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Smartphones & gadgets

7 incredibly useful ways to use Apple’s Notes app

If you are an iPhone user, you know the best way to create checklists, jot down a quick thought or sketch ideas is with Notes. Save to your iCloud account, and your notes are updated and accessible from all your devices.

While you likely use Notes consistently, you may not recognize this app is more than a mere place to write and store quick comments or grocery lists. It’s a powerful assistant; however, if you prefer physical notes, tap or click to get a pint-sized smart printer. But for digital note-taking, Notes reigns superior.

Without question, Notes is one of the most reliable apps offered by Apple and, thanks to iOS 13, this handy application takes the art of note-taking to another level. To help you realize its potential, here are seven tips and tricks you’ll use every day.

1. Super search

If you have used Apple Notes before, you know the app has no problem searching typed or handwritten text. What the program couldn’t search were images, but that changed with iOS 13.

Type in your specific term in the search bar and Notes will return all instances of the word from text entries, images and saved scanned documents, such as receipts.

2. Improved organization

Before the iOS 13 update, the folder organization was basic. Folders were only located in one place. Boring! But now you can move any folder, as long as it’s stored on your device or iCloud.

To move a folder, press down on it and drag it to a new location. The folder turns into a subfolder if you drop it into a different folder.

You can also swipe left on the folder and tap the blue folder icon. Then simply select a new location.

3. Greater formatting options

The available formatting options for notes and checklists make it easy to indent text, create subheads and drag and drop checklist items.

Note: These formatting options are only available if you save your notes to iCloud. If your notes are attached to your email, these will not be available.

To indent text, tap Aa from the menu. Select the left indent on the right side of the sub-menu. For checklist items, swipe each to the right. To remove the indent, swipe left.

If you want to create a subheading in a note, go to the end of the section, you want to change and select Aa from the menu. Choose Subheading. In addition, you have options that include: Bold, Italic, Underline or Strikethrough.

Another new feature is the ability to drag and drop checklist items. To perform this task, simply press down on the item and drag it to a new location in the checklist.

4. Add notes with Siri

Looking for a hands-free way to craft a new note? Ask Siri. All it takes is for you to say, “Hey Siri, take a note.” Dictate your note and the smart assistant will read it back to you and insert a text version into your Notes app. Tap or click to control your iPhone with your voice (and leave Siri out of it).

5. Share a folder

While the ability to share individual notes is not a new feature, with iOS 13, you can now share an entire folder with anyone. To share a folder, swipe left and tap on the Add People icon.

Select how you want to invite people. If you wish to share in a view-only mode select Share Options and check View only.

6. Protect with a password

For any note that contains sensitive information, you have the option to keep it safe with password protection.

To lock a note, go into the note you want to protect and tap the share icon in the upper right corner, then choose Lock Note. Once locked, you will observe a lock icon next to the note along with the last date it was edited. To unlock, enter your password. Tap or click to discover iOS security settings you should be using.

7. Pin a note

Over time, you may discover you often refer to a few notes over and over again. No need to search or sort through your notes collection, just pin the important ones. Doing so will place any pinned notes at the top. Swipe right on any note and tap the pin icon. Repeat process to unpin.

With a few of these tips and tricks, your Apple Notes experience will improve.

BONUS: Scan documents

Did you know you can scan documents right in your Notes app? While other phones might make you download an app for that, Apple has you covered. Simply tap the camera icon and select Scan Documents. Position your camera over the document and use the drag options to center the image.

Tap Done when you’ve completed your edits and now you have your document scanned to your Notes app. Easy, right?

For more Apple tips, don’t forget to sign up for Kim’s weekly Apple Updates newsletter below.

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