Like its sister apps, Reminders and Calendar, Apple Notes is maturing in ease of use and features with each update.
Syncing with other Apple devices connected to the same iCloud account makes it a convenient way to store all kinds of information, from simple text notes to PDFs, images, lists, and tables.
Siri makes adding a note using dictation just that bit easier, especially if you’re on the move and need to jot something down quickly.
Limitations of using Siri with Apple Notes
It should be said that there are still some gaps in Siri’s capabilities where Notes are concerned. Some features – like editing an existing note – have been removed in recent iOS updates.
No doubt there is a logical reason for this behavior, and hopefully, any issues preventing more advanced Siri integration with Notes will be overcome.
So with all that in mind, here is everything you need to know about using Siri to create, find, update, and delete Apple Notes using dictation.
We have also written a detailed Siri Dictation Guide, which provides clear advice on getting the most out of dictating text with Siri, including a list of the most popular commands.
Create a new note with Siri
Siri can make the process of dictating a note into your iPhone or iPad much quicker.
Activate Siri on an iPhone or iPad by using one of these options:
- Press and hold the Side/Home button until Siri appears.
- By saying “Hey Siri”.
Read more about how to set up and use Siri on your iPhone.
You can ask Siri to start a blank note or give the note a title as it’s created, for example:
Hey Siri, start a note.
Siri will ask you what you want the note to say, and you can start dictating the text. Once finished, you will be prompted to confirm your entry.
Hey Siri, add a note called ‘my vacation.’
Using the example above, a new note will be created with the title My vacation.
If your note is relatively short, you can speak the note text at the same time as creating the note:
Hey Siri, create a note ‘this is my first dictation using Siri.’
This will create a note containing the text you dictated.
How to find notes with Siri
There is a variety of phrases you can say to find notes. Siri can search for notes using filters, such as dates, times, content, and subjects.
Hey Siri, show me my notes.
Hey Siri, show me my notes from last week.
Hey Siri, show me my notes from July 22.
To find notes related to a particular subject.
Hey Siri, show me notes about my vacation.
A list of matching notes will be displayed on the screen; tap on the one you wish to read.
Unfortunately, that’s about as far as it’s possible to go when searching your notes using Siri, but you get more options when the Notes app is open.
Advanced searching with the Notes app
You can use more advanced search terms using Siri dictation when the Notes app is open than from the Home screen or while using another app.
For example, if you’re on your Home screen, and you say to Siri:
Hey Siri, show me notes with attachments.
The result will be a list of notes with the word ‘attachments’ in them, rather than notes with attachments.
However, when the Notes app is open, you can tap on the search bubble followed by the microphone button to start dictation – then use the same search term – and you are shown all notes with files attached.
Using Tags to find notes
You can use Tags to assign a common word to notes that may otherwise be unconnected.
To add a tag, open the note and type the # symbol followed by the tag name. (The tag name must be one word or multiple words connected by hyphens or underscores.)
To find notes with a tag, say its name;
Hey Siri, show me notes about bananas.
How to make Siri read notes to you
Siri can read your notes out loud. Just say the note name as you speak:
Hey Siri, read my vacation checklist note.
How to edit a note
It’s currently not possible to update notes by asking Siri. Unusually for Apple, this is a feature they actually removed. According to developers, they are looking at reintroducing it in the future. As of iOS 16, the feature is still not available.
You can still edit and update a note using dictation; you just need to be in the Notes app first. Open up the note you want to change, then tap on the microphone icon at the bottom of the keyboard and begin speaking.
How to delete a note
You cannot delete Apple notes using Siri. To remove a note manually, open the Notes app, then do one of the following:
- Open the note you want to remove, then tap on the icon with three small dots at the top left of the screen. Select Delete.
- Swipe left on the note name, then tap on the red delete button.