To upgrade the Notes app on your iPhone, you need to update to iOS 9 and open the app. You will be prompted to update Notes to the most recent version, and this will affect all your notes on your device and in your iCloud. After upgrading you will have access to quite a few new features, including saving folders, drawings, checklists and more.
Part 1 of 2: Upgrading your Notes
Step #1. Update to iOS 9 or later
To use the new features in the Notes app, you must update your iPhone to iOS 9 or later. You can check for updates in the General section of the Settings app, or by connecting your iPhone to a computer and opening iTunes. See iOS updates for details.
Step #2. Open Notes app on your iPhone
It's on one of your home screens.
As soon as you open the app, you may be prompted to upgrade Notes. In that case, you can proceed with the upgrade on the screen that appears
Step 3. Press the '<' button to view the folder list if not prompted to upgrade
The option to upgrade is on this screen.
Step 4. Tap on 'Upgrade' in the top corner
This will bring up a new window.
Step 5. Press 'Upgrade Now' when it appears
Notes will now start upgrading.
When you upgrade Notes, you will no longer be able to access your notes on devices running previous versions of iOS, or on Macs running versions earlier than El Captian (10.11)
Step 6. Wait while Notes upgrade takes place
This may take a few moments. The app will display when the upgrade is complete. Do not close the app until the upgrade is complete.
Part 2 of 2: Using Notes after the upgrade
Step #1. Add notes to folders
One of the biggest novelties in the Notes app is the ability to write notes in folders instead of seeing them all in a long list. Press '<' in the top right corner to view your folders.
- Tap "Edit" in the top right corner of your notes list to select notes.
- Tap each note you want to move to a new folder.
- Tap "Move to…" in the lower right corner.
- Tap "New Folder" to create a new folder for your notes, or tap an existing folder to move the notes there.
Step 2. Add photos and videos to your notes
You can quickly add photos and videos to your notes, including images and videos on your phone or new photos or recordings captured with your camera.
- Open the note you want to add a photo or video to.
- Press the Camera button above the keyboard. You may need to press "+" to see it. You can also tap "Done" in the top right corner to make the keyboard disappear and reveal the Camera button.
- Choose to either use a photo or video on your device or take a new photo. This photo will be added to the note at the location of your cursor.
Step #3. Draw on your notes
You can also add drawings to your notes. These drawings will appear directly in your note. Drawings are not available on older devices. You need an iPhone 5 or later to create drawings.
- Open the note to which you want to add a drawing.
- Press the Drawing button. It looks like a squiggly line and is at the bottom of the screen. This will open the drawing tools. You may need to press the '+' before you see the Drawing option. You can also press the 'Done' button at the top of the screen to bring up the keyboard and locate the Drawing button.
- Drag your finger on the screen to draw. You can switch to a different line type by selecting the drawing tool at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap the current color in the lower right corner to change the font color.
Step 4. Create a checklist
You can use the upgraded Notes app to create checklists.
- Press the '✓' button above the keyboard to create a new checklist in a note. You may need to press the '+' button to see the checklist option. You can also press 'Done' to hide the keyboard and show the '✓' button.
- You can also select text and then press the '✓' button. Each new line will become an entry in the checklist, making it easy to convert an old list into a checklist.
- Tap an empty circle on your checklist to check it off your list.
Step 5. Change the format of your text
The upgraded version of Notes allows you to change the formatting of your text. Your options are limited, but you can change the emphasis of the text and create all kinds of new lists.
- Press in a note to start typing. This way the keyboard is displayed.
- Press the '+' button and then the 'Aa' button.
- Select either 'Title', 'Heading' or 'Body' to put a different emphasis. Title is largest and body is smallest (default).
- Select from the various list options. You can use a bulleted list, a dashed list, or a numbered list. Each new line will be an entry in the list.
Step 6. Add attachments from other apps
You can add attachments from a variety of other apps to your notes, including locations from Maps, websites from Safari, and many other apps that offer content sharing.
- Open the app containing the item you want to add to your note. For example, to add a webpage to your note, first open the page you want to save in Safari. To save a location, you need to pin a location in Maps.
- Select the 'Share' option in the app. The location of this will vary depending on the app. In Safari, it's at the bottom of the screen. In Maps, it's in the top right corner after you open the details of a location.
- Select 'Add to Notes'. This is one of the options in the list.
- Select the note you want to add it to or create a new note. By default, the item will be added to a new note. Tap "Choose Note" at the bottom of the popup to select the note you want to add the item to.
- Enter the text you want to add along with the item. You can type in notes for the item you are adding and it will be added below each item in the note.
- Press 'Save' to save the note. The item will either be added to a new note or to the note you just selected.