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How to use Google Keep

First things first, why did I start to use Google Keep? I have being using Evernote for a long time by now, I read many articles on how to use it at its best but I never felt totally satisfied.

Why to use Google Keep instead of Evernote

The reasons why I'm not satisfied with Evernote are mainly:

  1. sort of cognitive overload given by the many features
  2. not really integrated with other tools I'm using
  3. on Evernote for free you can sync only two devices and use only one account on mobile or tablet.

Google Keep is solving all these pain points for me, it has a very simple user interface, it has some good integrations with the G-Suite ( gMail, Calendar and Docs ) and overall I can keep in sync the same account notes on as many devices as I want but also use multiple accounts, for instance I have one account for work and one for personal notes.

Screenshot of integration with gMail

Ultimately it is not that Google Keep is absolutely better than Evernote, they serve two different needs and in fact I'm still using both. I use Evernote mostly as an archive for structured documents that I access rarely. Instead, I use Google Keep in my day to day, overall at work where I need to keep simple notes, to-do lists or links that I will consume in the following hours / days or information that I will access very frequently.


How to organize your notes on Google Keep

Google Keep gives you two tools for categorization:

  • colors
  • labels
Screenshot of colors and labels usage


Yes, colors are not just for making your notes look pretty but for classification purposes as well, you have to think to colors as categories, or like notebooks in Evernote. I actually suggest to install the Category Tabs for Google Keep™ web extension for your Chrome browser, that extension empowers even more the usage of colors as categories. Compared to Evernote notebooks, I prefer the Google Keep approach to show all notes by default and use colors to easily spot the category of notes you are looking for.

Demo of colors usage


Labels are like tags in Evernote, or in any other application, a way to further classify your notes inside a category. Labels are cross-categories and allows you to add an additional axes of categorization. Sometimes can be confusing to understand what could be a label, what a category ( color ). It really depends on you, my suggestions is to use as categories your main activities / interests such as: work, hobby, home, side project x; instead as labels the names of things you want to keep record no matter the category or that will help you to further navigate such category.


I would recommend also to check out my web extension Google Keep PowerUp that you can find available on the Chrome Web Store.

Install now from Chrome Web Store

  • person Davide Ungari
  • calendar_today Oct 3, 2018 10:40:07 PM