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Ten Cool Google Keep Features


The end of the year is a busy time, and I like to keep track of what I need to do by keeping a checklist. I've done it with pencil and paper and with various apps, but the one I find most useful is Google Keep. 

Keep lets you easily create free-form notes and checklists with attached links, images and audio recordings that are available anywhere you can access your Google account. 

Here are my favorite Google Keep features:

1. Keep notes synchronize between desktop and mobile apps. It's all free.
2. Integration with Google Docs, Calendar and Gmail on desktop.
3. Attach photos or other images to a note or list. 
4. Add a drawing (or handwritten note).
5. Grab the text from a photo, image or drawing. 
6. Add an audio recording, with a transcription of voice recordings in English.
7. Use Google Assistant to create a note or add to a list.
8. Save web pages using the Chrome Keep extension.
9. Collaborate with other users. 
10. Organize your Keep notes and lists with Labels and colors.


Read on for more details: 

1. Synchronization across all my devices

There is a free Google Keep app for Android and iOS, or you can access Keep on desktop at keep.google.com.  It's accessible anywhere when signed in to your Google account.

Note that the recently announced changes to how Google Storage works will not affect Google Keep. 

2. Integration with Google Docs, Gmail and Calendar.


You can access your Google Keeps notes on the right side panel of Google Docs, Gmail and Google Calendar on desktop.

Just open the right panel and click the yellow Keep icon.

If you create a new Keep note while you are editing a document, reading an email or message or viewing the details of a Calendar event, the note automatically links to that page. 

3. Add photos or images


You can attach an image to your Keep note or list. 

On desktop
1. In Keep, open the note or list
2. Click the Add image icon
3. Select an image from your computer to upload.

On your mobile device.
1. In the Keep app, open the note or list
2. Tap the + button at bottom right
3. Select Add image to attach an image from your device.
4. Tap Take photo to take a new photo

4. Add a drawing



You can add a drawing or write a note. 

On desktop:
1. In Keep, open the note or list
2. Click the 3 dot menu icon on the bottom of the post.
3. Select Add drawing
4. That opens a blank canvas. Click the icons at the top for tools: 
  • Select part of the image. This lets you move things around.
  • Erase
  • Draw with a pen. Click the icon a second time to select color and line size.
  • Draw with a marker. Click the icon a second time to select color and line size.
  • Highlight. Click the icon a second time to select color and line size. 
  • Add guides. Click the grid icon to add a grid, dots or ruled lines.
On your mobile device:
1. In the Keep app, open the note or list
2. Tap the + button at bottom right
3. Select Drawing
4. That opens a blank canvas. Tap the icons at the bottom for tools: 
  • Select part of the image. This lets you move things around.
  • Erase
  • Draw with a pen. Tap the icon a second time to select color and line size.
  • Draw with a marker. Tap the icon a second time to select color and line size.
  • Highlight. Tap the icon a second time to select color and line size. 
5. Click the 3 dot menu icon at top right and click Show grid to add grid, dot or ruled lines.

6. There are undo/redo buttons at top right. 

Save your drawing when you are done.

5. Grab image text


Keep can read text in photos and drawings. 

This is limited to English and the quality depends on the legibility of the text. It is surprisingly accurate - my diagonal handwritten "Buy Milk" above is transcribed as "Buy Milk".

On desktop: 
1. Open the note or list that has a photo, image or drawing
2. Click the 3 dot menu icon on the bottom bar
3. Select Grab image text

On mobile:
1. In the Keep app, open the note or list that has a photo image or drawing
2. Tap the photo, image or drawing to open it
3. At top right, tap the 3 dot menu icon to Grab image text

The text is added to the bottom of your note or list.

6. Add an audio recording 


On your mobile device you can add brief audio notes to a Keep note or list. In English, the audio is automatically transcribed.

To create a new note by voice: 

1. Open the Keep app
2. Tap the microphone icon at the bottom
3. When the microphone appears speak your note

To use your voice to add to an existing list or note:

1. In the Keep app, open the note or list.
2. At the bottom tap the + icon.
3. Select Recording
4. Record your list item or note.

The recording will appear at the bottom of the note or list. Tap the play button to listen.
If text is transcribed, that will be added to your note or list.

7. Add to your list with Google Assistant

You can set Keep to be the default Note and List app for Google Assistant. That lets create a new list or note, or  just say "Hey Google, add  "new item" to "List Name" to add an item. 

This works with your phone, smart speaker or Nest device.

8. Save a web page with the Keep Chrome extension

You can use the Keep Chrome extension to save an image, selection or webpage to a Keep note.

9. Collaborate

You can add collaborators to your Keep note or list. They can read and modify the content. 

On desktop: 
1. Open the Keep note or list.
2. Click the Collaborator icon
3. Enter the person's Google account email or their name (if their email is in your Google Contacts)

On mobile: 
1.  In the Keep app, open a note or list.
2. Tap the 3 dot menu icon at bottom right.
3. From the menu, select Collaborator
4. Enter the person's Google account email or their name (if their email is in your Google Contacts)

Collaborators can add to lists and notes using their Google Assistant as well.  

10. Organize with labels

If you have a lot of notes, it can be very useful to add labels. Labels are listed on the left menu in the mobile app and desktop website.

You can also change the color of your note to make it stand out.

On desktop or mobile:
1. Open the Keep note or list
2. Click the 3 dot menu icon at the bottom
3. Select Labels or Add a label
4. Select an existing label to add, or create a new label

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