• Home

  • App picks

  • App comparisons

App comparisons

9 min read

Evernote vs. Google Keep: Which note-taking app should you use?

By Miguel Rebelo · October 4, 2023
Hero image for app comparisons with the logos of Google Keep and Evernote

Note-taking apps changed the way I work and think. So much so that my favorite hobby is finding new, obscure note-taking apps and trying them out for a project. My collection keeps growing, and I'm currently using three different note-taking apps to manage my work. I love it.

Here, we'll look at two of the apps I've tried and see how they stack up: Evernote vs. Keep. I picked up both apps again—I used Evernote for two years and Google Keep on and off for a couple of months in the past—and took them out for a spin. Here's how they measure up.

Google Keep vs. Evernote at a glance

If you add up all the stars, you might think Evernote is the obvious winner. But would you use a fork to eat soup? Read on to see how each tool shines in different contexts.

Google Keep



⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Free

⭐⭐⭐ Free plan available; subscriptions with more features start at $14.99/month

Note features

⭐⭐⭐ Simple notes; ability to add checklists, images, and voice recordings

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rich-text formatting; supports multiple media sources and types

Task features

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Easy checklists, with date/time and location reminders

⭐⭐⭐ Task lists with due dates, task sharing, and the ability to flag critical tasks


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Digital bulletin board feel with lots of colors

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ More structured notes with notebooks and tags

Web clipper

⭐⭐ Capture the URL and add a note

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wide range of clipping options, including text-only or full-page


⭐⭐ Basic sharing abilities

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Advanced sharing abilities: share link, edit permissions, or send a copy via email


⭐⭐⭐ Integrates with the Google software suite, including Calendar and Docs

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Native integrations and access to thousands more via Zapier

Evernote has new owners

In January 2023, Evernote changed hands. It's now part of Bending Spoons, a European SaaS company that develops mobile apps like Remini, an image editing tool.

Since the acquisition, the company has focused on modernizing Evernote's infrastructure, bringing it up to speed with current technologies. The immediate results? Performance gains and real-time editing. The infrastructure will now be moving to Europe, and the app's pricing is also increasing.

The community is still divided on whether this is good for Evernote. Time will tell. While we let it pass, let's explore the differences between Google Keep and Evernote.

Google Keep for speed, Evernote for depth

If you're afraid that brilliant idea is going to slip between your fingers, Google Keep lets you capture it before it evaporates. 

Creating a new note is super fast. Open the app, and one click/tap later, you're already writing. This speed feels great, and it's useful when you take notes on the go or when you want to save multiple notes in quick succession. 

A note in Google Keep

A note in Evernote is slower. Twice as slow, in fact. Creating a new note takes two clicks/two taps, as you must first select New note and then choose the type of note you want to create. That additional tap may seem insignificant, but you'll find that lack of agility adds up over time. There's a big redeeming factor here, though: in Evernote, you can start from a note template ready to fill, which helps keep your thoughts structured right from the start.

This speed/depth comparison also holds true for viewing your notes. Google Keep lays all your notes on a digital bulletin board, where you can scroll and read them without having to open them.

Google Keep digital bulletin board feel

Evernote's entry into your web of notes is different. You can either click to open a note from the dashboard, or open a notebook. From there, you see the title of the note and a small preview of the content, and then you have to click to read the whole thing. It's slower, but it makes sense because, as you'll see, Evernote is geared toward long-form note-taking.

Evernote has more organization features

When you log in to Evernote, you land on a dashboard page with a collection of recent notes, shortcuts to starred notes, and recent clippings from the web. If you upgrade to a paid version, you can customize this screen to give you better visibility and faster entry points into topics.

Evernote dashboard

Just like you used to have notebooks for different areas of analog life, Evernote lets you do the same digitally. Notebooks provide the structure to separate notes by projects or topics, and you can also apply tags that'll help with searching. You can sort the notes inside notebooks, apply filters, and see what's inside with four different views.

Evernote note structure

These features may seem simple, but they're great as you scale your knowledge base, especially when you start accumulating notes in the hundreds.

Google Keep's organization features are ok for daily notes, errands, and random thoughts, but piecing it all together and adding context is more complicated. The digital bulletin board has two views: a grid and a list. You can move the important notes to the top by pinning them, assign background colors, and top it off with labels (the equivalent of Evernote's tags). These features support Keep's speed, but it could get hard to manage when you're working at scale.

There's a way to take advantage of Keep for longer, though: archiving notes. Use the main board for relevant notes, pinning the important ones at the top; move all those that aren't relevant, timely, or immediately actionable to the archive. Archived notes still show in label views, and if you set reminders on an archived note, it'll pop back up to the main board when the date and time comes.

Google Keep is better for task management

Picking up milk at the supermarket? Dropping the kids off at a party this weekend? Meeting up with your friends in the city on Wednesday? All good. Google Keep makes recording your tasks easy, and they always surface at the right time.

Creating checklists is wonderful. As you type your shopping list, you get suggestions. When you start typing "bananas" or "toilet paper," you can tap to complete and save some time. As you mark those tasks as done, they're grouped below the ones that are still to do, so you can focus on what's left.

Google Keep task management feature showing autofill optons

In addition to setting reminders by date and time, you can set location-based reminders. How cool would it be to pass by the laundromat and have your phone tell you to pick up your clothes? 

All these tasks sync with Google Calendar, so you can keep the little bits close to the big, serious scheduling, and see everything in one place. This is Google at its best, using its services orchestra to be one step ahead in guessing what you need, when and where you need it.

Evernote's approach isn't as agile, but it offers a wider range of features. When you add your tasks, they'll sit inside the Tasks tab. You can also add tasks to individual notes, so you can keep track of project to-dos, add reminders, flag critical tasks, and more. There's also a new Google Calendar integration that lets you display Evernote tasks there, too. It all feels like a traditional project management app, with some collaboration features in the mix. The downside? These features aren't available on the free plan.

Evernote has a richer note-taking experience

Has this ever happened to you? You're reading a note from last year, and no matter how much you spin it around, you have no idea what you meant at the time. This is exactly why providing context on your notes is crucial: to make sure present-you knows what you were so excited about on June 15, 2021.

Evernote lets you add multiple media types, such as images, video embeds, file attachments, and PDFs. Combine those with rich-text formatting, and you'll be able to include all the context you need to carry ideas through time. 

Adding various media types to an Evernote note

This ability to add context also makes Evernote more collaboration-friendly. And in Evernote, you can add people to your notes, set view or edit permissions, share a link, or send an entire copy of your note to someone else.

Google Keep doesn't provide a lot of freedom in terms of formatting or media types—unless you're using it on your Android phone. If you're not, you're locked to the stock body text, without bolding, headings, or highlighting of any kind. You can add an image to a note, and if you paste a link, it creates a clickable snippet. But that's pretty much it as far as structure goes.

Sharing is similarly simple in Keep. You can share your notes with other people, but you can't set permissions, send copies, or create a link. It's enough for fast sharing, but not powerful enough if you need more control.

There is one note-taking feature that Google Keep has and Evernote doesn't. When you start recording your voice in Keep's mobile app, it also adds a speech-to-text rendition of what you said. It isn't the best dictation software on the planet, but it's fairly accurate and saves you the work of having to transcribe it. And even if it's too far off the mark, there's always the original recording attached so you can set things right.

Speech-to-text in Google Keep

Google Keep is completely free

Unlike Evernote, Google Keep is completely free. It does use your Google account's storage, so you have a 15GB storage limit before you have to upgrade (via either a Google One or Google Workspace subscription). But each note is relatively small, so it would take a long time before you'd have to pay.

Evernote's free plan, on the other hand, comes with some pretty strict limitations:

  • 60MB limit per month (25MB max per note)

  • 2-device restriction

  • Limited collaboration features

  • Limited task and reminder features

I used the free version of Evernote for over two years for mostly text notes, and it served me quite well. The limitations only start kicking in when you need to add lots of images or a really big PDF file. But if you upgrade to the $7.99/month plan, you suddenly get way more:

  • 10GB monthly uploads (200MB max per note)

  • Unlimited devices

  • Full suite of task-related features

  • Google Calendar integration

  • Offline access

  • Image and PDF markup

  • Offline mode for mobile and desktop

Evernote's web clipper is more powerful

Google Keep's Chrome extension is simple and works well. Click on it, add a note, and Keep saves it along with the link in a snippet. It feels like a premium bookmarking feature, but when compared with Evernote, it's a bit lacking.

Evernote's web clipper steals the show by offering you multiple capture methods:

  • Article capture, with the text and the article image

  • Simplified article, capturing only the text

  • Full-page clips, which scans the entire page as an image (some dynamic web images break, but the page structure remains)

  • Bookmark (which is what Keep does: add a note and save the link along with it)

  • Screenshot, where you drag to choose the area of the page, and Evernote saves it as an image

Evernote web clipper options

Pick the notebook the clip should live in, and there it goes. It's really powerful to keep track of the content you consume, especially if the websites in question change frequently.

Evernote integrates with more apps

Google Keep really only talks to other Google software. This is great if you're always in a Google app of some sort: you can see your tasks in Calendar and send your notes to Google Docs to flesh them out into something more developed. But if you're looking to connect your pond of notes with your larger, non-Google data ocean, it could get complicated. Or what if Google Workspace isn't your scene at all?

Evernote integrates with a range of other apps natively (including Google Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive, but only on the paid plan), plus thousands more via Zapier. This means you can do things like automatically create tasks in your to-do list from new Evernote notes, back up new Evernote notes to your cloud storage app, or add new starred emails to Evernote—no matter what your tech stack looks like.

Create Trello cards from new Evernote notes

Create Trello cards from new Evernote notes
  • Evernote logo
  • Trello logo
Evernote + Trello

Read more: 7 ways to automate Evernote

Evernote has AI features on its roadmap

It's tricky to talk about the future, especially if we're discussing roadmaps, but Evernote does have two interesting AI-powered features on the horizon. 

  • AI Note Cleanup will help make sense of messy notes by running them through an AI engine, getting them neat and untangled in the process.

  • AI Search will be a way to ask your entire note database a question and get an answer based on the contents.

These aren't yet implemented—they've just been teased in a blog post detailing all the latest changes in the app. I'm really curious to see how they'll be fleshed out, but there's nothing more to do here than wait and see.

Apart from voice notes, Google Keep doesn't have other front-and-center AI features to boast about. But since we're doing a bit of futurology with Evernote, I'm wondering if Google's Duet AI will bring anything to Keep. Another one for our wishlist.

Keep vs. Evernote: Which is better?

Google Keep lets you jot down notes quickly, while helping you sort out your daily tasks and to-do lists in a simple way. It talks with other Google software, so if you're already a fan, it's a great addition to your toolkit.

Evernote, on the other hand, is better if you need to add more content and have it well-structured in each note. It's also more robust for dealing with a higher number of notes as it has better note organization tools. It's a better companion for more serious, research-heavy projects.

There's a case for using both apps together, too. You can leverage Keep's speed and Evernote's thoroughness, with the first for day-to-day notes and jotting down ideas, and the latter for the bigger picture, organizing and filing those notes as needed. If you go this route, a tip: schedule some time every week to go through the week's notes, and file them where they need to be. Don't let the chaos take control.

Related reading:

This article was originally published in January 2019 by Francesco D'Alessio. The most recent update was in September 2023.

Get productivity tips delivered straight to your inbox

We’ll email you 1-3 times per week—and never share your information.

Evernote vs. OneNote: Which note-taking app is best?
Up next

App comparisons

Evernote vs. OneNote: Which note-taking app is best?

Comparing Evernote and OneNote? Find the perfect note-taking fit for you with a breakdown of features, pricing, and user experience.

Related articles

Improve your productivity automatically. Use Zapier to get your apps working together.

Sign up
A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'