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Apple Notes – Become a Power User in 2022!


the notes app for ipad is way more powerful and capable than you might think and it can absolutely hold its own against a number of paid note-taking apps that are available on the app store but like any app you need to know how to use it to get the most out of it i’ve already made a notes tutorial video which i’ll link to in the description of this video but that was aimed more at the mac version of notes and there are some pretty significant differences between that and the ipad version so in this video i’ll take you all the way through creating and managing notes on the ipad i’m using an 11 inch ipad pro with the apple pencil for this but everything that i talk about here should be applicable to pretty much any ipad out there provided it’s running the latest ipad os which is 15.3.1 okay let’s get into it let’s start by ensuring that you understand how the different parts of the note screen work and what they do i’m using the app in landscape mode by the way the same things would apply in portrait mode it’s just easier to show you what’s going on if i have this in landscape mode fundamentally notes gets broken down into two menus and the notes itself although you’ll see that those menus appear and disappear as we jump from navigating around the app to actually working in a note so here for example i’ve got a note open it’s this chinese chicken tray bake recipe note and it’s over here on the right if i tap on the note the column on the left disappears and the note now takes up three quarters of the screen on the left is the folder that we’re currently in a recipes folder that i’ve made if i tap the folders button up at the top left the left column the folders column will appear again if i tap back into the note to make the folders menu disappear i can then tap this button at the top left to make the note go full screen getting rid of both the folders menu and the recipes folder itself allowing me to focus on just the note that i’m currently looking at pressing that same button again will bring this recipes folder back into play and pressing the folders button takes us back to where we started that’s essentially how you navigate around the notes app at a high level so take a moment to get used to that structure the exact same thing works in portrait mode as well as landscape mode it just looks a little bit different down at the bottom left of the screen

you have a folder icon with a plus on it which is the button you use to create a new folder tapping that will give me the option of creating a new folder or creating a new smart folder i’ll explain smart folders once we get into note management choosing to create a new folder i can type out a name for it on the on-screen keyboard and then save it and it’s created as a new folder and is showing in the folders bar on the left so we now understand the basics of navigating around the app let’s take a look at how to create a note you can move notes later on if you need to but the best way to think about the notes app is to consider where you’d like to store the notes you’re about to create first then navigate to that place so i’ve created a folder called sample folder for this video i’ll tap into that you can see that it’s empty and you can see that the folders menu has hidden itself away but we now also have a number of buttons up here in the top right of the screen this is a tiny bit confusing because the last button on the right is the new note button but notes works by loading up the most recent note in the folder that you’re in and as we don’t have one it’s actually gone ahead and created a new blank note for us which you can see here all you have to do is tap your finger anywhere in this empty note and the note is ready for us to begin editing so the keyboard appears and as we type we start off typing the title of the note i’ll tap enter you only need to tap it once although i usually tap it twice to give me some space and then we can begin typing out the actual note there’s nothing particularly special here you would type

out a note just as you would if you were typing out an email or pretty much anything else with your ipad in the bar just above the keyboard to the right of the screen you have a couple of buttons the table button will create a simple 2×2 table in your note you can tap at the top of columns or at the side of rows to bring up the option to add columns and rows as needed one thing to point out is that this is pretty basic we’re not talking excel here you can’t use formulas or add up rows or anything like that this is very much a basic table for you to manually input data into although you can input letters and numbers it would be great if apple could implement some of the functionality of the numbers app here in the future if you tap to select the table notice how the table icon here changes you can tap here and either copy the table share the table convert the table to text or delete the table to the right of the table button you’ve got the text format button here you can choose various different text formatting options like title heading subheading and body you can make text bold italic underlined or use strikethrough and you can create various types of indentations such as bullets numbered bullets and indenting left and right you can tap any of these options and whatever you type will then be in that format or you can type something select it and apply the formatting up at the top of the notes we’ve got some options you’ve got a to-do list option allowing you to create subtasks within your notes you can’t unfortunately apply dates here or reminders or anything like that it’s another area where the notes app is a little bit behind some third-party apps i’d love to see apple integrate notes

calendar and reminders together in a future ios if you tap the camera option you can input an image if i choose scan documents i can use my ipad to scan a document i typically recommend putting the document down on a contrasting color surface like a dark table or carpet if you know you’ve got a white document for example and the ipad is pretty good at figuring out the best way to scan your document you can see that once a document is scanned the ipad will usually then be able to draw some information from the text and if you tap into the image you can add more pages to it if it’s a multi-page document you can crop it you can change the color mode of it you can rotate it or you can delete it you can also share it by tapping the share button up at the top right of the screen and the fantastic thing about this is that it will automatically create a pdf you can also use markup on the document which is where you can use the apple pencil or your finger to add annotations to it i’ll cover markup separately when we talk about apple pencil back in the camera icon you can also take a photo using your ipad and add that to the note or you can select a photo from your camera roll jumping back into the notes we have the apple pencil icon like i say we’ll circle back to that in a moment and then this ellipsis or hamburger menu whatever you call it which gives us some options we can scan an image in like we just did or we can delete the note using the delete button pin will pin this note to the top of the folder this is handy once you start to create a lot of notes within a folder there might be some really important ones that you want to always have visible at the top of the folder and using this pin

function will allow you to do just that lock will allow you to lock the contents of the note and assign it to either a password or the biometrics of your device so face id for this ipad pro yours might have touch id the contents of the note will be locked which means that people can only access the contents of the note by unlocking it but also the contents won’t show in a preview it creates a padlock icon up at the top of the note and tapping that will lock the note tapping it again will unlock the note once i’ve input my biometrics of course and back in the menu i have the option to remove the lock if i wish i can send a copy of the notes which will send a copy of the contents of the note to someone this is different to sharing a note sharing relies on the person you’re sending it to also having apple notes and allows them to collaborate with you on the note sending a copy is kind of like saying here’s a copy of all this information i have within this note which you can then email to someone you can search within the note using finding note you can move the notes using the move button allowing you to shift it over to a different folder lines and grids is honestly only really useful here on the ipad in my opinion even though this function exists on both the iphone and mac version of notes it creates lines and grids like you’ve gone to the shops and bought a notepad and you can then use the apple pencil to write or draw using those lines and grids as a reference if you want to remove the lines and grids head back into the menu and tap the clear note button to do this print will allow you to print out your note so i figured i’d

bunch all of the parts related to apple pencil together so if you don’t own an apple pencil you’re welcome to skip to the next chapter or you can keep watching and see what all the fuss is about i’ve put timestamps in the video and the description the first feature related to apple pencil and notes is that if your ipad is currently in sleep mode you can tap on it using the apple pencil it will wake up with a brand new note ready for you to begin using the pencil this is great if you for example jot down handwritten notes using your ipad and pencil you’ve just run into a meeting and you want to start taking notes immediately not having to mess around with launching the app creating a new note etc notice that the pen icon is highlighted at the top and down here at the bottom left we have a pencil with an a on it that’s the scribble icon telling us that we’re now using scribble scribble is available all over ipad os but we’ll focus on it here in notes for this video if you have scribble activated and you jot something out in your handwriting your ipad will automatically convert it into computer text for you scribble out a word to delete it and so long as the cursor is now where that word was hand write a replacement word and that word will go over the top of it draw a line under some text or a circle around it to select it and you can then use regular text formatting using your finger to make things bold or underlined etc draw a vertical line upwards between characters to remove the space draw a vertical line downwards to input a space double tap on a word to select that word triple tap on a word to select a paragraph annoyingly

there’s no pencil shortcut to hit the return key to do that you’ll need to tap the scribble icon and it’s down here at the bottom right you can also access an on-screen keyboard here input a table and access text formatting the ellipsis or burger menu to the right lets you choose whether to auto minimize this menu or not whether to allow draw with finger the remainder of the scribble menu focuses on the various types of on-screen pens and pencils you can use for example the first option is kind of like a felt tip pen you can change the color and if you tap and hold it for a second you can change both the thickness and the opacity of the pen notice as i change these a number appears on the icon to illustrate the opacity level and a little color band appears to illustrate the thickness of the tip once you get to know how this works you’ll know exactly what you’re selecting without having to go into the menu next up is the highlighter same concept applies as the felt tip pen to the right of that is the pencil and you can see that you can shade on the screen like you would with a pencil which is pretty cool next up is the eraser which won’t work on computer text but will work on any drawings or highlights you’ve created on the apple pencil if you double tap on the flat part of the pencil you can jump between the last selected pen or pencil and the eraser which is useful then the next icon is the

selection tool tap this then draw around something you’ve drawn in your note to select it and then move it around as you need to the ruler icon creates a virtual ruler on your screen which you can move around and position using two fingers you can then draw up against that ruler and notes will help you create straight lines okay so we now know how to create notes the conventional way but what if we want to integrate notes with some other apps the ipad offers a couple of ways to do this one which is pretty unique to the ipad the first method is to use the share function within an app so here for example in this news article if i tap on the ellipsis or burger menu i can choose share and then choose notes from the available apps i can save this as a new note and choose where i’d like that note to be saved to i can add some text to the note if i then save the note and head to the notes app you can see my notes complete with the text that i wrote and a link to the news article this works in loads of apps like safari mail maps so loads of places that you would be able to use this to quickly capture a note another option on ipad is to create a quick note let’s go to safari this time and let’s jump to a news article then i’m going to swipe up and into the screen from the bottom right corner of the display this will open up the quick notes function by default it’s going to look to add to the note that i’ve most recently been working on but if i want to new notes i just tap this new note function here i can then scribble or type in some text and if i hit the add link button it will link to what i was viewing when i make the quick note this is awesome if you want to use your ipad to do some research away from your desk you can still create really rich detailed notes if i now head to

quick notes in my notes app you can see the notes that i’ve just created cool right this is also available on mac by the way but no sign of it yet on iphone which is kind of a shame i know it’s a smaller screen but i still think it could be made to work the third way that you can integrate with notes is via multitasking so let’s jump back to that article let’s say that rather than taking a link to the article i want to grab the image from it and put it into a new note tap the three dots at the top of the screen and then tap the left hand button to position safari in this instance on the left half of the screen then tap on notes on the home page to open that up in the other half of the screen i’m going to create a new note input some text and then i’m going to tap and hold the image for a second then drag it across to my note it’s that easy to save images to your notes it works for a load of other things too although it can take some practice to get it right let’s open twitter for example you can drag a tweet into a note but i’ve noticed that to do it you have to tap and hold on the avatar of the person who wrote the tweet and drag it that way so we’ve covered the creation of notes now in a number of different ways at some point you’re going to have to get into the habit of managing and organizing your notes otherwise you’re going to be left with a folder full of messy disorganized notes first up looking at the folder structure you can see that apple gives you a section for your cloud notes icloud in my case you can have notes here across multiple different accounts if you wish for example i could go to settings and then switch on notes for my proper honestech email account and i’d then have a separate

section for notes here i guess you could use this if you want to be able to separate your notes out for different purposes perhaps have an entire dedicated note section for your work one for your personal although you can kind of do this anyway using folders so that’s why i only really use icloud personally notes is kind of like an inbox notes that you create by default will go in there ready for you to organize them away to move a note to a folder tap on the ellipsis menu and choose move notes or swipe from right to left bringing up these swipe options share move and delete tapping the middle button will bring up a list of all of your folders and you can then decide where to put this note you can create folders like we talked about earlier on it’s the button in the bottom left you can then create folders within folders so for example if i tap the new folder button and create a new folder it will by default be created at the top level of the folder structure but then if i select it and choose this ellipsis burger menu at the top of the folder you can see that in this list of options one of them is to move this folder i can move it into another folder if i wish creating a nest of folders this is obviously helpful if you want to have say a personal folder a work

folder and then branch off into more specific folders within each while we’re here let’s take a moment to explore that ellipsis burger menu for a moment you can choose to view your folders and notes as either a list or a gallery gallery gives you a visual representation of the notes so that’s good if you’re operating more of a visual notes folder and you’d like to be able to see things with a bit more of an image focus rather than simply a text focus share folder works just like share note you can share the entire folder of notes with someone and allow them to join you and collaborate on all of the contents of that folder so if i tap this down at the bottom i have share options the people i add can make changes or they can view only and i can toggle whether people can add other people the example i always give here is a family planning a trip everyone could take notes and add them in here but there’s a bunch of ways that you could use this select notes lets you bulk select notes to then perform an action on them like deleting a number of them at the same time sort notes lets you sort the notes and you can sort them by date edited date created or title choosing newest to oldest or vice versa you can add a folder directly within this folder this just lets you skip the part where you create a top level folder and then move it it’s a shortcut for creating a new folder in here essentially you can rename the folder and you can view all of the attachments in a visual form weirdly

no matter where you are notes shows you all of the attachments across the whole of notes it would make more sense to me if it just focused on the attachments in the folder you’re in but there you go okay final thing to talk about then is hashtags and smart folders hashtags are new to notes but not new in general and if you’re already familiar with hashtags you no doubt understand the concept when creating a note add a hashtag somewhere in the note if you want to include more than one word in the hashtag either bunch them together like a twitter hashtag or use underscores instead of spaces when you’ve created your hashtag hit return on your keyboard and when you see it go yellow you know you’ve created it correctly head back to the main menu and our hashtag is now visible tapping on it will immediately bunch together all notes within that hashtag so if you’re moving house for example and you’ve got three or four folders dedicated to the move and perhaps you’re creating notes that have some relevant to the house move but not entirely you could add a hashtag house move to the note and that would be a quick way of viewing all of the relevant notes hashtags are that easy and you can add multiple hashtags to notes if you wish now with hashtags covered let’s talk smart folders for a second a smart folder is a folder that you create and assign a rule to when you create it and that rule is applied to notes already within the notes app but also any notes that you create moving forward so if i tap on the option to create one you can see that once i’ve named it i can add hashtags that i’d like to be covered by this new rule and i can create a new hashtag if i wish once

created any notes within the notes app that match my rule will be added to the folder and any new ones i create will automatically go into this folder so let’s say for example that i’m buying a car and i’m doing research and i create a smart folder with the hashtag new car any notes i create moving forward with that hashtag will automatically go into that folder my only complaint about smart folders is that once created you can’t nest them into other folders which is a shame perhaps that could come in a future update so there you go a pretty in-depth look at the notes app for ipad what do you think do you use the notes app on your ipad any useful features that i’ve not mentioned or if you don’t use the notes app what do you use instead drop me a comment and let’s talk about it and as ever if you found this video useful do please consider leaving me a like and subscribing to my channel for more content like this in the future see you on the next video

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