1,000 Apple Notes-fast and flawless syncing

Unfortunately about 95% of the time this happens instead of the expected behavior you have noted.

Which leads me to not even try at all. It’s an extra step and then turns into sometimes 20 extra steps going back and forth. Obsidian (and the Devon think copy markdown link) work perfectly. But I wish Apple notes had this work and I’d be out on obsidian.

Honestly I’ve considered using devonthink for more permanent/literature esque notes so it’s all searchable and Apple notes for daily. The appeal of the all in on box is great but DT isn’t much better for notes on iOS. If I was macOS only this is probably what I would do.

This is pretty much what I’m doing. All of my research and related summary notes are in DEVONthink. All of my work meeting, reference, and personal notes are in Apple notes. This is working perfectly fine, although I would certainly like to have a few more features in Apple Notes.

By the way, the trick to the hyperlink in Apple Notes on iOS is to start the first character of the text you’re putting at the end of the URL one letter in from the end. When you do that you avoid the problem you showed. That said, it’s clunky!

Thanks for that. It is much more producible to get a working link! (Still a huge pain and don’t see myself doing in routinely).

I think I may scrap obsidian and try some form of just Apple notes and Devonthink. At this point with DTTG being my primary way to access Devonthink making an iOS shortcut to make notes that are templated isn’t bad. And I prefer rich text as it’s much easier to edit (in Devonthink to go can edit in place and click edit to get more option, markdown you can only view or click edit to edit). But linking is horrible with rich text on mobile Devonthink, but reasonably easy with markdown.

I’ll need to think about this a bit more before going down the rabbit hole of converting all my one note files to something and storing in Devonthink. Leaning RTF since so many images from onenote or drawings from meetings.

Maybe I’ll just keep everything in Apple notes until I’m done and archive with markdown export or pdf. Some things like book notes (aka I read a book, have a shortcut make a file with appended highlights and then add my own notes and tags later) work in obsidian and dataview, but tagging in AN with hashtag book and hashtag reading and making a smart folder is a whole heck of a lot easier. This workflow takes too much manual labor in obsidian, and DTTG doesn’t have Smart Folders yet (or I would probably bite the bullet and try it all in DTTG). After I’m done with the book I can export from AN (to pdf or markdown) and maybe link back to AN if needed.

Single source of truth would be great, but at least I will only have to search 2 places (AN and DT).

And with that I’m done rambling…at least I enjoy tech since it’s apparently a hobby trying to rework a workflow!

My comment was only a sleight on Microsoft’s penchant for ‘being helpful’ with such things as smart quotes; a trait that pervades most of their software though rarely in exactly the same way.

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The problem with Apple Notes syncing is the initial sync if you are migrating thousands of notes from, say, Evernote (that was my case). The initial sync never really ended and on the 4 devices I use I never got the same number of notes. New notes synced almost instantly while folders from the initial drop were still trying to sync. I felt it was quite unpredictable and of course in true Apple style I did not have any means of diagnosing the issue.

I believe that if you are creating notes one by one or in smaller batches Apple Notes will happily sync everything.

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I would prefer to use Apple Notes (I too use Calendar and Reminders) as I’m confident about Apple’s security and overall reliability, but have ended up with UpNote due to missing features… surprisingly still missing even in the updated versions of Apple Notes:

  • A way of linking to a note from another application. Virtually all notetaking applications provide a local URL/link. In particular I want to, on the Mac, link from a calendar event to the Note I’m using to track that event. That makes it quick to open the relevant note as soon as I’m in the meeting, even if I started it a few weeks previously.

  • Linking to another note - very handy for meetings. I suppose if the previous item worked that would do, although [[ ]] is very convenient.

  • Public sharing of a note via a URL. This is great for agendas, sharing quick meeting notes and other items that might change - people can always see the latest version by clicking on the same link. As it is, you can only share with others who have iCloud.

  • Highlighting!

  • Version control/backup. I’ve no idea what to do if I inadvertently amend the content of a note. Once it’s synced, it’s simply gone. This is the clincher, and bizarre given e.g., Pages has excellent version control.

UpNote uses Google Firebase… I just have to trust that their implementation is secure and they stick around as a company.

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Firebase is essentially secure, but it’s pretty expensive. Just make sure you have a way of exporting everything in case they don’t get market fit.

Indeed. Fortunately they do have good export and local copies of data.

I’m particularly concerned by their low cost “lifetime” subscription. That’s fine for a product that has no ongoing cost of service, but with Firebase every note or file I upload costs them money.

Yes, the numbers will not add up in the long term. Of course as a growing company they need to be aggressive in terms of pricing for the time being. Time will tell!

Also, if memory serves, current Firebase deployments store user credentials in US Google datacenters and while you can have your database for your project stored in another region (say, the EU) I think it’s difficult to have separate database storages in the same project so I would assume they are storing everything in the US. That may or may not be a concern for some people —I really don’t care.

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@nationalinterest I have the same wish list! I’m confident Apple will continue improving as they seem to be releasing at least one major new feature each year.

I’ve recently returned to Apple Notes again from Evernote. Something about AN always brings me back. I just need to stop switching apps and stick with it! It reminded me of this recent meme:


Call me paranoid, but I rarely migrate content en masse between applications. I even rarely drag huge numbers of files in Finder. Usually because if it stops somewhere in the middle I may have a very big job unpicking what has and has not worked. By chunking transfers into well defined blocks, it takes a little longer, but you can sit and watch, then verify, each chunk, knowing it is complete.

Having read your comments, I am even more inclined to continue this approach.


Those are wise words!

When I did this years ago, I broke my EN database into buckets of notes from critical to less critical. I migrated all the critical notes over. Then over a year, I migrated most of the remaining notes periodically in batches.

P.S. There are some batches I’ve yet to import, but have never needed or wanted to look at the notes again. While this is a whole subtopic on it’s own, I’ll mention that this result has been a testament validating why I left EN to begin with. But I digress…

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Yes, I hear you. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but there’s something in the AN design and ease of use that is compelling. Repeatedly.

I should just go for ninja notetaking and return !