How to Access iCloud on Android: 5 Tips and Solutions

iCloud is a great way to keep your email, contacts, calendar, tasks, and photos synced across your Apple devices. But what if you decide to switch from an iPhone to an Android phone? Apple doesn’t always play nice with other ecosystems, but you can access iCloud from your Android with the right apps. 1. Accessing iCloud Email on Android Every Android device comes with the Gmail app, and you can configure this to access your iCloud email account. Here’s how to generate an app password for your iCloud email: Head to the Apple ID page and sign in. On the…

Read the full article: How to Access iCloud on Android: 5 Tips and Solutions

iCloud is a great way to keep your email, contacts, calendar, tasks, and photos synced across your Apple devices. But what if you decide to switch from an iPhone to an Android phone?

Apple doesn’t always play nice with other ecosystems, but you can access iCloud from your Android with the right apps.

1. Accessing iCloud Email on Android

Every Android device comes with the Gmail app, and you can configure this to access your iCloud email account.

Here’s how to generate an app password for your iCloud email:

  1. Head to the Apple ID page and sign in.
  2. On the Manage page, look for Security. Under App-specific passwords, click Generate Password.
  3. You’ll be prompted to enter a description for the password, then click Create.
  4. Make a note of the password as you’ll need it in a moment.

Create a password in iCloud

Next, on your Android phone:

  1. Open Gmail and select the Menu button at the top-left.
  2. Tap the account selection arrow and choose Add account.
  3. Enter your iCloud email address and the password you just created, then Next.

Gmail will do the rest. Moments later, you’ll see your iCloud email account in the Gmail app.

2. Syncing iCloud Contacts to Android

Syncing your contacts between iCloud and Android relatively straightforward.

Open iCloud.com in your computer’s browser and log in. Open Contacts and select the contacts you want to export. Then click the gear icon, choose Export vCard, and save the VCF file to your computer.

Next, transfer this data to your Android phone, either via USB or using cloud storage. On Android, open Contacts, tap the Menu, and go to Settings > Import. Here, browse for the VCF file and import the contacts.

Note that you can also import this VCF file into Google Contacts in your desktop web browser.

Syncing contacts with this method is the most reliable option. However, several developers have created apps for syncing iCloud contacts with Android. If you prefer to automate contact syncing, try one of these apps. Just note that they haven’t seen updates in a while.

Download: SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts ($4) | CardDAV-Sync (Free)

3. Viewing iCloud Calendar on Android

CalDAV Sync, from the same developer as SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts, is an app that allows you to sync any CalDAV or Webcal calendar to your Android device. While not free, it’s well worth the price tag if you want to sync up iCloud and Android.

To use it:

  1. Start by opening icloud.com and signing in.
  2. Click Calendar, then select the calendar you wish to sync from the left-hand menu.
  3. Check the box labeled Public Calendar, then click Email Link when the WebCal URL appears.
  4. Send the URL to an email address you can access from your Android device.
  5. On Android, install the CalDAV Sync app.
  6. Collect the email message on your Android device and copy the calendar URL.
  7. Open CalDAV Sync and select Add Account > WebCal.
  8. Paste in the URL, click Next, and adjust the settings as required. Click Done when finished.

Sync your iCloud calendar with WebCal

Your iCloud calendar will now appear in your phone’s calendar app!

Download: CalDAV-Sync ($3)

4. Viewing Apple Notes on Android

Syncing your notes from Apple’s very useful Notes app to your Android device is simple, though it does come with some limitations.

To sync your notes, open System Preferences on your Mac and click internet Accounts. Select the Google account that’s associated with your Android device.

Here, you’ll see several items that you can sync with your phone. By selecting Notes, everything that you add to the Notes app will be sent to your phone. It shows up in your Gmail app, under a new label called Notes.

This has a disadvantage: when you sync your notes with your phone, they won’t sync with iCloud. In your desktop Apple Notes app, you’ll see that you have notes under the Google heading and notes under the iCloud heading—they don’t get pushed to both.

This is annoying, but if you have certain notes that you only need your phone, you can push them there. The others can back up to iCloud.

The main limitation of this method is that you can’t edit your notes from your phone. Of course, you can always switch to Evernote or Google Keep and have your notes available wherever you are, on any device, to read and edit.

5. Syncing Apple Reminders on Android

Use Apple’s Reminders app to keep track of your tasks? If you’re using CalDAV-Sync or SmoothSync, you can sync them to your Android phone easily by downloading OpenTasks from the same developer.

Because CalDAV provides support for task sync, OpenTasks simply piggybacks on the CalDAV connection set up by the other app to get your reminders. However, OpenTasks is very simple. It doesn’t provide a lot of extra functionality, giving it a similar feel to the Reminders app on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

If you’re not planning on using CalDAV-Sync or SmoothSync, you’re unfortunately out of luck. An app that once offered this is no longer available. We recommend switching to another to-do app that syncs across all platforms.

Download: OpenTasks (Free)

Connecting to Apple iCloud From Android Is Simple

Syncing iCloud and your Android device can take some time to get set up. But it’s well worth the effort if you have email, contacts, calendars, and other data that you want to sync across your various devices.

These aren’t your only options for accessing iCloud on non-Apple devices. We’ve shown how to work in iCloud Drive on any platform.

Image Credit: GaudiLab/Depositphotos

Read the full article: How to Access iCloud on Android: 5 Tips and Solutions

7 Ways to Organize Apple Notes for Smarter Productivity

apple-notes

Apple Notes is more than an ordinary note-taking app. It got a functional makeover and new features starting in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. If you’ve just started using Apple Notes or want to migrate from Evernote, you’ll want to make the best use of its features and day-to-day usage workflows. The simplicity and uncluttered interface of Apple Notes hide some of its best features and organizational capabilities. We’ll show you how to organize Apple Notes and take advantage of the built-in features to get your work done faster. 1. Organizing Notes in Folders Apple Notes lets you…

Read the full article: 7 Ways to Organize Apple Notes for Smarter Productivity

Apple Notes is more than an ordinary note-taking app. It got a functional makeover and new features starting in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. If you’ve just started using Apple Notes or want to migrate from Evernote, you’ll want to make the best use of its features and day-to-day usage workflows.

The simplicity and uncluttered interface of Apple Notes hide some of its best features and organizational capabilities. We’ll show you how to organize Apple Notes and take advantage of the built-in features to get your work done faster.

1. Organizing Notes in Folders

Apple Notes lets you organize your notes into folders for ease of wading through them. To create a new folder, choose File > New Folder, or click New Folder below the list on the left. Type in the name of the folder and press Return. Then drag your notes into the folder.

If you hold Option as you drag a note, you’ll make a copy of it in the new folder instead of moving the original. You can also create a new note within a folder. To do this, click the folder’s name first and type your note. If you don’t click any folder’s name, then the note you create goes into the default Notes folder.

create new folder in apple notes

On the iOS, tap New Folder from the Folders screen. Name your folder, then tap Save. In the notes list, tap Edit.

Tap the note or notes you want to move, then tap Move To and choose a folder or create a new one. The list of accounts and folders you create on your Mac shows up on your iOS device as well.

move notes to a new folder in ios

2. Nest Folders Onto Others to Organize Notes

nest folder onto another on mac

Apple Notes also let you create subfolders to further organize folders and their notes. On a Mac, just drag and drop a folder on top of another. It adds a disclosure triangle next to the folder and places the moved folder into the other.

On iOS, you can’t nest a folder insider another. However, Notes on iOS will sync the subfolders you create on your Mac.

3. Use the Attachments Browser to Organize Files

The Attachment Browser gives you a visual way to hunt through the files you’ve attached to notes, organized by category in a single screen. It includes photos, videos, audio, web links, scans, and documents. No other popular note-taking apps, including OneNote and Evernote, take this approach to letting you browse content.

On your Mac, click the Attachment Browser (grid with four squares) button on the toolbar, or press Cmd + 1. Click a category to see those types of attachments.

On iOS, the Attachment Browser button is located at the bottom-left of the Notes list.

attachments browser in apple notes

With this feature, you can organize notes and their attachments. To do this, right-click an attachment in the Attachment Browser and choose Show in Note from the contextual menu. Now drag and drop the content into another note, or delete it.

If you forget why you added an attachment in the first place, then you can take a quick peek with the Quick Look feature. Right-click the attachment and choose Quick Look Attachment from the context menu. With Quick Look, you can preview dozens of notes without opening them.

open notes in attachment browser to organize notes

4. Use Emojis in Folder Names

Having too many folders is a problem because Notes doesn’t let you customize folder names. You can’t choose a background, assign colored labels, or set tags. It results in dull lists of folders with no visual differentiation, making them difficult to identify.

But you can put an emoji either before or after the folder name. If you place an emoji before the name, Notes alphabetically sorts those with emojis at the top of the list. You’ll end up with a folder underneath the top-level Notes folder.

When you place an emoji at the end of a folder name, they just get highlighted.

emojis in folder names to differentiate folders

You have multiple ways to type emojis on a Mac. But the built-in emoji picker is slow. Sometimes its search does not reveal emojis for a particular context, and navigating the picker is time-consuming. For a better way, use this emoji picker workflow for Alfred to speed up the process.

insert emoji with an alfred workflow

On iOS, you’ll need to enable the emoji keyboard. To insert an emoji on a folder name, tap on the text input field. After you type in the folder name, press the key between the 123 and Dictation keys that has a smiley face on it.

inserting emoji on ios

5. Use Custom Images to Differentiate Notes

Images are powerful visual cues. You can attach an image for every note, or only the important ones. With this simple trick, you can find the right notes faster and also help your memory organize notes in different folders.

Put the cursor just below the title of a note. Then choose Window > Photo Browser and drag the photo from the browser to the cursor location. Right-click the image and select View as Small Images from the context menu.

Instead of a picture, you can also paste a logo or symbol if you prefer.

use custom images to find notes

6. Use Hashtags to Quickly Search Notes

One feature that Apple Notes lacks is tags. But if you need tags to organize your notes, it’s possible to use this feature in Notes with a small hack.

After you type your note, put a hashtag at the beginning or end of the note. Press Cmd + Space to launch Spotlight. Then put a hashtag along with the word you used in a note. Spotlight will pick up that note from the hashtag, but does not pinpoint the tags to their actual location in a note.

search Apple Notes tags with spotlight on mac

On iOS, the hashtag system works in a similar way. Swipe down from the middle of the Home screen to open a search field, where you can type your search term. Spotlight searches your notes and will pinpoint the tags to their actual location in a note.

Do remember that this hashtag system doesn’t work well with multiple tags.

searching tags in apple notes for ios

7. Integration With the Calendar and Reminder Apps

The built-in apps Calendar and Reminders work great with Notes, although this might not be obvious in the beginning. To create a reminder from Notes, select a text snippet and choose Share > Reminders from the context menu.

add a note to the reminders app

In the dialog that appears, either keep the default text (in this case, the text snippet you selected) or type your own. Click the Info button to add a time-based alarm to a reminder.

Select the On a Day checkbox, change the date, and click Add. In the Reminders app, click the tiny Notes icon to open the linked notes directly in Apple Notes.

create a custom alarm for a note

On iOS, open the note you want a reminder about, then launch Siri and say Remind me about this. Siri will copy the content of the note to a reminder and link to it.

If you find it awkward to use Siri in public, then go to Settings > General > Accessibility. Tap Siri and toggle Type to Siri. Then you can enter commands via the keyboard instead.

To create a calendar event from Notes, hover your mouse over a date until the popover menu appears. Then choose Quick Look Event from the context menu.

create an event from apple notes in mac

Click the Details button, type in the title, and add notes or a URL to the event. Lastly, click Add to Calendar.

add details to the calendar

You can use this feature to track online subscriptions, for example. Create a table and list all your subscriptions. Make two columns for Purchase Date and Expiry Date. Then add the details of the event and save it.

You might want to set the alert a week earlier so that you take necessary steps to either continue or cancel the subscription in time.

Tips for Faster Note-Taking

Apple Notes does lack a few features, but these omissions don’t detract from the usefulness of the app. In the future, Apple should make these features easier to discover. In the meantime, you can use these tips to start better organizing your notes.

What if you find the entire process of note-taking cumbersome? It takes time and practice to develop a systematic workflow. To improve yours, check out some great time-saving shortcuts to take notes faster.

Read the full article: 7 Ways to Organize Apple Notes for Smarter Productivity

5 Reasons to Ditch Evernote Today (And How to Migrate Your Notes Elsewhere)

ditch-evernote

I use Evernote on an almost daily basis. While the service is clearly doing some things right, I’m getting increasingly fed up with some of the limitations. What’s more, the company isn’t doing much to make me want to upgrade my account. So I’m thinking about switching to something else. I don’t make great use of some of the app’s most powerful integrations, and a simpler solution could offer more flexibility in the areas I value most. Today I’m going to take a look at some of those frustrations, and how they stack up against the competition. 1. Evernote Free…

Read the full article: 5 Reasons to Ditch Evernote Today (And How to Migrate Your Notes Elsewhere)

I use Evernote on an almost daily basis. While the service is clearly doing some things right, I’m getting increasingly fed up with some of the limitations. What’s more, the company isn’t doing much to make me want to upgrade my account.

So I’m thinking about switching to something else. I don’t make great use of some of the app’s most powerful integrations, and a simpler solution could offer more flexibility in the areas I value most.

Today I’m going to take a look at some of those frustrations, and how they stack up against the competition.

1. Evernote Free Is Severely Limited

When I use a service for free, I don’t expect the world. But when Evernote cracked down on free accounts back in 2016, they neutered the service for a large number of lightweight users. The company is well within their rights to do this, but whichever way you spin it the free option is no longer competitive.

Evernote Basic Option

Microsoft’s OneNote is free for all users. Apple Notes, should you be using iPhones and Macs, has improved exponentially since the company started revamping the app in 2017. Simplenote might be, well simple, but it’s always been free and there’s an app for just about every platform out there.

Evernote has clearly positioned itself as a premium product. That means it’s no longer a convincing choice for free users. The free version feels more like a free trial than a longterm solution. The biggest issues for those unwilling to cough up are:

  • An app limit of two devices per account. For example, your Mac and your iPhone, but not your Android tablet.
  • No access to your notes while browsing offline. Better hope your mobile reception doesn’t drop out!
  • A 60MB upload limit per month. Not an issue for those who use only text, but if you’re archiving PDFs, images, business cards and so on you’ll fill it up fast.
  • No email forwarding into Evernote. Previously a standout feature of the Web 2.0 era.

2. Evernote Premium Is Expensive

There are two tiers available to Evernote users: Basic and Premium. Basic is free and includes all the limitations above. It’s fine for very light users, but there are some glaring omissions from the feature list that Evernote used to throw in for free.

Premium is an $89.99 per year (or $9.99 per month) service. For that you’ll get 10GB of new uploads every month, no device restrictions, the ability to search inside attached documents, offline access to your notes, email forwarding, PDF annotation, a presentation wizard, and a business card digitizer.

Evernote Pricing

Many of those features, like PDF annotation and presentation mode, are completely lost on me and do not make compelling upgrades. Similarly, I could get a year’s subscription to Office 365 for $10 more ($99.99 yearly), shared with up to five family members while bathing in 1TB of OneDrive storage each. Evernote just doesn’t seem worth it by comparison.

The company used to offer an intermediate plan called Evernote Plus for around half the price, but that option is now absent. It’s all or nothing if you want to use Evernote now, and I’m being pushed in favor of “nothing.”

3. Evernote Still Lacks Some Premium Features

For its premium price tag, Evernote is still missing a few obvious premium features. Top of the list for me (and you may disagree) is markdown support. I don’t do any writing in my note-taking software, but I probably would if I could. Markdown support would help immensely in this regard.

It’s also not possible to lock individual notes. You can apply a lock to your mobile apps, which required a passcode or TouchID authentication on an iPhone, every time you return to the app. You can’t passcode protect notes across all platforms, on a per-note basis. Apple Notes has had this feature for a long time, so why hasn’t Evernote followed suit?

The seems to have put a lot of effort into developing features that I’m not interested in instead. There are separate apps for scanning documents, annotating screenshots, and creating handwritten notes with your iPad. There’s a web clipper which I never use, and Work Chat which serves no purpose for the solitary note-taker.

I’d be far more inclined to plump for the premium option if the company was focusing on improving the core functionality of the service with note-taking features, rather than widening the ecosystem. Of course, this is a reflection of how I use the service so your own mileage may vary.

4. Evernote Apps Are Frustrating to Use

I’ve noticed the Mac app slow down considerably in the time I’ve been using the service. Despite this, the iPhone app is what causes me the most frustration. After reinstalling the app on multiple occasions in a bid to fix it, Evernote seems to constantly fall out of memory on iOS.

As an example, switching between Evernote and two or three other apps causes the note I was browsing to disappear entirely. I’m dumped back into the search engine, where I have to find the note all over again. This doesn’t happen with Apple Notes, nor does it happen with anywhere near as much frequency in other apps.

Lastly, I’ve had to revoke microphone permission from Evernote on iOS purely because the “record voice note” button is so easy to tap by mistake. It’s right there above my home button, and it destroys your free upload quota if the file gets sent to the server.

Evernote Microphone Access

If it sounds like I’m grumbling, you’re right. I’ve used the service for long enough that I now audibly sigh when I have to search for a note again, delete a voice recording I never wanted, or have the Mac app slowly chug its way through a search.

5. Free Evernote Alternatives Are Plentiful

Maybe you don’t share any of my frustrations. That doesn’t mean Evernote is the be-all and end-all of note-taking. Well, not anymore anyway. There are plenty of convincing Evernote alternatives to choose from, many of them premium products also.

Microsoft OneNote is probably the closest thing you’ll get to an Evernote clone. It’s free for everyone, with no Office 365 subscription required. You get a total of 5GB storage shared with your OneDrive account and no device restrictions. There’s a web clipper, integration with services like WordPress and IFTTT, and an app for all platforms.

Note added to OneNote using Cortana

Simplenote will satisfy you if you’re a text-only purist. There are no storage limits, no device limits, and no fees to pay whatsoever. You can’t attach media, so you’re going to have to find another way to organize your receipts and expenses.

Apple Notes is another worthy competitor, but you’ll need Apple devices in order to make decent use of it. There is no Apple Notes app for Windows or Android, but you can use it via the web at iCloud.com. It’s a simple note-taking app, with attachments, folders, locking, and built-in document scanning to boot.

Bear Notes Tags

Bear is a compelling option for Mac and iOS users who are displeased with Apple’s free option. The core service is free or you can pay $15 every year to lift device restrictions, data exporting, and new themes. It looks like a cleaner version of Evernote, it’s fast, it includes markdown support and a focus on typography that will please writers.

But there’s more to it than this small selection. We’ve rounded up unique note-taking apps for Apple users, the best free Android note-taking apps, and productivity solutions for Linux users too.

How to Export Your Evernote Contents

You can export your Evernote contents using a desktop version for Mac or Windows. Ultimately the app you’re replacing Evernote with will determine how best to go about this. The best way is to export notes notebook-by-notebook by right-clicking an individual notebook and choosing Export Notes in the ENEX format.

Evernote Export

If you’re switching from Evernote to OneNote, there is a process to migrate from Evernote to OneNote. For Evernote to Apple Notes, we have this guide to help you switch. Since rival apps want to make it as easy as possible for you to make the switch, each should provide a relatively simple way of doing this in the relevant documentation.

Evernote Is Still a Powerhouse

If I’ve not convinced you that the grass is greener, that’s great. You clearly value some of the features I never look twice at. Maybe you’re happy to pay a small amount each month because you prefer Evernote’s way of doing things. More power to you.

But simply using a service because you’re used to it, missing out on better functionality, as a result, is doing yourself a disservice. It’s always a good idea re-evaluate your tools and habits in the name of increased productivity.

Read the full article: 5 Reasons to Ditch Evernote Today (And How to Migrate Your Notes Elsewhere)