Google Keep vs. OneNote: Which Notetaking App Is Better?


onenote-vs-google-keep-which-is-betterWhile checking Google Analytics I observed that I am getting lots of traffic on the search term “Evernote vs. Google Keep” for a blog post I wrote comparing both the notetaking apps. This gave me an idea: I gave up using Evernote long time ago and for the past few months I have been using OneNote.

Since I have been using OneNote for quite some time now I think now I have sufficient experience to throw some light on the notetaking app, plus, also compare it with Google Keep. I have already compared Evernote and OneNote. In this post I have also explained why I switched to OneNote from Evernote.

Google Keep vs. OneNote

Although there is no one-on-one comparison of Google Keep and OneNote because, despite being notetaking apps, they both have their own uses (for that matter, even OneNote and Evernote have their own unique uses), it is good to know which app to use for your particular need and I’m writing this blog post keeping that in mind. Right now I’m using both Google Keep and OneNote and I would suggest you do the same if you have a conflict between these particular acts.

Why I use OneNote

In the above-linked blog post I have already explained why I have started using OneNote: it is a more comprehensive notetaking app than Google Keep. I’m using OneNote to save notes, obviously but I’m also using it for my daily schedule. It’s like a digital diary and the best part is, you can rearrange individual notes manually – a big reason why I stopped using Evernote because it wouldn’t allow me to arrange my notes manually. I have created a “Schedules” notebook. The beauty is, within this “Schedules” notebook, I can create multiple tabs representing multiple months like “November 2016”, “December 2016”, and so on. Then, within those tabs, I can create individual notes titled “December 15, 2016”, “December 16, 2016”, and so on and then within these notes, I can create bulleted tasks with checkboxes. This is one use.

Of course the other use is storing information. It stores the information in a very nice, hierarchical manner and as I have already written above, it lets you manually organize information rather than deciding on its own how to arrange it.

A slight problem with OneNote is that it’s quite bulky, being a Microsoft product. The last time I tried to use it on my phone and on my tablet, I wasn’t quite happy. Even on a PC, for bigger notes, it seems very slow.

Why I use Google Keep

Precisely, this is the reason why I use Google Keep: it is very light, very straightforward. You can use it on all your devices. Whenever I need to save something quickly (for example I’m reading a book and I need to save a quote) I can use Google Keep. It has never crashed. It has never failed. I don’t remember ever come across some problem trying to save a note using Google Keep. Yes, it is very simple and it doesn’t have all the features that you find in OneNote and Evernote but for someone who just wants to save quick notes, this might be the best notetaking app. It is synced in real time. You can save text, bulleted lists, items with check boxes and images.

Google Keep vs. OneNote

For quickly saving information, Google Keep works best. It’s like your stick on notes but only better. You don’t even have to give titles to your notes. Simply save the information and later on, in order to easily find it, add some tag, and you’re good to go. There are no notebooks and no stacks. Just plain notes. You can give different colours to your notes to make it easier to organize them. You can manually drag and drop notes and rearrange them according to your need. Some people even use Google Keep to organize their reminders.

OneNote is a serious notetaking app – a full-fledged notetaking app, hence, it is on the heavier side. The problem is, when you casually want to save something, it may pose a problem especially on mobile devices. But the way it organizes information is much better than Evernote. Inside a particular note, you can click anywhere on the blank space and start creating your note just like the way you would do on a blank paper sheet.

OneNote is an Office365 product. You get it with the suite. I’m not sure whether you can use it for free or not because I haven’t explored this option. Google Keep you can use for free if you have a Google account.

All in all, I like both Google Keep and OneNote. I wish OneNote was lighter and worked better on my mobile phone and tablet. What features would I like to add to Google Keep? I think it is good the way it is. If you cannot create notebooks, then you can create labels. For example, I can create a “Schedule” label and then create my notes for individual months or individual days. Will play around with the idea some day.

About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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