Abandon sticky notes and put Google Keep on the desktop

When you are working on your computer or simply browsing the web for fun, you will occasionally need to temporarily store information. One way of doing this is with sticky notes apps and there is no shortage of utilities, but Google Keep now runs on the desktop.

Store notes on your PC, Mac, phone using Google Keep. Run Google Keep on the desktop in its own window | rawcomputing.com

Google Keep is a handy note-taking app that enables you to store a wide range of information such as plain text, web links, and images.

(There is a newer version of this article with updated information here: Run Google Keep on the desktop in its own window.)

When you need to remember a telephone number, some text from a web page, a photo or other artwork, storing them in Keep has advantages over other sticky notes type utilities.

For a start, Google syncs the notes with the cloud and stores them online. This means that they are available on any computer with internet access.

You will never lose anything because it is stored online and every computer you use has access to the notes.

Google Keep on the Windows desktop

Google Keep is available as an Android app from the Google Play Store and it was also available from within a web browser like Chrome.

It is now available as a desktop app too, and it works whether you are online or offline. (Update: Chrome apps will be abandoned in 2017! See this article.)

Running Google Keep in Windows

To get the app, you need to have Chrome installed and you should be signed in to your Google account. Go to chrome.google.com/webstore/ and look in the For You Desktop section under Collections. Here is a direct link to Google Keep.

This does not add itself to Chrome like an extension. It adds a Chrome App Launcher to the Windows desktop taskbar. Click the App Launcher (in desktop mode if you are using Windows 8) and a collection of Google apps is displayed. Click Google Keep.

It initially opens a small window that is reminiscent of the app on a mobile device. Click in the Add note box and start typing or press Ctrl+V to paste in text stored on the clipboard.

Enter the address of a website and it is automatically turned into a clickable hyperlink that opens Chrome.

Click the picture icon at the right side of the Add note box and you can select an image to store in a note. Alternatively, you can simply click and drag an image file from an Explorer window to add it to a picture note.

Google Keep in Windows

There are two layouts and initially it opens in a narrow window that shows notes in a single vertical column. If you click and drag the left or right edge to resize the window, when it reaches a certain size it switches to two, three or four columns. The layout adapts to the window width.

If you didn’t use Google Keep before, because it was inconvenient accessing it through a browser, try the new version that runs as a desktop app. (Update: Chrome apps are being abandoned! See here.)

It is much more useful and anything you add to it is made available on your phone or tablet with the Google Keep app.

Create notes on the PC and view them on your phone, or create them on the phone when you are out and when you get back to your PC they are all there.

Google Keep keeps on getting better. What about other note-keeping programs like Microsoft OneNote and the ever-popular Evernote?

Keep is different and it is best for short term temporary notes rather than OneNote and Evernote's ability to compile and organise multiple types of resources for a project.

Keep Keep on the desktop when you are browsing the web and working, jot down notes to be used later, remember a telephone number or address, paste some text in. It's a bit like the Windows clipboard, but with unlimited items. When you no longer need an item, just delete it.

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9 Comments on Abandon sticky notes and put Google Keep on the desktop

  1. I find that Google Note has a Sticky Note replacement is very good BUT….. With only 2 areas where you can store you notes (Archive and Active) these can fill up very fast if you find it useful to the point that if most of you notes are images from your phone (which is what i use this app the most for) I find the desktop app starts to get very slow and also with the phone app, text only notes don’t seem to be an issue.

    If Google in as a future upgrade would add the ability to add your own Notebooks thus dividing it into smaller section I don’t think this slowness would be an issue.

    • Another point….. If Keep had the ability to send the contents of the note to another app or even print the note e.g. send to Onenote print to PDF it’s usefulness would increase a lot.

      Note:…. You can send a note to another app on android (just found this out) via share. e.g share to Evernote etc.

  2. Roland Waddilove // 2014/06/30 at 08:29 // Reply

    That is an area of weakness for Google keep as it stands. Microsoft OneNote and Evernote are better at organising large amounts of content. I think Keep is a viable sticky notes alternative – little bits of information that you store temporarily and I wouldn’t use it to organise research material for a project for example. It just lacks organisation.

  3. You clearly never tried “stickies”, if you feel like Gkeep is useful for what you are doing.
    This thing is insane.

  4. Keep is ok on phones but too many problems with it synching on a desktop app. data gets mixed up and lost.

    I no longer use it.

    • Thanks for the link to Stickies – I like free stuff. However, it’s not for me. This morning I created a note on my Android phone, now I’m on an Apple Mac, this afternoon I’ll be using a PC. I need notes that follow me wherever I go and Google Keep does that. I can even access Keep notes from someone else’s computer, just using a browser.

      • I’ve not had any problems syncing, except occasionally when I’ve had to click the Sync/Refresh button to force a sync. Then it shows everything.

        The one problem I have with Google Keep is organisation. As the number of notes increases, your ability to find them decreases. I think folders would be a good addition, although colours and labels help. I should use these more.

  5. Every thing is as advertised except I can’t get it to work on Windows desktop in the offline mode. When I am offline Google Keep wants me to get a connection. Would appreciate help to tell me how to resolve this.

    • In Chrome, go to the menu, More Tools, Extensions. Make sure you have Google Docs Offline and that it is enabled. Go to Google Drive, click the gear icon, Settings. Tick the Offline option. That might sort it out.

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