Pages or TextEdit is great when you want to create beautiful documents or hammer out long reams of text. But what if you just want somewhere to jot down your thoughts or make a quick list? This is where Mountain Lion’s new Notes app comes in: it’s essentially a notepad on your Mac, but with some clever features that make it much more useful than a pad of traditional paper.
Most importantly, it will sync seamlessly with the Notes app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, which means you can have your notes with you everywhere you are – and any updates you make on one device will appear on all your kit.
There are various ways you can sync your notes (via your Gmail or Yahoo Mail account, for example), but the easiest is to use iCloud. To set this up, click the Apple menu on your Mac and select System Preferences. Click iCloud, sign in if necessary using your Apple ID, and make sure the tickbox next to “Notes” is ticked. On your iOS device, tap Settings > iCloud, and make sure the notes switch is set to On. You’ll be asked to create a free @icloud.com email address to sync your notes. Create your address, and verify that the Notes switch remains On in the iCloud settings on your iOS device. Here’s how to make the most of the Notes app:
1. Your first note > When you open Notes for the first time, you’ll see the yellow pad on the right, with the text cursor flashing, ready for you to start jotting things down. As you type, you’ll see the “New Note” title in the Notes list on the left change to match the first line of text.
2. Create more notes > Suppose you want to add a second note to your notepad – to flip to text page, if you will. Click the + button in the lower left corner of the Notes window, and you’ll see a fresh “New Note” entry appear at the top of the list. You can add as many notes as you like.
3. Jazz things up > You needn’t stick to the default font and text size. Select the text you’d like to alter and click the Format menu, followed by Font. Here, you can embolden italicize or underline your word, change their size and color, or pick a different font entirely.
4. Lists > One thing Notes is really useful for is jotting down lists of things. To help with this, you can add bulleted, dashed or numbered lists to your notes. Go to Format > Lists and make your choice. This will create the first entry. Press Enter to create the next.
5. View multiple notes > Want to look at more than one of your notes at the same time? Simply open them in separate windows. Double-click any note in the Notes list on the left to open it in this way, and move it around by clicking and dragging its title, at the top of the note.
6. Share and share alike > To send a note via email or using the Message app, click the Email button at the bottom of the note in question, and choose either Email or Message from the menu. The former copies the text into a Mail email; the latter copies it to a new iMessage.
7. Tweeting your notes > Select the text in your note that you’d like to share with your Twitter followers, then right-click/two-finger tap and select Tweet from the menu that appears. Provided you’ve got twitter installed and set up, the selected text will appear in a new tweet, ready to send.
8. Deleting your notes > To remove a note, click the rubbish bin button at the bottom of the note, the click Delete Note. You can click Edit > Undo Delete Note to get it back. To delete multiple notes, Command-click the ones you want, then right-click and select Delete in the pop-up menu.