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