A new look for Notes
Make notes that contain almost anything, including checklists, online research and voice memos
El Capitan’s revised Notes app enables you to add almost any kind of file to your notes 8>. You can even add audio and video files directly inside a note, and play them back there too. 9> A neat trick is to record audio notes in QuickTime and attach them to notes. They show a play button, and they work on iOS.
The Attachments Browser enables you to view every file and piece of media you’ve attached to your notes. This makes it easy to find things visually. The browser’s tabs enable you to switch between viewing documents, photos and videos, sketches, maps, websites, and audio. 10> Click an item to select it and then press the spacebar to preview it in a Quick Look window, or double-click to open it in an appropriate app.
11> You can add a location directly from the Maps app to a note. Click the Share button then choose Notes. The Share sheet offers a choice of adding the location you’re looking at to a new note or an existing one. You can add items from many other apps from the Share menu too, including web pages from Safari, which display the page title, the site address, a two-line summary and an icon or an image from the page. The Quick Look and double-click shortcuts work on maps and websites, too.
12> You can style the text in your notes using a range of predefined text styles: Title, Heading and Body, as well as three different types of lists: bulleted, numbered and dashed. These styles make the app a far more effective tool for structuring long notes, making them an easier read.
13> Click the button that shows a tick in a circle and a circle will appear at the start of the paragraph you’re editing. This enables you to add a checklist of items, just like you can in Reminders. Each time you press , a new item is added to the list. To stop adding items, add an empty line and press once more.
One slight disappointment is the lack of sketch facility in the Mac version of Notes. In iOS 9 you can draw sketches in Notes, but on OS X you can’t create or edit them; doubleclicking a sketch opens it in Preview as a non-editable
14> Deleted notes are now moved to a Recently Deleted folder rather than being wiped immediately. You aren’t prompted to confirm ‘deletion’; pressing ∫ or the button that shows a trash can moves a note to Recently Deleted, from which it’s permanently deleted after 30 days. 15> Like in Mail, a long swipe left while the pointer is over a note in the list will delete it.
16> If the ‘On My Mac’ account in the folder list is redudant for you because all of your notes are synced to iCloud, it can be hidden from Notes’ application menu.
The ability to add files, links and checklists to the stock Notes app, and sync using iCloud, might tempt you back from Evernote.