Sync Notes

Discussion in 'iPad 3 Forum' started by ogilley, May 9, 2012.

  1. ogilley
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    ogilley iPF Novice

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    I use iCloud to sync contacts and calendars between my home and office pcs (using Outlook) and 3 iDevices. If I go into settings for iCloud on my iPad or iPhone and try to turn on sync for Notes, I get a message saying that I need to create an @me.com email address to get this option. What gives? I have setup an iCloud account and other syncing works without the @me.com email. How can I get this to work without creating a new email address? Since MobileMe is on its way out, why do I need to create a new account to get Notes to sync.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    At this time Note syncing only works with an email account. The notes are actually stored in a folder in email. That may change in the future (or so one rumor said). But for now at least, there is no way around it.

    Email accounts that you can sync notes with are:

    • GMail (the default IMAP setup only)
    • Yahoo
    • iCloud ( @me.com )

    There may be more, but these are the only ones I am sure of.

    If you have a GMail account setup as Exchange, it is possible to set up the same account again in parallel, using the default method. Turn on nothing but the Notes options in the second account and the two will not interfere with each other.

    Or you can just go ahead and get the @me.com email address. Never hurts to have a backup. I've got three email accounts. Comes in hand for troubleshooting email problems, if nothing else.
  3. skimonkey
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    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi twerppoet-nice to see you. Question...how does syncing of notes work if using a google email account? Is it similar to Dropbox where you drop your file on one device and than will sync to another?
  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    In your email account settings you'll see an option to sync Notes, just like you see options to sync Calendars, Contacts, or the Email itself. It's on the first screen of options after you select the account. These are simple ON/OFF switches, and only the options that your account supports are visible. The below image is for the IMAP account. The Exchange setup offers different choices.

    GMailOptions.jpg
    GMail Options (default IMAP account)

    If you turn on Notes syncing with more than one email account, or if you do not merge the local notes with the account when you first sync you will get a new Accounts button above the Notes list in the app. Tap this and you can choose between accounts. You'll also want to go to Settings > Notes and choose a default account for adding new notes.

    NotesAccounts.jpg
    Accounts list in Notes

    This will add a folder to your email account named Notes. If you delete this folder, or any of it's contents, you'll be deleting the Note from the app as well. Apple hides this folder for iCloud (@me.com) accounts in the Mail app, probably to prevent this kind of mistake; but you'll see it if you in other account types, or if you access your @me.com account by other means.
  5. skimonkey
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    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey, thank you for this great information twerppoet! I have now learned 2 new things tonight! This is really great--thank you again, will have to be careful though to not delete the notes folder by accident. That would be a disaster.
  6. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    You're welcome.

    And I added the folder info specifically be cause it has happened. The good news is that just like other deleted email items, the notes can be retrieved from Trash (until you empty it, anyway). Only if you delete them in email though. If the iPad deletes them, they are gone.

    As always, I recommend Evernote as a better, more robust and full featured, Notes solution
  7. skimonkey
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    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh - that makes me feel better that it can be recovered, makes it dummy proof for some of us!!
  8. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Disclaimer:

    You might be able to recover it. No guarantees. ;)
  9. ogilley
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    ogilley iPF Novice

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    Thanks to all for the explanation. I will use Evernote or wait until iOS will sync in a more rational way.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  10. skimonkey
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    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm sticking with Evernote also--but may be back to this thread for updates!
  11. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    No problem.

    It actually made sense for OS X users. Mail on an Mac has the ability to create notes, which are stored in this folder; so from that point of view it works fairly well. The scattered rumors of iOS 6 having a Notes web app at icloud.com suggests that things may be changing; probably sometime this Fall (pure guesswork).
  12. ogilley
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    ogilley iPF Novice

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    Thanks. I get the big picture now. I use to be a Mac, but have been a pc long enough now that I forget that Apple often caters to Macs and only adapts to pcs when necessary.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  13. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Most successful companies are that way. You don't get far dumping on your current customers in order to pursue new ones. Also, because Apple has complete hardware and software control of their own products, it is far easier to add new or expanded features in house than it is to rely on the often buggy and incomplete cross platform standards.

    It is what it is. Windows users enjoy the same advantage when sticking with all Microsoft products. Or they would if Microsoft hadn't dropped the ball on three new product categories in a row. Still, they are really really big, and will probably catch up before the company goes bankrupt. ;)

    And of course, Android users get better integration with Google.

    Linux is the only unbiased platform. They get equally ignored by everyone. :D
  14. Duraiken
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    Duraiken iPF Noob

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    Hi. I found this thread through the search function, and have the same problem as the op. I want to sync my iPad 2 (and iPhone) notes to my PC. Additionally, I'm using Windows 7, my browser is Chrome as I don't like the layout of IE, and I've synced using Gmail and iCloud. More than likely the answer to my problems lies in Gmail or iCloud but I'm not sure to get there yet. I'd prefer to use the default ios Note app, as I've got a lot of stuff on it already and don't intend to start anew. Thanks for your input.
  15. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    At this time I am still recommending Evernote. That may change with iOS 6. It is hard to tell at this point how well, or even if, their new iCloud note syncing will work with Windows.

    The free Evernote account comes with an email address you can use to send your existing notes to you account. This is easily done in the Notes app.

    If you give it a try I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Evernote's versatility and ease of use.
  16. hberninger
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    hberninger iPF Novice

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    I agree with Twerppoet. I use Evernote and love it. My memory has disappeared in my old age, so I make tons of notes and they are seamlessly available on my iPad, iPhone, MacBook, and iMac.
  17. Duraiken
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    Duraiken iPF Noob

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    There isn't a way to sync with my current setup? I'd really prefer that. I think I had the Evernote app for a while but when when I tried to use it for the first time I realized I needed to start another new account. I've got far too many passwords already. If I have to I'll get another app, but I'd prefer not to. I've tried sending the files by email to myself, but they came out in a non-wordwrapped unformatted mess with no spaces between any words.
  18. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Both iCloud and GMail sync notes with a folder on their email servers. There is no way (that I know of) to make them sync with an actual note application on the computer.

    From the sounds of things OS X Mountain Lion is going to change this around a bit, since it will add a Notes app to the Mac that will sync to iCloud and iOS devices. I'm not sure how they are going to do that, so I don't know if it will also create a new syncing option on Windows machines.

    If it does happen it will probably require an update to iOS 5 and the iCloud control panel on Windows, or we may have to wait even longer for iOS 6.

    Now, it is just barely possible there is an app for Windows that will create/edit and manage notes in using the notes folder in your GMail and/or iCloud account; but I've never looked for one.
  19. Patrizia_NC
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    Patrizia_NC iPad Fan

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    Just FYI it works with AOL accounts as well
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