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Those who use the Notes and Reminders apps will be pleased to hear that iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 bring some useful new features. The Notes app has enhanced functionality on the iPad with the Quick Note feature, while Reminders features better Siri integration and natural language support.

iOS-15-Notes-Feature.jpg

The guide below highlights the new features that you'll find in the Notes and Reminders apps in iOS 15.

Notes

The major new feature in the Notes app, Quick Note, is exclusive to the iPad, but Apple has added some general quality of life improvements and new features for those who share notes between multiple people.

Tags

When writing a note, you can use hashtags to tag it with a word or a phrase for organizational purposes. You can use any tag you want, like #cooking, #plants, #work, #reminders, etc.

ios-15-notes-tags.jpg

Once you create a tag, it's added to the "Tags" section in the Notes app overview. You can tap on any of the tag names to see all notes that contain that tag.

ios-15-notes-tag-browser.jpg

Custom Smart Folders

To go along with tags, there's a new Smart Folders option that you can use to create a folder to house tags.

ios-15-smart-folders.jpg

When creating a Smart Folder, you can choose a name and select which tags you want it to include. You can choose tags you've already created or add new tags that will be used in future notes.

Tags and Smart Folders offer a new way to organize your notes and it's a system that's quicker and more simple than manually organizing your notes into different folders.

Activity View

The Notes app has offered sharing features for some time now, but in iOS 15, Apple is making it easier to collaborate and work on a note with another person.

ios-15-notes-sharing-activity.jpg

On any shared note, if you tap the three dots in the upper right hand corner or the little person icon, you can get to an Activity View that shows you the edits that each person has made and who has interacted with the note.

If you tap on "Highlights" or swipe right in a note, you can see an overview of the portions of the note that each person has contributed. If you have a gift list or grocery list, for example, you can see the items that each person involved with the note has added.

ios-15-show-highlights-collaboration.jpg

Edit times and dates are included, and each person's contributions are shown in a different color. When you open a note, you'll also see a notification of the changes that have been made since the last time you opened the note.

Mentions

In shared notes or folders, you can add an @ sign and type in the name of a person the note is shared with to bring their attention to it and to let them know if there's been an important update.

ios-15-notes-mentions.jpg

With an @mention, the person receives a notification about the note, which is similar to how @mentions work in other apps.

Quick Note - iPadOS 15

On the iPad, if you tap in the lower right corner with an Apple Pencil or swipe with a finger, you can bring up a Quick Note to jot down a thought or an idea.

Apple_iPadPro-iPadOS15-QuickNote-Safari_060721_big_carousel.jpg.large_.jpg

You can bring up a Quick Note from the Home Screen, in any app, when using Split View, or anywhere else in iPadOS.

You can type in a Quick Note or use the Apple Pencil to write, and Quick Note size can be adjusted or it can be collapsed down to the side of the iPad so you can bring it right back up when you need it.

Links from an app or website can be added to Quick Note for context, and when you go back to the same place in the app or on the site, a thumbnail of the Quick Note appears to remind you of your earlier note.

Quick Notes are all stored in the Quick Note folder in the Notes app and they can be viewed on the iPhone or a device that doesn't support Quick Note as a standard note.


Reminders

Some of the same new features that Apple added to Notes are also available in the Reminders app, along with a few useful bonus features like natural language support.

Tags

As with Notes, you can now add any hashtag to a reminder as a new organizational method. You can group up all reminders that are tagged with a certain word, such as "groceries," so it's a great way to split your reminders up without having to use different lists.

ios-15-reminders-tags.jpg

Once you've added at least one tag to a reminder, the Reminders app will have a new Tag Browser that aggregates all of the tag names. Tapping on a tag shows all of the reminders using that tag.

Custom Smart Lists

Smart Lists are how your different Reminder tags can be aggregated together. Smart Lists can be made to organize reminders based on tags, dates, times, locations, flags, and priority.

ios-15-reminders-smart-lists.jpg

For tags, you can create lists that will aggregate multiple tags like #cooking and #groceries so you can create the organizational system that works for you.

Natural Language Support

In iOS 15, you can use more natural phrases to create reminders more quickly. "Jog every other morning," will create an every other day reminder, for example. You can use phrases like "clean the kitchen every Friday" or "check the mail every day at 4:00 p.m." and the iPhone and iPad will accurately interpret what you're aiming for.

ios-15-reminders-natural-language.jpg

Deleting Completed Reminders

It's easier to delete completed roundups in iOS 15. In any list with a lot of reminders, you can tap on the new "Clear" label. Depending on how old the reminder is, you might see options for deleting all completed reminders, completed reminders older than a year, completed reminders older than six months, and completed reminders older than a month.

ios-15-reminders-delete-completed.jpg

If your completed reminders aren't visible, you can tap on the icon with the three dots and then select "Show Completed." From there, the "Clear" option for removing finished reminders will be available.

Swiping to delete, a feature that was already available, can also be used to clear completed reminders, but the new feature for clearing all finished reminders is quicker.

Announce Reminders with Siri

When a reminder that you need to attend to pops up when you're wearing AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, Siri will announce it similar to notifications or incoming messages.

ios-15-reminders-announce-notifications.jpg

This feature can be toggled on in the Settings app under Siri and Search > Announce Notifications > Reminders.

Expand Suggested Attributes

Adding a tag is a new quick suggestion in the Reminders toolbar along with date, location, flag, and photo.

ios-15-reminders-toolbar.jpg

Tapping on the info icon also now provides tags as an option alongside date, time, location, flags, when messaging a certain person, and priority.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the new Notes and Reminders changes in iOS 15, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: Everything New With the iOS 15 Notes and Reminders Apps
 
Last edited:

zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,781
11,804
Florida, USA
I may be in the minority here but I have a hard time remembering to even use the Reminder app.
I use it quite a bit! Think of it not only as a reminders app, but also as a list-keeping app. Anything that you need to keep a list of, you can put in there.

For example, I use it for groceries, I can even put a picture of the exact item I want to buy so I can reference it when shopping. And you can check off things on the list as you put them in the cart, and uncheck them at home when you need to buy more. I've gotten to the point where I don't have to type much at all to update my grocery list because all the things I regularly buy are already in there!

I also put in things like movies I want to get around to watching, etc... all in different lists.

And of course it lives up to its name, reminding me to pill my cat, pay my bills, etc. It truly is a great app.
 
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Biu_miu

macrumors regular
Aug 29, 2016
175
273
Please, just stop, I beg you Apple. Both apps are borderline unusable because of the last iOS “improvements” or maybe even last two. simple and useful apps now are cluttered and overfilled with unnecessary extra features, that makes using them for main purpose just terrible experience. gave up on Notes,I just use “Do!” for all note taking needs. Swear to God, next year they will stuff Home Kit comparability in Reminder app so you can see doorbells camera or something.
 
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zinacef

macrumors regular
Dec 26, 2018
221
178
Much welcome and appreciated improvements! As an aging fella, the Reminders app is my most used app on my device.
 
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FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2015
604
387
Manhattan Beach, CA
I already organize all my notes by specific topic in each folder. I don’t like that the tag just takes you to the notes instead of an exact note in a page of notes. I deal with 2,000 word notes so it doesn’t help me to press a tag only to go through a 2,000 word page to look through. This is only useful for like a thousand individual small notes in one folder. Or am I missing something?
 
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houttbe

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2002
58
19
Brussels, Belgium
Reminders and Notes are slowly getting more useful.

One feature I’m still missing in Reminders is the ability to have recurring items repeat not on a given date (e.g. “every Friday”) but on a given interval (e.g. “four weeks after I’ve completed the previous one”). That pattern is more suitable for non time-critical items like getting a haircut. The absence of that feature in Reminders prompted me to prefer GoodTasks which is just a little bit more powerful without being overly sophisticated.

As for Notes, I wonder if the tagging feature is now equivalent to Evernote’s labels. Does anybody have experience replacing Evernote by Notes? Is there an automatic import facility?
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,327
4,641
I’m really looking forward to these updates. There are great enhancements across the board.
 
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citysnaps

macrumors 604
Oct 10, 2011
7,937
13,844
San Francisco
I'm glad that Apple is purposely adding features to Notes SLOWLY. Rather than trying to jam a lot of features and complexity into the application.

For me, that's the approach Evernote took 7 or so years ago making it less enjoyable and more complicated to use. And why I then switched to Notes and never looked back. I appreciate its simplicity and "just works" aspect among the devices my notes sync across, always without issue. Notes is an app I use everyday and depend on.
 
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Bobcat32

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2020
63
73
Ohio
Reminders needs context. I want my completed items to disappear and not do it manually. Aka grocery list. I can star certain items to always stay put and not erase, aka milk eggs etc. but the others auto delete a day after having been completed. Also I’m hoping in iOS 15 when I activate Siri and say “Remind me tomorrow at 9 am to bring pillows” that she will create a reminder for that. NOPE she adds it to my grocery list! So I ask her again “create a new reminder” etc so many different ways and she simply doesn’t understand I just simply want to be REMINDED! Are you kidding me. Idk how to even explain, reminders is SH&t put simply and complete trash
95A06DC5-2B04-43E5-9ABD-A7A346EA5E41.png
 
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hagar

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2008
1,223
2,629
Reminders needs context. I want my completed items to disappear and not do it manually. Aka grocery list. I can star certain items to always stay put and not erase, aka milk eggs etc. but the others auto delete a day after having been completed. Also I’m hoping in iOS 15 when I activate Siri and say “Remind me tomorrow at 9 am to bring pillows” that she will create a reminder for that. NOPE she adds it to my grocery list! So I ask her again “create a new reminder” etc so many different ways and she simply doesn’t understand I just simply want to be REMINDED! Are you kidding me. Idk how to even explain, reminders is SH&t put simply and complete trash View attachment 1826678
Perfect example of how stupid Siri can be. Once she’s tripping, you can forget about it.

It’s seems she has some context awareness that goes wrong and thinks you’re having a conversation taking your previous requests into account.

or… it’s just Apple hoping you throw your phone out the window out of frustration and then buy a new one a couple of days later.
 
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Shifts

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2019
53
31
Does anybody have experience replacing Evernote by Notes? Is there an automatic import facility?

Yes, I did that and haven’t looked back. There are easy ways to import your Evernote documents.

If I remember correctly then all imported notes end up in a subfolder within Notes, but in a fairly structured way.

Notes is one of my most used apps. Looking forward to all these nice improvements. And agree with the ones saying slow is good here.
 
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Wildkraut

macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2015
1,783
2,771
Germany
MR forgot to name the most important new feature.

Sync not compatible with previous macOS Notes, Reminders versions, to psychologically enforce customers to upgrade their MacBooks.

Yeah, that’s the real reason why they don’t split off these Apps from core OS updates.
 
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Ritsuka

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2006
1,458
948
Sync is compatible with previous versions, if you don't use any of the new features in a note. It will tell you anyway at the top of the note if you have and older devices that's not compatible with the features you are using.
 
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Wildkraut

macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2015
1,783
2,771
Germany
Sync is compatible with previous versions, if you don't use any of the new features in a note. It will tell you anyway at the top of the note if you have and older devices that's not compatible with the features you are using.
Yeah of course Notes and Reminders will message that your current MacBook became garbage despite still being usable, and the new features (that does not have any technical hardware dependencies) is only available on Monterey, which isn’t available for your current macBook.

Strategy, planned obsolescence, connect the dots!

If they add a sad Trumpet notification sound to the message, it becomes at least somewhat funny.
 
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Hyperchaotic

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2005
163
185
I share notes with my wife, I use the web version on iCloud.com on my PC because why bother with my phone when I spend 9 hours in front of a huge monitor, right? It’s slow, the editor does strange things with line breaks when pasting text, edits occasionally gets mangled version of old and new content, I can’t add pictures, it’s a complete travesty…
 
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4jasontv

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2011
4,705
5,573
I can't use Reminders until it has unlimited levels of subtasks.
 
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