Apple Note Quandary

I’m aware of and some what excited about the new features of Apple Notes coming with iOS 14 but I have a quandary.

Apple Notes is a quandary. I like it, it works well, and is deeply integrated. The thing I don’t like is that it is hard to bulk export notes so I’ve been moving more and more of my notes and documents into plain text in iA Writer and stored in iCloud.

However, I lose a lot of features that I like.

I’d appreciate your perspective. I realize this is an individual decision, so no need to state that. :slight_smile:

That said, in your opinion, am I making too much of the difficulty of exporting thousands of Apple Notes should the need arise? As things stand now the process of exporting from iCloud is a terrible process.


I like Apple Notes. Exporting isn’t a big issue for me.

Overall I think Apple Notes is a lot better than it needed to be, and for a lot of people it can compete with and replace an app like Evernote or OneNote.

I prefer an app that has a dedicated inbox, however, so I can see which documents have not yet been filed, instead of needing to remember to file every single time. The inbox metaphor is why I use Todoist for tasks, SnapNDrag for screenshots, and why I like SnipNotes for notes (but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere I haven’t migrated to SnipNotes despite its having many nice features missing in Notes because it doesn’t yet accept PDF attachments).

(I also dislike being unable to see how many files are in each folder in Notes… but apparently that’s a limitation in my Mojave version of the app, but it’s available in Catalina, and the upgraded, synced iOS version that works with Catalina.)

Thanks for the perspective. The image of instructions you posted is precisely the problem. It is a manual process, which is fine if you are trying to export a few notes but if you need to export hundreds you have to do so through iCloud. It can take several days and the results are poor. I know because I tried it as an experiment.

I’ve tried to use Apple Notes several times over the last few years but (IMO) it still suffers from three major problems:

  1. There is no way to restore single files after they are removed from the Recently Deleted folder. (Restoring Apple Notes requires replacing the entire database with a previous version.)

  2. I have not found a satisfactory way to export notes. (You can request an export of your notes at and you will receive an email in a couple of days when your zip file is ready for download. Each note will be in a separate folder, with files or images located in a subfolder.).

Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 7.09.03 PM

  1. Sync always fails at some point. It has happened with as low as 300 notes but always at some point above 1000.

I am currently using Google Keep for text & links. And keeping PDFs in standard iCloud folders.

Precisely, that is exactly what I encountered and I have also had the same sync issues.

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I had the same concerns, but decided that I’m unlikely to need to get the notes out, and it is possible to do so, so I’m content to continue with Notes.

I also think that one day it will be simpler, but no one knows.

To me, the lack of deep linking (I know there are workarounds, but it’s not easily accessible), and inter-note linking and dealbreakers. Too bad, because there’s not much missing there, indeed.

I agree. I like Apple Notes but the difficulty in creating links and in exporting/downloading notes are significant issues for my workflow. I have begun to default to using iA Writer for all typed notes and relegating Apple Notes to handwritten notes. I store all reference documents in iCloud and index them in DT.

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linking is easier in the ios 14 beta. You don’t need to share the note to someone to get the link now.

I also filed feedback for wikilinks :crossed_fingers:

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Never noticed the floating window. Thanks,

Oh oh oh
Now THAT’S interesting, is the link simply accessible in the share sheet?
That app is getting better and better, maybe by iOS 17 we’ll all build our Zettelkästen in it :smile:

well, you still have to click the “Share” button. But you can copy link from there without inputting emails.

i’m already building :slight_smile:

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Thanks! And nice!
… he said in twenty characters minimum.