Things you didn’t know you could do with Apple’s Notes and Reminders apps

Organize your Notes and Reminders with tags and keep them safe with these little known tools

If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, chances are you’re using the Notes and Reminders app to help organize and structure your busy life.

I’ve been an avid user of both over the years. Notes is a great way to jot down a quick thought, draft a blurb for social media, or put together an itinerary. The Reminders app is exceptional for creating grocery lists or a list for packing prior to a trip.

Both have been incredibly helpful in my day-to-day life. As things get busy from time to time, it’s great to know that my notes and reminders can follow me across devices. Though admittedly, I know I barely scratch the surface when it comes to what each app offers. As I’ve been oblivious, Apple supports a lot of deep systems within each app to better help the user. Not only do these tools assist in organization but also with collaboration between friends, family, and coworkers.

Here are some tips and tools I’ve recently learned about in Apple’s Notes and Reminders.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but much like the majority of apps in existence, Notes supports Tags. Users can use hashtags to help organize and filter their notes. This can be especially helpful if you’re like me and create notes on a whim for an assortment of topics and ideas. For instance, if you’ve created a note for a recipe, you can tag it with #Food. Now, it’ll be tagged alongside any other notes using the same hashtag.

In the main menu of Notes, all available tags are conveniently grouped together. Here, you can tap a specific tag (i.e. #Travel) and be taken to a list of all appropriate notes that use that tag. Multiple tags can also be used to better filter your notes and consolidate the topics you want to find.

Collaboration is another great tool for Notes and one that I never seriously looked into. You’re able to send a contact access to a note on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac by using the ‘@’ symbol. This will then bring up recent contacts to share the note with. As long as you have the contact listed on your device, you’ll be able to share a note. Tagged users will have access to the note and be sent a notification inviting them to collaborate.

Apple offers a really neat privacy feature for Notes. In case you weren’t aware, you can lock specific notes. By hitting the ‘Three-dot’ symbol in the top right corner, you can select ‘Lock’ to initiate this privacy mode. Once enabled, you must use a passcode to lockdown the specific note. Apple offers the ability to use a passcode from your device, or you can create a new passcode if you’d like. Once locked, you must tap ‘View Note’ and enter said passcode to gain access to it.

There’s no shortage of great uses for a privacy feature of this sort. Perhaps you’re protecting your coveted Netflix password or a credit card number, this locks it down completely. In fact, Apple’s Notes has end-to-end encryption so even the Cupertino company doesn’t have access to a note if the Lock feature is active.

Finally, from the Notes side, I discovered that you can use the app to scan documents on the fly. When creating or editing a note, you can tap the ‘Camera’ button within the toolbar. You can then tap ‘Scan Document’ and take a picture of a contract, a ticket, etc. The Notes app automatically analyzes, crops, and scans in the document. It is then added into the note and is readily available.

Looking at Reminders, there are some helpful tools at the disposal of iOS users. For instance, users can create a set of ‘Today’ reminders. This acts almost as an itinerary for the day. Users can jot down tasks such as taking out the garbage, paying a bill, etc. Using the Calendar app, tasks can be added throughout the day and organized by time stamps. These can be shuffled around by dragging and dropping. Additionally, once a task is completed, users can tap them to check them off.

Looking further out, Reminders can create schedules for later in the week or as far out as a year from the creation date. For better ways to organize reminders, you can pin those that are often used. For instance, grocery lists, packing lists for travel, etc., can all be pinned and accessible on the fly.

Speaking of grocery lists or a breakdown of items to pack on a trip, Reminders provide a useful tool dubbed ‘Templates.’ These are best used for repeatable lists and can be easily created. Select ‘Templates’ in the top right corner and add a name to the list. They can then be found under ‘My Lists.’ A really neat perk of Templates is that you can share them, similar to the Notes app.

Another useful feature of Reminders is the ability to add tags and location info. For instance, you can share a list of ‘Smash burger spots in Toronto’ with a friend or contact. Under each location, you can tag the address. Apple also includes privacy measures to avoid accidentally sharing your home address or other private information within a Reminders list.

Apple’s Notes and Reminders can be incredibly helpful for organizing tasks and lists throughout your day-to-day life. These useful tools may offer even more benefits to iOS users no matter if its something as small as a morning routine checklist or a more grand travel itinerary shared across a family.