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jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
I have a Mac notebook and an iPad and I need to take handwritten notes somehow, most probably by writing them on the iPad with Apple Pencil.

(I would prefer to stay with Apple Pages, but if it necessary to buy some third-party app, I'm in.)

One important thing to note is that I don't want to store these notes on the iPad but in different folders on my Mac. And another important thing to note is that one day or another I may want to edit one note or another (this happens quite often, in fact) (and so taking them on the iPad and then moving them to the Mac by using AirDrop doesn't seem to be a good idea).

What is the least possible distracting workflow you would suggest?
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,348
9,046
Just use the Notes app. iCloud is the easiest way to keep your notes in sync between Mac and iPad.

If you don’t like the Notes app, take a look at paid apps on the App Store…GoodNotes is very good. other apps include OneNote, Notability, EverNote.
 
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jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
Just use the Notes app. iCloud is the easiest way to keep your notes in sync between Mac and iPad.

If you don’t like the Notes app, take a look at paid apps on the App Store…GoodNotes is very good. other apps include OneNote, Notability, EverNote.
Thanks, but one important thing to note is that I don't want to store these notes on the iPad but in different folders on my Mac. That is, one note may be in, for example, ~/Documents/Photography and another in ~/Documents/Cooking.
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,348
9,046
I think that’s adding unnecessary complexity. You can organize Notes in folders inside the app.

But check out the new Freeform app. It’s document based and works both on Mac and iPad. That might be exactly what you want.
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
I think that’s adding unnecessary complexity. You can organize Notes in folders inside the app.

But check out the new Freeform app. It’s document based and works both on Mac and iPad. That might be exactly what you want.
Are you sure it works on Mac? "This app is available only on the App Store for iPhone and iPad."
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
1674353207088.png
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,348
9,046
Upon further examination, Freeform doesn’t seem to be document based. You might have difficulty finding what you want.
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
Upon further examination, Freeform doesn’t seem to be document based. You might have difficulty finding what you want.
This would be great if one day Apple make it possible to take handwritten notes by using track pad or the screen itself, like Windows Surface notebooks.
 

Skyuser

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2022
20
40
You can use SideCar. Use it to mirror your Mac screen to your iPad, make sure the document you want to take notes on is front and center on your iPad screen, and you're good to go. Open the file using a built-in app like Preview, select a pen tool, and Apple Pencil should be able to function now. This should also work on 3rd party apps, like GoodNotes, etc.
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
You can use SideCar. Use it to mirror your Mac screen to your iPad, make sure the document you want to take notes on is front and center on your iPad screen, and you're good to go. Select a pen tool, and Apple Pencil should be able to function now. This should also work on 3rd party apps, like GoodNotes, etc.
Probably I should test it with third-party apps, but it seems it doesn't work good with Apple Pages. When I mirror a Pages document on the iPad by using "sidecar", the iPad uses the Mac version of Pages, that is, the version that doesn't support Pencil.

Or I can share a Pages document between Mac and iPad by using "universal control" and then Pencil works, but to use "universal control" I required to keep documents in the iCloud folder.
 

kboller07

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2007
91
23
Can't you just take them on your iPad with the notes app. Then open the notes app on your Mac and open the note you created on your iPad and export it as a pdf and place it wherever you want on your Mac?
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
Can't you just take them on your iPad with the notes app. Then open the notes app on your Mac and open the note you created on your iPad and export it as a pdf and place it wherever you want on your Mac?
Or I can simply create a Pages document on iPad and use Apple Pencil there, and then airdrop this document to Mac. But what if I will need to edit it later? (This happens quite often with me.) In such a case I will need to move it back to iPad and then back to Mac. Not really convenient...
 

kboller07

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2007
91
23
I don't use pages so I'm not familiar with it but yeah, so if you don't want to use cloud storage you're either going to end up with an inconvenient workflow or leaving one copy in the cloud and one in your folder, whenever you need to edit it again use the cloud version and replace the older copy in your folders. Sorry, that there's no clean way of accomplishing it.
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 601
Jun 9, 2021
4,521
8,299
Just use iCloud. You said you want to create Pages documents and store them in different subfolders of ~/Documents on your Mac, and be able to edit them in both places. That’s exactly what iCloud does with default settings, syncs your Documents and Desktop folders.

The problem you describe is literally what cloud sync was invented for. When you go to save, make sure the root is not “on my iPad” but “iCloud Drive”.
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
Just use iCloud. You said you want to create Pages documents and store them in different subfolders of ~/Documents on your Mac, and be able to edit them in both places. That’s exactly what iCloud does with default settings, syncs your Documents and Desktop folders.

The problem you describe is literally what cloud sync was invented for. When you go to save, make sure the root is not “on my iPad” but “iCloud Drive”.
Do I need some special setup for my iCloud? I ask this because it seems there is only a special folder associated with iCloud

1674363081112.png
 

BenGoren

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2021
482
1,350
First, don’t use Freeform. It boggs down after a few pages of handwritten notes.

What you probably want is Notability, available for iPadOS, iOS, and MacOS. It automatically syncs to iCloud, and whatever hierarchy you set up anywhere is preserved across platforms.

I’m using it for class notes as I work through my M.S. Statistics degree. You probably see more people on campus (students and faculty both) doing handwritten stuff on the iPad using Notability than anything else.

It’s very mature, well supported, and has lots of features. I can’t think of any alternatives I’d consider.

b&
 
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iAppleOrchard

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2022
899
1,271
Colorado
It's pretty simple to do with 1st Party Pages actually, just right-click on your Pages document > Import from iPhone or iPad > Add Sketch


I do this every math class, occasionally Chemistry if it is hard to type, hasn't failed once.

Also, something else to know is that it works in the Finder too so you can make hand-draw documents from your iPad and immediately save them to your Mac, without touching your iPad's storage.
 
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Jobeo

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2017
10
0
I went ReMarkable 2... I've had sooo many ipads (pros, airs, etc) w/pencil 1 and 2 (and still do), but for hand-written notes w/o all the hassle, it just works
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
The problem with ReMarkable is that when I talk about "notes" I talk about files that are a part of my projects. Each project is in its own folder on my Macbook and I don't want to keep these handwritten notes separately from my projects. To keep them separately, I can simply use iPad + Apple Pages + Apple Pencil.
 

jsx97

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 6, 2022
31
7
Goodnotes stores all its notes inside itself. You cannot place a Goodnote's file in arbitrary folder to open it later. So it seems it is not a solution. (In other words, using Goodnotes have the same problem as using ReMarkable).
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 601
Jun 9, 2021
4,521
8,299
Do I need some special setup for my iCloud? I ask this because it seems there is only a special folder associated with iCloud

View attachment 2145981

Well you could just use that Pages folder. I don’t actually remember, I selected the default option when I set up my Mac. But if you have iCloud enabled at all you should see that iCloud folder in the Finder sidebar, and you should see all the same folders under it that you see on your iPad.
 
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