Syncing iPhone notes to MobileMe

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Updated to remove steps that may cause duplicate notes

Reader Barbara Mehlman finds the steps for syncing notes between MobileMe, Mail, and her iPhone a little tricky. She writes:

When I plug my iPhone 4 into my Mac and select it in iTunes, in the Info tab I see an option to sync my iPhone notes. But they sync only to the Mac’s Mail application. I’d also like them to sync with MobileMe. Is there a way to do that?

Let’s run through the steps necessary for notes to sync among your iPhone, MobileMe, and the Mail application on your Mac.

On your iPhone (which must be running iOS 4 or later), tap Settings and then tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars. On the resulting screen, tap your MobileMe account and in the MobileMe account screen that appears, flip the On/Off toggle switch next to Notes to On. Return to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen and scroll to the very bottom, where you see the Notes entry. Tap this entry and the Default Account screen appears. On this screen, select your MobileMe account rather than the On My iPhone entry (or any other entry that appears).

Launch the Mail app, choose Preferences from the Mail menu, and click the Composing tab. In the Addressing area you’ll see the Create Notes and To Dos In entry. From the pop-up menu select your MobileMe account. Close the Preferences window. Now, click the triangle next to the Notes entry in Mail's Mailboxes column and select On My Mac. Select any notes that you'd like to sync with your MobileMe account and drag them onto the MobileMe entry.

Now, when you create a note on your iPhone or within Mail (you can’t create notes in MobileMe’s Mail page, though you can view them by going to and clicking on the Notes folder) that note should fairly quickly sync with all interested parties—iPhone, Mail, and the MobileMe site. If it doesn’t (and I had this problem when I first tried to do this), delete the MobileMe account on your phone (after making sure everything in it is backed up to your satisfaction), and then recreate the account by going to the Mail, Contacts, Calendar setting, tapping MobileMe, and entering your name, username, and password to create the account. Then run through those iPhone configuration steps I outlined.

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