Thanks for using NotePlan, I appreciate your support! Below I have summed up the most important points you need to know about NotePlan to get you started efficiently.
Let's get right into it...
How does NotePlan work?
NotePlan is organized around notes – one note per day, plus any number of undated notes that you can set up in parallel.
Jot down notes, [[link]] them with each-other using backlinks, and write additional to-dos as they occur to you.
At the end of the day or first thing tomorrow review the note and prioritize for the next day. And to stay on track with your projects, schedule tasks from your project notes (like this one) into your daily notes by linking them to a date (use >YYYY-MM-DD).
Before we go into the details, check out these two videos, if you haven't already, now or later:
Watch my Intro to NotePlan 3 (< 3min)
Watch this user-walkthrough by Stacey (~10min)
NotePlan has two kinds of notes
project notes and
Plan big things in your project notes and create folders as needed. Then link tasks from your project notes into your daily notes using >YYYY-MM-DD:
You can see the scheduled task at the top of the target date’s note:
Link a note to another by writing the note title between double square brackets: [[Note Title]]. Once you start typing you will get an auto-complete box to help you out (on iOS you can tap on the note icon in the toolbar above the keyboard). Try it by clicking on the link ('Note Title') above, it will create the note for you automatically.
Tasks are first-class citizens
You can create them on Mac by clicking on the + left of an empty paragraph and on iOS by tapping on the task icon in the toolbar - or by typing an asterisk - space - and then the task name at the beginning of a paragraph: * my task.
NotePlan looks actively for tasks and lets you search and filter them under 'Review' in the sidebar. You can search for all open tasks for example in Overdue:
If you know what Markdown is, you can open the preferences, and change the way NotePlan detects tasks (under 'Markdown').
Where is your data?
Plain text Markdown files are used to save your notes locally on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
Your data is yours - it's not locked up behind an opaque database, but always accessible on your devices.
Your notes are 100% future-proof, you can use any other text editor to open them instead or in a combination with NotePlan.
Your notes are private, only you can see them.
On your Mac, you can find out where your notes are saved using 'Note' → 'Show In Finder' (⇧⌘S) in the menubar. On iPhone and iPad open the app "Files" and navigate to "On My iPhone/iPad" → "NotePlan".
Syncing between devices
CloudKit (or alternatively iCloud Drive) is used to sync your notes across Mac, iPhone, and iPad. CloudKit is a private and secure database by Apple (only you have access to it). You need to have iCloud and iCloud Drive enabled to use it. Turn off syncing in your preferences if you don't need or don't want to sync.
iCloud Calendar & Reminders are tightly integrated with NotePlan. On Mac, you have the calendar sidebar (closable) on the right which you can not only use to switch the day in your daily notes (double-click a day to open 'daily notes', if you are inside a project note), but below the monthly calendar you can also see a timeline for the selected day. Your events and timed reminders will appear there. On iOS you can see your events & reminders at the top of your daily notes.
You can also create and edit events & reminders (on iOS pull down and on Mac click into the timeline).
Use the Command Bar (⌘J) to quickly search for notes by title, open a daily note, or create a task:
To search for a note, start typing the title, like "Welco...".
To open a daily note, type the date in any format you like or something like "tomorrow", "next week", "this friday".
To create a task, type what you want to do, and then a day: "Buy milk tomorrow".
Try it now, hit ⌘J to start on Mac and on iOS tap on the search icon bottom right of any note or in the sidebar. There is also a global shortcut: ⌃⌘J on Mac.
Use Markdown to format your notes
On Mac you can either click on the `+` button left of an empty paragraph to select an option or just type it in Markdown. On iOS choose from the toolbar above your keyboard. You already saw how a task is made (`* task`).
Here is more:
A bullet point is similar, but uses a dash by default: - bullet point.
Create a quote using the greater than sign: > quote.
Headings to structure your notes using # Your Heading. You can use up to 3 levels: ### Third Level.
**Bold** and *italic*
And `inline code` using backticks.
Tagging and mentions
Add tags or mentions to your text to find things easier later on. You can use # to tag #things and @ to tag people, like @tim. You find all your tags left in your sidebar. Keep everything organized using nested tagging by adding slashes: #main/sub or @client/acme/dan.
We are done for now.
If you need help, you can reach me through 'Help' → 'Write us' in the menubar (in the preferences on iOS).
Thanks for supporting me on this journey. I'm enjoying every step of this path - making the productivity world a little better every day!