Why I use Apple Notes | Mark Ellis Reviews
Reviews, thank you for subscribing. If you have, if you haven’t, just click that button, there were lots of quite exciting things announced at wwdc this year. One of them weirdly was notes. You can’t get too excited about a notes. App can you well? Actually? Perhaps you can? I think most of us take notes of some form most days that could be for work. It could be for personal reasons. It could be for your hobby. It could be for a whole number of different things, but we have to get our thoughts and ideas down somewhere and you might be the sort of person who uses pen and paper and something like field notes which are fantastic or you might pick up your iphone And use notes now, when ios 15 ipad, os, 15 and mac os monterey are launched later this year, we’re going to get a new version of notes and include some quite cool things. Actually so one of them is quick notes, which is this ability to very quickly draw up a quick note, either with your apple pencil or just anywhere within the operating system. You can tag people on notes if you want to collaborate with people on notes and there’s an activity view, so you can see exactly what has happened to a particular note but i’m. Quite an inconsistent note taker. So i do switch between things like the field notes pad my big pucker a4 pad my iphone, my ipad i’m terrible.
If you saw the way that i structure and deal with notes, you’d be you’d run for the hills, but i am what i’d call a short term note taker. So i don’t really write notes that i refer back to you know for months and months. It tends to be stuff that i need to know, maybe for today, tomorrow or from last week. I discovered that i was using a tool called evernote, which was costing me money. It was getting bigger and bigger, more and more bloated. I just wasn’t using all of its features and without thinking i had started using apple notes, more on mainly on the iphone, but also on the mac. I really haven’t looked back, i’ve cancelled, my evernote subscription and i now just use apple notes so very quickly. The reason i stopped using evernote, firstly, it’s a brilliant app it’s, an absolute powerhouse of a note taking app. But for me, that’s part of the issue and every release that seemed to come out for evernote seemed to get more and more bloated, more complicated. And just it went well beyond my needs for note taking and in fact the only reason i paid for it. There were two reasons i paid for it. One of them was for multi device syncing so that i could get my notes on as many different devices as i liked and the other one is that, with the free version of evernote, you can’t access your notes, offline, which okay, fair enough, but i had to Pay to get that ability, but the rest of the features you get you know includes things like annotating pdfs searching for text inside office documents, custom templates, doesn’t, excite me for you that might be useful.
I love giving money to third party developers, but sometimes apple does have the better solution, purely because they’re. So simple and that’s exactly the case with apple notes. So let’s get into the five reasons why i think it is superb. So if you look at the design of apple notes, it’s about as simple as it comes, you have, on the left hand, side a pane where you can set up all your folders and stuff like that and on the right hand, side the note it’s as simple As that it doesn’t get any more complicated lots of white space lots of very clear affordance, and basically that means you know what to click on straight away and that’s. Another great thing with notes, i think apple – does a very good job at making the icons for each control. Pretty self explanatory, i used to spend ages in evernote trying to work out how to do certain things because it just it was never obvious what button did? What and that was it really, the more capable evernote became the harder the ui got from my perspective, so it is easy to poke fun at apple’s apps for being a bit too dumbed down, but sometimes that absolutely works and notes is an example of an uncluttered. Cleverly designed app – that is just as simple as it needs to be accessing. My notes on various devices is really important, so, for example, in this studio i have two macs.
I have an imac here and i have mac mini behind me. I also have a macbook air add to that. My iphone a couple of ipads and apple notes, just syncs as you would expect, via icloud and i’ve, never ever had a problem with the syncing that’s. One issue with some third party apps that use icloud sync or their own sync or a dropbox sync, occasionally appears to be issues with sync conflicts and i’ve lost stuff on on third party apps that use icloud, whereas with notes on icloud it’s, never gone wrong, touchwood. Never ever trip me up. Never surprised me, never warned me about a conflicted. Sync, it just works and, like i say you can just you can access it on any device. You can even access it on non apple devices via icloud.com on the ipad. For example, if you do want to use the apple pencil, i don’t use the apple pencil for taking notes which i’ll come onto in a moment. But if you want, if you do do that, then you just very quickly tap the pencil on the screen when it’s locked and it will bring up a new note, really really simple. You can also pin notes, which is really useful, so there’s a number of notes that i refer to quite regularly. I just pin them and in apple notes you get a list of those pinned notes right at the top. I use that for like templates so templates for the video description for these videos, for example, and then things i need to refer to like perhaps brand hex colors certain links that i don’t want to keep as bookmarks, but i want to keep somewhere else.
Apple notes. Just lets me dive into that stuff, immediately. It’S really convenient. The third thing i love about apple notes is that it’s got just the right feature set for me, and i appreciate, like i said at the start of this video, that this isn’t the case for everyone. You might be a master note taker much more capable than me with this, who loves to categorize them properly and add lots of different type of content to them. You can do that with apple notes, but they’ve kind of pared it down and they’ve. Only very iteratively developed it over the years. Formatting is really good example, so you can format, notes in apple notes to a degree, but not not too much for my perspective, so you can obviously set them to bold italics, etc. It has this quite nice feature where, as soon as you start a new note and start typing, it will treat that first line as a heading. It seems to deal with copy and paste fairly well. There are occasionally issues if i copy from something like word into notes, but, generally speaking, if you choose the paste as text option, you’ll generally get clean text in notes. If i want, i can add tables, i can add checklists. I can log images into notes. If i want to you, can export notes as pdfs you can dictate to hey. I don’t do that i’m, not a dictation person, but i know a lot of people like doing that.
So that’s a nice feature if that floats your boat, but as mentioned earlier, i don’t use the apple pencil for taking notes on apple notes. The only area where i think at the moment notes falls down a little bit, which is i just don’t like the way it treats handwritten notes. I don’t know what it is about it it just. It feels to me, like the the integration with the apple pencil in apple notes, is more about drawing it’s more about sketching things out i’m, not an illustrator. I don’t sketch things at all. Really i just write. I find that good notes is a better app for that. That said, when ipad os 15 is launched later this year, that will have the quick notes feature that i mentioned earlier, where you can flick up a quick note from anywhere in the operating system and start writing that might help. So when that’s available i’ll give that a go, my notes are fairly personal, not all of them, but majority of them. You know they’re, perhaps stuff about my business. They might be personal thoughts and things. I don’t want the whole world potentially having access to them. Now. It’S easy to forget that apple notes actually has two layers of security. The first one is the security of the device you’re using apple notes on so, for example, on the phone you’ve got face id or touch id, basically you’re, not ever going to get into my notes for starters, without either my face or my finger same goes for Macs with touch id as well and obviously, if you use a passcode, then again you have to get past that first layer of security to get into your notes and the second layer of security is the ability to lock and password protect notes.
Very easy to do. Very secure and you’ll find that it will lock that note whenever you come out of the notes up and go back into it, so, firstly, you’ve got to get into my phone or my mac and secondly, for the notes i really want to protect. You’Ve got another password for them, so it feels very, very secure. I think we also have to bear in mind apple’s stance on privacy, and this was a huge, huge thing at wwdc. They had a whole section devoted to it, and that should offer pretty good peace of mind for anyone that uses apple notes. Apple doesn’t have access to your notes, it’s only you that has access to them, they’re, not a company that sells your data for advertising purposes and, as i say, they just talk about privacy all the time to them. They call it a fundamental human right so i’d much rather put my notes into their platform to be honest than anywhere else, and yes, you could store them locally as text files on your computer, but for me that’s just an added bit of stress, because i then Worry that i’ve got to back them up and i could lose them, and that brings me on to my fifth and final point about apple notes, apple notes, doesn’t scare me and what i mean by that. If i compare it to another tool that i use, i use a tool called notion to plan this channel plan, all my content and basically run this part of my business it’s.
So so important i’d forget to do everything if i didn’t have notion, but the problem is that i’m, putting all of my planning and the data around that into a third party app that resides on the internet. Now what if notion, disappears tomorrow? I hope they don’t. I really genuinely hope they don’t, but if they do what happens to my data that’s something that’s always going through my head and really bothers me and it’s something i’m trying to work out a solution for now apple. On the other hand, okay, they could potentially disappear overnight, but it’s quite unlikely, and even if they did vanish, you do still have a copy of apple notes on your local device. So you’ve got this kind of dual benefit: where you’ve got a company. Who is absolutely obsessed with data privacy and that’s great? Because if your notes data is on their icloud servers, you know it’s pretty much very, very safe indeed, but you’ve also got this app. That has been built locally as well, so it does hold local copies of the notes. If i think about it, i mean i gave notion as an example there of an app that does scare me in terms of it could disappear overnight. There are lots of others as well. I use things like trello, fantastical spark email, lots of other apps by smaller developers who again, i genuinely hope they don’t disappear overnight, but they could, i think, really apple knows – is one of the very few examples of an app that i just don’t worry about at All i feel very, very safe and secure about my notes, notes, isn’t, a topic that you can get too excited about, but when you think about how important notes are to us each and every day and how they help us develop our careers.
Remember things plan stuff, it’s, really important that you pick the right app to help. You do all that. But what do you use? Are you an evernote user? Do you think i’m being unfair on evernote? Have you like me, rediscovered or discovered apple notes? As being, i think the best note taking app out there at the moment get involved in the comments if you’re thirsty for more apple mac, related content keep watching for a video. I did recently where i talk about this 24 inch. M1 imac that’s in front of me. I go into detail about the screen size which, for me, i thought was going to be too small, turns out that wasn’t the case so keep watching for a link to that video.