Keep is a minimalistic note taking tool that syncs cross platform via Google Drive. Allows uploads of simple notes, images, speeches, and tasks lists.
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Pro Easy to use
1-step to take a note on android: tap 'take a note'
Web version: cursor is on the note itself
Pro Super fast to use
The focus on a minimal interface makes everything fast to use on both web and mobile. This comes in handy for when a note needs to be jotted down quickly, as there is little to no load times or faffing about trying to get to a space where the note can finally be recorded.
Pro Unlimited and seamless sync across all Google connected devices, from mobile to desktop
When a mobile device isn't in use, Google Keep can be accessed as a Chrome app or as a website. Basically, no matter the device being used or the OS on it, there is always a way to access the app. There is also no limitation to how many devices this can be done with, freeing up the user to always have access.
Pro Useful Android home screen widget
The Keep widget lets users quickly see existing notes and add new ones.
Pro Works as a great bookmarking tool as links added can optionally include a preview image
Keep has a great feature that allows you to save sites you visit as a special note type with a link and a preview image.
Pro Really well implemented speech-to-text
Google has a lot of experience with speech-to-text functionality and they did a fantastic job with Keep. This means you can easily record spoken notes that can then be changed to a text based note.
Pro Drag and drop sorting
You can move cards manually, which is great for prioritizing to-dos. Within a card, you can also drag and drop items.
Pro Can share and collaboratively edit any item including lists
Keep allows sharing any item with other contacts and editing them together at the same time. This way a team can work together in real time, no matter their location.
Pro Automatic saving
Automatically saves new changes so that nothing is lost.
Pro Supports drawing or writing notes by hand
Newer version of Google Keep now supports drawing on either a blank page, existing notes or in an image attached to the note.
Pro Includes character recognition for text in images
Google Keep lets users take pictures of physical notes and makes the contents searchable within the app. This can be a convenient time saver for those that do not want to type out the necessary info, but rather take a quick snapshot of it.
Pro Notes can be grouped via labels
In addition to the ability to color-code notes, they can be labeled and navigated and grouped that way. This allows for easy organization, to then be found easily at a later date.
Pro Archives finished tasks
Any finished task is archived and can be searched at a later date.
Pro Notes can be color-coded
Pro Notes can include photo and audio attachments
Notes can include multimedia attachments in addition to text.
Pro Both location- and time-based reminders
You can set reminders that bring certain notes to your attention when you arrive at a specified location or when it’s a specified time or date. Unfortunately you can only do one or the other for each note.
Con Offline notes on desktop require Google Chrome
Accessing offline notes on desktop requires users to install Google Chrome before they're able to install Google Keep.
Con No text formatting
No basic formatting like bold, italics. Makes it harder to do things like meeting notes. Keep is intended as a minimal and quick note taking app, but sadly for those that are looking for something more robust, the features are just not there.
Con Cannot share groups of notes (e.g., labels)
Google's equivalent of groups are labels, which can't be shared. By comparison, Trello allows you to share boards with others. Trello also supports grouping through teams. Google Keep has no such concept.
Con Google can access and mine your data
You have to be okay with Google analyzing and using your data in order to use Keep.
Con Messy if you have lots of notes
Con Not free/libre
This application is proprietary, and thus cannot be modified or freely distributed.
Con Single-level lists only
There’s no way to set a hierarchy for your lists.
Con Organization is limited to just multiple tags for notes
There are no folders in Keep that you can move notes into. It makes the user interface more cluttered, and navigation gets more difficult.
Con Too simplistic of an approach
Con Not distributed
Cannot run on own servers as Keep will only run on Google's own servers. This increases the risks which are normally associated with handing over critical applications to a large (US) corporation.
Con No notifications when tasks are added to shared lists
Although the ability to collaborate on lists is advanced, Keep will not let you know when another person adds an item to a list you share.
Con Can be taken down some day
As Google is notorious for taking down services, you may end up with just a backup of your notes in XML format and a need to look for a substitute.
Con Does not offer themes
There is no option for changing the color theme (such as a dark theme) unless you use a 3rd party extension.
Con No ability to undo changes
There is no way to revert changes or restore text you may have accidentally deleted (however, you can restore entire notes for up to 7 days after deletion).
Con Google account required
Con No BlackBerry 10 app
No BlackBerry support apart from web.
Con Does not integrate with Google Calendar or Tasks
It does not integrate with Google Calendar or other Google Apps with the exception of "Google Now."
Con No integrated social media sharing
There is no integrated social media sharing if you directly want to post your note to Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Con No Windows Mobile app
No Windows Mobile app, and it is unlikely to ever be produced.
Con Synchronization bugs
There are some issues with synchronizing data including laggyness and returning old/deleted items.
Con Delay between to-do entries
The keyboard closes and reloads between to-do list entries, so the first letters or words may be missed if you’re trying to quickly create a list.
Con Can be difficult to discover the features
Google Keep has slowly been introducing new features, but doesn't do a good job of helping you discover them.
Con No way to search within a note
There is no "find" feature for looking up a word or phrase within a note, which can be problematic in larger notes.