Saturday, June 11, 2016

Google Keep is a great on-the-go note-taking app - June 10, 2016

For years I have used steno pads, filling them with notes of my day, phone numbers, lists, things to do and details of projects.

When I was at work, or anytime I was away from my apartment, I tried to carry a pocket notebook. The notes I took in the smaller notebook did not always make it to the steno pad. And then there was the challenge of finding a specific note.

I suppose that is why I have been such a big fan of Evernote. It may surprise many to learn I actually use another app on my phone more than Evernote.

Google Keep and Evernote are the two most popular of a legion of smartphone, desktop and web apps for note taking.

I began using Evernote on my PC in 2008. Today, I have more than 23,000 notes in it. Evernote has been really good about making apps for Android and iPhones, as well as other portable devices.

This online version has a bit more copy than the newspaper published this week.

Google Keep came out in 2013. It was almost toy-like to Evernote’s behemoth. It was colorful, fast and designed primarily for use on a phone, although there was also a great web client.

I find myself using Keep mostly when on my phone and Evernote on my PC. They do not compete with each other as much as complement each other.

Keep is faster to use on a phone than Evernote. When I have to record a piece of information, it is easy and fast to type it into Keep. When someone recommends a restaurant, a doctor or gives me their phone number, I type it into Keep.

If I’m at my PC and I think of something I need from the grocery store, I add it to my grocery list in Keep using the web version. The synchronization is so fast, that it's on my phone before I leave my home office.

At the store, I can easily pull up the shopping list in Keep. It can even have checkboxes so I can check off my purchases as I go.

I can add a reminder to a Keep note to go shopping after work or even to popup the list when I enter the store. That’s handy when I stop at a store for one thing and am reminded of other things I want to buy there.

So when do I use Evernote? Recently I researched dishwashers online. Each time I found one I liked, I would use Evernote’s excellent web clipper to copy the web page.

Later on, when I narrowed the list down to a few I wanted to see at the store, I copied the make and model numbers to Keep in the browser. Keep would be easier to pull up in the store.

On Android phones I can tell Google Now by voice to “Add ice cream to grocery list” and it finds a note in Keep titled “Grocery list” and adds ice cream to it.

Keep only recently added a web clipper. And when a web page is clipped to Keep, it only captures a link to the page. Evernote’s clipper captures the entire page.

Also, Evernote’s Windows app can watch disk folders and automatically upload the files into Evernote. If I download a PDF file and want it in Evernote, I save it to a particular disk folder and it is moved into Evernote automatically.

Evernote is for the more heavy-duty lifting. I use it to capture research for columns, store financial records and scans or photos of important documents. If I were a student, I’d use it to store class notes, handouts, research and all the material associated with a course.

Evernote’s phone app is useful enough. I can easily open it and pull up a note, although it takes longer than Keep to get to a specific note.

I tend to scan or photograph almost every document I get into Evernote. Once at Costco, I pulled up a prescription on Evernote and showed it to the pharmacist and found out I could save a lot of money filling that prescription there.

Google Keep      Web       Android       IOS

Evernote            Web       Android       IOS

It is great having powerful note-taking ability at my PC that can easily and seamlessly go with me on my phone.

Google Keep Community on Google+ that I founded.

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1 comment:

  1. How is it faster to type items into Keep.
    I find them both the same. Open a note from an EN widget, same as opening a note from Keep.


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