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Nov 4, 2012

Siri Tips: Making a Shopping List with Notes

The Notes app allows you to create and store notes on your iOS device. In the past, notes were only stored locally on your device. With iOS 6, you can sync your notes to iCloud, to iOS devices and your Mac.

Notes App Config

I did not realize this until I started working on this post, but configuration for Note syncing is really kind of complicated. You see you are not limited to just iCloud for your syncing. Any of your e-mail accounts (GMail or Yahoo) can be used as your preferred syncing mechanism. Thusly, you can have local only notes, iCloud notes, and e-mail notes. Scary!

To configure this on your iOS 6 device, iPhone or iPad, go to Preferences --> Notes --> Default Account and select iCloud. My phone was somehow set to my main Gmail account. Not sure how that happened. Anyway, it took me a long time to figure out why my notes were not syncing. Hopefully, you can now avoid that. Also, if you choose e-mail, it seems like you have to connect to you account with the Mail client to make things sync. I could be wrong on that, but it was my experience.

Notes App Commands

You can do the following with notes:

  • Create them
  • Find them
  • Append to them

Non Notes Siri Commands

With Notes Siri cannot do the following:

  • Read a note to you
  • Delete a note for you


Note with Regular Speech Pattern

Note something using regular speech.

Note that I spent $12 on lunch

Here's your note.

You see a visual link to the note. In your note the text will read "I spent $12 on lunch"

Create by name

Create a list by specifying a name.

Create a reading list note


A new note is created with the title and first line being "Reading list"

Create a Note Short Hand

Here is a more shorthand approach. Give Siri a command and then name the note.

Create note reading list

Here's your note:

A new note is created with the title and first line being "Reading list"

Finding Notes

There are two good options for this:

Find my reading list note


Find note reading list

OK, I found this note:

A link to your note is created with first line being the name of the note. In this case: "Reading list"

Making a Shopping List - Appending to a Note

A good example to end with is making a shopping list. Once you have created or found a note, you can add items to it.

Create note shopping list

Here's your note:

A new note is created with the title and first line being "Shopping list"

Add milk

Ok, I updated your note:

A new updated copy of your note is displayed:
Shopping list

You can continue to do this as long as the note is selected.

Content Updated 11/05/2012

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