What Your Notes App Says About You

@meikophoto via Instagram

The first note I have in my phone dates back to 2014. It’s a Frank Sinatra quote that reads, “Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.” I definitely saw this as the caption on some girl’s Facebook cover photo, thought it was profound, and wrote it down as a way to remember that I needed to steal it for a future photo of mine. It would also be a subtle way of relaying the message to my forthcoming fans that I knew enough about Frank Sinatra to be able to quote him on the spot (I don’t), which in turn meant that, to the untrained eye, I was probably this really sophisticated old soul who still called movies “pictures” (also, negative) and spends her Saturday nights cooking elaborate meals, drinking red wine in a black turtleneck and pearls (only once; if by “elaborate meal” you mean searing Trader Joe’s dumplings and by “red wine” you mean a $3 disaster parading as merlot).

Other notes of mine include “What does the “B” in “Chris B. Harrison” stand for?”, “Did you pay for that extra night? FIND OUT”, and frantically scrawled street address after frantically scrawled street address. From which one can easily deduce that I a) have atrocious taste in television b) am cheap as fuckkkk and c) am perpetually lost.

iPhone notes apps are the new Instagram bio. Or Tinder profile. Or gravestone inscription. Whatever floats your metaphorical boat—the point is, you can tell a lot about a person by what they write down in a place they think no one will ever look. And who better person to tell you exactly what that meaning is than myself, a completely unqualified soothsayer whose only qualification for the position is an avid passion for people watching?


If the song lyrics are your own, you’re an aspiring musician. I wish you well, and when you make it big please remember to send me complimentary merch tees as a token of kindness.

Not a musician of any kind? Quel angst! You spend your time googling John Mayer lyrics to use as Instagram captions and use your notes app as an ongoing Shazam of sorts so that you can remember to look up what song some tragic lyric you heard playing at the mall food court hails from. And when you do look it up, you’re going to keep it safely locked in your notes to—you guessed it—use as an Instagram caption.


Which, fittingly, brings us to the next category! The person whose notes are chock full of sassy phrases and puns, composed for the sole intention of jazzing up a Facebook photo or dazzling Twitter followers with unparalleled wit, suffers from performance anxiety. If this is you, you don’t do well under pressure. This is a fact discovered once, when someone who thought you were funny asked you for help with a caption and your mind completely went blank. Mild panic ensued. Embarrassed by your lack of spontaneous humor, you vowed never to be unprepared again. As such, you keep a running list of topical (and relatable!) quips you can reference the next time you’re presented with a photo of avocado toast and need to think of something to say other than the requisite “Toasty”.


You don’t get FOMO. You get FOMOOF: Fear Of Missing Out On Food. You feel a physical pang of jealousy whenever you read an article about a new bakery serving whatever the next affront to the good name of the croissant is (cronut? Cruffin? When will the madness stop?), and you know you won’t be able to eat there for at least another 24 hours. Your life is a series of meals. Ina Garten is your god. You never have to ask the waiter for more time to decide what you want to order, because you already analyzed the menu a solid two days before coming to the restaurant. You say shit like “this red has an oaky flavor, and notes of sage”.


You are me? Either that, or you’re always lost. Your friends always lie and tell you to meet at 7 when the actual reservation isn’t until 8, because they know to allot time for you getting off on the wrong subway stop and accidentally ending up in Queens.


You’re young and wild and free!… or at least you would be, but you have a lengthy to-do list and full time job to attend to, which is why you’re living out your spontaneity via your iPhone notes instead of actually booking a trip. You definitely googled “bucket list for 20 year olds” halfway through because you swiftly ran out of ideas after “sky dive”, “go to Ireland”, and “try snails”. When presented with the opportunity to try any of the above, however, you back out. Because doesn’t everyone know that half the thrill of doing something lies in planning it? And once you lose the promise of “one day”, you lose the fun.  That’s what your therapist says, anyway.


You meditate. You do yoga. You read Goop, allegedly ironically but we all know you’ve bought the damn moon dust. You’re gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free, and aspirationally solid food-free. Your favorite place to shop is Anthropologie. You’d describe yourself as more of a tea person than a coffee person, because you were listening to a health podcast once that referenced this one study done that one time in this one really obscure place that basically said coffee will kill you—and you’re not taking any chances because you plan on getting married in the next two years and having 2.5 children to send to boarding school, so you really don’t have time to play fast and loose with the possibility of death via espresso, OKAY?? You’re probably a Gossip Girl fan, too.


You’re terrible at making decisions, and are the queen of the panic purchase. Pork dumplings or chicken dumplings? You didn’t plan for an existential crisis in the middle of the Trader Joe’s frozen food section, so you end up buying both. In an effort to avoid bankruptcy via last-minute purchases you don’t need, you make lists to organize your life. It usually doesn’t end up going well, however, because said lists are written in shorthand and even you have no idea what “3-4 org poms (NOT SQUISHY)” means.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.