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If you recently joined the Apple ecosystem, then Quick Note is one of the essential features you should learn about. This handy offering is available on all products running macOS Sonoma, iPadOS 17, or iOS 17, in addition to other recent OS versions. Expectedly, it also syncs across all of your compatible iCloud devices, allowing you to view and edit notes from your new Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

Quick Note overview and compatibility

Quick Note feature presented on two MacBooks side by side
Source: Apple

This feature allows you to access the Notes app in a small, floating window on your Mac and iPad, regardless of the app you're using. Apple describes the feature as follows:

Notes is your go-to app to capture any thought — and with the new Quick Note feature, you can jot down ideas no matter where you are or what you’re doing on your Mac. It’s like writing a note directly on whatever app you’re working in. Add links, Safari highlights, tags, and mentions to a Quick Note, so you can get to important names, numbers, and ideas easily.

This feature requires macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 or later, while iOS 15 users can only access and edit a Quick Note created on a Mac or iPad. They can't bring up the floating note window when using other apps. If you're on iOS 16, then you can start a Quick Note in any app on your iPhone through the Share Sheet.

How to use Quick Note on macOS

To enable and use this feature on your Mac, follow the steps below:

  1. Bring up a Quick Note window through a Hot Corner or the More menu on a Safari tab.
    new quick note option in safari on macOS
  2. To set up a Hot Corner, head to System Settings > Desktop & Dock > Hot Corners.
  3. Choose which corner you want to assign this feature to.
    assigning a hot corner for quick notes creation on macOS
  4. Once you trigger the floating note window using your preferred method, you can type whatever ideas you have in mind and then save it.

    The feature works across all of macOS, not just in Safari.

    adding context to a quick note on macOS
  5. You can access and edit your creation from the Notes app on your Mac.
    editing a quick note in the notes app on macOS

You can add links from apps to add context to a Quick Note. When returning to the same spot in the app, assuming the app supports it, a thumbnail of the note will surface in the corner as a reminder. The creation process is similar on devices running at least iPadOS 15 and iOS 16.

How to use Quick Note on iPadOS

To create a Quick Note on your iPad, follow the steps below:

  1. Ensure you're running iPadOS 15 or a newer OS version.
  2. Launch the desired app, such as Safari.
  3. Head to an app section or website of your choice.
  4. Hit the Share button, and select Add to Quick Note.
    Add to Quick Note option in Safari share sheet on iPadOS
  5. Alternatively, swipe diagonally from the bottom right corner using your Apple Pencil.
  6. Type whatever you want in the text field to add context, then hit the Done button to save it to your Notes app.
    Done button on the Quick Note created on iPadOS

How to use Quick Note on iOS

To access and edit a Quick Note on your iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure you're running at least iOS 15.
  2. Enable Notes in iCloud on both your Mac and iPhone in the Settings app if it's not already on.
  3. Launch the Notes app on your iPhone.
  4. If you've already created one on your Mac or iPad, a Quick Notes folder should appear in the Notes app. Enter it.
  5. Click on the note you want to edit or view.
  6. Once you edit it, changes will sync to your other Apple devices.

As our guide reveals, using Quick Note is very simple once you get the hang of it. It's certainly a handy feature that can spare you the need to manually copy and paste links or images in notes for context. Just create a Quick Note regardless of the app you're using, add your thoughts to it, and save it. This way, your ideas stay connected, and relevant links or media remain a click away.