iOS’ Notes app provides a convenient way to remember the great ideas you come up with and all the things you have to do. The app has evolved over the years, and iOS 10 adds even more features–including collaboration.
Collaboration in Notes is not as elaborate as in Google Docs, it’s more of a passive collaboration. However, it’s useful for simple sharing of grocery lists, party planning lists, and trip itineraries with friends and family.
In the Notes app, open an existing note or create a new note and tap the people icon with the plus sign.
The Add People screen displays. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see icons for the various apps through which you can share your note, similar to the share sheet. We’re going to share our note through the Messages app, so we tap “Message”.
The New iMessage screen displays with a link to the note attached. To add a contact with whom you want to share this note, either tap the plus icon in the upper-right corner or start typing their name next to “To” and select the contact. To share your note with more than one person, repeat this for each person with whom you want to share the note.
Add a comment to the message, if you want, and then tap the blue up arrow button to send the message.
The other person receives the note in iMessage as an attachment that they can tap on to open the note in the Notes app.
When the other person adds content to the note, you can see it in real time, highlighted in pale yellow briefly.
NOTE: When sharing a note, only one person should be editing it at a time. The Notes app cannot handle multiple people editing a shared note at the same time.
When a note is shared, the person icon at the top has a check mark on it, rather than a plus sign. To manage the sharing options for this note, tap on that icon.
The People screen displays, showing who has access to this note. You can stop sharing the note completely by tapping “Stop Sharing”. That will revoke access for everyone with whom you’ve shared the note. Or, if you’ve shared the note with multiple people, you can stop sharing the note with a specific person by tapping on that person’s name…
…and then tapping “Remove Access” on the Info screen for that person.
You can delete a shared note, but a warning displays saying that other people will no longer have access and it will be deleted on their devices as well.
Shared notes are also marked with a person icon in your list of notes.
A limitation of sharing notes is that you cannot lock a shared note. If you try to lock a shared note, a dialog box displays saying you can’t lock the note, as shown below. For more information about locking notes and other features in the Notes app, see our article about using the Notes app.
When collaborating on notes with others, you won’t be able to see who made which changes or when and there’s no edit history. But, if you just need to collaborate on a simple list or share some information with someone, the collaboration feature in Notes for iOS 10 can be useful.