The short path to transferring iPad Notes between Google accounts:
- Create a Notes label in your new Gmail
- Connect the old and new Gmail to a mail client that allows multiple accounts and transferring messages between them
- Transfer all messages in the old Gmail’s Notes folder to the new Gmail’s Notes folder (Gmail labels are manifested as folders in Evolution)
- Turn off Notes sync with the old Google account on the iPad
- Turn on Notes sync with the new Google account
The longer tale
The iPad Notes application has the ability to sync your notes to Google, Yahoo and other accounts, along with iCloud. While dealing with the ramifications of changing to a new primary Google account, I needed to get all my notes moved over. During this process, I learned some interesting things about Notes and Gmail in particular.
When you sync your iPad notes with a Google account, notes appear as email messages with a newly created label applied called “Notes”. While the view on the iPad is a continuous document, modifications to notes actually show up as new messages in the same conversation under the Notes label. This provides the perk of a primitive diff view for your notes since the changes are shown in a different color.
Update: After some additional testing, I cannot discern the pattern of how these notes are updated as messages in Gmail. I have several that definitely show diffs and threaded conversations as evidenced by the image above (purple text was the first form; black was the most recent update). But this next test shows no such markup or evidence of what were definitely multiple messages:
Nice-to-have optional features aside, seeing as these notes are nothing more than emails with an intuitive label, transferring them to a new Google account got pretty simple. First though, I was unhappily reminded that Gmail does not allow you to forward more than one message at a time. To get around this, I set up both Gmail accounts within the desktop Evolution client. Then it was simply a matter of going to the old Notes folder, selecting all, Copy to Folder, navigate to the new account’s Notes folder, done. Be aware that you should first create a Notes label in the new Gmail account since it won’t exist before you sync notes from an iPad with the account. (And while we are on that topic, be aware that you have to quit and restart Evolution for it to pick up new folders.)