When comparing Google Keep vs Zim, the Slant community recommends Google Keep for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform note taking app?” Google Keep is ranked 2nd while Zim is ranked 5th. 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.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 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 Automatic saving
Automatically saves new changes so that nothing is lost.
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 Notes can be color-coded
Pro Notes can include photo and audio attachments
Notes can include multimedia attachments in addition to text.
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 Useful Android home screen widget
The Keep widget lets users quickly see existing notes and add new ones.
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 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 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 Cross platform
This app can be used seamlessly across all platforms including Android, iOS, and desktop computer platforms.
Pro Archives finished tasks
Any finished task is archived and can be searched at a later date.
Pro Allows for organized, wiki-style navigation
Notes can contain links to other notes, allowing you to reference important information when needed. This way the user can connect and reference many different pages in the app, keeping things clean and structured, unlike Evernote, which makes this a good Evernote alternative.
Pro Plain text data format rather than proprietary
If/when the app is no longer developed (or if the user simply decides to no longer use the application or view/edit it on a non-supported platform), this can still be done with any plain-text editor.
Pro Automatically manages files and folders
Zim will automatically create a folder structure that fits your page hierarchy and adds/removes files such as images to/from appropriate folders.
Pro Good export options
Zim supports HTML, LaTeX, Pandoc Markdown, and RST. This allows ones documents to be easily used in a wide selection of other apps.
Pro Support for multiple platforms
Windows, Linux, and BSD are supported with their own clients. This is nice for those that use multiple operating systems but still want to use the same app on each.
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
It can be difficult to organize notes because you can only create labels and not, for example, separate projects.
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 Google account required
You're required to have a Google account in order to use the app.
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 Not free/libre
This application is proprietary, and thus cannot be modified or freely distributed.
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 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 dedicated app for windows, linux, mac (except unofficial)
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 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 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 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 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 API
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 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 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 Sharing within team doesn't work that well
You can share separate notes but not Projects, Wordspace, or Teams.
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 There is a label limit up to 50
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 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 No native sync support
Zim notes don't automatically synchronize with other devices or offer built-in cloud sync support. Of course the user can add the files to Dropbox, or something similar, to then open them on another device with the app installed. But this is more of a work-around than a built-in solution.
Con No mobile app support
This is a desktop app and there are no mobile versions available. This can make it more difficult to use on-the-go if using cloud storage to store files from the app, as there is no mobile app version to access those files.
Con Looks ancient
Zim has a very plain and outdated interface.