I’m pretty forgetful. When I’m traveling or I need to remember something for a while, I usually choose to note it down somewhere – my iPhone. But opening the Notes app every single time got a bit tiring so I went looking. Looking for ways to make this process of storing a note temporarily and then quickly looking it up, a bit better.
One of the best ways to do this is to put the information as a widget in Notification Center and then to dock the widget on the top. So I just have to pull down the Notification Center and as long as the Today view is selected, my note will be right there. No need to unlock the phone or open an app.
There are two apps that will help you do this.
1. Best Free Option for Lists: Cheatsheet
Cheatsheet app is designed to put small, or particular list items in the Notification Center. If you’re planning on saving a paragraph of text, this app is not for you.
But if you want to quickly note down your train seat number, or a phone number you need to call, Cheatsheet is the app for you.
Once downloaded, open the app, tap the “+” button and type your note or paste it in. Cheatsheet will also let you choose an icon (really helpful when you’ve got multiple notes going).
Saving in CheatSheet is automatic so all you need to do is tap the “All Cheats” button to go back. You’ll see a list of all your notes here.
Tap the three lined handle button from the top row to rearrange the notes. This will be reflected in the Notification Center widget.
2. Best Free Option for Longer Notes: Quick Notes
I really like Quick Notes as a kitchen sink of temporary thoughts. When you open the app it will directly open into a view you can type or paste text in.
Whatever you type here will show up in the widget. As simple as that.
Of course, this simplicity can be limiting. There’s no way to store or view multiple notes. If you want to store a new note in Quick Notes, you’ll need to add it as text on top or delete the current text.
Download: Quick Notes
3. Best Paid Option for Note Previews: Drafts 4
When it comes to note taking on iPhone, Drafts 4 is the power user’s choice. It’s a $10 app that mergers minimal note taking with amazing automation prowess. With Drafts, it’s very easy to take a note, save it for a while in Drafts and then send it anywhere you want – as an email, to your to-do app of choice or to Evernote.
It’s this kind of behavior – a quick dumping ground for your notes and thoughts – that makes Drafts 4 kind of perfect for temporarily saving information that you don’t want to archive in Evernote till eternity.
But the thing is that Drafts isn’t exactly set up to quickly retrieve notes. When you launch it, it directly goes into text editing mode. But thanks to the new Notification Center widget, it’s possible to glance at your most recent notes.
The Notification Center widget shows the 3 most recent notes you made in Drafts (but they’re snippets of the note, you’ll only see the first few words of a long note), along with options to add a new note. Tap a note to quickly jump into it.
Download: Drafts 4 ($9.99)
How To Activate Notification Center Widget
As long as you’re running iOS 8 on your iPhone, it’s pretty easy to enable a widget.
Once the apps are installed and you’ve set up notes in the app, pull down the Notification Center.
Go to the “Today” section and scroll down till you find the “Edit” button.
This will bring a list of all active and installed widgets. The app names will have a green dot next to them signifying that these are new widgets.
Tap the “+” button next to the widget names to add them.
This will take the widget to the “Active” part of the list. Now use the “Handle” icon at the far right of the widget name to rearrange the widget. Tap and hold the handle icon and drag the widget to the top of the list.
What’s Your Note Taking Workflow?
Which apps do you use for notetaking? After iOS 9, Apple’s Notes app has become my default note taking app. What about you? Share with us in the comments below.