How to Sync iPhone Notes with Gmail

iphone-notes-gmail.png

My bias towards Google Apps is something I’ve never been shy to express. Ever since I switched from Android to iPhone, I’ve been missing the deep and seamless bonding of Google’s services with its own mobile OS. Granted, the iPhone (or iOS, for that matter) has its own perks in user friendliness and third-party apps that make up for most of my qualms, I generally like stock apps working they way I want them to. Hence it came as a great relief when iOS finally brought the ability to sync iPhone notes with Gmail.

Earlier versions of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad’s operating system allowed syncing of notes with either Apple’s own MobileMe service or Microsoft Outlook, but there was no on-the-fly sync (the infamous iTunes dependency dilemma). Apple introduced the ability to sync notes with Gmail (and Google Apps) with the iOS 4 release, utilizing Google Sync to achieve this.


Before I delve into the details of how to sync iPhone notes with Gmail, let me clarify that this sync is primarily one-way, i.e. you can edit the notes only on your iOS device. Gmail allows viewing as a separate label, but you can’t edit or add notes through the Gmail interface.

First step, you’ll need to enable IMAP on your Gmail account that you want to sync your iPhone notes with. To do so, log in to Gmail, go to Settings and select “Forwarding and POP/IMAP.” Make sure IMAP is enabled.

iphone notes gmail

Now, on your iPhone, set up the Gmail account. Add a new Gmail account in the Mail app, providing your credentials and name.

iphone notes gmail

Once the account is verified, you’ll get the option to choose which services to keep in sync. Make sure Notes is enabled.

iphone notes gmail

Save and wait for the account to be synced the first time. You’ll find a ‘Notes’ label in your Gmail mailbox afterwards, which will contain all your iPhone notes synced on the fly (whenever you have internet access, that is). As expressed earlier, you cannot edit these notes in Gmail. Check out the screenshot below.

sync notes with iphone

In case you have multiple Gmail accounts configured on your phone, you can also choose to have sync different iPhone notes with with different Gmail accounts. When you launch the Notes app, you’ll find a new ‘Accounts’ screen which will let you choose between an ‘All Notes’ view or based on all configured IMAP/sync supportive accounts.

sync notes with iphone

You can also choose a default sync account for Notes through Settings –> Notes. All available accounts will be listed.

sync notes with iphone

Please note that this feature will work only with iOS 4.0 and later, so if you’re on an older firmware, this is out of question. Also, if you are missing Notes sync in your Gmail account options, make sure that you’ve set up your email as a Google account and not as Microsoft Exchange email, because that is not yet supported.

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About author
Aatif is a project manager by profession and a gadget-freak at heart. Being a techno-phile since high school, he developed a keep interest in mobile devices and settled with the iOS platform after experimenting through everything else. Being an avid internet user, Aatif likes to brag (tweet) about it through @aatoo
7 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I found this article in the process of troubleshooting my own Notes issues: if I follow the steps (not all of which are exactly the same, maybe due to iOS5.0.1 or Verizon), the notes do show up in the Gmail inbox, but there is no new ‘Notes’ label. Anyone else have success with this? Thanks in advance!

  2. Using the latest OS update and following these directions. The notes do not show up in my gmail. Thanks Apple, you commies!

  3. I was trying to figure out what the notes toggle in the Gmail setup on iOS was for and now I know. It works for me anyway.

  4. So, If I am at my computer, trying to make a note in GMAIL that will then show up on my Iphone in the notes section…. How do I manage that? Or have we not come that far?

  5. The problem with syncing notes between iPhone and Gmail is that google no longer supports the Exchange protocol. Also, notes will appear as email messages in my Gmail account so I could by no means edit my notes within gmail and transfer them back to my iphone. I prefer backing up my iphone notes directly to my computer as described here instead:

    http://www.copytrans.net/support/how-to-backup-iphone-notes/

    This way I have the notes safe on my computer + i can edit and reimport them when it is necessary.

  6. Very energetic article, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

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