When comparing Google Keep vs Evernote, the Slant community recommends Google Keep for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform to-do list app?” Google Keep is ranked 6th while Evernote is ranked 15th. The most important reason people chose Google Keep is:
1-step to take a note on Android: tap 'take a note'. Web version: cursor is on the note itself.
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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 Automatic saving
Automatically saves new changes so that nothing is lost.
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 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 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 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 Useful Android home screen widget
The Keep widget lets users quickly see existing notes and add new ones.
Pro Notes can be color-coded
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 Notes can include photo and audio attachments
Notes can include multimedia attachments in addition to text.
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 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.
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 Archives finished tasks
Any finished task is archived and can be searched at a later date.
Pro Cross platform
This app can be used seamlessly across all platforms including Android, iOS, and desktop computer platforms.
Pro Consolidates all your information
Evernote is designed to store a lot of different types of information from a lot of different sources in one place. Using the Web Clipper, native integrations, or a service such as IFTTT (If This Then That) you can use Evernote to store all your ideas, notes (both handwritten and typed), tasks, reading lists, receipts, and more.
Pro Powerful features for organising your notes
Evernote is designed to make it easy to keep your notes well organized, which aids in quickly finding/browsing old information. You can put notes into a single notebook and use search to access old notes, or if you're so inclined, organize notes extensively with hierarchical notebooks and tags.
Pro Native and offline-capable apps on pretty much every platform
Evernote has apps for Windows 7 and 8, Windows 10, Mac, Android, iOS (both iPhone and iPad), Blackberry, and Windows Phone. It also has a fully functional web app and chrome plug-in. No matter what device or platform you're on, you will pretty much always be able to access Evernote.
Pro Trustworthy to store data in the long term
With many utility tools being constantly shut down by their creators, it's really important to consider the long-term risks of picking a home for all your notes. Evernote is a $1 billion company with a track record of exceptional security and goals of becoming a "100 year old" company.
Pro Can include images, and snippets from the web or a whole webpage via web clipper
With one click you can clip part or all of any webpage, including text, images, and links. Especially for those who use Google Chrome, this web clipper is a very rich add-on. The “simplified article” mode strips all graphical overhead from the page before adding the information to Evernote. It's also possible to add highlighting, tags, etc. before storing the note.
Pro Has OCR functionality to convert images to searchable text
A really cool and handy Evernote feature is the ability to automatically scan images for text.
Pro Great selection for integrating with other apps
The Evernote app center page is nicely organized and has good quality integration of apps that can improve your productivity.
Pro "Reminders" are a great way to combine your to-dos and notes
One of the note types is a "reminder," which can act as a to-do list. You can add all the usual formatting to reminders, including audio. Evernote will provide alerts when they are due and house them in a special location within the app.
Pro Powerful note formatting
Evernote has an extensive range of formatting options and note types. You can create checklists, reminder alerts, audio notes, or add images and attachments. It also has an awesome speech-to-text feature if you prefer to dictate aloud.
Pro Easy to use
Evernote is easy to dive into because it doesn’t overwhelm you with advanced functionality from the start. As you get more accustomed to the app, you might want to delve deeper to see what benefits the more advanced features will offer.
Pro Focused, uncluttered user interface
Evernote has a very clean and intuitive interface that's simple to understand at a glance.
In addition to general note taking and to-do list management, Evernote lets you search through scanned documents, handwritten text, and images; collaborate with others through shared notebooks; record audio notes; and more.
Pro Premium allows search in attached files and documents
With a premium account you are able to search through PDFs and Office Docs.
Pro Evernote is synchronized
Pro Flexible image manipulation
Permits photos that are taken, to be processed when in automatic mode and saved as a photo, black and white document, colour document, post it note or business card. The automated mode is also good at cropping the document effectively.
Pro Innovative hacks
To save emails, just forward them to your Evernote email address generated on account creation. It is of course one of many such hacks.
Pro Effective with pictures or snapshot of boards
Take a picture of your white board/paper board and you have it instantly in evernote everywhere, ready for additional notes and classification
Scannable friend app is rather efficient to keep hand written note as well.
Pro Best web clipper
Can clip to the web from desktop or mobile, using simplified format or original formatting. Very quick and flexible, and enables you to highlight, take notes, tag, etc.
Pro Skitch integration
If you're on iOS and have Skitch installed, you can quickly annotate your notes using Skitch.
Pro Has conflict management and undo
Allows undo/redo when editing (i.e. all changes are finalized upon saving). If conflicts between synchronized versions arise, both copies are saved in Evernote.
Pro Can choose from a few themes
You can pick from a green theme, light, or dark theme. All are very clear and visually appealing.
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 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 Messy if you have lots of notes
Con Not free/libre
This application is proprietary, and thus cannot be modified or freely distributed.
Con Google account required
You're required to have a Google account in order to use the app.
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 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 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 Synchronization bugs
There are some issues with synchronizing data including laggyness and returning old/deleted items.
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 No dedicated app for windows, linux, mac (except unofficial)
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 Slow to save the updates
Saving is delayed by a moment and the saving status UI is unclear. You can lose updates if you close the tab too quickly.
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 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." Keep reminders can appear on Google Calendar, but you can not get reminders and use Tasks at the same time.
Con Scrolling through notes is horrible
There is no options to decrease the surface area of the notes to make it easier to get an overview. Compare this to something like the Apple Notes or Evernote UI and you'll know what I mean.
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 Too simplistic of an approach
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 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 There is a label limit up to 50
Con Not good at all for longer notes
With almost no formatting options whatsoever it's hard to actually use Keep for long-form notes.
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 No API
Con Notes get lost/deleted and can NOT be recovered
Since nothing is stored locally on the phone, everything can go missing. Google can't recover any of it.
Con No BlackBerry 10 app
No BlackBerry support apart from web.
Con No Windows Mobile app
No Windows Mobile app, and it is unlikely to ever be produced.
Con Free version limited to 2 devices
The free version has become very limited as a cloud based note taking app as there is now only sharing between two devices allowed.
Con Pay for offline use, search, and other functions
The free version of Evernote is highly limited. You have to pay if you want to access your notes without internet connection, search your notes or documents, or upload large amounts of data. The free version allows you to upload 60 MB of data per month, which is about 20 to 30 iPhone camera pictures.
At a certain point, they started charging you for "advanced" capability, which includes searching your own attachments.
Con No official Linux app
Evernote does not offer an official Linux app, although there are some third party alternatives available.
Con Bloated and complex
Evernote is too big, has too many features. Note taking apps need absolutely clean interface to allow unobtrusive note taking and not a struggle to search for which buttons to click. It focuses on the search feature so much that it doesn't encourage or make it immediately easy to organize your notes and thoughts. It's essentially a sophisticated notes dump with good search.
Con Security issues
Evernote had their entire database hacked and compromised including customer user passwords. They responded by locking valid users out of accounts and forcing password changes but are still vague about their own security policies. They do not have a good track record for data security. They also do not offer local personal encryption of entire Notebooks as Microsoft OneNote does.
Con Poor text formatting abilities
Text formatting in Evernote is buggy and unreliable. Bullets (outlining) are getting stuck or disappearing, tables are very static and prone to breaking and everything beyond the most basic formatting might cause an issue.
Con Different features and functions per device
Desktop app has table creation. Android app lacks font color changes. Some functions can only be accessed on the desktop app. These include changing your default notebook.
Con Very heavyweight for a to-do list
Evernote is a powerhouse program with many features. It uses a correspondingly large amount of memory to run.
Con Not distributed
One cannot run Evernote on own servers. This brings with it the risks normally associated with handing over critical applications to a large corporation.
Con No recurring and snooze reminders
Perhaps because it is not truly a to-do list app, there is currently no support for recurring events or snooze reminders. The company claims to be working on this functionality.
Con Constantly directs you to upgrading your account
The frequent reminders to upgrade your account can quickly become disruptive. You get notifications when using the app, and many of the features that show as available in the app are actually for paid accounts only (which, when you try to use them, will remind you to upgrade).
A program with more features is always prone to more bugs. Evernote is definitely not the most stable note-taking program available.
Con Rather poor user interface
Slow, not user friendly experience, complex, and somehow limited.
Con Lacks right-to-left writing support
When you write in a right-to-left language (Arabic, for example), everything looks fine in the editor but the direction changes to the left again after saving the note.
Con Steep learning curve
Since Evernote has so many features built in, it's hard to know where to find everything until reasonable amount of time has been spent with it.
Con Easy to accidentally hit the wrong button on the mobile apps
The mobile apps have fairly small touch targets, making it easy to miss the button or accidentally press the wrong one.
Con Missing some basic functions
Con No ability to re-order notes other than sorting
Evernote has no way to re-order notes, nor even to change their display order. Sorting is the only option, and the "official" workaround (for years now) is to prefix note titles with line numbers manually so notes will sort and display as desired.