Hands-on: 12 Apple Notes features you need to try [Video]

Apple’s native Notes application is by far my most used Apple app. I use it to jot down ideas, script videos, hand-draw rough drafts of thumbnails, bookmark websites, and more. I want to show off some Notes features that will really help the everyday user maximize their experience!

Before we start

I wanted to mention that I will be using the iPad Pro to explain these Notes features, but these will all work with any iPad and any iPhone as well. Make sure you are on the latest version of iOS and iPadOS to avoid issues with these features! Let’s get started!

1. Scanning documents to PDF files

Scanning documents for a note is something I do on a weekly basis. Whether it’s a business card from an exhibition, a parking ticket or just receipts from my last trip to the grocery store, it’s always good to keep a document that corresponds to your note. Scanning a document has become very simple.

  • Start a new note.
  • Tap the camera icon at the top center of the note.
  • Press on scan documentspoint your camera at the document you want to scan, the iPad will highlight what it thinks you want to scan, and voila!
  • The iPad automatically scans the document without you even having to press the shutter button.
Scanning of documents

There is one User Manual switch you can tap that is used to help with the scan. If the iPad messes up or doesn’t quite recognize the shape of the document, you can manually make it scan your entire document!

2. Scanning text from anything

This has to be one of the coolest features that iOS and iPadOS offer – being able to scan text from literally anything and convert it to typed text. It’s not perfect, so I suggest scanning legible text, but even with some weird fonts or bad handwriting, it’s able to figure out what the text is.

  • Start a new note.
  • Tap the camera icon at the top center of the note.
  • Press on scan text possibility. A viewfinder will pop up on the display.
  • Point the camera at the text and you can see in real time how the text from the image is converted into usable and editable text in your note.
Scan text to note

3. How to use and set up quick notes

Quick Notes was introduced back with iOS 15 as a new way to interact with your notes app through a floating window. It was a small, floating window in the Notes app that could be placed anywhere on the screen to take one quick note. There are two ways to get quick notes set up.

The first way is through the notes settings. Go to Settings > Notes > Corner Movements.

You can also launch Quick Notes by adding it to your Control Center. Go to Settings > Control Center > Add Quick Note.

Now that it’s all set up, you can easily launch the Quick Notes feature by swiping the bottom corner of your iPad or pulling down the Control Center and tapping the Quick Notes button; What makes the Quick Note feature so useful is that it’s completely customizable and works exactly like the normal Notes app. You can write on there, use your pencil, draw with your finger, add links, add bookmarks, navigate through older notes and more.

4. Locking of individual notes

The ability to lock notes built into iOS is a new one. There have always been workarounds for this because it was a much requested feature, but now you can lock any note directly from the Notes app! All you have to do is:

  • Press the three dots in the upper right corner.
  • Press the lock button.
  • It will ask you to enter a pin.
  • A lock icon will then appear in the upper right corner with the lock in the unlocked position.
  • Tap the lock icon to lock the note.

5. Use Siri to take a note

I recently found out that you can use Siri to take down a note and it has been a game changer!

  • Activate Siri (long press the lock button or say Hey Siri).
  • Say “Take this note down.”
  • Siri will respond with, “What do you want it to say?”
  • Then say your note.
  • Siri will then preview your note and you can tap it to be taken into the Notes app.
Siri notes


Above is a full walkthrough video highlighting the rest of my 12 favorite Apple Notes features that I use on a weekly basis. Apple Notes is one of the most robust note-taking applications out there, and when you pair it with Apple’s new Freeform app, it really completes the ecosystem.

What are your favorite Apple Notes features and which features do you use the most? Do you use Apple Notes yourself, or do you use another note application? What’s one feature you think Apple Notes is still missing? Let me know with a comment below and we can discuss!

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