Forum Question: How To Keep Notes On Both ‘my Mac’ and iCloud In Mountain Lion

After upgrading to Mountain Lion, when I first opened the Notes, on the folder list there was an option for my Notes that were ‘on my iMac’ (just like the iCloud option) with a + sign on its right. When I clicked the +, the ‘on my iMac’ option disappeared and all the notes from that folder now appear in the iCloud folder. I think they merged.
Only when iCloud is disabled, the ‘on my iMac’ option reappears. Why can’t both options be made available! Like they are on my iOS device. Which I think may also disappear after the new iOS upgrade later this year.
I have looked but cannot find any way to bring back the ‘on my iMac’ option back. No joy with Apple support!
Can you help?

Comments: 14 Responses to “How To Keep Notes On Both ‘my Mac’ and iCloud In Mountain Lion”

    8/11/12 @ 7:44 am

    Yes, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to have both “on my Mac” notes and iCloud notes. Some people have been successful in turning off Notes syncing in iCloud preferences, and then creating folders and notes, and then turning on iCloud syncing again to then have both listed. In my experience it is only there temporarily, and then they all become iCloud notes.
    So Notes is just an iCloud app, with a bonus non-iCloud mode if you don’t use iCloud at all.
    So, why do you want notes that are not on iCloud? I’m trying to think of why you would want this. Syncing to the cloud means they are available on other devices, and backed up.
    Not syncing — well, I guess you could have security reasons to not have your notes on iCloud. But in that case, just turn it off and there you go.
    If you want some notes in iCloud and some secure on your Mac only, then use two separate apps. Use Notes for what it is meant for: iCloud notes. And use a secure program like Data Guardian (I use it) to store encrypted notes only on your Mac.

      John M. Hammer
      8/11/12 @ 8:41 am

      Gary, I’ve found no way to un-delete a note in Notes. If it had a local copy somewhere, within ~/Library/Application Support for instance (which is where I think they used to be kept), then I wouldn’t have to worry about someone (maybe me, maybe the cat) clicking on the delete button accidentally. If I could just roll back to my last backup on my little flash drive, or Time Machine, or even my monthly bootable backup, that would make Notes more useful to me. Until I can be confident that I have a local copy and can back it up myself, I think I’ll be mainly sticking to files synced with Dropbox.

      Another reason one might want a local copy is when Notes are being shared by several people using an iCloud account and a user wants to create a note just for himself on his own individual device. You alluded to this yourself in your response. Of course it’s always possible to use another app or service for each function, but some people prefer using a single app.

        8/11/12 @ 8:47 am

        I would strongly advise against the situation where several people are sharing an iCloud account. They are meant to be personal, not community spaces. I can think of all sorts of issues coming up when multiple people share what is meant to be an individual account.
        As for your DropBox solution — that’s exactly right, you’ve got many ways to do things in computing. If Notes doesn’t fit your requirements, there are other apps and other methods of doing things.
        Apple often takes the philosophy of keeping apps simple. If they added every feature to Notes that everyone wanted, think of how complex it would be.

      8/11/12 @ 8:52 am

      Thanks Gary.
      I guess old habits die hard. You are correct, purpose of Notes is to be available across devices.
      Thanks for the reply.

    John M. Hammer
    8/11/12 @ 9:09 am

    OK, that’s fair. But what about un-deleting a note in Notes?

    By the way, how to I make line breaks here on your page? Do I need to use html tags? Because just hitting return a few times makes everything I write come out as one big paragraph.

      8/11/12 @ 12:46 pm

      You can use an Undo to delete a note you just deleted. But you can’t go back in time, if that is what you mean.

    Pierre Deslandes
    8/22/12 @ 7:15 pm

    Similar but somewhat different problem with Notes. On my MacBook, I have two iCloud accounts (appearing in Notes) and hence I receive all notes twice (not a life-threatening problem but sightly annoying). The iMac which seems to be set up the same way does not exhibit the same problem. I only have and I am only logged in with one account (to the best of my knowledge). I have tried deleting the iCloud account, re-booting,… but the two accounts always show up in Notes. Sometimes Notes will even crash when receiving a notes from the iPhone for instance. Hence there seems to be a little bug and it seems it appeared when I moved to Mountain Lion. Anyone encountered the same problem and (hopefully) found a solution? Thanks in advance.

    8/23/12 @ 4:27 pm

    Gary, just saw video 750 about Mountain Lion Tips. Towards the end, when you are explaining the tip about Notes, I can clearly see that you have both the ‘iCloud’ and ‘On My Mac’ option available. I tried switching the iCloud account off and yes, the option for ‘On My Mac’ appears. But soon as I turn the iCloud on, it Merges both options.
    How is it possible in your video?

      8/23/12 @ 5:32 pm

      It seems that In My Mac appears in several situations, and they are hard to nail down. Did you try creating an On My Mac note? And then leaving it there when you turned on iCloud?
      I think “On My Mac” is simply a temporary state for Notes and maybe there is no way to get it to stay.
      Think of Notes like email messages without a recipient. Email doesn’t make any sense without a “service” to receive and send. Likewise notes are not stand-alone things, but must be part of a service like iCloud, Gmail, Exchange, etc.
      I guess if you want something else, a simple text file created with TextEdit might be the solution.

    8/24/12 @ 12:23 am

    I did create few notes while the iCloud was off and On My Mac was still an option. As soon as I turned on iCloud, it asked me to Merge the Notes.

    I understand your explanation, but just want to know how your Mac is allowing you to keep both options.

    Also, thanks for the TextEdit suggestion. On that, is there no way to access TextEdit docs on iCloud with any app? I have the Pages app on my iPhone and iPad, but it does not see any Text file that is saved on my iCloud. Or are we to wait for iOS 6?

      8/24/12 @ 7:39 am

      Documents are accessed using the same app — so since there is no TextEdit app on iOS, there is no way to access those documents.

    Jonathan Lynn
    9/19/12 @ 3:25 pm

    How do you make a back-up copy of notes just in case iCloud fails? When you use iCloud to sync among devices you can no longer create notes in On My Mac because that disappears — every copy you make will go into iCloud.

      9/19/12 @ 4:09 pm

      That’s a good question. Until Apple has an official way to do it, I wouldn’t trust notes to anything that important. Copy and paste to a text document, or email it to yourself is the only way I see to back them up.
      I guess that is why is just called “notes” and not something like “critical information storage.”

    Vernon Paddock
    10/4/12 @ 1:37 pm

    Notes has been the only program that allowed some notes to be manually synced and some notes cloud based synced, initially with mobile me.Currently notes on my mac do not manually sync with with my iphone. This is significant downgrade. Notes are literally on my mac only or all in the cloud. I hope the previous functionality can be returned

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