Google Keep, for the uninitiated, is a handy little app for Android, iOS, and the web that lets you jot down to-do lists, reminders, and anything else you want to remember later in a digital scrapbook. The free note-taking service has grown in scope since it debuted way back in March of 2013, and now it is gaining a major new feature: automatic note sorting.
Starting today, Google will analyze the content of Keep notes and organize them topically. Have a few future grocery lists and ideas for weeknight dinners out? You will find those collated under a single “food” tab. Create a few reminders while on vacation in Tahiti? You might see those organized by location. And if you regularly use key phrases like “pack for trip,” “note to self,” or “quote of the day,” you will see those digital post-its coalesce under more specific categories like “travel” and “quotes.”
The addition of automatic categorization may just make Keep one the most robust note-taking apps out there. Already, notes in Keep can be patterned differently and labeled in unique colors, and they support the attachment of pics, sound clips, and even doodles. Keep has reminders, too — you can set notes to recur on certain days of the week, too, or even appear when you reach specific physical places and geographic locations. And notes within Keep can be shared with friends and family.
And Keep continues to get better. In April, Google launched a Chrome extension for Keep that allows you to add websites and notes on mobile without having to open the Keep app. It introduced hashtags, too — tag a post-it with “#recipes,” for example, and a future search for that tag in the app’s omnipresent search bar will surface the tagged post.
Google Keep’s gains may be a competitor’s losses. Evernote, a rival productivity suite, this week announced that non-paying users of its services would be restricted to two devices, and hiked the price of its premium tiers. Considering that Keep has no such restrictions, and that a 2013 MIT Technology Review comparison of Keep and Evernote found the two platforms fairly comparable, that is nothing but good news for Google.