Google Keep

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Are you looking for a free, easy-to-use note-taking app?

If you use the G-Suite in your day to day, Google Keep may just be the app you’ve been looking for.

What is Google Keep?

Google’s note-taking app is the search engine giant’s answer to tools like Evernote and OneNote.

You can use Google Keep to make notes and collect information. Like its main competitors, it’s a cloud base service so you can access all your data by logging in with your Google ID on any device. 

You can use Google Keep through your browser or download the app for your Android or iOS powered device.

What can you do with Google Keep?

Google Keep is surprisingly elegant and useful. It integrates seamlessly with the rest of the G-Suite making it perfect for power users. 

You access Google Keep with your Google account. 

This is what Google Keep looks like when you open it up in your browser.

You can also access Google Keep from one of the other G-Suite Applications.

For example, you can use it in the updated version of Gmail by clicking on the yellow Keep symbol on the right-hand side. The app will then open in the sidebar and you can make notes without ever leaving your email.

Make notes

At its heart, Google Keep is a simple note-taking application. All your notes appear on your home screen– unlike other similar apps like Evernote, you can’t organize your notes into separate notebooks.

You can, however, differentiate notes by color-coding them or adding tags. 

Making notes is effortless. To create a new note in the in-browser version, just click on “Take a note…”

Give your note a title and start typing. From here you can also:

  • Turn the note into a reminder
  • Share the note with others
  • Color code your note
  • Add an image
  • Archive the note
  • Add labels
  • Add a drawing
  • Make a copy of the note
  • Add checkboxes
  • Copy the note to Google Docs

Make notes while you browse

With the Google Keep Chrome Extension, you can save pages and articles while you browse. 

To save an article, just click on the extension. You can make an additional note or add a label– when you are ready, just click save. Your note will show up in Google Keep immediately.

Using Google Keep on the Go

Because Google Keep is a cloud-based service, you can access all your data anywhere, anytime– assuming you’ve got an internet connection.

The mobile app has a clean interface and is easy to use.

You can take notes on your phone by typing a note, drawing a note, recording a note, or taking a picture.

Recording notes

To make quick notes, click on the microphone symbol in the footer menu. Google keep will record the memo, transcribe it, and keep the original audio file.

If you want to take a longer dictation, you can use the in-built dictation software in your smartphone.

Just click on “Create note” and then click on the mic at the bottom of your keyboard. This is really useful for dictating longer notes.

Saving pictures

You can take notes using your camera– just click the camera button and take a pic.

This feature is pretty basic– Google Keep just saves the photo “as is” and gives you the option of adding a title and making a quick note.

Google Keep Versus Evernote

If you’ve been here a while, it won’t come as a surprise that I’m a big fan of Evernote. It’s an absolutely fundamental part of my productivity system.

So how does Google Keep measure up?

Google Keep

Evernote

Cost100% freeBasic free plan + several paid plans available
StorageYou can make an unlimited number of notes– no upped limits or hidden costs. Some data limits. Your storage allowance depends on your plan. 
Organizing notesNo way to create notebooks; All notes are saved in the same place. You can organize notes in notebooks. 
FormattingExtremely basic– designed for quick note taking. Extensive– you can add headings, images, graphics, tables… 
AppsNo desktop app. Apps available for Android and iOS. Desktop, Android, and iOS apps available.
Note sharingYou can share notes with others but you can’t publish your notes.You can publish your notes and share them extensively. Great for collaboration. Can also be used as a course or blog publishing tool
CameraVery basic. You can take and save pictures.Highly advanced– uses automatic data recognition to render pictures and turn text searchable. 

Is Google Keep Worth Trying?

Yes.

If you are looking for an easy to use, intuitive note-taking tool then Google Keep has a lot to offer. It’s perfect for taking quick notes and making short to-do lists.

Until next time,

Have fun storming the castle!

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3 Comments

  • I have been an evernote diehard for a long time Steve…but I gotta tell you these days I’m working more and more with Google Keep and/ or OneNote. Google Keep has replaced 90% of what I’ve used Evernote for traditionally.

  • The biggest thing I use Google Keep for is repeating reminders as that’s just NEVER been an option in Evernote. I have reminders that fire off on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly timeframe for basic mundane tasks like “take out recycling” or “start new pair of contact lenses”….tasks of the nature I DO NOT typically put them on my calendar, but they DO still need to be done and I need to be reminded to do them. For this Google Keep is invaluable. I also use it for temporary or quick notes such as the kind you mentioned but I can’t live without it’s repeating reminder function.

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