Life Hack: Linking to a specific Apple Note

BIG UPDATE HERE:   I figured out a better way to link up notes in Apple Notes.  For this new version, I am using a text expander snippet to generate this for me.  Here is the workflow.

If I am writing a note that I want to reference later, I need to have an easy way to get back to this.  Sometimes I use it for writing a task and linking to a note for details, sometimes it is a note that wants to reference another note.  In Evernote, I would just use the note link option.   For Apple Notes now, here is what I do.

I created a TextExpander Snippet using Javascript with the following code:

 var chars = "0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXTZabcdefghiklmnopqrstuvwxyz";
 var string_length = 10;
 var randomstring = '#SearchKey: ';
 for (var i=0; i<string_length; i++) {
 var rnum = Math.floor(Math.random() * chars.length);
 randomstring += chars.substring(rnum,rnum+1);

I assigned this to a shortcut, that when I type it, I get something like this:  #SearchKey: CwFPFCR7xm

NOTE: The great part, I get a new code each time I run the snippet.

This is now my new link back to this note.  Now, in any other note I want to reference this note (or in a task manager), I just put this search key in the place I need the reference.  Super easy to get back to my note. As an added bonus, I now also see all reference from other notes when I search.

Referenced Notes


This works great ! I am still playing around more with notes.  I really do want to like this enough to ditch Evernote.  This is just one more nail in the coffin for replacing Evernote for me.

Below is my original post.. but this new technique is much better.


I have recently spent time trying to use Apple Notes instead of Evernote.   One feature I was missing was the ability to link to a specific note like I did in Evernote.   I used this in my task lists all the time.    Since you are not able to get a specific note link from Apple Notes, here is my quick hack.

Step 1:  Create your note

Step 2: Use 1Password (or similar password manager) to create a unique complex password

Step 3:  put the password at the end of the note as a #tag.. so you see something like #jerd-Ax-ceuk (or whatever your password manager generated)

Step 4:  Put the same #tag in your task manager.

Step 5:  When you need to find that note, just search in Apple Notes for the unique tag.. Viola!

Hope that helps someone.  It was a quick fix for me.

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  • Norm

    This is REALLY cool. Thanks!

    • torgerson

      Glad you liked it. Wish Apple had this natively

  • Rob

    Thank you.

  • markhu

    What is this TextExpander Snippet of which you speak? Off to Google…

  • Frida

    Hi Jeff

    Just like Markhu, I am wondering what is the TextExpander Snippet you mention. I googled TextExpander and I got this:
    They have an app called the TextExpander. I then googled a tutorial, just to get an idea how this works. I watched this:
    Which is pretty much like the Mac’s innate Keyboard Shortcuts, in the System Preferences>Keyboard>Text, then adding text you want to expand, and the shortcut you want to use instead. Mind you, this might not work (haven’t tried at least) for longer texts, like the guy shows in the video (to use for recurring email messages).

    Still, I am not sure if the code you posted above is something we need to copy and paste in the TextExpander app, and then the app generates a snippet for us, different every time? Does that become a link between the note we want to reference later and the note where we want the actual clickable link on? Or is the code something we copy and paste in an innate apple program, like Terminal or Automator? And what do you mean when you say “using javascript”, is that the type of code language you used, or is that referencing another app?

    If you can post more steps for us regular joes with no programming knowledge, that would be greatly appreciated!!! You seem to be the online with any ideas on how to create links between apple notes. thanks for that btw.

  • An easier way to get a unique string is the uuidgen command line tool. Since TextExpander can run shell scripts, just use this:

    #! /bin/bash

  • John


    I got your snippet to work using TextExpander.
    What I don’t understand is if I created a new Note in Apple Notes called Note1,
    Then I create another new Note called Note2,
    and now I want to go to Note1 by accessing a link inside Note2,
    How do I go about doing this?

    Snippet is working giving me ‘ #SearchKey- xh9RSrym1Z ‘ for example, but how do I go about using this, as per what I want to do above.