Tips and tricks for Google Keep

About a year ago I wrote a post praising Google Keep, the light, effective note-taking app from Google. At the time I was only a few months into using it but I was already smitten. The fast, lightweight app let me store and find notes easily. Twelve months later, it has become an indispensable part of my day.

Along the way, I’ve picked up some very cool tricks that make it even more useful. If you’re a fan too, I hope you learn something new here. If you haven’t used Google Keep before, consider this your formal invitation to give it a try. It really is useful. Now, the tips.

Transcribe notes from pictures

I learned this trick from Tech Republic and it has become my favorite. If you take a photo of written text with Google Keep, it can extract the text in the photo and turn it into editable copy in a note. Just follow these steps:

  1. Take a photo with the app
  2. Tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner
  3. Select “Grab image text”

That’s it. Keep will find the text in the photograph and paste it into the body of your note. Super cool.

Drag and drop notes from Keep into Google Docs

Here’s something I tried on a whim. Much to my delighted surprise, it worked. Just follow these steps.

  1. With a Google Doc open, click “Tools” from the menu bar and then “Keep Notepad.”
  2. A list of your notes appears on the right.
  3. Simply drag the one you want out of that list and into your document.

The cool thing here is that the formatting in the note is retained. Drag an ordered list, and you’ve got an ordered list in your doc. Drag an image and it’s an image. Text is text. The lesson here is always poke around the tools menu.

It’s great for social media drafts

Sharing isn’t limited to Google Docs, or course. Open a note on your smartphone (Android or iOS) and hit the three dots or Share Button to send the contents of that note to Twitter, Facebook, Slack, etc.

Create reminders

I only discovered this recently. You can use Keep to send you a reminder. To begin, just create a note and click the icon of a finger wrapped in a string. From there, create your reminder. That reminder will automatically appear on your Google Calendar, the Chrome browser (if it’s signed into Google) and your Android device.

As you can see, Keep is for much more than jotting down shopping lists (though it does that, too). I’ve grown to love it and I bet you will, too. Give it a try.

3 Comments for “Tips and tricks for Google Keep”

  1. posted by Carl on

    i have to say, i agree. I use Keep like a pocket notepad, or writing on buck slips. I find the flexibility to store just about anything in it, and then move it OUT makes a fantastic tool.

    However, there is a dark side….

    You have to DEDICATE yourself to examine Google Keep on a weekly basis to clean it out, otherwise, you create digital noise and clutter.
    FWIW, I clear out mine during my very early Saturday morning learnings (I spend about 30-60 minutes on Sat AM very early listening to podcasts / tedX talks, and clearing my digital cruft) – while everyone else sleeps.

  2. posted by Greg Chabala on

    I’m a fan of Keep’s location based reminders as well. I can keep notes of people I’ve interacted with at a business and tag it with the location, and the note will open for me the next time I’m there.

  3. posted by Tab on

    I had been in love with Keep since you recommended it. However, in the past few weeks I have had some severe problems with it not syncing! My husband and I share some lists on the app and it refused to sync them. (So much so that my husband went to the grocery store and bought everything on the list that I just bought!) Is there a trick to make sure the sync stays work or was this a freak thing. I just hope it doesn’t continue, because other than this problem recently, the app has worked just beautifully for me.

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