Last updated: 3 Dec 2021
OneNote is a note-taking service from Microsoft, while Google Keep, also called Keep Notes, is the Google version of OneNote. The purpose is the same, but many features make them different. How do Google Keep and OneNote differ? The article covers Google Keep vs. OneNote (2021).
A quick intro
Google Keep is a simple app available on multiple platforms. It’s designed for multiple tasks such as note-taking and creating shopping lists. OneNote is a bit complex in usage because of its rich editing options, but overall it suits many types of audiences.
Google Keep does not come as a desktop application, so that we will use the web version here. The tool offers a plain interface with an option to enable the dark mode.
All the notes are on the main screen with an input field and a search bar on the top. As there is no desktop app, users can access the notes by going to https://keep.google.com/.
Alongside the text, users can add images and drawing notes. You can pin the most opened notes to the top.
OneNote is a multi-level app that offers notebooks, sections, and pages where pages are notes. OneNote web has a few options missing compared to the OneNote desktop. Users can access their notes online by visiting https://www.onenote.com/.
The app has a unique feature of saving text, images, drawing etc., in components that allow them to overlap. It uses other Office apps’ styles and offers the main navigation on the top.
Editing and tools
The most prominent part of Google Keep vs. OneNote is the features and tools. Google Keep desktop offers:
- Simple text
- Pictures (local)
- Text indent
- Checkboxes (to-do)
- Text labels
- Shopping list (automatically suggests items as you type. See an example image).
Google Keep has a reminder feature. The downside is it only allows one reminder per note at a time. Other than that, you can set labels (tags) to specific notes to distinguish between notes. Of course, labels can be searched.
Goole Keep does not offer rich text editing tools. Even if you copy something, the app will paste it in simple language. The desktop version of OneNote all below tools:
|Fonts||Font size||Text bold|
|Tables||File upload||Pictures (web & computer)|
|Symbols||Heading (1 to 6)||Citation|
|Draw (pen, pencil, highlighter)||Shapes||Lists|
Other than the above, more features of the OneNote desktop app are:
- Password protection
OneNote Assistant is an AI-based tool that can do basic tasks such as paste text and text, create a to-do list, etc.
The sections can be password protected on the desktop. When a section is protected, users can’t open that section on any platform before inserting the password.
The dictate tool is another AI-based tool to help in converting speech to text. A user must speak for the AI to transcribe.
Review: The desktop battle goes to OneNote. Google Keep is still new, and the software’s simplicity makes it unique, but not enough to overcome OneNote.
Related: Asana vs. Notion (2021)
Google Keep offers an easy to navigate interface. We get notes, left menu, sort, search, and an “add a new note” button at the bottom. The mobile app also offers a dark theme that follows the phone’s theme, but you can manually enable it in the settings menu.
A few other settings include reminder timing (morning, afternoon, and night) and link previewing options.
OneNote mobile comes with lists of notebooks, sections, and pages. The sticky notes (mobile only) and the search option are alongside the notebooks. The app also comes with a dark theme, which follows the mobile theme, but you can change it in the settings.
Also consider reading: Samsung Notes vs. OneNote
Google Keep mobile and desktop versions offer the same functionalities. OneNote mobile, on the contrary, does not come with the assistant, password protection, dictate, and some rich editing tools such as inserting tables and headings.
Related: Slite vs. Notion
Regarding sharing and collaboration, I would say Google Keep is the winner. Google Keep web and mobile apps come with the same sharing features, whereas OneNote does not. With Keep, you can add people to collaborate, send a copy of the note via other apps, and convert and edit notes in Google Docs.
OneNote desktop offers to share notes with the view and edit permissions, while the mobile app only supports sending the note in plain text and PDF formats.
On Android, both offer widgets. Google Keep offers two types of widgets. A user can write instant notes using the quick capture widget, while the note list widget is for seeing the notes on the home screen. It comes with multiple options, including all notes, pinned notes, reminders, and user-created text labels.
OneNote comes with five widgets in total. A user can create notes, start an audio recording, start with a text note, start with a photo note, and open the recent notes.
|Google Keep||Microsoft OneNote|
|Offers an option to pin the notes to the top||Offers an ink mode and enables the drawing mode when the stylus is out on Note devices|
OneNote anywhere provides an option to control the synchronisation by disabling the files and image sync
Review: Unlike desktop comparison, the mobile comparison was solid. Overall, OneNote gets this mobile round as well.
People also like: Samsung Notes vs. Google Keep
Which one is for you?
The answer to this question relies on the platform you will be using. If you want to stick with the mobile, both will do the job, but if you’re going to work on desktop/web and mobile, then OneNote is the tool to select.
If you choose to go with Google keep, Google keep tutorial is all you need to learn about Google Keep.
The Google Keep vs OneNote article covered essential features. I hope the information was helpful. Please let me know your thoughts about both below so we can discuss more.