How to quickly take notes on the Galaxy S22 Ultra using the included S Pen

How to quickly take notes on the Galaxy S22 Ultra using the included S Pen

With the Galaxy S22 series launch earlier this year, Samsung finally put its popular Galaxy Note lineup to rest. That’s because the company has included all of the unique software and hardware features from the Galaxy Note lineup in the new Galaxy S22 Ultra. The top-of-the-line flagship is a spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and it features a similar design, a built-in S Pen, and all the software features you’d expect to see on a flagship Galaxy Note device. These include features that let you easily jot down notes using the included S Pen.

If you’ve just got yourself a brand new Galaxy S22 Ultra and want to learn how to take quick notes using the S Pen, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll take a look at three methods to help you quickly take notes on your Galaxy S22 Ultra. We’ll also try out a couple of popular note-taking apps, like Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, and Evernote, to see how the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S Pen combo performs in third-party applications.

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Take notes on the Galaxy S22 Ultra using the built-in S Pen and Samsung Notes

By default, all the notes you take on your Galaxy S22 Ultra are stored in the Samsung Notes app. The app offers a ton of useful features and tight integration with the Galaxy ecosystem, making it the go-to pick for most Galaxy smartphone users. Along with a wide array of note-taking features, Samsung Notes also lets you take full advantage of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s built-in S Pen and take notes on the fly. Read on to learn how you can quickly take notes in the Samsung Notes app using the S Pen.

    If you have lost or damaged the S Pen included with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you can buy this as a replacement unit.

Screen off Memo

The first, and simplest, way to take notes on your Galaxy S22 Ultra is to use the Screen off memo feature. As its name suggests, the feature lets you quickly take a note without unlocking the device or turning on the display. Here’s how you can enable the feature:

  • Navigate to the Advanced features section in the device settings on your Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Advanced Features settings

  • Tap on the S Pen option to open S Pen settings.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen settings

  • Tap on the toggle next to the Screen off memo option to enable the feature.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra enable screen off memo

Now that you’ve enabled the Screen off memo feature, all you need to do is pull out the S Pen with the screen off and you should be able to jot down a quick note.

As you can see in the attached screenshots, the Screen off memo UI is pretty barebones. It features two options in the top left corner that let you change the pen color and thickness, along with the eraser button. In the top right corner, you get a button to pin the current memo to the Always-on Display and a Save button.

The Screen off memo feature is inarguably one of the most useful S Pen features on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Now that you know how to use it, I’m sure you’ll prefer it over all the other note-taking features whenever you want to note something down quickly.

Quick create notes

Although the Screen off memo feature is quite handy, it doesn’t offer as many customization options as the Quick create notes feature. So, if you want access to additional customization options, like pen style and opacity, or tools like a highlighter or marquee selection, you should enable the Quick create notes feature. Here’s how you can do so:

  • Navigate to the Advanced features section in the device settings on your Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Advanced Features settings

  • Tap on the S Pen option to open S Pen settings.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen settings

  • Tap on the toggle next to the Quick create notes option to enable the feature.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra enable quick create notes

Once that’s done, unlock your Galaxy S22 Ultra and pull out the S Pen. Then, press and hold the S Pen button and tap the screen twice with the S Pen to create a new note.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Quick Create notes floating window

As you can see in the attached screenshot, the floating window for the Quick create notes feature offers many more settings. The bottom row includes an option to quickly switch from the S Pen to the on-screen keyboard, a Pen selector with five types of writing instruments and other customization options, a highlighter tool with several customization options, an eraser, a marquee selection tool, and undo/redo buttons

The Quick create notes feature also offers a Reading mode button in the top right corner. The Reading mode button sits next to a three-dot context menu button with other additional options to help you insert images, documents, voice notes, drawings, and more to the note, a page sorter, a page template option, page settings, a full-screen view button, tags to help you easily sort your notes, a Save as option, and a finger drawing toggle. The context menu also includes a favorites button, a share button, and a delete button.

Air actions

Along with Screen off memo and Quick create notes, the Galaxy S22 Ultra packs another option to help you quickly jot down a note in the Samsung Notes app — Air actions. Follow these steps to enable Air actions on your Galaxy S22 Ultra:

  • Navigate to the Advanced features section in the device settings on your Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Advanced Features settings

  • Tap on the S Pen option to open S Pen settings.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen settings

  • Tap on the Air actions option and then tap on the toggle on the following page to enable the feature.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra enable Air actions

Once that’s done, the Air actions menu should pop up as soon as you pull out the S Pen after unlocking your device. The menu includes a Create note option by default, and you can tap on it to open a new Samsung Notes floating window.

It’s the same window that you get with the Quick create notes feature, which includes all the additional customization options that you don’t get with the Screen off memo feature.

Note that the Air actions menu will close if you tap anywhere outside the menu. But you can pull it back up using the Air actions floating action button (FAB). The FAB will appear next to the right edge of the display, and it will remain there till you put the S Pen back into its slot.

If you don’t like its default location, you can tap and hold on to it to move it around and stick it anywhere next to the right or left edge of the display. You can also close it manually by dragging it to the top of the display and onto the Remove prompt.

Take notes on the Galaxy S22 Ultra using the built-in S Pen and a third-party app

Now that you know all the handy ways you can quickly take notes on your Galaxy S22 Ultra using the S Pen and the Samsung Notes app, let’s check out how you can do so on some popular third-party note-taking apps.

It’s worth mentioning that none of the following apps work as seamlessly with the S Pen as the default Samsung Notes app and the only way you can quickly open a new note window for these apps is by adding a shortcut to the Air actions menu. To do so, you can follow these steps:

  • Unlock your Galaxy S22 Ultra and pull out the S Pen to open the Air actions menu.
  • Tap on the Add button at the bottom of the menu to add a shortcut to your preferred note-taking app.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra add shortcuts to Air actions menu

  • On the following screen, scroll down to the All apps section and tap on the icon of the note-taking app that you want to add to the Air actions menu. (Note: You can only add a maximum of 10 shortcuts in the Air actions menu. If the list is already full, you can remove some of the default shortcuts by clicking on the minus sign on shown at the top-right corner of the app icons in the right column)
  • Exit from the Air actions Shortcuts page by tapping the back button or swiping inwards from either edge of the display.

You should now see a shortcut for your preferred note-taking app in the Air actions menu. However, even with the shortcut, taking notes on a third-party app using your S Pen and Air actions isn’t as seamless as it is with the Samsung Notes app. The shortcut simply opens the following apps and you have to tap again to create a new note before you can start writing.

Microsoft OneNote

Although Microsoft OneNote doesn’t offer the same experience as Samsung’s default Notes app, it does offer a handy feature that you don’t get with Google Keep and Evernote. The app comes with support for Air actions, which let you perform a couple of quick actions using the S Pen. You can use the S Pen in OneNote to create a new note, create a new picture note, insert an image into the current note, scroll up, scroll down, switch between pages, and zoom in or out.

However, this feature is not enabled by default, so you need to jump into the Air actions settings to set it up. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Navigate to the Advanced features section in the device settings on your Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Advanced Features settings

  • Tap on the S Pen option to open S Pen settings.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen settings

  • Tap on the Air actions option and scroll down to the App actions section.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra enable Air actions

  • Click on the OneNote app icon to enable app actions for the app and you’re all set.

You should now be able to use the aforementioned air actions in the OneNote app.

Another benefit of using OneNote over Google Keep and Evernote is that the app automatically selects pen input when you create a new note with the S Pen outside its slot. With Google Keep and Evernote, you have to enable the Drawing/Sketch options in a new note to start writing with your S Pen. This makes the process a bit slower.

Google Keep

As mentioned earlier, Google Keep does not offer any shortcuts to help you quickly take a note using your S Pen. You have to open the app (either from the app drawer or from the Air actions menu) and create a new note.

To write with the S Pen, you then have to tap on the attachment button in the bottom left corner and select the Drawing option to start writing with the S Pen.

Alternatively, you can use the Handwriting option on the Samsung Keyboard app to write in the text fields using the S Pen.

Like the previous method, this option isn’t ideal for quick note-taking, so you might as well use the default Screen off memo or Quick create notes features instead.

Evernote

Like Keep, Evernote also doesn’t select the S Pen as the default input method when you create a new note. You have to select the Sketch option from the bottom toolbar to write with your S Pen or you can use Samsung Keyboard’s Handwriting option to write within text fields.

Evernote does, however, offer a significantly wider range of features than Keep. So if you’re confused between the two, we would recommend using Evernote over Keep.

Now that you know all the ways you can quickly take notes on your Galaxy S22 Ultra using the built-in S Pen, which method are you going to use? Although I’m a Google Keep user, I prefer using the Screen off memo and Quick create notes features on my Galaxy S22 Ultra whenever I want to jot down something quickly. Since these features automatically save all my notes in the Samsung Notes app, I now switch between Google Keep and Samsung Notes, depending on which device I’m using as my primary phone.

Make sure you check out our post on all the S Pen features offered on the Galaxy S22 Ultra to do more than just take notes with the active stylus.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.

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