Google Keep cheat sheet: How to get started

Google Keep lets you create notes and to-do lists that sync across your computer and phone or tablet. It’s handy in a variety of ways: You can record voice memos, and Keep will transcribe them as text notes. You can include images in your notes, and if text is shown in an image, the image shows up in search results. You can create time- or location-triggered reminder notifications based on your notes. You can share your notes with other people and collaborate on them.

Keep is free for individual users and included with a subscription to Google Workspace. You use it through a web browser on your computer, and it’s also available as an app for your Android or iOS device. You’ll get the most mileage from Keep if you use both the desktop browser version and the mobile app in your daily workflow, so that you can take notes and access them wherever you are. Your Keep notes will sync to the cloud through Google Drive.

This guide walks you through how to quickly start using Keep. The screenshots and descriptions of the user interface refer specifically to the web version, but the same features are in the Keep mobile app — just laid out differently.

Meet the Keep home page

Start by going to If you’re not already signed in with your Google account (with Gmail or Google Workspace), you’ll be prompted to do so.

Keep’s home page comprises a main board in the center and a sidebar along the left. The first time you use Keep, this main board will be empty; once you start adding notes, they’ll appear here. The white bar in the center of the main board (with “Take a note…” inside it) is what you use to create notes.

google keep 01 home page blank IDG

Your first view of the Google Keep home page. (Click image to enlarge it.)

Create a new note

Start typing inside the “Take a note” text box. As you type, the white bar expands down and becomes a new note. You can type in whatever text you want or paste in text that you’ve copied from another source.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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