When comparing Todoist vs Google Keep, the Slant community recommends Todoist for most people. In the question“What are the best cross-platform to do list apps?” Todoist is ranked 3rd while Google Keep is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose Todoist is:
Todoist's web and desktop interfaces have a 2-column layout. The right column has all tasks organized in nested lists with color codes and information such as what people are assigned to each task and which project the task is part of. The left column offers ways of accessing various groups of tasks – tasks that have to be completed within a certain timeframe, tasks that are a part of a certain project or have certain labels attached to them, etc. The left column also contains filters that allow even more advanced ways of finding a group of tasks. The mobile interface follows a similar design philosophy, but gives each column a separate view.
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Pro Minimalist UI that's designed for efficient use
Todoist's web and desktop interfaces have a 2-column layout. The right column has all tasks organized in nested lists with color codes and information such as what people are assigned to each task and which project the task is part of. The left column offers ways of accessing various groups of tasks – tasks that have to be completed within a certain timeframe, tasks that are a part of a certain project or have certain labels attached to them, etc. The left column also contains filters that allow even more advanced ways of finding a group of tasks.
The mobile interface follows a similar design philosophy, but gives each column a separate view.
Pro Powerful search and filtering functionality
Todoist allows you to perform advanced queries to find tasks that are overdue, have a certain priority level or label, are within a certain project, are assigned to a certain person, or have a deadline set within a certain date range. It also allows combining different queries, removing certain results from the queries, and creating either/or statements.
These queries can be saved as filters for easy access. Filters can be color-coded.
Pro Multiple ways to organize tasks
Tasks can be structured in nested lists. They can be moved around by dragging and dropping them or via keyboard shortcuts. Tasks can be assigned labels, color codes, priorities, and can also be grouped into projects.
Pro Supports natural language input
Todoist supports phrases like "tomorrow," "next month," "in 3 weeks," or for recurring tasks, "every week" or "every 3 days."
Pro Allows sharing and collaborating on tasks
Anyone can be invited to collaborate on tasks and projects. Users can work alongside five people for free and 25 via the paid version. Collaboration includes the ability to assign tasks, comment on tasks, and receive instant updates.
Pro Monitors productivity and rewards it with karma
Todoist monitors how many tasks are completed and gives karma points as rewards for accomplishing them. It can also display charts showing productivity trends, which are great for finding areas that need improvement and increasing your overall productivity. This feature is a great motivator and an effective way of tracking productivity.
Pro No ads in free version
The unpaid version contains no ads or popups encouraging you to upgrade. The only time you will be asked to upgrade is if you attempt to use a premium feature.
Pro Can be set to send a daily digest email
You can easily program a digest email that will send you an up-do-date summary of your tasks and deadlines.
Pro Visual scheduling
By clicking on a task and then selecting “schedule,” a dialog box will pop up with shortcuts like "today," "tomorrow," or "postpone until tomorrow." A date can still be entered manually.
Pro Great home screen and lock screen widgets
The native widget is fully functional and editable without needing to open the app. A premium feature allows you to add and edit the task list on your mobile device’s lock screen.
Pro Allows creating task templates
Tasks can be saved as templates by going to "task actions" and selecting "export as a template." The template will be saved locally. Saved templates can then be imported by going to "task actions" button and clicking "import from template." This allows you to use past task items as a starting point for creating new tasks.
Pro Extensive integration with a wide range of external apps
Todoist offers integration with a wide range of external apps, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Zapier, Toggl Button, TaskClone, CloudMagic, IFTTT, Calendar Sync, Google Now, Dispatch, Mailplane, Airmail, Drafts, Workflow, PomoDone, 1Password, Powr of You, Mailbird, Yoke, Taco, Ginger Keyboard, Time Doctor, and Rindle.
Pro Browser extension for "add website as task"
Bookmark any webpage as a to-do item.
Pro Super quick syncing
You can shift between devices without having to worry about if tasks have been synced or not. Todoist sync will always be quicker than you.
Pro Allows creating location-based reminders
Location-specific tasks can utilize the GPS in your mobile device to offer reminders when you are in the appropriate vicinity. For example, grocery lists that are linked to the location of your regular grocery store.
Pro Supports text formatting
You can make tasks stand out by setting them in bold and spice up your project names with emojis. Todoist also allows editing of hyperlinked text in the task comments. Hypertext, bold text, italic text, and emojis are supported in task names, project names, and task comments. Emojis are also supported in label names.
Hypertext, bold text, italic text, and emojis are supported in task names, project names, and task comments. Emojis are also supported in label names.
Pro Quickly browse your list through smartwatch devices
The Todoist app supports Apple Watch and Android Wear for instant action and task viewing through smartwatches.
Pro Integration with any app supporting web-calendar link
Pro Infinite list depth
All subtasks are full featured tasks. This means that at a glance you can see subtasks, unlike other applications that require you to open the task.
Pro Smart Schedule (Let AI schedule your tasks)
Todoist Smart Schedule adapts to your habits over time, analyzing your workload and determining how urgent a task is. By using both your past todos and future todos (as well as the data from millions of other users), it can sort your tasks in most important/ most urgent order, if you want.
Pro Quickly assign a task to a project as you type with #
Typing # while entering a new task brings up the list of projects (and sub-projects) to assign the task to. Type in any letters of the project name to filter the list to a subset of projects that have those letters in them.
Pro Business strategy doesn't hinge on being acquired
Doist publicly declared their opposition to exit strategies like acquisition that regularly leave users high and dry (https://blog.doist.com/why-we-don-t-have-an-exit-strategy-d3256107d958).
Pro On mobile apps, swipe left/right performs fast reschedule/done
Swipe right to mark a task as done, swipe left brings up several rescheduling options (tomorrow, next week, specific date, etc.).
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.
Con Does not listen to user suggestions
Todoist has been shown to be fairly unresponsive to requests from their user community. An example can be seen here.
Con Awkward data entry
Several aspects of data entry are far more awkward than they should be: Adding notes, moving subtasks within the outline, and scheduling repeating tasks are all handled better by other apps. Adding notes cannot be done while creating the task, but must be done after. Moving items within the outline hierarchy is very clumsy and the use of keyboard shortcuts (such as holding down 2 or 3) requires knowledge of your current level in the hierarchy (which is not always clear). Finally, there is a natural language syntax for repeating tasks but it is very finicky and there is no good feedback mechanism to tell you whether or not it’s working.
Con Labels (@contexts, etc.) only available with premium subscription
Con Heavy premium advertisement
There is a screaming red "Upgrade and get more done" badge fixed in the bottom of the view, and additional features free users cannot access.
Con Annual subscription required for notifications and attachments
A yearly subscription costs $29.
Con Using "next" actions requires a messy workaround
Todoist was not designed for "next" actions. You can use a workaround by manually setting certain items as priority and then filtering them, but that process requires a lot more management than other tools.
Con Makes it too hard to see all tasks assigned to you across the app
There is no default or easy-to-access view to simply see all your tasks from all your different projects. You have to use the filter (to:me) which seems like too much effort for something that should really be a default view.
Con No support for dependencies
Cannot hide tasks until prerequisite tasks are completed
Con No way to add additional info to a task
There is no metadata for the task itself, like a description. While a paid feature allows you to write comments and attach files, info could be lost in the conversation.
Con Not much independence of customising the layout
This has been a consistent "con" with Todoist. You cannot decide what should be the size of the fonts. You cannot switch between one-column layout and 2-column layout. You cannot view completed tasks. It is a brilliant application of course, but the development team is stuck on its basic idea of the app and after that they just haven't been developing further.
Con Free version has limited functionality
Without a subscription you won’t have access to reminders, comments, or labels and filters. These are features that many users find essential, but aren't included without a subscription.
Con Can't mark all completed tasks uncompleted
It's possible to select multiple uncompleted tasks, but there's no way to select completed tasks.
Con Cannot import data
Con Cannot export data
Con Lacks advanced task repeating options
For example: second Saturday of every 2 months.
Con Now start dates, only due dates available.
Con Recurring tasks are hard to set because the app only supports "natural language"
Con Naming convention for labels is very limited
No spaces or special chars are allowed.
Con Inbox is limited to 200 tasks
Con Very basic compared to alternatives
Compared to some other options, this is not a feature-rich app. The free version is not much better than keeping a text file of your to-dos.
Con Mac Mail not supported
Even in the Pro version, Mac Mail is not supported for sending tasks as email attachments. There are some workarounds to send mail, but those attachments will still be impossible to forward.
Con Latest iPhone app only available for iOS 8 and above
The latest iPhone app is only available for iOS 8 and above, which excludes users with iPhone 4 or older models. Older versions of the app that can be used with previous iOS versions can be found here.
Con No decent filtering or complex searches
Con Import feature is bad at handling non-English characters
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 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 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.