Summer is in full swing, and you can finally try out the upcoming iPadOS 15 on your iPad thanks to the Public Beta program. One of the biggest new features, at least for Notes fans, is the addition of Quick Notes. But iPadOS 15 offers quite a few new changes and features that we weren’t expecting, especially for those productivity nerds out there.
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- Everything that’s new in iOS 15
- WWDC 2021 Recap
- iPad Pro 2021 vs iPad Pro 2020: Should You Upgrade?
What are Quick Notes?
Have you ever been browsing Safari or doom-scrolling Twitter and want to quickly save something or jot down a note? Before iPadOS 15, this process required you to leave the app, open a notes app, type or Scribble the note, and then go back to where you were. Chances are that you’ve lost your place more than a few times, and Apple is trying to solve this with Quick Notes on iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey.
In addition to being able to quickly jot down some notes, Quick Notes also sync across all of your Apple devices. So you’ll be able to pull those Quick Notes later on from your iPhone or Mac. And when iPadOS 15 arrives this Fall, you’ll be able to enjoy integration with third-party apps. For example, a link to a Yelp listing placed in Quick Notes will take you right to the Yelp app.
How to use Quick Notes on iPad
Although Quick Notes is also available on compatible Macs with macOS Monterey, Apple is banking on the feature being most popular on the iPad. And unlike other features, Quick Notes is coming to any iPad that is compatible with iPadOS 15.
Open A Quick Note With Apple Pencil
The Apple Pencil is arguably the best accessory that you can get for any iPad. And for this reason, it’s likely the default method that you’ll want to activate a Quick Note. Here’s how you can open a Quick Note with the Apple Pencil:
- Unlock your iPad.
- Using your Apple Pencil, swipe inward from the bottom right corner of the iPad screen.
- Continue dragging until the gray box is fully expanded.
Once activated, you can begin writing or jotting down some notes with Quick Note. When you’re finished, either tap the Done button in the top right, or just swipe it away.
Open Quick Notes from Control Center
Some folks really rely on Control Center to access various aspects of their iPad, and if you fall in that category, you’ll want to add Quick Notes. Here’s how you can add Quick Notes to the Control Center:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Control Center from the sidebar.
- Toggle Access Within Apps to the On position.
- Scroll down under More Controls.
- Tap the + icon next to Quick Notes.
Now that Quick Notes is enabled in Control Center, you can just swipe down from the top right. From there, tap the new Quick Notes icon and jot down your notes or thoughts.
Open a Quick Note Using a Keyboard
If you want to get some “real” work done with the iPad Air and iPad Pro, you’ll likely consider grabbing a keyboard. But with iPadOS 15, that Globe icon actually does much more than just showing you the emoji picker. It also doubles as a modifier key, similar to what you’ll find when holding down the Command key.
Those who are using Apple’s Magic Keyboard with the iPad Air or iPad Pro, simply press the combination of Globe + Q on the keyboard. Quick Notes will appear in the bottom right corner, allowing you to save a Quick Note without lifting your hands off of the keyboard.
Using Quick Notes with Safari
With so many different read-it-later apps available on the iPad, you might be overwhelmed and just want to consolidate your notes and links into a single app. Thanks to the power of Quick Notes, the feature automatically detects what app you are using. So if you’re using Safari, you can save links, text, and even images right into Quick Notes.
Here is how you can save items from Safari into Quick Notes:
- Open Safari on your iPad.
- Swipe to activate Quick Notes.
- Tap the Add Link+ button in Quick Notes if you want to add a webpage.
- If you want to add text or images, highlight them on the webpage.
- Tap the Add to Quick Note button that appears from the pop-up menu.
- When saving images or text, Quick Notes also saves the URL of where you got the information from.
Another neat feature when using Quick Notes is the ability to just drag and drop from an app and into Quick Notes. Just highlight the text or image in Safari then drag and drop it into the Quick Note.
Viewing Quick Notes
So you’ve taken down some notes, saved some links, and are ready to go back and go through your notes. Thankfully, Apple didn’t just lump these in with the rest of the listings in the Notes app. Instead, there’s a separate folder entirely, which can come in handy if you like to keep things organized. Here’s how you can view Quick Notes:
- Open the Notes app on your iPad.
- Tap Quick Notes in the sidebar.
- That’s it!
Now you can re-visit those Quick Notes from before, and do anything that you need to. This includes copying and moving the notes around or into the “regular” folder where the rest of your Notes reside.
Although the App Store is filled with fantastic note-taking applications, such as Drafts, Craft, and Obisidian, Apple is feeling the pressure. Being able to natively access and take notes from anywhere on your iPad is extremely helpful and convenient. Plus, this is something that other applications simply cannot offer currently.
In addition to Quick Notes, Apple has added tags for better organization. Even though the iPhone doesn’t feature support for Quick Notes, you can view all of them right from the Notes app on all of your devices.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.