Do you often need to quickly jot down a note on your iPhone or iPad? Using these four tips, it’s easy to add notes without needing to hunt for the Notes app on your Home screen. Here’s how.

Add a Note Using a Widget

It’s easy to quickly jot down a note using a special widget that you can add to your Today View screen. To add the Notes widget, visit your Today View by swiping from left to right on the first page of your Home screen. At the very bottom, tap the “Edit” button. Then locate “Notes” in the widget list and tap to add it.

While you’re editing your widgets, you can also move the Notes widget to the top of your Today View list so that it’s easy to access quickly. Once the Notes widget is active, tap on it to expand it, then tap the “Compose” button (which looks like a pad of paper with a pencil on it) to create a new note at any time.

Using the Notes widget on iPhone

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Add a Note Using Siri

If you’d like to quickly take a note using only your voice, it’s easy to ask Siri for help.

Launch Siri by holding and pressing your side button (or Home button on older devices), or say “Hey Siri” if you’ve set that up. Then say, “Take a note.” Siri will ask what you want it to say. Speak aloud whatever you’d like in the note, and it will be automatically added as a new note in the Notes app.

Asking Siri to create a note on iPhone

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Add a Note Using the Share Button

It’s also easy to add a note using the “Share” button in some apps. (The Share button looks like a square with an arrow pointing upward out of it.)

For example, if you’re browsing the web with Safari and would like to create a note based on the site you’re currently viewing, tap the “Share” button. Locate the “Notes” icon in the apps list and tap it. You’ll be given a chance to add a written note to the link before saving it.

If you read the note later in the Notes app, you’ll notice a large link in the note you created. Tap it to be taken instantly to the website in Safari.

Sharing a link from Safari to a note on iPhone

Add a Note Using Control Center

Using Settings, you can add a shortcut to Notes within Control Center that will only be a swipe away whenever you need to make a new note.

To add the shortcut, launch Settings and visit Control Center > Customize Controls, then locate the “Notes” shortcut and add it to your Control Center “Include” list. The next time you launch Control Center, just tap on the icon that looks like a notepad with a pencil, and you’ll be taken directly to the Notes app to make a note.

Notes shortcut on Control Center on iOS

RELATED: How to Quickly Create a Note on iPhone or iPad

Bonus: Take Notes Using Apple Pencil on Lock Screen (iPad only)

If you have an Apple Pencil and an iPad model that supports it, you can take instant notes from the Lock screen simply by tapping on the iPad with your Pencil. To configure how it works, open “Settings” and visit Notes > Access Notes from the lock screen, then pick an option. With this feature enabled, any note you create from the lock screen will be automatically saved to Notes. Very handy!

Take Notes Instantly with iPad and Apple Pencil

RELATED: How to Take Handwritten Notes on Your iPad Using the Apple Pencil

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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