How to Indent List Items in the Notes App on the iPhone & iPad

Want to make a list more organized in the Notes app? Read this easy tip on how to tab on your iPhone & iPad.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you're like me and depend on your Notes app to organize your life, it can be frustrating to realize there's no tab key to indent on iPad or iPhone keyboards. Nested lists in the Notes app make navigation easier and let you mark tasks as partially done, and indenting blocks of text can draw attention to quotes or important items. But without an obvious option on the keyboard, how does one indent text in the Notes app? It's easier than you think.

Related: How to Draw & Sketch in the Notes App on Your iPhone or iPad

Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Keep the content of your notes organized.
  • Navigate your notes with ease.
  • Mark tasks as partially complete.

How to Change the Indent of List Items in Notes

Although there is no tab button on your iPhone's keyboard, you won't need one! The following steps for indenting a list item in Notes are very simple and quick. If you need to know how to create a bulleted list in the Notes app, make sure to read up on that first. Be sure to sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter to discover other Notes app tips.  

  1. Open your Notes app.

  2. Tap on the note you wish to format.

  3. If it's a bulleted list, simply swipe right on the bullet you want to indent toward the right.

  4. To undo, swipe left on the bullet.

  5. If it's a block of text, press on the part of the text you want indented until the format menu pops up above it.

  6. Hit the side arrow once.

  7. Tap Indentation.

  8. Select Increase.

  9. To reverse this, return to the formatting menu and choose Decrease.


It is not currently possible to only indent the first line of a block of text unless there is a line break after the indented line, so this is not exactly the same as using tabs in Notes on an iPad or iPhone, but it does provide indentation where you need it.

Now that you know how to indent list items, be sure to check out our article on how to create checklists in the Notes app

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.