Last updated: 14 Mar 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? To find out, the blog post covers Google Keep vs. OneNote (2021).
|Feature||Google Keep||Microsoft OneNote|
|Platforms||Android, iOS, Chrome, PWA , and Web||Android, iOS, PC, Chrome, PWA , and Web|
|Text editing||Simple text editing||Rick text editing on desktop and web|
A few rich editing tools on mobile
|Draw||✔ (separate space)||✔ (on content allowed)|
|Search (within notes)||✔||✔|
|No. of widgets on Android||2||5|
|Website||Google Keep||Microsoft OneNote|
Google Keep does not come as a desktop application to use Keep web as the desktop app. Google Keep web 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, a user can access the notes by going to https://keep.google.com/.
Besides the web, you can also download the Chrome extension and app and write notes on the go. Furthermore, alongside the text, a user can create images, notes and draw with the mouse or pen. Keep places all the pinned notes on 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. One of the Office apps has the standard navigation bar on the top, which separates text, drawing, and importing tools.
Related: Samsung Notes vs OneNote
Editing and tools
The most prominent part of Google Keep vs. OneNote is the features and tools. Google Keep desktop offers these tools:
- 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 certain notes to distinguish between notes. Of course, labels can be searched.
Goole Keep does not offer rich text editing tools on both desktop and mobile devices.
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, some other 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, while if a section is password protected, it is requested to input the password on all the platforms.
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.
Before we continue reading, let’s take a look at the Google Keep vs. OneNote video. This covers the basic functionalities on mobile.
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 the dark theme, which checks the mobile theme and applies it automatically, but you can change it in the settings.
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, headings etc.
Related: Slite vs Notion
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.
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 format.
|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 close on Note devices|
OneNote badge option adds a floating badge to open
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.
Related: 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 want to work on desktop/web and mobile, then OneNote is the tool to select.
Google Keep vs. OneNote covered important features. I hope the information was helpful. Please let me know your thoughts about both down below so we can discuss more.