Boost your productivity by exploring these tips for efficiently searching notes and quickly locating what you need on your Mac.
If you are a heavy user of the Notes app, then you likely have many folders, tons of notes, and use it with multiple accounts. So, when it’s time to find a note, it can feel like a tedious task. But with some helpful tips, you can use the Search feature effectively in the Notes app on Mac to find what you want quickly.
When you use the Search feature in the Notes app, you’ll be able to find text in the filename and body of a note, in PDF attachments, scans, and drawings, inside images and within handwriting, and in the Recently Deleted folder.
1. Search specific accounts
If you have several accounts set up in the Notes app and are looking for a particular note, you can narrow down your search results right up front.
Click inside the Search field, and before entering a term, click the magnifying glass arrow to the left. Check either All Accounts or Current Account. Then, continue to enter your search term in the box or use the Suggested Searches below.
This is a good way to start your search in the right spot. And if you know the note is in a particular account, it’s the ideal way to find it fast.
2. Choose from Suggested Searches
Another handy feature of the Search field in Notes is the Suggested Searches. When you click inside the Search box, you’ll see a drop-down list for you to pick from. They can include shared or locked notes or notes with checklists, drawings, scans, or attachments.
Select a suggestion, and it’ll populate in the Search field. You can then view all notes that fall into that category or type your term next to the chosen suggestion in the Search box to narrow down the results further.
So again, if you know that the note you want falls into one of these Suggested Searches, put them to good use.
3. Use a natural language search
Another great way to search in the Notes app is to use search terms, as you’d say them. This is called a Natural Language search. For instance, you can type in things like “notes created last month,” “with photos about cars,” or “modified yesterday.”
This method can be a little tricky, and you may receive unexpected results in some cases. But give it a try, and you might just find exactly what you need.
4. Open the Attachments Browser
If the note you’re looking for is actually an attachment or contains one, Notes gives you a quick and easy way to find what you need. With what’s called the Attachments Browser, you can view all photos, videos, scans, maps, websites, audio files, and documents you have in the Notes app. Then, open it or the note that contains it.
1) With Notes open on your Mac, click View > Show Attachments Browser from the menu bar.
2) The Notes app screen will become the Attachments Browser. Click a tab at the top for the type of attachment you’re looking for and view the results directly below it.
3) You can double-click an attachment to open it quickly or right-click and select Open Attachment or Show In Note to open the note containing it.
When you finish using the Attachments Browser, hit your Escape key or click View > Hide Attachments Browser from the menu bar.
5. Additional searching in Notes
You can also use Siri on your Mac to help you find things in Notes using natural language. Try something like “show me notes about dogs,” “find notes with receipts,” or “find notes from yesterday.” Click one of Siri’s results to open the note.
If you need to find certain text within a note, you can do this easily, too. Use the keyboard shortcut Command + F, or from the menu bar, click Edit > Find and then Find. Enter your search term and use the arrows to navigate to each result found within a note.
Just like how you’ve become better at using the search box for a search engine more effectively over time, you can use these tips to Search faster and easier in Notes on Mac.
Do you have any search tips for the Notes app on Mac you’d like to share?
More tips for the Notes app: