Google Keep: The Best Note Taking App

Keeping track of your ideas and inspiration is very important – who hasn’t had a great idea while on the bus or train and then blanked when you got to your desk?  I know it’s not just me!

That’s why I wanted to recommend this week the note taking app that I’ve fallen in love with: Google Keep.  Evernote increased the prices of their plans and reduced the number of features in the basic plans, which led me to switch my alliance after many years – and I can’t believe why I haven’t been using Google Keep all along.  (If you’re an Apple user, just hear me out – Google Keep on the iPad is a phenomenal user experience.)

Why do you need a note taking app?

Why not?  Having a place on your mobile phone where you can easily add notes makes it easy to have all of your random thoughts and ideas put into one spot.  The key is to have everything in one spot – you have to be consistent, otherwise if you have post it notes here, digital app notes there, you’ll be running around trying to find that one idea you forgot and wasting time doing so.  No bueno.

I’ve been using a note taking app for years, and I find it just so much easier to keep the miscellany of business and life organized.  Specifically, Google Keep has a lightweight design and easy access via desktop, tablet, and mobile (all synced immediately) that makes it the perfect note taking companion.

In addition to the design, let’s talk about some of the other aspects of the app.

Pros and Cons of Google Keep

Some other positive aspects of Google Keep:

  • Labels make it super easy to organize lots of notes.  The labels are basically folders that you can setup and organize however needed.
  • The ability to “archive” notes that are no longer needed keeps your files clean.  Similar to Gmail, archiving notes doesn’t delete them but removes them from the view in the main homepage or folder views, keeping them safe and out of the way.  (You can delete notes entirely, if needed).
  • Ability to have multiple types of notes.  To do lists, drawings, images, and other features mean you can adjust how you use the app notes feature to the most benefit.

It’s not perfect, though.  Some things that aren’t ideal:

  • Keeping track of URLs is not the greatest.  If you find you do a lot of saving-for-later on articles and blog posts, I suggest another app such as Pocket.  Facebook also now has a save-for-later if you find much of your media consumption is coming through your Facebook feed.
  • You need to use your Google account.  Most of us have a Google account, but if you have most of your digital life elsewhere you might not like this aspect.

Suggestions for Stock Note-Taking

If you’re an active investor and want to give Google Keep a try, here are my top 3 suggestions on organizing your stock notes in Google Keep:

  • Create a ‘label’ called Finance/Investing.  That way you can keep all stocks and other related items together in one view.
  • Have a note called “Stocks to Research.”   Make it easy for you to add company names/symbols that you hear about, so you can go back when you have time and research them further.
  • Create a stock/finance to do list.  Make it easy to have a running to do list for maintaining your stock portfolio and related finances.

What note taking app do you use?  And how do you use it?

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Written by Andy Hayes

is a lifestyle expert and runs his own online magazine, Plum Deluxe. Andy is based in Portland, Oregon.

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