How to use Google Keep effectively

Amid low fanfare, I found an application of special interest. It’s called Google Keep, a syncing notepad that connects to Google Drive. The ingenious app lets you create voice memos, quickly jot down notes, save photos and create checklists to access them again anytime you get connected to a different web-connected device in use.

Most mobile devices such as mobiles phones and tablets in use today are equipped with good QWERTY screens having better swipe capabilities. All this makes the task of taking notes on palm-sized devices dead simple. Apps like Google Keeps has simplified the task furthermore.

Google keep is available in 4 different versions:

  1. Chrome
  2. Web
  3. iOS
  4. Android

Chose the one that suits your requirements.

How to use Google Keep

When you first launch the app, you will find the interface of the app is quite colorful and easy to use. These colors actually function as organization tools that help you distinguish your personal notes and other business related ones. In particular, it helps to discern what’s more important for you and saves you from scrolling through dozens of notes.

So, if you do not wish to adhere to a simple color-coding system offered by the app, you can add your own color. To do so, simply enter a hashtag (#) sign in the title field of the app, and you’ll see a drop-down menu for picking a label.

Choose the desired color.

How to use Google Keep

To create a note in Google Keep, Go to Google Keep and click ‘Take a note’.

Then, add a note and a title.

When finished, click Done. For editing the same note, click on edit, make changes to a note and then click Done

For creating a new image note in Google Keep

Google Keep has a feature that can transcribe text from images scan or convert handwritten text into digital text. To try this, click ‘New note with Image‘ icon and select the picture of whose text you would like to capture. Then, select the image, chose ‘More’ (3 dots) option and select the ‘Grab text from the image’ option.

Google App

Google Keeps takes advantage of character recognition to achieve this task. Using the feature does require an active internet connection is required for this feature to work along with a photo, screenshot or another image that contains text.

Please note that the accuracy of the text transcribed may vary depending on the quality of the image being read from and the words in it. No need to add spaces as Google autocorrects texts and adds spaces between them itself. Clear images with high contrast are likely to give best results. Blurred ones can result in weird translations.

For granting others, access to your notes, click the Collaborator option and enter the email addresses of collaborators. That’s it! Here on, if the person who has been given access to your notes want to edit it, he will be allowed to make the changes and can edit the same as if it was his own.

This feature can be useful in instances where you have made a list of ingredients to be used for preparing a food recipe or others such as groceries, where your mother can make last minute additions. The changes made, if any will readily sync in real-time, so you never miss anything.

Similar to Cortana application in Windows 10, Google Keeps has location-based reminders feature that you can use in conjunction with events like, a weekly/monthly appointment with a physician, monthly tasks/targets and annual tax payments, etc.

For adding a reminder to a note, change the reminder type from Time to Place. Then type in an address, and when prompted with a map, confirm your location. Now when you visit that place, next time, Google Keep will remind you of this note.

Likewise, you can also choose to schedule tasks on a future date and receive notification for the same when due. For this, click the ‘finger with a bow’ icon note as shown in the screenshot above to access the date and time picker and click ‘Done’ when done. Reminders of due notes will be delivered as alert toasts in the Chrome Notification Center on Windows.

Apart from the above, you can make changes in the appearance of the interface. For instance, if you would like to change the default appearance of the list, click on the list icon residing in the upper right-hand corner of the app and select the view. There are two views available – Horizontal and vertical. Chose the one that suits your requirement.

One of the biggest obstacles to keeping digital notes and to-do lists is finding an app you like. Google Keep has been around for a year and is completely free for use. Moreover, its lightweight and easy-to-use. You can get started at

You can get started at and get the Chrome browser extension here. Do share your experience with us in the comments section below.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.


  1. SeppWinkler

    Google Keep doesn’t have any sorting feature, so it is absolutely useless for keeping and organising more than ten notes. We need basic sorting in all notes and basic sorting in one note, especially if it is a list.

  2. Nicholas Souris

    I suppose, being Google, they expect us to use search vs sorting and finding. There is a bit of sorting (or grouping, really) with the colors. This is how many apps of theirs work ‘inbox’ ‘picasa’ and the like.

  3. SeppWinkler

    Maybe, but for serious work with notes one need sorting as well as searching. With sorted data you can easy see similar data, you can quickly find missing things. How can one find missing thing with search? 🙂 All other notes keeping apps have sorting feature, so this fact disqualifies Keep for people that use a lot of notes. I think OneNote is winner now.

  4. Jool

    There is a fucking tag option with a whole sidebar of tags, works fucking great

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