Despite being one of the most popular notes apps, Evernote has been sluggish in improving user experience. But recently Evernote addressed the elephant in the room by re-engineering its app.
Google Keep, on the other hand, has come a far way in less than a decade of its launch. It has been consistent in rolling out new features. And now it is a strong competitor of Evernote.
That’s why we think it would be interesting to see how Google Keep and Evernote compare in 2021. Albeit, both apps can cater to different users with different needs. While they have similar features—for things like notes, reminders, and checklists—Evernote is essentially a fully-loaded note-taking tool.
So we’re reviewing these topdogs for general use cases. We will specifically look at:
- File Attachments
- Data Transfers
- Platform Availability
- Pros & Cons
Let’s begin with notes as it’s the most important function. We’ll look at a few important things that bump up the experience by making it quick and easy to take notes.
Google Keep keeps it simple and offers minimal formatting for text. You can add bullets and numbered lists to the text. In comparison, Evernote has a ton of text formatting options like text fonts, colours, sizes, and so on.
Google Keep not only saves your audio notes but also converts them to text! It can be a great feature if you’re feeling too lazy to type. And while Evernote also offers to add audio notes, it doesn’t transcribe them to text.
Draw or Sketch
Both Google Keep and Evernote allow you to draw/sketch with different pen colors and pen stroke widths. You can also add yellow highlights. The difference is that Google Keep allows you to convert handwritten stuff to text. However, the hand-drawn stuff on Google Keep isn’t inserted in between the text but kept on top of the notes like a banner. Evernote is better if you like the sketches inserted in between the text.
Both apps offer a tool to cut an object, move it around, and resize it. But Google Keep is the only one that allows you to rotate a drawing.
Google Keep and Evernote allow you to take images directly from your camera. You can also add an image from your device. However, you cannot save an image in-between the text note on Google Keep. Whereas on Evernote, you can save images in between the text. It also allows you to crop and annotate an image.
Click & Transcribe
We think image transcriptions are the best features available on both apps. Apart from transcribing audio and drawn text, you can also transcribe pics of printed documents or book pages to notes. In our review, Google Keep performed better than Evernote.
You can bookmark web links on both Evernote and Google Keep. Using Google Keep’s Chrome extension you can add quick notes and labels to the bookmarks. Using Evernote’s browser extensions you can save links or the whole page content but cannot add quick notes. On mobile apps of both Evernote and Google Keep you can only save links.
Templates are only available on Evernote. It’s an interesting feature because you can quickly get a checklist, tables, trackers, and so on. You can also create custom templates if you upgrade to a premium version.
Both apps offer limited offline capabilities: the notes that you load recently while online mobile apps are available offline.
Though lists are considered as notes in both the apps, we’ll look at them as a separate feature.
On Google Keep, you can rearrange items on the checklists. You can also quickly convert a list of things into a checklist but there’s no undo button to back to the list.
As mentioned earlier, Evernote offers checklist templates which can be handy at times. Unlike Google Keep, Evernote also allows you to add other stuff to your checklists like text formatting, images, etc.
Google Keep is a bit more advanced in the case of reminders. You can schedule recurring reminders and reminders to appear at a physical location (like your local grocery store). Reminders on Evernote are pretty basic.
On Google Keep, you can add a background color to notes. Say stuff related to your daily routines can have a green background and any recipes you save can be in red color. You can also add labels and pin any note to the top. And any reminders you keep can be seen separately from everything.
As mentioned earlier Evernote is primarily a note-taking tool. So you can organize notes into a notebook and notebooks in a notebook stack. It also has a tagging feature. You can add shortcuts to your favorite notes, notebooks, notebook stacks, or tags on Evernote.
Both Google Keep and Evernote allow you to add collaborators by sending an email. The difference is that collaborators on Google Keep must have a Gmail account and non-Gmail collaborators don’t receive an email as they do on Evernote. Also, collaborators on Google Keep must log in to their Google Keep account see the shared notes. On Evernote, you can invite anyone with any email client and they receive an email for collaboration.
Both apps allow you to search text inside any notes.
Google Keep’s search gives real-time results. You can narrow down searching with categories like labels and colors on Google Keep. Plus you can even search for collaborated notes using the collaborator’s name.
Evernote gives suggestions for search queries but the search itself isn’t real-time like Google Keep. And oddly you cannot search for tags on the primary search bar of the web app but you can do that on the mobile app. But in case you have attachments like PDFs and Word docs, you can search inside them!
As mentioned earlier, you can add images to notes on both apps. But Evernote also allows you to add file attachments like audio, videos, Word docs, and PDFs.
- Import and Export: Google Keep and Evernote allow you to export and import data.
- Sync: The sync across the devices and platform on both apps is in real-time.
- Integrations: Google Keep has an out-of-the-box integration to copy notes to a Google Doc. Evernote has several integrations including Google Drive.
- Google Keep Evernote Integration: There's no integration or sync between Google Keep and Evernote. But you can share individual notes from Google Keep to Evernote, albeit without the note's title. However, you can email Google Keep notes to your Evernote email address. Unfortunately, you cannot transfer notes from Evernote to Google Keep; you need to manually copy-paste every note.
Google Keep is available on:
Evernote is available on:
- Web, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and extensions for popular browser extensions like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge. Find your platform here.
Google Keep and Evernote, both can be used on iPad with Apple Pencil support.
Pros and Cons
- Damn good transcription for audio, drawn text, and printed text
- Color codes for notes organization
- Advanced features for reminders
- You can only sign up with Gmail accounts
- No folder organization
- No text formatting
- Ready-made templates with checklists, tables, and so on
- Folder system and shortcuts for notes organization
- Availability on a wider range of platforms
- Limited support for transcription
- Has only one-time reminders
- Syncs across only two devices on the free plan
There can be no definite winner as the choice depends on your requirements. If your priority is taking quick notes that don't need a lot of organizing, then go with Google Keep. In case you need a lot more organization and stuff like formatting options and then Evernote is a good choice.