You could look at Google Keep as Google’s answer to Evernote, and you’d mostly be correct. Google Keep has been around for nearly 3 years on Android, but only last fall did it arrive on iOS. It brought with it everything you’d want from a note-taking app — namely, the ability to:
- Take notes.
- Add lists, photos, and record audio.
- Search notes, label them, and filter them by type, color, etc.
- Set time- or location-based reminders.
- Create drawings.
- Share notes with others (e.g., a grocery list both parties can edit).
- Sync across all devices! (We’re talking tablets, smartphones, and laptops.)
Google Keep vs. Evernote
When it comes down to it, Google Keep is for people who want to easily and efficiently take notes and upload photos and audio, and Evernote is for people who want to add and organize more heavy-duty notes, lists, and more extensive web content. Evernote is simply more involved; Google Keep makes sense for users who want their note-taking app to integrate effortlessly with Google Drive. Evernote Premium (which costs $49.99 per year) has even more benefits — rewards like 10gb of uploads per month and the ability to annotate attached PDFs. Google Keep isn’t going to go as far and, for most users, it doesn’t have to. Here are 3 reasons you might opt for Google Keep:
- It’s attractive and easy to use. One of my biggest gripes with Evernote is its interface, which is equal parts cramped and overwhelming. Of course, Evernote is incredibly detail-oriented and its powers are extensive, so some bulk makes sense; still doesn’t make it any easier to look at on a mobile device. Google Keep, on the other hand, has the signature good looks and ease of use Google users have come to expect. You start with a naked screen and a search bar, and soon enough you’re looking at a colorful grid (any combination of your notes, photos, etc.). No complex tutorial required.
- Search works the same on every device. Evernote intelligently highlights keywords you search in both photos and text… and Google Keep doesn’t. (Google locates the files with those keywords, but doesn’t highlight them.) But Evernote’s search function works better on the desktop app than on mobile, and Google Keep works just as well across all devices.
- It’s free. No matter what device you’re using, how far you take your usage, or how frequently you use it, Google Keep is free. It may never be as evolved as Evernote, but it remains a winner in terms of simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and quality.
On any given day, you can record audio (the transcribed notes and the original audio recording), edit a list with a friend in real time, and add photos, notes, and drawings to Google Keep. It’s versatile, user-friendly, and doesn’t cost a thing. Not bad for an everyday note-taking app.