Google Keep vs Evernote

I have just got the opportunity to evaluate Google Keep and it looks like a very interesting tool. It has a good looking and user friendly design. It looks a lot better than Evernote. I would say if you only use Evernote to take notes and review them, Google Keep is a good alternative.

One of my favorite features in Evernote, tags is available which is great compared to One Note and other tools I’ve tried in the past. But if you’d like to add PDF:s and search for them, it doesn’t work.

I thought it might be possible to use Google Drive, which I used many years ago and interact with the two, maybe also with Gmail, so it’s really one source for everything. But that’s not doable. You can’t search in all three Google tools from the same search window. And I realized that Google Drive failed to find at least 3 out of 4 words in scanned PDF:s. Maybe the reason is that the docs are old and was uploaded over 5 years ago.

So that’s the main reason I stick with Evernote. Google Keep might be interesting for me in the future, if they fix the search function – which is the core business for Google – and the integration between the tools so it’s really user friendly. On the other hand. Before that Evernote might have updated their design to be more user friendly and still stays on top. The future will show us.


Evernote for notes

I have tried different solutions for taking notes but I’m always coming back to Evernote. There are some reasons for that.

First of all Evernote works on all platforms.

Second, Evernote works with tags and tags are a key feature as you can use different tags on the same note compared to folders/notebooks where you can only put one note in one place. I might for exempel use tags for priority, errands and something about what it is.

Third, Evernote can read PDF:s and even read handwritten notes so they are searchable. That’s another key feature.

It’s free to use Evernote with the basic functionality but to be able to get all the  benefits I do recommend the paid version. The payback for the small fee is huge.

Evernote as a note-taking tool and To-Do-list

Evernote has some outstanding features.

There are various tools around productivity out there. One of my absolute favorites is Evernote. You have probably heard of it, It’s a note-taking tool just like One-Note or Notes in the Apple-environment. The reasons I prefer Evernote in front of the others are the following:

  • Evernote is available at every kind of device, which is important for productivity. If it’s not available it’s difficult to be productive.
  • Evernote has a built-in OCR-function to read PDF:s and search from them. It’s very useful when you remember the first name of someone and can find all business cards with that first name on. Just as a small example.
  • You can add all kind of notes to one place. I use it to scan all my relevant snail mails, receipts, business cards etc.
  • They can handle unlimited number of tags and multiple tags on just one note. It make sense when I for example both want to mark a note with a Customers Name and a context like “calls” for a todo-list. Or when a note is connected to both a partner, a client and a colleague. But it might also be a phone or what-ever kind of note related to two of your friends and you want to tag both of them.
  • I can make handwritten notes direct on my iPad and have them saved and searchable from within Evernote.

Some of the other tools out there have the same features, but so far I haven’t seen one with all of the above features. Therefore Evernote is the best Note-taking-tool.

Evernote as a To-Do-list

I’m using Evernote as a to-do-list as well for various years and it’s a powerful tool even as a to-do-list. Especially the tag-function that gives the opportunity to add a context to a certain task plus a project name or priority or whatever information I want to tag it with.

I have tried to have a list of activities in one note based on context, for example all errands in one note and then just tick the box at each errand when completed.

I must still say that I prefer to have each activity as a separate note. It’s easier to move an activity from one context to another. For example when I leave someone a voice mail and want to move them from “phone” to “waiting”. But also to add information to the task. The back sides of using one note for each task are that they don’t have support for the tick-boxes at the title row so instead of marking a task done by ticking a box I have to move it to another notebook and/or add a tag.

I tried to move over to OmniFocus, which is made as a tool for GTD-metodology which I pretty much follow but I have returned to Evernote although there are some features in OmniFocus, especially around recurring activities that I really appreciate and would like to se in Evernote and it’s possible to link to a specific note in Evernote from a task in OmniFocus.

The tags and the web and Windowsversion of Evernote is something that really makes it easier to use than OmniFocus.