentiation.

Tip: swipe right when the note is open to view the highlights.

7. Take Quick Notes Anywhere

One of the fastest ways to access an app or feature is by adding the widget to the Control Center, and this works for Apple Notes as well. Go to “Settings -> Control Center” and tap on the “+” icon next to “Notes” to add it.

Apple Notes Control Center Widget

Launch the Control Center on any screen to take quick notes that are synced via iCloud to all your devices.

In iPadOS 15, you can drag upward from the bottom-right corner in any app or on the home screen to add a Quick Note or access them.

8. Drag and Drop Anything, Anywhere

Found an image that you want to save to to Apple Notes? Maybe some words of wisdom that you want to note down or copy-paste? You can now drag images or pieces of text from one app to another in iOS 15. This works across the OS. Touch and hold an image or copy text first, then touch and hold it to move it from another app to Notes.

Apple Notes Drag And Drop

9. Live Text

Live Text is nothing but OCR technology that works across the device, inside all apps. You can open an image and capture the phone number within. You can also copy the Wi-Fi password using the Camera app by simply pointing the lens at the object with the verbiage.

Apple Notes Live Text

It is not perfect, though. In the example above, it turns ‘f’ into fi. Future updates should fix such errors.

10. Handwritten Notes

You can take handwritten notes on your iPhone using a combination of different pencils and other tools available in Notes. These handwritten notes are also searchable, thanks to the OCR tech that Apple has implemented using Live Text.

Apple Notes Handwritten Notes

Tap on the pencil icon to reveal a hidden toolbar that contains tools like a pencil, marker, eraser, ruler, and color picker.

Wrapping Up

With the release of iOS 15, Apple Notes has become a more well-rounded note-taking app. It has smart folders, tags, mentions, advanced search, OCR, and more – features that we have come to expect from our regularly-used apps. There are plenty of other note-taking apps for iOS you may want to try as well, if Apple Notes still doesn’t hit the mark for you.

The only drawback is that it is still not platform-agnostic, but that’s to be expected from most Apple apps.

Image Credit: Apple Newsroom, Sneakers, tea , apple on pastel color background by Yayimages

Gaurav Bidasaria
Gaurav Bidasaria

A C.A. by profession and a tech enthusiast by passion, Gaurav loves tinkering with new tech and gadgets. He dropped out of CA in the final year to follow his passion. He has over seven years of experience as a writer covering consumer tech and writes how-to guides, comparisons, listicles, and explainers for B2B and B2C apps and services. He recently started working out but mostly, you will find him either gaming or streaming.

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