Track Notes On Your iPhone And Mountain Lion Mac Via iCloud [OS X Tips]

Track Notes On Your iPhone And Mountain Lion Mac Via iCloud [OS X Tips]

Stickies are still cool, but Notes synced via iCloud may actually be more functional.

I have to admit, I’ve been a big fan of the Stickies app that Apple has included with its operating system since way back in System 7.5. It’s fantastic to be able to have a little floating place to type notes and keep track of things right on the Mac, without having to resort to anything as mundane as an actual sticky note.

The one thing Stickies hasn’t had was a good way to access those notes when away from the computer. With OS X Mountain Lion, however, you can make this happen using Notes and iCloud.

Set up iCloud on your Mac by heading into the System Preferences and clicking on the iCloud preference pane icon. Once in there, add in your Apple ID and login with your password. Be sure to check the Notes app as an app you want to sync via iCloud. You can have many Macs set up with the same iCloud account, making this a nice way to sync notes privately across computers you’re using daily, like your work and your home computer, or your desktop and laptop. If both machines are logged in to iCloud, the notes will sync up in almost real time.

Another advantage is syncing your Notes with your iPhone or iPad. Tap into the Settings app on your iOS device and then swipe down to iCloud. Tap iCloud and then add in the same account that you did on your Mac. Be sure to toggle the Notes app sync to ON. Then, when you open Notes on your Mac or on your iPhone, the note will sync either device, again almost in real time.

To pin your note to your Mac screen, launch Notes on your Mac, then double click on the note you want to “tear off.” It will open in a non-standard window, and basically float there, ready for easy access. Try a couple of times, changing the note on your Mac, your iPhone, and your other connected devices, it’s really quite fun.

  • Todd Thomas

    Is there a way to share notes and collaborate with others on that note?

  • Rob LeFebvre

    Is there a way to share notes and collaborate with others on that note?

    Not via iCloud, no, since I’m assuming you don’t want to give out your iCloud account info to other people.

  • MacU

    Nice article. I do like Notes and how it integrates but I am using something that I found works better for my workflow. I use the shareware Mac app called nvALT which permits tagging. And it syncs with an iOS app called Simplenote. So all of my clips, notes, etc., stay in sync between iPhone, iPad and Mac. I wish Apple would add a option to turn on tagging in Notes.

  • TedMcGown

    This is a good article. I use notes on a daily basis to keep my everyday organized. What I’d do is have my iPhone notes synced with the iCloud as per these directions:

    Next, I would simply access my notes from my Mac via Safari and the iCloud log in page. I do agree that having your iphone notes information on Stickes directly rather than from your web-browser after having logged in to iCloud is much better.

  • gserafy

    I see no way to ‘tear off’ notes – MacBook Air Mac OS X 10.7.5?

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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