Internet Productivity

Google Keep Is a Great Evernote Alternative and Here’s Why

Nancy Messieh 27-04-2017

Evernote has some extremely robust features which make it great for the workplace 7 Clever Evernote Features to Streamline Your Workflow We'll show you the best productivity features you never knew were hidden in Evernote. Read More  and in many ways makes it a superior platform to Microsoft’s OneNote 5 Reasons Why Evernote Is Still Better Than OneNote OneNote has been receiving a lot of praise. But in many areas, Evernote still beats OneNote. The question is whether Evernote's benefits are enough to convince you to stay. Let's find out. Read More . But if you find yourself overwhelmed by Evernote’s many features, Google Keep is a much simpler alternative.


1. A Simplified Interface

Google Keep simplifies your workflow 4 Google Keep Tips And Tricks For Better Notes, Lists And To-Dos Read More , and places everything you need front and center at the top of the page — tools to create new notes and search bar. The menu on the left makes it easy to access labels, reminders, your archive, deleted notes, and settings.

Rather than divide your notes into notebooks, the organization in Google Keep comes down to just two simple things: labels (tags) and colors, clearing the way for what really matters — the ideas you want to capture.

2. Quick and Easy Note-Taking

Note taking in Google Keep is streamlined across platforms 10 Useful Google Keep Extensions for Chrome and Firefox These Chrome and Firefox extensions make Google Keep even better. Get fast access to your notes and save information quicker. Note-taking has never been easier. Read More , where you can create various types of notes. In addition to jotting down text notes and lists, you can add images or scribbles to Google Keep, making it a great option for anyone looking to create a digital creative journal or notebook.

With the Google Keep Chrome extension, you can also save web pages much the same way you would with the Evernote Web Clipper Evernote's New Web Clipper Is The Ultimate Content Saving Tool Evernote's Web Clipper isn't new. But if you haven't heard, or perhaps didn't like the Evernote clipper in the past, this is the right time to look into it again. Read More .

Keep really excels in its mobile experience. Adding new notes to Google Keep on your phone is just a swipe away if you enable Google Keep’s widgets on iOS or Android. Tapping and holding the Google Keep on both iOS and Android pulls up a context menu with the same options.


In addition to creating the same notes you can in your browser (text, checklists, photos, and doodles), you can also create a new note using your phone camera or as a voice recording Why You Should Use Google Keep for Voice Notes Most note-taking apps support voice memos as a way to dictate notes, but there's a good reason why you should prefer to use Google Keep. Read More that is immediately transcribed with a native speech-to-text tool, albeit one that only works with brief notes.

Another really cool Google Keep feature is the ability to upload a screenshot of text and Keep can convert it to an editable note.

Android users also have the option of using a third party app launcher Top 5 Ways to Find & Launch Applications on Your Android Phone Find your apps quicker and easier with these tools. Read More that incorporates gestures into how you open apps. SwipeUp Utility, for example, is a free option that allows you to launch Google Keep by pressing and holding the home button.

3. Find Whatever You’re Looking For

Clicking in the search bar takes you to a page where you filter your notes by keyword, color, or even note type (image, link, list, reminder, audio, etc).


As you use Google Keep, you’ll find that it also identifies types of notes. If you have a grocery list, you’ll find options to filter down to groceries or food. If your notes include book titles, you’ll find an option to filter down to books. Other items that are identified include those related to music or travel.

google keep types

If you’re fastidious about labeling, this will also prove to be an easy way to find your notes.

There are two ways to add labels in Google Keep.


With a note open, click the More button and select Add label to type it in. Or you can type the label in the body of your note as a hashtag to automatically label it. The second method is actually better because it affords you some refined search options.

While you can simply filter down to specific categories by clicking on or searching for a label, let’s say you want to find all the notes labeled work that include the term MakeUseOf. If you use #work as your label, your search results will only include notes labeled work that include your search term. If you don’t use the hashtag, any notes that include the word “work” in the body of the text may also show up in your results.

4. Simplicity = Creativity

Google Keep’s simplicity also lends itself to flexibility and creativity 10 Creative Ways to Use Google Keep Every Day Google Keep is a simple note-taking app. But its simplicity hides its usefulness. Here are ten tips and ideas to use Google Keep for the little everyday things in life. Read More . Because it’s so simple, you can mold the service to suit your needs. In its simplest form, Google Keep can be transformed into simple to-do lists. Create a checklist per day or per week to keep a running log of what you’re doing.

Or you can use Google Keep to create a visual bucket list, use it as a digital sketchbook, transform it into flash cards, or use it for grocery shopping and meal planning.


5. Great for Visually-Oriented Creatives

Many of the examples above are extremely visual. The use of images or visuals, coupled with the color coding makes Google Keep a perfect choice for anyone who is visually oriented.

google keep

Google Keep notes can be color coded using one of eight colors. Once you set up a specific color coding system, you can tell which notes belong in which category at a glance.

This color coding system can also be carried over into an analog system such as a bullet journal How to Use Evernote as a Bullet Journal The bullet journal is a simple productivity system that really works. Here's how to turn Evernote into a bullet journal! Read More or planner, creating a direct link between your digital notes and your physical notebook.

6. Google Integration

Everyone has a Google account, but not everyone has an Evernote account. This makes it much easier to collaborate on notes How to Use Google Keep for Simple Project Management Are you looking for a basic, intuitive, and cross-platform project management tool? We show you how to use Google Keep for simple projects. Read More with just about anyone. Anyone you share the note with can edit text, lists, images, drawings, and audio recordings.

Google Keep is also well integrated with Google Docs. You can export Google Keep notes to Google Docs if you need more robust editing or collaborative features, or if you need more extensive text formatting. And while in Google Docs, go to Tools > Keep Notepad and your Keep notes will appear in a sidebar next to the document, and you can create a direct link between Google Keep notes and Google docs. To see the feature in action, check out the video below.

In addition to working well with Google Docs, Keep also integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar. If you add a reminder to a Google Keep note, that item will also show up in Google Calendar.

7. One App to Rule Them All

Google Keep allows you to keep everything in one place. Unless you use labels and color coding religiously, it could get a little unwieldy. But if you do take care to keep Google Keep organized whether it’s with labels, or by archiving notes you no longer need, you can use the app for note-taking, brainstorming, audio and photo notes, bookmarking, and even for your to-do or shopping lists.

google keep grocery list

Google Keep’s checklists coupled with the reminders feature, which brings a level of much-needed productivity to any to-do list. You can also check off items at the top of your checklist without actually opening up the app, and checked items are automatically pushed to the bottom of the list.

While Evernote has similar features, if you’re drawn in by Google Keep’s simplicity and its visual features, its productivity features will definitely encourage you to stay.

What’s Missing?

There are some drawbacks to using Google Keep Bring the Power of Google Keep to Google Docs With a Single Click With this latest feature in Google Docs, you can now incorporate Google Keep notes into your documents with a single click. Read More , particularly if you are migrating from a different note-taking system. Chief among them is the fact that you can’t import your notes. That said, you could look at it as an opportunity to start with a clean slate.

Another odd choice on the part of Google is the inability to sort your notes by any particular criteria, but you can drag and drop notes to rearrange them, and you can of course use the search function to drill down and find the note you’re looking for.

What do you think of Google Keep? Do you think it could serve as a decent Evernote alternative? What’s your favorite digital note-taking app?

Related topics: Google Keep, Note-Taking Apps, To-Do List.

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  1. Jodie S
    May 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I use different apps depending on need.
    One Note is used for work projects and personal larger projects. great for keeping and sending meeting minutes etc.

    Out of Milk I use for all shopping. Multiple shopping lists for each store and multiple pantries for home and the lake. Also like that it is available on all my devices.

    Keep I like for general todo and little things I want to remember. It's a sticky note replacement that is on all devices. I like that all different notes can be taken, so at fall close up I will take pictures of the inside of all my cupboards so in the spring I can remember what I left at the cabin. I write a list of names of people at certain places so I can remember them 6 months later when I go to the same place. My immediate To do for the day-week goes in here. I like the colour coding and categories too.

  2. Raphael Salgado
    May 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    As many mentioned, no method of importing into Google Keep. As someone coming from iOS and macOS, I had to manually copy and paste every note from Notes to Google Keep.

    Also, there's no API or third-party app that can access Google Keep's data. If Google decided to stop support of Keep, as they've done with their many other products, users will have to scramble to get their data back out.

    • Nancy Messieh
      May 5, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Yes not having the ability to import is something that I noted as a drawback to switching from to Keep from Evernote or any other platform. I took it as an opportunity start with a clean slate as Evernote had become very cluttered.

  3. Hellzou
    May 2, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Keep is amazing.. my only big concern is : for how long ? Google kill its products so often. Evernote at least will stay. (But I will use keep anyway)

    • Nancy Messieh
      May 5, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      I think with any online service or platform there's always the risk that it will eventually shut down.

  4. Martin
    April 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I like KEEP, but for several months I can't sync the notes from PC to android device.

  5. Erin
    April 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Google keep is good for short term memory mobile access speed and reoccurring reminders, but it is no replacement for Evernote. I use Evernote for long term memory and its excellent web clipper.
    Google keep has:
    No sort simple sort by date entered or date of reminder
    No sane print option (you can push each not individually to Google docs, but I just want to print a list of tagged notes!)
    Sloooow interface on desktop
    No public API

    Keep, one note, Evernote and remember the milk each have distinct use cases in my book.

    • Nancy Messieh
      May 5, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Evernote's web clipper is great but Keep actually has a similar feature. What I really like is that when you add multiple links to one note, they're all listed at the bottom as hyperlinks with a preview image.

      I do agree that not being able to sort (or even search) by date is a huge oversight on Google's part.

      • Simone
        May 18, 2017 at 7:04 am

        Hey, any idea when the web clipping feature was added to Google Keep. It wasn't there the last time I checked a few months ago.

    • Bubba Jones
      September 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      There is not a word, reocurring. When something happens it occurs, when it again happens (occurs) the correct word is, recurs.


  6. Sak
    April 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Excellent, but if the possibility to encrypt notes is incorporated it will be beyond excellent...

  7. Maxwell Pink
    April 28, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Keep was the first note taking app I used, and I used it for several years until i "figured out" Evernote. I like that Google's added reminders, tags, and a search feature, but it is severely lacking in the web page saving department. Not that Evernote is perfect, either, but you usually get more than just the URL. Drive is even worse in that aspect. I still use Keep for my SHE organization, because it mimics the index card filing system, but everything else goes into Evernote. I can afford to lose some "index cards" should Google decide to terminate Keep. A couple hundred recipes and my BOS? Not so much.

  8. Otto Vanluchene
    April 28, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Uh! Another Google Keep vs Evernote article.
    Evernote is so much more then Keep. Keep is a simple note/todo app.
    Evernote is full archive system.

    I would say that Google drive + Google keep together is a Evernote alternative.
    And then you still missout on the awesome web clipper of Evernote.

    However I made the switch to Google drive to store everyting.
    The powerfull search with Full text search and PDF OCR is awesome.
    The whole evernote tagging system is not needed.
    You can also bookmark certain google drive folders for quick access.

    • Alan L. Henderson
      September 15, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      You can use the excellent Pocket for web clips.

  9. M. Tran
    April 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I've been using Evernote for several years. And I'm switching to Google Keep now. If only Google Keep can enable passcode, it'd be perfect.

    • Cidalia
      April 29, 2017 at 10:51 am

      I use both. Keep for quick notes and Evernote for long-term storage and organization/planning.

      There is no ability to attach files to Keep, so it can't replace Evernote.

      • poopoo
        November 11, 2017 at 1:08 am

        OUCH! That's definitely a deal breaker for me. Staying with EN for now, thanks.

  10. Saroj Gilbert
    April 28, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Biggest concern about Google is: Can I trust them to NOT hand everything over to the Feds. Second concern is that is it all on their servers? With Evernote, I keep my files on my own computers which are backed up locally.

  11. Andrew
    April 28, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Another thing Evernote has going for it: I'm confident it'll be around for the long haul. The way Google has handled its messaging and (of course) news-reading apps would have me worry that I might get the rug pulled out from under me.

    • Todd
      April 29, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      My concern, exactly. Google pulled the rug out on Reader. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice...

  12. JM
    April 27, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I had to abandon using Keep because I kept accidentally and permanently deleting the content of notes when using the Android App. When scrolling through a note, randomly occurring moments of lag would cause scroll actions to be interpreted as text select followed by deleting the selected content. Without an undo feature it was impossible to recover the content. Loved the simplicity of Keep but not being able to edit notes on Android made this unusable for me

  13. Sandeep
    April 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    The day Keep can do the following, I'll switch to the app
    Store attached PDFs
    Search through OCRed PDFs
    Import notes from Evernote

  14. Sandeep
    April 27, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    The day Keep can do the following , I'll switch to. It
    Store pdfs
    Let me search through OCRed PDFs
    Import notes from Evernote

  15. Rusty
    April 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Color Note!

  16. Roy
    April 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    I prefer the structure of Evernote. I use Evernote as a digital filing cabinet and have over 30,000 notes,mostly searchable pdfs and happily pay the premium membership fee for the ability to manipulate all that information. Drag and drop is not an option for me.

    • Kevin E Thurston
      April 27, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      I use Evernote as well, for me I photograph my service reports, tag them properly then save it . Later I can search by customer, service or month and year to find the service reports. I have not found anything better. Oh don't forget business cards

  17. Robert Reid
    April 27, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    If only you could sort notes while viewing a label. That's so frustrating.