Angry Robot

Notes on Apple Notes

​So here I am using Apple Notes. It has some pros worth mentioning. It’s built in on Apple devices, and free. It syncs via iCloud. The web app means it can be accessed on Windows, although that’s mostly a con – more later. You can dictate notes via Siri. You can sketch stuff. I actually really like the sketch feature, but without an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil it’s more of a novelty.

Web clipping: you can save web links via share sheets in iOS and I assume macOS. This gives you a little rich preview thing but does not save the content, which I dislike. The one thing I do like is you can actually append links and other share sheet-selectable stuff to existing notes. (Siri can also append, which is cool.) Evernote couldn’t do this and it leads you to a bunch of separate atomized notes per unit of content, rather than, say, one note having to do with your web research into summoning demons.

Cons, besides no web archiving: no tags. The web app version is weak. It works, but only for referring to your notes, organizing and typing them. Because most other ways of inputting content are based on the share sheets in the OS, when you are on Windows you can’t use them. So no saving web pages, images, whatever else. I also realized there is no way to forward emails into Notes, which I do use with Evernote. Plus, you can’t actually get at the standard iOS share sheet from, which means you can’t get your emails into Notes at all. That sucks!

I had considered beforehand that other note services may not clip web page contents and so was prepared to think up other options. Using either Instapaper or Pinboard seemed possible as they are services I already use and could see adapting them to clipping web pages for notes. In practice, however, I really like having my saved web pages showing up as search results when I search my notes. But the inability to add content from Windows and email are enough reason for me to try another option, so next I will tackle the Synology solution: Note Station and DS Note.