Notes are written in Markdown, plus you can write KaTeX expressions, Mermaid diagrams and more, check out our Markdown cheatsheet. Notable provides a very powerful Markdown editor, it's the same one VS Code uses in fact, so features like multi-cursors, a minimap and best-in-class syntax highlighting are built-in. Jot, list, record, sketch, and snap what you need to remember with Text Card. Learn more Stay on top of things with a dedicated Checklist Card. Learn more Record meetings, lectures, and conversations with a dedicated Audio Card. Learn more Capture moments, scan documents, and save images you'll need for later with Photo Card. As easy to use as a word document or bulleted list, and as powerful for finding, collecting, and connecting related ideas as a graph database. Collaborate with others in real time, or store all your data locally.
The prime usage of note-taking apps differs from person to person. Some use it to take casual notes, others dump every idea in the note-taking app. Power users treat their preferred note-taking app as the second brain. It’s a challenge for companies to develop a solution that works for each kind of user. As for Apple users, people prefer to stick with the default Apple Notes app. The Notes app on Mac might seem basic at first glance, but the Notes app is full of tips and tricks on a closer look.
Apple adds new features to the default Notes app with ever major macOS update. With macOS 11 Big Sur, it gets a nice UI redesign and new features. Finally, it's ready to take on its third-party alternatives in the Mac App Store.
Let’s talk about Apple Notes tips and tricks so that you can get a clear picture of how good Apple’s note-taking app is on the Mac platform.
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1. Organize Notes
You need to keep the Apple Notes app organized. You might waste a lot of time searching the note if your notes aren’t organized carefully. Apple Notes offers folders to organize notes. The better news is, you can even create subfolders within folders. It’s similar to how pages and notebook work in OneNote and Evernote, respectively.
Apple offers a couple of ways to customize the notes view in the app. You can either use the default list view or opt for the Gallery view to display notes.
Go to any folder and tap on the three-dot menu at the top. Select view as Gallery/List from the bottom menu. I prefer a List view.
I hope Apple gets around adding the tag support for even better organization.
2. Pin Notes at Top
Do you want to keep track of your most-important notes at the top? Apple Notes on Mac offers a handy Pin note feature to tuck notes at the top. Right-click on any note, and use the Pin note function and Apple Notes will keep the note at the top.
You will see a separate Pinned section at the top for easy access. At any time, you can unpin a note using the same trick.
3. Lock Notes
Apple Notes allows you to protect sensitive information from others. You can password-protect any note using the Lock option inside the note.
Simply open the note with confidential information and tap on the lock icon at the top. Apple will ask to set a password for the note. You can use Touch ID (on newer Macs) or password text to open the note the next time you try to view it.
4. Clip Web Articles
There can be times when you come across an interesting read from the web. Most note-taking apps, such as Evernote and Notion, offer a dedicated Chrome extension to clip web content.
Apple Notes lack such functionality. You get a simple share menu integration in the Safari browser on Mac. You can tap on the share button during web browsing and add the article to Apple Notes app.
5. Move Items Up and Down
Let me be clear here. Apple Notes isn’t a modular productivity app. But it does allow you to move things up and down quickly. For example, you can use the keyboard shortcut Control + Command + Up/Down arrow to more items up or down in the note.
I was surprised to find this trick. It can be a real time-saver during long notes.
6. Enable Dark Mode
Are you taking frequent notes at night? You might need to use the macOS dark theme to go easy on the eyes. Open the System Preferences menu and go to General > Appearance and select the Dark theme.
Enable dark mode and start taking notes to avoid the brightness after sunset.
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7. Change Font Color
As simple as it may sound, there is no easy way to change the font color on Apple Notes.
You can select the paragraph text and use right-click (If you are using a mouse) or double-click on the trackpad and open the floating menu. Go to Fonts > Show Colors, and it will open the color wheel to select the preferable color.
8. Store Notes on Mac
By default, every note in the Apple Notes gets synced to the iCloud platform. The problem is, iCloud only offers 5GB of space to start with. It’s quite easy to fill up space with photos, videos, iPhone backup, and more. In such cases, you can always store notes on the device.
Tap on the Notes name in the menu bar and open Preferences. Enable ‘On My Mac’ option to store notes on Mac.
Just keep in mind, when you use this option, you won’t be able to see your notes on other Apple devices as your notes aren’t syncing with the iCloud platform.
9. Use Notes Widget
Taking a page from iOS 14 notebook, the macOS Big Sur also offers redesigned widgets in various sizes. Open the widget menu and tap on the Edit Widgets at the bottom.
It will open the widget menu. Select the Note widget size, look at the preview and drag it to the main menu. From now on, you can access the recently-added notes from the widget.
10. Share Notes
The sharing options are limited compared to Apple Notes rivals on Mac. However, if the receiving person is already a Mac or iPhone user, you can use their Apple ID to share notes seamlessly.
Open the note that you want to share and tap on the profile icon in the toolbar. Add the receiving person’s Apple ID and set permission for edit or view.
11. Use Apple Notes Keyboard Shortcuts
If you are a power user of Apple Notes, I would highly recommend you master Notes keyboard shortcut. There is a keyboard shortcut for practically every option/tweak/function in the app. The good news is, Apple has done a good job suggesting keyboard shortcuts for every option in the toolbar.
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Master Apple Notes
It’s sufficient to say that Apple Notes is more than a basic first-party app from Apple. Using the tricks above, you can leave established rivals and switch to Apple Notes comfortably. Go ahead, give Apple Notes a try and see if it fits your usage. While you are at it, do let us know about your favorite function of Apple Notes on Mac.
Next up:Getting confused between Apple Notes and Evernote? Read the comparison post below to pick a better note-taking app for you.
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.Read NextApple Notes vs Evernote: Which Note-Taking App Is BetterAlso See#Tips & Tricks #apple
Did You Know
In December 2009, the Apple version of WhatsApp was updated to include photo sharing features.
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Do you love the tactile experience of taking notes on paper but prefer the organization features of digital note-taking apps? We do, too.
And until recently, the best compromise we’d found was taking notes on paper and then scanning them into an app like Evernote.
While this approach worked, it wasn’t as seamless as we wanted. So for a while now, we’ve been experimenting with ways of taking handwritten notes with an iPad. And we’re excited to share that we’ve finally found a method that combines the best parts of writing by hand with the best parts of digital note-taking.
The key is to use a quality stylus, a screen protector that mimics paper, and, most importantly, the right note-taking app.
In this post, we’ll show you six of the best note-taking apps for the iPad. With a bit of practice, these apps will give you all the benefits of writing by hand without sacrificing the convenience of digital organization.
Note: All of the apps below work for both the iPad Pro and Classic, though the Pro’s larger screen size makes note-taking easier.
If we had to recommend just one iPad note-taking app, it would be Notability. The app offers a delightful writing experience, yet it also makes it easy to embed images, annotate PDFs, and even record voice memos.
Sketching and drawing in Notability is easy and downright delightful. Being able to doodle and quickly sketch out illustrations is one of our favorite things about taking notes on paper. Notability does an excellent job of emulating this experience, while also allowing you to do things you can’t do on paper such as resizing and moving your drawings.
In addition, Notability includes a variety of flexible layout options. This allows you to, for instance, have a slide or reference material open on one side of the page while you take notes on the other.
And beyond the layout of individual pages, you can also organize your notes using digital “Dividers” (which is perfect if you’re used to taking notes in a physical binder).
Finally, Notability gives you plenty of options for exporting and sharing your notes, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and AirDrop.
Check out the video below to see Notability in action:
Note Taking App For Mac Laptop
Noteshelf was our favorite note-taking app for the iPad before we discovered Notability, and it’s still a superb option.
It has many of the features we love in Notability, including the option to annotate PDFs and multitask with the iPad’s split screen. You can also record voice notes to go along with your handwritten notes, which is perfect for recapping a lecture or meeting at a later date.
If you speak/write multiple languages, you’ll also be pleased to know that Noteshelf can recognize handwriting in 65 different languages. This makes it a powerful tool whether you’re taking a language class or learning a language on your own.
Finally, Noteshelf lets you export your notes to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Evernote. The option to export to Evernote is noticeably missing from Notability, making Noteshelf our top pick for serious Evernote users.
Apple Watch users will also benefit from the app’s ability to record voice notes using the Noteshelf Apple Watch app.
3. GoodNotes 5
Up next, we have GoodNotes 5. This app has everything you want for taking notes, including the ability to switch between typing and writing. Plus, you can choose from several built-in note layouts and templates, as well as import your own.
Notably, GoodNotes 5 lets you adjust the sensitivity and palm recognition of the pen to match your writing style. This is perfect if you’re like me and tend to press very hard when writing.
Finally, GoodNotes 5 includes a “Presentation Mode” that lets you turn your iPad into a digital whiteboard. Using either AirPlay or an HDMI cable, you can project what you’re writing onto a larger screen while still being able to see the GoodNotes interface on your iPad. This is handy whether you’re giving a class presentation or pitching a business idea.
Want to learn how to take better notes? Check out our guide to the best note-taking systems.
4. Apple Notes
We couldn’t discuss iPad note-taking apps without mentioning Apple Notes. The app comes free with macOS/iOS devices, and it does a great job of letting you type or take notes by hand. The app’s drawing features are also solid, making it easy to add sketches and illustrations to your notes.
Aside from being free, the biggest advantage of Apple Notes is its deep integration with iOS. If you use iCloud and other Apple devices, you can effortlessly switch between taking notes on your iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
Plus, everything you create is automatically backed up to iCloud, and you can even create voice notes using Siri while you’re on the go.
Developed by Evernote, Penultimate is designed to be the go-to note-taking app for Evernote users. It has all the standard note-taking features you want, including a variety of layouts and the ability to search your handwritten notes with optical character recognition.
If you already use Evernote, then you can seamlessly add Penultimate to your workflow. Once you sign into the app with your Evernote account, all your notes will automatically sync to the Evernote notebook of your choice.
While the additional writing features of Noteshelf still make it our preferred note-taking app to use with Evernote, Penultimate remains a solid choice (especially if you’re looking for a free app).
6. Microsoft OneNote
Odds are, you’ve used (or at least have access to) Microsoft OneNote at work or school. But did you know that the OneNote iPad app allows you to take handwritten notes?
OneNote lets you write notes either on a blank page or a layout that emulates a sheet of lined paper. The general setup of the app mimics a physical binder, allowing you to organize your notes by topic.
OneNote for iPad also offers a variety of multimedia features. You can type text, insert graphics, and even include voice recordings. You can also search notes for specific words and view your notes across devices. And everything you create in OneNote is automatically backed up to OneDrive.
If you’re already a serious Microsoft app user, then OneNote will integrate seamlessly into your workflow.
Price: Free (with a Microsoft Account)
Start Taking Notes With Your iPad Today
I hope this article has shown you the exciting options you have for taking notes with your iPad. It’s now easier than ever to get the benefits of writing on paper without sacrificing the organization features of digital apps.
Of course, to benefit from taking notes, you need to make it a habit. If you’re looking to build the habit of taking notes (or another productive habit), you’ll love our latest course.
Click the button below to learn how you can take it (and thousands of other classes) for free:
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