How to use and customize the new Quick Note feature in macOS Monterey

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How to use Quick Note in macOS Monterey
Start a new note in an instant.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

macOS Monterey includes the same Quick Note feature that’s baked into iPadOS 15. Using it is incredibly simple, and it’s a great way to quickly jot down important information — such as phone numbers, email addresses, and appointments — that you don’t want to forgot.

We’ll show you how to use it, and how to customize the Quick Note feature on Mac to suit you.

How to use tags to keep Notes organized in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

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Use Notes in iOS and iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey
A new way to sort and find all your notes.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey allow you to use tags inside the Notes app to keep everything organized. They can help you quickly separate notes for different projects, and they make it easier to find things later.

Here’s how to use tags in Notes on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Take control of your Apple Pencil 2

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Like everything else, the new Apple Pencil is better.
Like everything else, the new Apple Pencil is better.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

The Apple Pencil 2 is way better than version 1.0. It’s always charged. It’s always there on the side of your iPad, ready to use. And now that it supports tap gestures, it’s also a lot more powerful. But it doesn’t stop there.

Check out these excellent Apple Pencil 2 tips and tricks to take your Apple stylus usage to the next level.

How to use Files app to replace your lame notes app

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No, not that kind of file.
No, not that kind of file.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

After trying out the millionth notes/scrapbooking app for the iPad, I realized that I should ditch apps altogether and just use the built-in Files app. It might be severely limited as an actual file browser, but Files has some big advantages over scrapbooking apps. It makes everything available to Spotlight searches, for one, and it doesn’t create duplicates of your files, because you’re always working with the originals.

Another huge advantage is that marking up PDFs with the Apple Pencil is instant. With all other PDF editors I’ve tried, you have to tap to enter a markup mode. In Files, you just start writing on the PDF. And that’s just the beginning.

Let’s see how it all works.

When did Apple’s built-in apps get so good?

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Look at this blank home screen. Just look at it.
Who needs third-party apps anyway?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

It used to be that the first-party iOS apps were only used by people who didn’t care enough to download something better. Mail, Notes, Contacts, the Calendar — all of these were immediately dumped into a junk folder by experienced users, to be replaced with a proper app. But something happened along the way to 2018. Now, Apple’s apps are every bit as good as third-party apps. (Well, mostly. The Contacts app is still awful.)

Today we’ll take a look at a few of Apple’s surprise hits.