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  1. Luna wrote on

    Hey, I know this was written a few months ago but I think I should still let you know. I use google keep for everything (but I’m thinking of organizing my abandoned Evernote and just use them both. Keep for ideas, notes, temporary lists and reminder and Evernote for writing and longer term notes.) I don’t agree that Keep is useless in the tag department or maybe there was an update, but if you tap the search bar, you can specify your search in anything; color, people and, yes, labels (and even films, travel, places etc!). Not multiple labels though I think, but still. Besides they’ll probably add that soon, maybe you can even contact them about it.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Hey Luna. Interesting! It definitely didn’t allow tag searching back when I wrote this post, so that’s a very nice change. Still of very little use to me until I can search for multiple tags, and exclude tags, but it suggests they’re paying attention to tags, which is great.

      I’ll definitely keep an eye on their progress. I like the Keep UI better, but the speed issue, alone, is a showstopper, let alone the inability to insert images inline.

      Either way, thanks for the heads-up. Very cool! :-)

  2. John Smith wrote on

    Was wondering if you still use evernote or if you have moved to another notetaking app? I am in constant search for a perfect note-taking app.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Hey John. Yeah, still using Evernote. It’s still not perfect, and Keep is getting better (see the 2 comments before yours), but for now, it’s still the best I’ve seen. Please let me know if you find something better! :-)

  3. Richard wrote on

    I absolutely love Evernote, but I will admit I was intrigued by Keep.. like you said simple, but then I read your article, and I believe I will keep Evernote.

    Evernote is the *BEST* application bar none for everything, I use it chronicle a day in the life for me.. its just awesome, they ONLY thing that was encouraging my “move” to Keep is Google brand, my browser, email everything integrated is appealing..

    Your article is well documented and it’s great that you tried Keep and switched back, instead of many people that put one toe in the water and still stand by the pool.. you dove in head first and didn’t look back until you figured out that the pool had a leak..

    I think that’s awesome. I love Evernote and I have no reason to switch, but I am glad I found your article I learned something and it gave Evernote that much more value.

    I also appreciate you wrote a REVIEW rather than some diatribe like many … it’s a hell of a lot more objective than most, thank you!

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Thanks so much, Richard. Very nice comment. To be fair, though, I didn’t set out to conduct a completely objective experiment. I’d played with Google Keep enough to be very confident it was going to be a good replacement. It was only after I’d ported a whole heap of notes that I discovered it was too slow. So you could say I was forced into conducting an objective experiment! ;-)

  4. Bruce Maples wrote on

    Thanks very much for the comparison. I’ve been an Evernote user for years (paid), and am using it even more these days, both as a virtual filing cabinet (working on paperless approach to everything) and as a writing resources (research, ideas, and so on). I use tags, though not as much as I should. My biggest frustration is the editor; a number of other people discuss writing their drafts or even final posts in Evernote, but the editor makes me crazy, so I don’t do that.
    I looked at Keep a long time ago, and decided there wasn’t enough “there” there. The latest Evernote dustup sent me back to Keep for another look.
    Your article has helped me decide to stay with Evernote for now, due to the greater flexibility around tagging. Evernote’s tag searching is excellent, and AFAIK leaves Keep’s in the dust.
    I was intrigued by the earlier comment about using both; perhaps I’ll take a look at that.
    Thanks again for the article!

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Hey Bruce. Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I’m not a fan of the editor either. I’d never attempt to use it for my writing. Or for digitising my files, for that matter. I did that with Google Drive. Got rid of 3 massive filing cabinets!

      Google Drive has an awesome scan option that allows you scan documents directly to a particular folder. On Android you can set up a widget on your home screen to scan to a particular folder. And you can have as many widgets as you want.

      The scanner’s really clever too. If you’re not holding the page evenly (e.g. the bottom of the page is closer to the camera than the top), it automatically fixes it. All very legible.

  5. Donald P. wrote on

    Nice read. Thank you for your input. I just recently started using Google Keep about 2 weeks ago after editing a Google Doc and getting the “suggestion” from Google about using keep to add comments on the doc. That’s when I realized it’s Google version of Evernote. I’ve been using Evernote for about a couple of years now and I love most of Google’s products so I tried it out. As you mentioned, it does run smoother and the simple layout helps getting ideas down, like post-its. Unfortunately where I pumped the brakes on Keep was when I realized I could not format my notes’ text, especially when I’m outlining the text. It happened at church, I love to take notes of the sermons, using the bullet points, bold, underline, etc. and was bummed that Keep doesn’t do that (yet… as of this comment on March 2017). I’ll stick to Evernote for now and secretly rooting for Keep and hope it adds the functionality I’m looking for. I love that Google doesn’t require you to create a new account, everything is synced to your Gmail. I use Drive, Docs, and Photos from Google. Keep is on the same list as Play Music for me as a “needs improvement”.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Thanks Donald. Yeah, the lack of formatting options is a pain in the bum, isn’t it? I do use Google Play Music all the time, though. Love it. What do you feel needs improvement there? (I have a few ideas myself, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.)

  6. Steven C wrote on

    Thanks for a great comparison and a very interesting read. I have not been using Evernote enough but recently decided to get into it more. I like the integration of the Google brand as described above but I think I will stick with Evernote and play with it for the time being. Thanks again! Cheers.

  7. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Thanks Steven. I haven’t been using Evernote as much recently either. I still use it for most of my permanent and important notes, but I don’t seem to be taking many of those at the moment. :-)

  8. Beverly Hall wrote on

    Thanks for the comparison. I was just about th start moving info from evernote. And based on your analysis, I will just stay put.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Thanks Beverly. Yeah, I wasted quite a bit of time discovering that Keep wasn’t a good substitute. :-\

  9. Natasha wrote on

    Great article! I’m guessing you’re gonna start getting a lot more hits on this as more and more people discover Keep.
    I’m gonna try using it for some to-do lists, but stay with Evernote for most everything else, for now.
    Thanks for doing so much grunt work.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Thanks Natasha. I’ve actually had a lot more hits on it in the last month! Well, comments at least. Where did you hear about / see the post?

  10. Gary wrote on

    This is the best comparative review of these programs.

    I was surprised to see no mention of EverNote’s *folders* / categories for memos. It’s critical to me, and essential since I have needed detailed lists & articles since my l-o-n-g ago Palm Pilot days.

    Further, another important Evernote (pro) feature is that I can designate some folders as portable/local (stored on my phone, accessible even offline) without bursting storage limits because some folders (with notes with attachments) are stored only in the cloud.

    I just wish I could password-lock certain folders, perhaps with a series of different access codes. Presently, you can conceal internal content IN a note, whole notes, but not whole folders (& all open with the same password).

    I pay my fee annually, deduct it as a business expense and have not yet found enough reason to give it up for Keep (though the interface & too-rigid storage structure are minor displeasures).

    – GG

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Wow, thanks Gary. Appreciate that. Yeah, I don’t really use folders much. At all, actually. I have a few notebooks, but even there, I’m very primitive. Evernote’s search and tagging is so good, I haven’t needed any other categorisation method. I don’t have any need for passwords either. There’s nothing confidential in there.

      Funny thing is, now that I’m not writing or researching political stuff very often, For most of my work, Keep is far better, because of its simplicity and speed.

  11. Kathy Harrison wrote on

    I’ve been using Evernote for many years, and love it though I probably don’t use it as well as lots of prior commenters do. Just learned about Keep and think that it will be a useful tool to use with my students, because of the ease of use and the visual interface. I also saw a cool thing that you can pull Keep notes directly into your Google Docs which might come in handy. But what I think is the absolute coolest is how thoughtful your responses are to folks’ comments! It made the comments and actual conversation worth reading.

  12. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Hey Kathy. Thanks! Yeah, I find it’s often the comments where the best learning comes from – for both writer and audience! :-)

  13. smoke11 wrote on

    Good blog post. Here’s a wrinkle on the Google Keep. I’ve been Chromebook Plus which has pen with. (I think this will work with any touch screen chromebook that is capable of running Google apps)

    I read in tablet mode (it’s a convertible) and hit the menu bar and it will show the pen icon. That gives me some options, including saving a section of text. I simply create a rectangle/square around anything I want to copy and it will create a box for saving on Google Keep.

    But before I save, it also gives me the option of annotating it. Using the pen, I can handwrite in notes or use the highlighter to mark text. This works for images as well. This is saved to keep, and once I enter keep I can lable it.

    Evernote is more powerful, but its integration with the Chromebook — in particular the convertible chromebook that doubles as a tablet — is very powerful. It has mean leaning to Keep for note retention.

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Thanks smoke. That sounds like a great use case. My Chromebook isn’t touchscreen, so I can’t give it a whirl. I’ll definitely keep it in mind for when I eventually get one that is. Thanks again!

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