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Old 4 Dec 2020, 04:26 AM   #1
Fenman
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Making use of Notes in Fastmail

It's become a bit of a project to use Fastmail as fully as possible. I've used the email for ages. I've just started running with the calendar. Files works well enough for me. I'm wondering about Notes. At first sight it seems very basic - no import,export, backup, folders or tags.

I see it shows up as an imap folder in a client. I can't seem to make new notes there, though.

I'd be grateful for any hints as to how to get get the best use from Notes. Any nifty uses out there?
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 07:37 AM   #2
Berenburger
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Please read first this help page.
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 08:16 AM   #3
TenFour
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I am a text guy--I like the fact that Notes is basically just text and minimal. I think carefully about the title of each Note so that when I have them sorted by title it is easy to find things, though the search box works well too. You can also sort by newest first, which I use a lot, or oldest first, which I do not use. It is also a great place to simply edit some text quickly without having to resort to another program. For example, the other day I was updating a page of important information I store in a password manager and I just copied the text into Notes to have some minimal but effective editing tools. I fixed up the document then transferred it back into the password manager. It's great not to have to fire up a word processor or some other application just to clean up a little text.
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 10:44 AM   #4
Grhm
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I used to use notes a lot in the just way TenFour describes, but less now, because of a couple of recently-introduced drawbacks.

Firstly, a note is no longer just text, it's formatted text, so if you copy something into it from a web site you get the formatting too whether you want it or not, and there doesn't seem to be any way of removing it.

And secondly, notes aren't automatically backed-up as you go like draft e-mails are now, so if the browser crashes or the phone runs out of charge before you've saved what you were working on, then it is lost and you have to start again.

So for both those reasons I now tend to create draft e-mails and edit text in there instead.

But notes are great for storing information you need to refer to frequently, or things you think might be useful one day.

As well as all the sorting options TenFour mentions, you can also now 'pin' them to the top, which, I've recently discovered, is actually rather handy.

Last edited by Grhm : 5 Dec 2020 at 07:16 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 12:44 PM   #5
somdcomputerguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post
Firstly, a note is no longer just text, it's formatted text, so if you copy something into it from a web site you get the formatting too whether you want it or not, and there doesn't seem to be any way removing it.

And secondly, notes aren't automatically backed-up as you go like draft e-mails are now, so if the browser crashes or the phone runs out of charge before you've saved what you were working on, then it is lost and you have to start again.
When creating a new note, if content from a web page (or probably any other document) is pasted in, it DOES have the same formatting as where it was copied from, but there is a button next to the Save button that toggles between Make Plain Text and Make Rich Text. When editing an existing note, this same toggle button is present.

It is true that the note isn't automatically drafted like an email is, so having to remember to regularly save the note manually while creating may be necessary.

- Bruce
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 04:39 PM   #6
gj15
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Originally Posted by Fenman View Post
I'd be grateful for any hints as to how to get get the best use from Notes. Any nifty uses out there?
If you have a Mac OSX desktop device or an iOS tablet or phone you can sync Fastmail’s notes to the default Notes app present on each platform.

https://www.fastmail.com/help/clients/mac.html
https://www.fastmail.com/help/clients/iphone.html

You need to scroll down quite a way on each page to find the “Set up notes” section.
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 06:31 PM   #7
Fenman
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Thanks for those who have commented so far. It gives me ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berenburger View Post
Please read first this help page.
Yes, I naturally read those pages first. Is there something particular that you think I might have missed?

Perhaps it would help to put the question another way. On my PC I already have access to Standard Notes, which I like and pay for, Keep if I want to go to Google, Onenote and there are many more if I choose. What would make me prefer to use the modest feature set in Notes in Fastmail over others?

Of course, the lack of additional cost is one!
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 06:55 PM   #8
FredOnline
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Originally Posted by Fenman View Post
On my PC I already have access to Standard Notes, which I like and pay for, Keep if I want to go to Google, Onenote and there are many more if I choose. What would make me prefer to use the modest feature set in Notes in Fastmail over others?
It's which ever one floats your narrowboat!
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 06:58 PM   #9
JeremyNicoll
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I am a text guy ... It's great not to have to fire up a word processor or some other application just to clean up a little text.
Why on earth would anyone ever consider starting a word-processor just to edit text?

(Of course I know the answer - it's because of how people are taught about Word etc at school.)

I quite often get emails from people which contain several paragraphs of text (albeit rich) in the body, and then an attached Word file with - say - a list of hymn tunes in it. I've /never/ understood why they don't realise that that could have just been the next paragraph in the body of the email..

The text editor I use starts instantly, but even if it didn't I usually have it open all the time anyway, partly because it's programmable and I have utiliies written in its script language that do stuff for me; I also have a Windows terminal window open all the time. Between those I have two places I can run things from.

One of the files open in the text editor is just a sort of scratch-pad of this & that - eg URLs of things I plan to look at more closely, or things I want to tell myself to do later in the day. In the event that the editor is not already open, an icon for that scratch-pad file, and also one for notes on system maintenance, are the only things I have in the toolbar Quick Launch area, so dead easy to find and click if I need either file in a hurry.
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Old 4 Dec 2020, 08:31 PM   #10
TenFour
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Why on earth would anyone ever consider starting a word-processor just to edit text?
It just depends on what you are trying to do. For example, I find that the organization of notes drastically impacts how readable they are. I like to use things like bolded words, italics, bulleted lists, and be able to hyperlink items so I can just use one click to go to them. The minimal formatting options in Fastmail Notes works well for these things. As someone noted above you can paste in HTML text if you want to, and as someone else noted you can quickly turn that into plain text too. Both are useful in FM Notes. Personally, for what I do, which is text-oriented, typical Notepad apps are frequently either too limited or too complicated (OneNote and Keep). I find FM Notes pretty close to ideal for me. And of course the fact that a Note I create is instantly available on my phone too, without any additional cutting and pasting, is a huge advantage over a standalone note-taking app.
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Old 5 Dec 2020, 06:56 AM   #11
Grhm
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Originally Posted by somdcomputerguy View Post
there is a button next to the Save button that toggles between Make Plain Text and Make Rich Text
Not for me there isn't:
http://grhm.mm.st/emd/scrnsht-emd-notes.png
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Old 5 Dec 2020, 06:58 AM   #12
somdcomputerguy
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Not for me there isn't:
http://grhm.mm.st/emd/scrnsht-emd-notes.png
Maybe you have to have a computer?
I'll check in the app now.
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Old 5 Dec 2020, 07:03 AM   #13
somdcomputerguy
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Not for me there isn't
Quote:
Originally Posted by somdcomputerguy View Post
I'll check in the app now.
Huh. It's not there in the app (I have an Android BTW) for me either, I guess it is a computer-only thing.. I'll raise a ticket and see what comes of that.

- Bruce
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Old 5 Dec 2020, 07:04 AM   #14
TenFour
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The Plain Text button is there when you edit notes in a desktop browser. Not sure if the option is available on the phone app.
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Old 5 Dec 2020, 07:09 AM   #15
Grhm
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app
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
app
I don't use the app, I use webmail. (See screenshot).
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