Folder sharing and the new Apple OSs

Posted in Apple and Workflows

The up-coming Apple operating systems, iOS 13 (and iPad OS) and macOS Catalina, will allow folder sharing, both for files and folders in Files/Finder and notes in the Notes app. This is a big step forward!

Sharing folders in the file system

This is one thing that iCloud Drive really has been missing – the ability to share a folder full of files (or more folders!) with someone else. I operate on a paperless basis, both at home and at work; I invested in a decent scanner and use a consistent file naming convention that makes it easy to find a document I’ve scanned.

This is fine if it’s just me that needs access to these thousands of documents, but there are two people that run our household, so my wife currently has to rely on me if she needs a bill for proof of address or something like that.

That’s about to change with folder sharing, which Apple describes Catalina preview notes as follows:

You can now share folders with a private link. Anyone who has access can see the folder in iCloud Drive, add new files, and get the latest versions of files.

Now my wife will have access to all those bills, receipts and other documents I’ve scanned!

Shared Notes folders

I have used Notes extensively since Apple’s excellent redesign/rebuild of their Notes app a few years ago, and my wife and I share a huge number of notes. We use them for things like:

  • Recipes
  • Planning and tracking work on our house, which we’re steadily renovating
  • Scans of the kids’ artwork
  • Monthly budgeting
  • Christmas card lists
  • Up-coming flight itineraries
  • Lots more besides!

Sharing these notes has had to be on a note-by-note basis which is a bit of a faff and has meant that one of us sometimes misses a sharing invite if we’re busy attending to the kids. It also means that my carefully folder-grouped recipes end up all over the place in her Notes app as it just places each shared note at the root level, leaving you to move/organised them yourself.

Well, faff no more! Again, from Catalina’s preview notes, Apple promises that we’ll soon be able to:

Collaborate on entire folders, including all the notes and subfolders inside. Invite others to a folder, and everyone can add notes, attachments, or subfolders.

So we’ll be able to share the Recipes folder and any new dishes we come up with will automatically appear in the right place in the other person’s app.

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