How to use tags in Apple Notes on iPhone and Mac

The default Notes app on iPhone and Mac used the folder / subfolder style to organize notes. This changes with iOS 15 since Apple introduced tags for the note-taking app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac to organize your notes. Here’s how to use tags in the Apple Notes app.

Use tags in apple notes

With the latest Notes app on Apple hardware, the company is stealing the best Evernote feature for organizing notes on iPhone and Mac. If you were about to switch from Evernote or Bear to Apple Notes, now is the perfect time to take the leap.

At first, Apple’s implementation seems basic but digs deeper, and you’ll see a secret weapon called Smart Folders that takes the experience of organizing notes to the next level. Let’s talk about everything in detail.

Add tags in Apple Notes on iPhone and Mac

In true Apple style, all of Notes’s features are available on all platforms, including iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. In the screenshots below, we are using the iPhone Notes app. You can expect the same functionality on iPad and Mac.

To note: The beacons feature in the Apple Notes app is available on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12.0 Monterey. They are currently in beta. You can either download the appropriate operating system to your primary machine at your own risk, or wait for Apple to release the stable version this fall.

With the above notes in mind, let’s get started.

Step 1: Open the Notes app on the iPhone.

2nd step: Open any note or create a new note from scratch.

Step 3: When writing a note, you can create a relevant #tag to find it quickly.

Welcome remarks

In the screenshots below, we’ve added #GT and #Writing tags to identify relevant notes.

Added tags

Step 4: As soon as you add tags, you will see the Notes Creating Tags section on the Folders page.

Tags added in the app

The tags appear under iCloud, Gmail, and Outlook notes in the app. Tap the little arrow icon and you can expand the tags.

Here you will see all your tags created in Apple Notes. Tap All Tags and expand the list of tags. This is what the tags look like on Apple Notes for Mac.

Notes app for mac

Organize notes with tags in Apple Notes

Open your notes in Apple Notes and start adding relevant tags in each note. If you add too many tags, it will be difficult for you to find a relevant note in the tags menu.

Unfortunately, there is no way to organize tags through nested tags. It’s a term popularized by the Bear Notes iPhone app. It allows users to create sub-tags under a main tag.

Tags menu

For example, we can create a main Finance tag and add Crypto, Budget, Bank and similar finance related tags to it. Maybe Apple is keeping it for future updates? We will see.

How to remove tags in Apple Notes

Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the tags from the Apple Note sidebar or the tags menu on the iPhone.

You need to go to the relevant notes and remove the tags individually. Only then will you see the tags disappear from the Apple Notes app.

Also on Guiding Tech

How to create smart folders based on tags

This is an exceptional feature of Apple Notes. You can create folders and add notes to them automatically based on the tags. Sounds interesting, right? Here’s how to use smart folders in Apple Notes.

Step 1: Open the Apple Notes app on your iPhone.

2nd step: Tap the Create Folder option at the bottom.

Create a new folder

Create a smart folder

Step 3: Select the New Smart Folder option.

Step 4: Give the folder a relevant name and select the tags below.

Step 5: Tap Done at the top.

Create a smart folder

Smart Folder in Apple Notes

Apple Notes will create the smart folder for you. It is different from other Notes application folders. You will notice a small gear icon next to the folder indicating that it is a smart folder.

As soon as you add the tags defined in a note, Apple Notes will automatically add them to the created smart folder. Nice, isn’t it? The possibilities are endless here and we can see this feature saving countless manual hours of moving notes between folders in Apple Notes.

Organize your notes like a pro

Apple is finally taking default apps seriously with the latest operating system updates. At first glance, the tags might look like a small add-on, but add smart folders into the mix and you can see how happy end users are with the new additions to the Notes app.

Last updated on August 6, 2021

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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About Brian Steele

Brian Steele

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