Google Keep adds sharing and searching by color, edges closer to being the perfect note taking app

With so many free note taking apps available these days, what makes Google Keep special?

Oh yeah, Google Keep. Google's regular improvements of its simple note taking app, Google Keep, remind us that although this is a very simple app for making shopping lists and jotting down information, it's also pretty powerful. 

Google updated Google Keep today to add collaboration features--you can now share notes and update them with others in real time--and filter notes by colors (as well as other features). That means you can color code all finance-related notes green and quickly view or filter them by that category.

Google is slowly but surely adding features to Google Keep already found in other note-taking apps (such as the more robust but more visually cluttered Evernote). You can add reminders to apps, a photo, get your notes to show up in Google Now cards, and also add location-based reminders to your notes.

The app is flying under the radar, however, because Google Keep has been adding these critical notes features at a snail's pace. Competing apps like Evernote and OneNote have long had these features (and many more).

What Google Keep excels at is very fast and simple note-taking. The equivalent of pulling out a pad of paper and a pencil--except with the added benedits of color colding, photo and voice recording, powerful search, and, now, collaboration. 

Having used so many of these note taking apps, I'm trying to figure out a system for them or pare down the apps I use at least. So far:

  • Evernote excels at web clipping and organizing notes in myriad ways (tags and folders, plus combining notes into a group). It seems best as a personal reference tool (database of recipes or articles for reference, for example).
  • OneNote excels at organic, intuitive organization, with a notebook and sections metaphor. Inking is also superb. This seems best as a more or less permanent note-taking and project planning tool.
  • Google Keep, being one of the quickest and easiest to use (the Android widget is as simple as it gets), is best for quick pieces of information that you might not need to store forever, but still need to rely on in the short time.

Google Keep's improvements lead me to think it's moving towards a mix between features and ease of use. It's a fine line.

Right now I'm using all three, but Google Keep's latest update makes me wonder if I can ditch one of the others. What are you using for your main note taking app?

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon