It might seem like the most basic of apps, but iPad Notes has a lot to offer as a productivity tool if you take the time to learn its tricks.
Rather than opening the Notes app, you can simply call up Siri and ask her to create a new note. She’ll ask you what you want the note to say, listen as you dictate the note and then read it back to you.
Alternatively, if you’ve already opened a note, you can tap the microphone icon on the onscreen keyboard and dictate your note.
Sync between devices
You can sync your notes between Apple devices via iCloud. You can then access them via the web at icloud.com. Thankfully, you can also use a range of third-party services to manage your notes.
Dip into the Accounts & Passwords menu and you can add notes for other connected services such as Google, Exchange and Outlook.com. Now when you open the Notes app you’ll see a list of folders for each account. There is an option to create multiple folders on the iPad. Notes created in the Gmail folder will be synced to your Gmail account rather than iCloud.
Lock your notes
For an extra level of security you can password-protect your notes, but only if they’re stored on the iPad and not in a third-party service like Gmail. You can sync these locked notes via iCloud to Macs and iOS devices.
To lock a note, click on the share icon at the top right (the box with the arrow pointing up). Now you’ll be asked to create a password, or enter it if you’ve already created one. Alternatively, you can use Touch ID or Face ID to authenticate.
You can insert an image in any note by holding your finger on the screen and selecting “Insert Photo”.
You have extra options at your disposal if you’re editing a note stored on the iPad rather than in a third-party service like Gmail. Along with photos, you can insert videos, plus you can create new notes with embedded audio from within the Voice Memos app. You can also scan documents, add sketches and mark up images and PDFs. You can even draw in the note with your finger or a passive stylus.
If your onscreen handwriting is neat enough, the iPad will recognise it as text, letting you search for words in your handwritten notes.