If you are a student, teacher, employee, or just an Internet citizen, there are times when you need to gather a lot of information on a particular topic. The process usually starts with a single Google search page and ends with multiple tabs, possibly spread over multiple windows, with snippets of useful information scattered across different web pages.
There's no way you will remember all of that, and that's where Apple's Notes app comes in. This free tool can be a must-have research aid, especially with Apple's continuity feature that lets you work seamlessly across Apple devices.
Here's how you can make good use of Notes and some of the alternatives you can use instead.
Why use Apple Notes?
Many users often ignore the built-in Apple apps, and that's my own fault. Many of these overlooked and underrated Apple apps are actually top notch, including Notes.
You can organize notes into folders, add markups, collaborate with others, and sync through iCloud so you can file and access work from multiple Apple devices
Apple Notes is a simple tool for taking notes. While it doesn't have all of the advanced features of some apps, it's also not prone to sudden price changes like its competitors are.
Notes serves as a fast, always-on tool that is an easy way to collect and organize information from the Web. It's also great for putting together research on any topic.
Get started with notes
First, you need to make sure that your device is running the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS. You should also set up Notes with your iCloud email account to get the latest features.
To check from your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings> Notes> Accounts. You should see that iCloud under Accounts. If you can't see it, go to iCloud by tapping the settings, tap your Apple ID, then choose iCloud. Scroll down to Notes and toggle the switch on.
Go to on your Mac System Preferences> Apple ID, then click iCloud and tick Remarks.
Organize your notes
Organization is vital in research. Simply creating a new note with every webpage clip and website link will clutter your notes and find it difficult to get information.
However, Notes allows you to create dedicated folders and subfolders for topics. To do this, open Remarks, then go to folder Section. Tap the New folder Icon on the lower left. Enter a new name for the folder and press to save.
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Cut web pages from Safari to Apple Notes
Assuming a lot of your research is done on the Mac, you should really be using Safari because of the share sheet integration. As a Chrome user, you will be let down as there is no extension for you. You have to resort to the classic "copy, switch to notes, paste" drill.
But for Safari users, this is much, much easier. Suppose you are on a webpage with useful information on a topic and you want to save it. Just highlight the text, Ctrl + click or tap and hold, select share, and then Remarks.
You will see a popup with the selected text. Select the note you want to save it in Select Note: or create a new note by choosing New note. Choose to save, and done.
You can also highlight text in Safari, Mail, or other apps and then wait for a pop-up menu to appear or long press it to appear. Then choose share, find the Notes app, indicate where to save the content, and then tap to save.
Save everything from anywhere
In iOS, you can share content from various apps with Notes using the share function. For example, you can send pictures of photos to Notes. You can also send clippings from reading apps like Kindle and Apple Books, and route links from alternative browsers to your notes.
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The same goes for screenshots. Sometimes you can also take screenshots of important posts or files to relieve your brain of unnecessary mental stress. Instead of letting them stay in photos, you can send them straight to Notes.
To do this, take a screenshot, tap the preview, add markups to the screenshot if necessary, then tap the share Icon in the top right corner, select the Notes app, then select the note target and add the required text before pressing to save.
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Create a link bucket
If you're dissatisfied with your browser's built-in bookmarks manager and find third-party solutions like Raindrop, Stash, and Pinboard too cluttered or cluttered, try using the Notes app as a link bucket instead.
Since the Notes app adds a link preview for every page you unhide, it's really easy to save and organize links in different Notes. And since the text links appear underneath, it's really easy to open, rearrange, and delete links later. Whether for research purposes or just to organize your favorites, you should give it a try.
To save the page you are currently on, use the share Button on the Safari toolbar, select Remarks, add text if you want, select the note and press to save.
When you head into the Notes app, you'll find a nice preview of the link, including the title of the page and the featured image. This visual link preview is useful later when you browse the note and try to find that one link.
It works similarly on iOS. If you want to save a webpage, just click on share Button, and then find the Notes app in the list of apps. Add text or a description, choose a location, then press to save.
Save pictures in notes
You can also save pictures by using the same Share> Notes Method. On a Mac, Ctrl-click and hover over a photo Share> Notes, Specify the destination, and then to save.
When you use this method on a photo that represents a website, such as a picture from Google, Notes also saves a link from where it came from, which can be very helpful with research.
Once the picture is in the Notes app, you can mark it up too. Apple's markup tool is another handy feature that can be useful for presentations and research.
Alternative research aids
Maybe the simplicity of the Notes app just isn't for you and you need more. There are several neat note-taking apps that you can use to organize your notes.
You can always opt for other cross-platform note-taking apps such as Simplenote, Evernote or OneNote from Microsoft to carry out your research. If you want to stay in the Apple universe, you should check out the Bear app.
Are you using Apple Notes?
Apple Notes isn't for everyone, but it has undergone major overhauls in the past few years, making it a much more workable tool than it was when it first appeared. Formatting, markup, and other handy tools make it a real alternative to Evernote and OneNote, albeit light and simple.
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About the author
(42 published articles)
Rachel Melegrito gave up her college teaching career to become a full-fledged content writer. She loves everything from Apple – from iPhones to Apple Watches to MacBooks. She is also a licensed occupational therapist and budding SEO strategist.
By Rachel Melegrito
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