App Review: Google Keep

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Let Google Keep take care of your notes, photos and provide a method of creating lists and checking off tasks.

I was recently forced to get a new phone after my old phone decided it could no longer make or take calls. On the old phone, I used Astrid Tasks, but since it’s now defunct, I couldn’t download it onto my new one. While looking through the preloaded apps on my android phone, I came across Google Keep and decided to launch it. I was greeted by a series of example posted notes, including one that contained a checklist. I figured, oh why not.

So here I am testing it out and really enjoying it for what it is. It is very much Google’s version of Evernote; I’d call it Evernote lite. It’s good for jotting down quick notes, checklists, voice-recorded notes and photos. It lacks many of the perks of Evernote, which include utilizing a web clipper, creating different notebooks, organizing things via tags and so much more. But even so, it is a fine app for what it is.

I can see myself utilizing it at work to jot down quick writing ideas that pop into my head. I could also use it to scribble down to-do lists or my grocery list. It lacks a lot of the features that the Evernote Android app has, but for me that is a bit of a perk. It’s quicker to jot down the little things for Keep since there are less bonuses to wade through. However, Keep will not be replacing Evernote in my writing arsenal. Evernote will continue to be reserved for in-depth notes, research and book development — at least, the electronic variety since my old-fashioned notebooks usually get the bulk of my notes. Nothing beats the feeling of a pen and paper.

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A screenshot of my Keep notes.

As I’ve mentioned, Keep is very lean, and its interface is very simple. You simply click one of four options: the note button, the checklist button, the voice recorder or the photo button (which in return gives you the option to take a photo or to pull one from the photos on your phone). From there you can give your note a title and then jump to the body. You also have the option to give notes different colors, giving users the change to color-coordinate them. As can be seen by screenshot, I just picked whatever colors I wanted to without really giving thought to coordination.

If you are interested in Keep for the purpose of creating checklists and to-do lists, there is a reminder feature that will keep you on track to succeed at whatever deadlines you give yourself. Of course, you don’t have to use the checklist note to use the reminder feature. You can set it on any type of note.

So what do you do if you need to clear up space in your notes? Well, you don’t have the option to create additional notebooks, so instead you have two choice: You can archive completed notes in case you need them in the future, or you can delete them, sending them to Davy Jones’ locker, as it were.

So is it worth the download? That really depends on you and if you have use for it. If you use Evernote, Keep is going to fall short. It just lacks too many useful features that Evernote has in abundance. However, if you need something more simple or quicker to work than Evernote, this app just might be for you — especially if you are just looking for a checklist for your grocery shopping needs.

Besides using the Android app (Keep is probably also on iTunes, but since I have no Apple products, I’m not certain if it is), Keep can be accessed using your Web browser and Google account, much like Google Docs, etc.

 

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