Google Keep tips and tricks and secrets

Google Keep is a handy utility for storing notes, lists, images and reminders. It isn’t like OneNote or Evernote and it is a much simpler app. However, a lightweight app can be more convenient for certain tasks. Here we take a look at updates, the trash and searching for text within images stored in notes.

Google Keep top tips - get more from this note taking app

Google occasionally updates Keep with new features and Keep automatically checks for new versions. Watch out for the notification at the top of the Keep window in the desktop version and click the Update link when it appears.

It takes seconds to update and it does not affect your notes. Apps are updated in the Google Play Store app on Android phones of course.

Watch for updates

 Update Google Keep

Search images

Keep has a search facility so that you can find text in notes quickly and easily, but did you know that it also works with images too? Suppose you are out and you receive a receipt for something you bought. Get out your mobile phone, start Keep and tap the camera button on the new note. Take a photo of the receipt and store it in the note.

 Image notes in Google Keep

After having done this a few times, you might then want to find a particular receipt. All you need to do is to tap the search icon and enter some text that appears on the receipt, such as the shop, restaurant or company name. This is a receipt from the Post Office and so a search for 'post office' results in the image being found.

 Google Keep image search

Text recognition works with any image that contains text and not just receipts. It works on mobile phones as well as the desktop version of Keep.

Secret screen

Do you know about the secret screen in Google Keep? In the desktop version enter a question mark (?) and this appears:

 The secret screen in Google Keep

Don’t type a question mark into a note! When no notes are selected, type ? It shows all the keyboard shortcuts that can be used with Keep. For example, you can jump forward and back through the notes by pressing the J and K keys, press e to archive a note and # to trash a note.

Surely they could be easier to remember. Why couldn’t Google have chosen S to search, A to archive, T to trash and so on?

This doesn't work on mobile phones, it is just for the desktop version

Recover deleted notes

Tap the menu button and select Trash to view the notes that have recently been deleted. Notes are removed after seven days, so recover them as soon as possible. Click the menu button of a note in the Trash and there is an option to delete it forever or restore it.

 Trash view in Google Keep

 Recover deleted notes in Google Keep

What is Keep for?

How do you use Google Keep? What do you use it for? What features should Google add? Comment below.

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7 Comments on Google Keep tips and tricks and secrets

  1. M Scheimann // 2015/02/16 at 16:56 // Reply


    Thanks for the info. Do we know if the Google Keep desktop version is secure? Does it encrypt communication to the server?

    Regards, M

  2. Keep does not display the URL, so I don’t know whether it uses https://, however, all other Google services do, so I would guess that Keep does too.

  3. I run two user accounts in Chrome and also use these separately for Keep. It would be useful for the desktop app to have a limited degree of personalisation – either by displaying the user email ID or an option to select a different banner colour in place of the default yellow.

    • Keep is very basic and a bit too basic for some people. You could you use one copy of Keep, but use a different colour for each account. You can filter notes and just list one colour, so you can see only notes for that account. This isn’t perfect and I wish there were a few more features.

  4. Yair Dickmann // 2016/05/21 at 23:41 // Reply

    how can I restore a deleted part in a note?

    • To recover a deleted note, press the menu button and select Deleted. Notes are kept for 7 days and then permanently deleted.

      It sounds like you want to recover part of a deleted note, some text, an image or a link perhaps. I’d try the universal undo key, Ctrl+Z, which works almost everywhere. However, it only works if you press it straight away. It won’t work the next day, for example.

  5. Yair Dickmann // 2016/05/24 at 13:20 // Reply

    Yes, that’s exactly what happened.
    Anyway, thanks a lot.

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