Monday, April 15, 2013

Notes App Folders: How to Create


The Notes app is great for dashing off quick notes and reminders. But, since Notes gives you no way to organize your notes into folders, it can soon be hard to find things. Dozens of uncategorized notes can leave your Notes app in a sorry state!

Fortunately, with a little bit of ingenuity, you can create Notes App folders. The iPad Notes app (and this applies to all iOS devices) lets you sync your notes with your e-mail account or iCloud. That synchronization extends to Notes folders. So, if you create a Notes subfolder in Gmail, it will be synchronized and appear in your iPad Notes app! (And, as a bonus, these Notes folders will also sync to your other iPhone or iPod Touch as well.)

I have successfully tested this with my Gmail e-mail account, and my Yahoo e-mail account. Other major web email services that support notes should work also, I suspect.  If you prefer to synchronize with iCloud, you can create folders with any of the iWork Apple apps (Pages, Numbers, etc.) and these will also show up in the Notes app.  I will demonstrate email syncing here.

To create Notes app folders:

  • Set up the Notes app to synchronize with an e-mail account that supports notes folders (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, etc.)
  • Go to your e-mail account and set up extra notes folders
  • Verify the new folders appear in the iPad Notes app
  • Create new notes in the appropriate subfolders
  • Transfer existing notes into the appropriate folders as desired
Here are step-by-step screen shots on how to create Note App folders.

First, make sure your iPad \ iOS synchronization settings for the Notes app are correct. Here the Notes app does not sync with iCloud to enable Email syncing.



Instead, the Notes "Default Account" is the web e-mail service I want to sync with: Gmail.


Finally, your Mail settings for the Default Notes app Email Service must show Notes syncing ON



The key step: in your web e-mail Notes area, create a new folder . In Gmail, I go into Settings > Labels > Create New Label. (Strictly speaking, Gmail has labels, which are not really folders, but they will get translated into folders by the Notes app.)

I will create a Gmail "Tech" label...


...and I will nest it under the Notes label


The new Gmail "Tech" label created under the parent Notes label




Now, return to the Notes app. In the upper left, tap on the "Accounts" button






And you will now see, mirabile dictu, Notes has the new folder, "Tech"




Tap on "Tech" and then create a new note.  It will reside in the new Tech folder.


In Notes the only way to move individual notes between folders is to copy/paste them.  It's faster to move them in your email account, usually.  Here in Gmail, I can check multiple notes and move them to the new folder all at once.  Your Notes app will sync and move them as well.

You can create additional folders for Notes in your email account and they will sync into the Notes app.



If you have multiple e-mail accounts linked to your Mail app, you can pull in notes from each of them. At any given time, you can only sync the Note app to one e-mail account. The good news: if your Notes app changes from one e-mail account to the other, the former notes don't get deleted.

In the screen shot above, I formerly synchronized with my Yahoo e-mail; now I have changed to sync with Gmail. My Yahoo-created notes, remain intact.

See also: Notes App & the Case of the Vanishing Notes
Many Notes app users have reported all of their iOs notes suddenly disappear!  Learn what causes this and the solution.



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