Mac OS X: Using Address Book’s Notes

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Most of my Address Book cards have notes I’ve added to them, like what my pal Jack has named his puppy or what Janice’s favorite flavor of ice cream is. Don’t laugh—that’s useful information practically 1 percent of the time! You never know when it’s appropriate to seem creepy by remembering the minutiae of your contacts’ lives. 

Or, you know, you could be weird and make note of relevant, useful stuff instead. Whatever floats your boat.

However you use Address Book’s notes, adding them may be easier than you think. Did you know that you don’t have to click on the Edit button to add notes to your contacts? Just place your cursor in there and start typing, and your edits are automatically saved.

This is also true for your iOS devices. You don’t need to enter into Edit mode to add information to the Notes section—just tap and type. 

This even works in Snow Leopard. See? It couldn’t be simpler to remember which was your boss’s favorite episode of Mama’s Family.

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Lee Dronick

You did it again! Excellent tip!


I’m pretty sure this functionality has been present since Address Book was born over 10 years ago.

Melissa Holt

Thank you, Lee. As always. smile

Earthsaver, that may well be true. Since I only have Lion and Snow Leopard to test things on, though, I can never be certain of what happened before then (the old memory doesn’t go back five minutes sometimes, much less a few years). Heh.

Paul Goodwin

Pretty slick. Thanks. I’ve put in notes before, but I was always in edit mode when I did it and didn’t realize I could just plunk the cursor down.

Paul Goodwin

This note is not for you Lisa - pass it on to whoever. These forum web pages still produce errors pretty regularly on an iPad 2 with the latest SW. This time I got the error dialog box when I hit the post button, my comment didn’t appear, so I put it in again, only to see two of them appear after the 2nd try worked.

Melissa Holt

You’re welcome, Paul! I’m sorry you’re having issues with the site. :(


I like to put flags/keywords in notes rather than using lots of groups and then use them in a search to quickly create a short list. So I put words in notes like Service, Place, Restaurant, Family, Bridgeplayer, Musician. I put a character I never use (e.g. ?Place) in front of them so that’s all I catch with my search.

Cliff Stepp

This same “feature” also makes it easy to wipe out your notes if you’ve errantly selected “all” and hit a key. I’m one such sorry individual who lost all the login/PW info for client. The only file I didn’t have backup for (it back ups but new version was overwritten before I discovered my error!).

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