When comparing Google Keep vs Trello, the Slant community recommends Trello for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform to-do list app?” Trello is ranked 1st while Google Keep is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Trello is:
There are two primary columns: the board is shown on the left and all the other controls on the right. The main means of interaction is dragging and dropping to-do cards into the various lists. The board structure is very customizable, and includes a variety of features that help along the way: color-coding, due dates, card images, checklists with a graphics bar that allows following progress easily, and card aging for cards that haven’t been touched in a long time.
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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 Simple and easy to use interface
There are two primary columns: the board is shown on the left and all the other controls on the right. The main means of interaction is dragging and dropping to-do cards into the various lists.
The board structure is very customizable, and includes a variety of features that help along the way: color-coding, due dates, card images, checklists with a graphics bar that allows following progress easily, and card aging for cards that haven’t been touched in a long time.
Pro Great real-time team collaboration features
Trello has permissions at the board level as well as the ability to assign multiple people to each card. There are a lot of sharing options available and boards can be made visible for the public. It's also possible to subscribe to a card to be notified of its progress. The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy because it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also updates constantly to reflect real-time changes in progress.
The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy as it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also reflect changes on boards in real-time.
Pro Free for unlimited users
Trello offers a very generous free version that has no ads, no restrictions on the number of users, and very little restriction on how the program can be used. The paid features are generally cosmetic, such as the ability to change the background, add stickers or integration with other tools.
Pro Highly flexible workflow
Trello calls items used in the workflow “cards.” Cards are double-sided and can contain subtasks as well as notes and other details.
Card columns can be used to simulate a workflow by moving cards from left to right as they are completed, or as a way of indicating task priority.
The workflow is highly flexible as the columns are completely customizable to suit the task flow. For example, tasks can be put through a workflow "idea > approved > in-progress > pending review > released" or simply "ideas > released" depending on the granularity level needed.
This makes Trello a great solution to feature management as it's possible to set up boards to handle everything from agile sprints to a more generic to-do list, all with status management.
Pro Functionality can be extended via plug-ins
Voting, view, and calendar plug-ins further increase the functionality.
Pro Works well for visual thinkers
The UI is based around Kanban, so you can see all your tasks and their status clearly.
Pro Excellent for groups using agile software development
The responsiveness and layers of customization make it easy for team members of various disciplines to collaborate on the same task board.
Pro Markdown support with well-rendered images
Trello supports Markdown, meaning that HTML input is represented appropriately. Cards with attachments are also rendered well. For example, images are shown correctly on the card, bug links are detected etc.
Each card can have one or even multiple task lists.
Pro Attach files to cards
Keep all of your files (images, documents, etc.) organized on their relevant cards.
Pro Great native app for Android and iOS
Pro Good performance
Pro Cross-platform and cross-sync
Trello works on all modern devices through the web application and has native apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8/10 devices.
Pro Features to add voting on cards
Trello offers support for features to add voting on cards, often referred to as 'power-ups'.
Pro Smooth media integration
Works like a charm.
Pro Lots of API integrations
Pro Action history log allows you to rapidly follow changes
There is a global history system which allows to rapidly follow changes. There is also a notification system if another user updates the board while you're watching it.
Pro Great prioritization, Due date and Story point features
Can set different priorities to various tasks, set appropriate due dates and Story points - timing allotted to each task.
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 Subtasks lack features
Every task can have a list of subtasks which more closely resembles a standard to-do list.
These lack the functions that cards offer you. You cannot comment on a sub-list, give the sub-tasks due dates, or provide additional information. You are limited to only checking them off once completed.
Con Managing large projects may be difficult
Trello works best with medium to small projects and with very high-level overviews. It is less effective for projects that require very granular management due to the fact that it becomes considerably more difficult to keep track of various cards and priorities as they are pushed off the screen.
Con Can't get one view of cards across all boards
However, you can view all cards assigned to you.
Con Not really a to do list
Trello is much more a workflow and project management program than a typical to-do app, which makes it overwhelmingly robust for those looking to jot down their shopping list.
Con No multi-board aggregation
If you have multiple boards with tasks on them there is no way to get all the tasks on one board in a way that changes on one board will update the other.
Con Can't create dependencies between cards
Con Project management system only
This is cumbersome to get started.
Con Data is locked into Trello. Board
It can be exported in Trello’s own data format, JSON, which is not usable in other programs such as Excel.
Con No quick deadline assignment
You have to open a Calendar every time to set a date without any quick options like today, tomorrow etc.
Con You can't add more than 1 Power Up without paying for it
Con Impossible to use Pomodoro timer connected to Trello on iOS
Con Light on features
Trello is focused on simplicity and as such forgoes certain common features that may or may not be important to you.