Google Keep: The Google Note Taking App

Google Keep Montage


Smartphones are one of the most personal of electronic devices. Many of us carry our smartphone everywhere. It's the first electronic device we engage with in the morning and the last thing we engage with in the evening. And so it stands to reason that we may well reach for our smartphone when we need to take a short note, right? This is where a note taking application can really come into its own and this in turn is where Google Keep has been positioned.

I have used a note keeping application for many years now. I have fond memories of how Palm used a one button shortcut to the memo application on the PalmOS devices of the 1990s and how this quickly became my go-to application. Bottom right if you remember! If I needed to add a new contact to my address book, I would fire up the Memo, jot down the details and would arrange these into the Contacts application later. This routine hasn't changed, except now I can capture an image of a business card or even a face if it's suitable. I slot these into Keep and can deal with them later.

Google Keep is on the surface a simple, note taking application. It is not as sophisticated as Microsoft's OneNote but instead it integrates with our Google account, which means if we install the application onto one device it will synchronize with our other devices. This means devices from our smartwatch, smartphone, tablet, Chromebook and laptop or desktop running the Chrome browser. Simply having the information synchronized between different devices is something of a killer feature because it no longer means there's the hassle of exporting and importing our note information when we upgrade our ‘phone.

However, Keep has a much deeper feature set than simply allowing us to synchronize between devices. When we add a note to Keep, Google gives us the choice of adding a voice note, image, list or open text box. We can mix and match, too; I can happily add images to an existing note, if I see fit. Google have also added in the ability to share notes across different users and this collaboration feature is a very welcome addition to Keep. It's possible for multiple people to edit the same note at the same time, just as you can with Google Docs.

Keep also has Google's excellent reminder service baked in, which may be based on either a date and time or a location. Sure, I can hit up Google Now and tell Google to remind me when I'm home to do something, but there are occasions when I don't want to talk to my device (perhaps when I am on public transport) and here it's easier to tap out a note. I can then tell Keep to remind me at the appropriate time or location.

I use Google Keep every day and it sits on my home screen. It's something of an enabler application rather than a productivity application. Do you have a favorite note taking application and if so, what do you use? Have you tried Google Keep? If so, what do you think to it? Let us know in the comments below.

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