Create lists, transcribe recordings, doodle, collaborate on to-do lists, and so much more with Google Keep.

Google Keep isn't your average note-taking client. While the app sports a minimal interface and is very easy to use, it offers a set of powerful tools that make it an effective task management utility. From creating collaborative to-do lists to transcribing voice notes and saving bookmarks, the app does it all. The best part about Keep is that all changes are synced automatically, giving you quick access to your notes across all your devices, and on the web.

Here's what you need to know to get started with Google Keep.

How to install and log in to Keep

This part's straightforward. Just head to the Play Store, search for Keep, and install the app.

  1. Open the Play Store from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Search for Google Keep and tap the first search result.
  3. Tap Install.

    Google Keep install

  4. Following the installation, open Keep and tap the Get started button.

  5. Select the Google account you want to associate with the app.

    Google Keep login

How to create and edit your first note in Keep

One of Keep's strengths is that it is very simple to use. Creating a note or editing an existing note is about as easy as it can get.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Take a note section at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Enter the title and text, and tap the Back button to save the note.

    Google Keep add note

  4. Editing a note is just as easy. Tap the note you want to edit.

  5. Tap the desired section to start making changes to the note.
  6. Tap the Back button to save the changes.

    Google Keep edit note

How to create and manage lists in Keep

Keep allows you to easily create and manage to-do lists. Here's how to get started.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the List icon at the bottom.
  3. Set a Title for the list, and start adding items. To delete an item, tap the Delete icon on the right.

    Google Keep add list

  4. If you've already started a basic text note, you can turn it into a to-do list by tapping the + icon at the bottom left of the screen.

  5. Tap the + icon, and select the Checkboxes option to turn the note into a to-do list.
  6. Don't like the changes? You can turn the note back into a text note by selecting the Menu icon in the top left and selecting Hide checkboxes.

    Google Keep edit list

How to share notes and add collaborators in Keep

Keep has an excellent collaboration feature that lets you quickly share your notes and to-do lists with your friends and family. I use the feature to collaborate with my wife over grocery lists, chores for the weekend, and things to buy for the house. Here's what you need to know about sharing notes.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the note you want to share.
  3. Select the Action icon at the bottom right.
  4. Tap the Collaborator icon.
  5. Allow Keep access to your contacts.

    Google Keep sharing a note

  6. Enter the email address or name of the person you want to share the note with.

  7. After adding the collaborator, tap the Save button to share the note.

    Google Keep collaborate

How to set reminders in Keep

The ability to set reminders for notes or to-do lists is one of Keep's most useful functions. The reminders feature works the same way as it does in Google Now: you have the option of creating a reminder based on time or location. Here's how you can easily set a reminder in Google Keep:

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Select the note for which you want to set a reminder.
  3. Tap the Remind me icon in the top right.
  4. Set a reminder that triggers at a particular Time or at a Location.

    Google Keep reminder

You can also set recurring reminders for things like shopping lists. Reminders set in Keep will show up in Google Now and Inbox. When you're setting a reminder, you get default options for Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. Here's how to change the default options.

  1. Open Keep and select the hamburger menu on the left.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. In the Reminder settings section, tap Morning to change the default time for notification alerts in the morning.

    Google Keep reminder settings

How to dictate audio notes in Keep

In addition to text notes, you can also dictate notes to Keep, with the audio getting automatically transcribed. It is a lesser-known feature that comes in handy when you're taking notes in class.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the Speak icon at the bottom.
  3. Start recording your note.
  4. After you're done speaking, you'll see a text form of the note along with the recording underneath.
  5. You can hear the recording by selecting the Play button.

    Google Keep dictation

How to add an audio recording to an existing note

Adding an audio recording to an existing note is really easy.

  1. Select the note, tap the + icon at the bottom left.
  2. Select the Recording icon and start speaking.
  3. You'll see a text version of the recording as well as the audio added to the bottom of the note.

    Google Keep audio notes

You can delete the recording by hitting the Delete icon at the right of the audio. Doing so doesn't delete the text, which you'll have to clear manually.

How to add images to notes in Keep, and use OCR

You can easily add images to notes, and extract text from within images.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the Camera icon in the bottom right.
  3. Choose an image from your gallery or hit Take photo to take a new photo.
  4. Add a title and text to the image if required.

    Google Keep add image to note

How to extract text from an image

Want to grab the text from a photo you took, but don't want to manually transcribe from the image? There's a feature for that.

  1. Tap the image, select the Menu in the top right.
  2. Tap Grab image text.
  3. You can also make annotations to an image by selecting the Pen icon in the top left.

    Google Keep add image to note

How to add a photo to an existing note

If you're looking to add an image to an existing note, it's quick and easy.

  1. Select the note you want to add a photo to and tap the + icon in the bottom left.
  2. Choose Take photo to take a new photo to add to the note.
  3. Select Choose image to add an image from the gallery to your note.

    Google Keep add image to note

How to doodle in Keep

Like doodling? You can use Keep to draw digitally, with three modes available.

  1. Open Keep from the home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the Pen icon from the bottom.
  3. Select between Pen, Marker, and Highlight tool.

    Google Keep doodle

  4. Start drawing on-screen. To go back, hit the Undo icon on the right.

  5. To erase your drawing, select the Eraser from the bottom bar.
  6. To select and move a part of your drawing, use the Select icon from the bottom bar.

    Google Keep doodle edit

How to use Keep as a bookmark tool

Remember Delicious? You don't need a dedicated tool to save bookmarks anymore, as Keep does a capable job of saving and organizing your bookmarks.

  1. Select the Menu icon from Chrome to save a link to Keep.
  2. Hit Share.
  3. In the Share via screen, navigate to Keep to save the link.

    Google Keep bookmark tool

  4. Use the Label icon to assign a label to the link.

  5. Tap Save to add the link as a note in Keep.

    Google Keep save bookmark

How to export notes to Google Docs

While Keep has a lot of features, it doesn't offer rich text editing. If you're in need of more robust formatting and editing tools, you can export your note to Google Docs, Evernote, Word, or other word processing services.

  1. Long press on a note to show menu options.
  2. Select the More icon from the top right.
  3. Select Copy to Google Doc to turn the note into an editable Google Docs document.

    Google Keep export to Google Docs

  4. If you're looking to edit the document in another word processor, hit Send from the menu.

  5. Select your editor of choice from the Send note menu.
  6. Tap to save the note in your word editor.

    Google Keep export to Evernote

You can also save several notes to a single Google Docs file. Just hold down to select individual notes, and then select Copy to Google Doc.

How to archive or delete older notes in Keep

If you no longer need a note, you can easily archive or delete it. Here's how:

  1. Select a note.
  2. Tap the Archive icon to archive the note.
  3. Tap the Action menu from the bottom right to access the delete option.
  4. Select Delete to delete a note.

    Google Keep delete note

How to sort and organize notes with labels in Keep

Keep lets you add labels to organize your notes. If you're like me and take a lot of notes throughout the day, labels are absolutely essential to make sense of the clutter.

  1. Open the note for which you want to add a label.
  2. Tap the Action icon in the bottom right.
  3. Select Labels.
  4. Add your desired label.

    Google Keep add label

How to add labels via hashtags

You can also add labels quickly with the hashtag (#) symbol.

  1. Open the note for which you want to add a label.
  2. Type a #, which brings up all available labels.
  3. Add your desired label from the list.

    Google Keep add label hashtag

How to edit and organize notes base on labels

You can create, edit, and organize notes by labels with ease.

  1. Tap the hamburger menu on the left.
  2. Tap on a label to show notes tagged with that particular label.

    Google Keep sort labels

  3. Tap Edit to change label names.

  4. Tap the Edit icon on the right to edit the name of a label.
  5. Tap the + icon to add a new label.

    Google Keep edit labels

How to color code notes in Keep

Along with labels, you can use colors to visually differentiate between different types of notes.

  1. Open the note for which you want to add a color.
  2. Tap the Action icon in the bottom right.
  3. Select the desired color from the options at the bottom.

    Google Keep color code notes

Tell us how you use Keep

Now it's your turn. What do you use Keep for? Let us know in the comments.