Apple's Notes do grind exceeding slow

Posted on by Mike Evans

Back in December I announced that I had followed the advice of many tech writers and transferred all my Evernote items into the much-improved and relatively simple Apple Notes. Evernote does much more than I really need in a notes application and I felt I was paying an annual premium unnecessarily. So I bid goodbye to Evernote and migrated all the notes to Apple Notes. This was premature and rather hasty. I now have to report that I am bitterly disappointed with Apple Notes.

While the interface and the features are adequate, there is one massive downside. Apple Notes was working perfectly with a dozen notes floating around. But when I imported my 3,000 items from Evernote the synchronisation process became glacial. Now, every time I open Notes on my iPad, iPhone or Mac I have to wait minutes for the synchronisation to complete before I can start typing. There is no quick note feature which allows a new addition while waiting for the sync to complete.

I have searched the forums for help with this and, while I can find details of sync problems from a couple or three years ago, there is nothing I can find to help with the new version of Notes.

This is so disappointing that I have been unable to use Notes as a primary place to jot down ideas and, as I hoped, initial drafts of articles for MacFilos. Presumably Apple will sort out this glitch sooner rather than later. In the meantime, however, Notes is not fit for purpose. I’m reverting to Evernote for reference notes and relying on Drafts and Ulysses (sadly not on the iPhone yet) for drafting articles. Drafts has been a long-time favourite and it has a wonderful feature of allowing export to almost every application you can think of, from Mail to Omni-Focus, from Evernote to Dropbox.

Soon, I hope, The Soulmen in Leipzig, authors of the wonderful Ulysses applications, will announce their new iPad/iPhone version which should solve all my drafting problems. Currently I can work on Ulysses files on the Mac or iPad but not where I do most of my ad hoc drafting, on the iPhone 6 Plus.