iOS 4 features: Sync multiple IMAP accounts with Notes

With iOS 4, the built-in Notes app gets the ability to sync with multiple IMAP accounts, including MobileMe and Gmail. When you set up MobileMe or Gmail (not via Google Sync/ActiveSync/Exchange but via the Gmail button) there's a toggle to turn notes sync on or off.

If you enable notes sync for multiple accounts, you get a new Accounts button at the top left of the Notes app. Tapping it takes you to a new screen where you can choose to view All Notes, just the notes on your iPhone, or just the notes that are synced via IMAP to your email account(s).

Those notes then appear in your desktop and web-based IMAP clients as well, like Apple's Mac (in Marker Felt, ugh!) and

If you're using multiple IMAP Notes accounts, let us know how it's working for you. For more features, see our complete iOS 4 walkthrough.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iOS 4 features: Sync multiple IMAP accounts with Notes


I'm using MobileMe, syncing with those Notes. and it shows up in my also.
Which i like.
However i will say that if i write my notes originally in the they don't always 'Push' to my device correctly.
But when i write them on the iPhone itself it pushes to my perfectly and right away almost.

I like the idea, but I had to turn Notes sync with Google IMAP because it was causing problems with sending emails from apps. The emails sent out of apps (like emailing a picture from the camera roll or forwarding a link from safari) would get stuck in the outbox of my Gmail activesync account. Very annoying, but when I removed the Notes sync, it all worked again.

Wish I could create notes in Google and have them push to iPhone. At least I don't think I can.
@bebo notes is working fine for me in the situations you described. When I first got my iP4 I restored from an old backup (of my 3G) and a few things seemed a little funky. I then was forced to have that phone exchanged ( because of a mic problem) and decided to do a clean install. All has been perfect since. No proximity issues either.

I had been taking notes with this while on a phone call, and twice it deleted all but the title on me. It hadn't done this before I set up syncing with my Yahoo account. I would add to a note, close notes and open up another app, then return to notes and everything was erased. I had even tapped "Done" to close the keyboard. I'm assuming it had something to do with syncing while on a phone call that caused the glitch.

They still haven't fixed the only real problem with iOS Notes, which is Marker Felt. I'm back to emailing myself things because I can't bear to even look at it, which I believe El Steve said at a keynote a couple of years ago that we would never have to do again because of's notes functionality.

I tried using their new mail/cloud notes setup. It doesn't seem to be very reliable and it doesn't do back and forth syncing. I'm going to stick with Evernote.

@Geoff I'm having the same problem so I stopped syncing all notes. Seems to be a yahoo issue.

I originally did a sync from Outlook to get my Notes on my Iphone, is is possibly to import those into Google? Now that I can get them on my phone i wouldn't have to use Outlook any longer.

Has anyone figured out if this sync features works with Yahoo. I see a lot of data exchange action happening but I see no evidence of data passing between my Yahoo account and my 3GS. Seems like its not a straightforward process to do a 2-way sync. Even still, I see no evidence of a one way process. I used Intellisync to transfer from Outlook to Yahoo.
I want to get away from using Outlook on my PC.

Just as I wrote that, I guess I found like described elsewhere with GMail, there's a folder called Notes under my Yahoo e-mail where Notes is stored. So, I guess my "mistake" is that I assumed it would end up under my Yahoo! account's "Notepad" service. Not the case apparently. Now, how do I transfer all my notes in my "Notepad" into my e-mail account's "Notes" folder.
Not intuitive!

The "accounts" tab doesn't appear on the upper left side. How can I get it to appear?

Just to let people know that this does NOT work with all IMAP services.
It appears that it is dependent on the IMAP folder structure which different IMAP servers arrange differently. This is some very poor programming on Apple's part.
Out of the 3 IMAP email services I use, only one of them works.
Regards, Julian Knight

It's not working. I added another Gmail account that I want my notes synced to (in addition to the original Gmail account) and they don't show up. They continue to sync ONLY to the original account.

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