Google Keep vs OneNote | Which One is the Best in 2020?

Google Keep vs OneNote
Google Keep vs OneNote

In the tech world, companies try to tackle down each other. The same is happening here. OneNote is a note-taking service from Microsoft, while Google Keep is the Google version of OneNote. The purpose is the same, but there are some features which are different in both. So, how do Google Keep and OneNote stand against each other? Let’s find out in the ultimate Google Keep vs OneNote comparison.

Table of contents?

Desktop

Interface

Google Keep 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. There is no desktop application, but a user can access the notes by going to https://keep.google.com/. Other than the web, you can also download the Chrome extension and write notes on the go. Furthermore, a user can also create images and drawing notes by clicking on the right side of the input field. Google Keep puts all the pinned notes on the top.

OneNote is a multi-level app which offers notebooks, sections, and pages where pages are notes. OneNote web has a few options missing compared to OneNote desktop. Users can access their notes online by visiting https://www.onenote.com/. OneNote has a unique feature of saving text, images, drawing etc. in components allowing them to overlap onto each other. Being one of the Office apps, it has the standard navigation bar on the top, which separates text, drawing, and importing tools.

Editing and tools

Google Keep and OneNote Web
Google Keep and OneNote Web

The most prominent part of Google Keep vs OneNote is their features, security, and tools. Google Keep desktop offers these tools

  1. Simple text
  2. Pictures (local)
  3. Draw
  4. Links
  5. Text indent
  6. Checkboxes (to-Do)
  7. Reminders
  8. Text labels

Google Keep has a reminding feature. The downside is, it only allows one reminder per note at a time. Other than that, you can set labels to certain notes to distinguish between them; also labels can be searched. Goole Keep does not offer rich text editing tools, but if you paste a rich format text, Keep will take the text and show in the copied formating. OneNote desktop contrarily supports all these tools

FontsFont sizeText bold
ItalicsUnderlineText colour
HighlightTo-DoTags
TablesFile uploadPictures(web & computer)
LinksAudioMeeting details
SymbolsHeading (1 to 6)Citation
CodeQuotesText indent
Draw (pen, pencil, highlighter)ShapesLists

Other than above, some of the noticeable features of OneNote are assistant, password, and dictate. The assistant is an AI tool which can do basic tasks such as paste text, bold text, create a To-Do list, etc. It does not support voice typing, and the option can be found on the top right. The password feature allows more security. You can set passwords on sections (can’t set up on mobile, but need the password to access the section). The dictate tool is another AI tool which helps in converting the 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.

Mobile

Google Keep vs OneNote comparison video

Before we begin reading the blog post, let’s take a look at the comparison video. This covers the most basic functionalities.

Interface and tools

Google Keep vs OneNote - Notes Types
Google Keep vs OneNote – Notes Types

Google Keep offers an easy to navigate interface. We get notes, left menu, sort, search and add new notes button on the bottom. The mobile app also offers a dark theme which follows the phone’s theme, but you can manually enable in the settings menu. A few other settings include reminder timing (morning, afternoon, night) change and link previewing options. Google Keep mobile and desktop versions support the same features.

OneNote offers the same options, although an extra feature sticky notes is offered in the mobile version. You can also change the colours of sticky notes to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not. OneNote mobile does not come with the assistant, password setup, dictate, and rich editing tools such as inserting tables, headings etc.

Check out: Waze vs Google Maps

Widgets

Google Keep offers two types of widget. A user can write instant notes by 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 just the text note, take a photo and create a note, and open the recent notes.

App details

Regarding the storage, Google Keep is lighter than OneNote. On iOS, Keep occupies 81 MB of install space, while on Android it only takes 29.7 MB. OneNote, on the other hand, occupies 221 MB of space on iOS and 183.3 MB on Android.

Sharing

Regarding sharing and collaboration, I would say Google Keep is the winner. Google Keep desktop, as well as the mobile version, come with the same sharing features, while OneNote does not. With Keep, we can add an individual or groups to collaborate, send a copy of the note via other apps, or save the note to Google Docs. OneNote desktop offers to share the notes with the view and edit permissions, while the mobile app only supports sending the note in plain text or send a PDF of the note.

Other features comparison

We have covered the essential tools, let’s take a look at the small features which can make a difference.

Google Keep

  1. The app offers an option to pin the notes on the top.
  2. You can move the checked item down the bottom of the note.

OneNote

  1. On Galaxy Notes, the draw mode automatically turns on when the stylus is out.

Review: Unlike desktop comparison, the mobile comparison was solid. 

Which one is for you?

The answer to this question can be found in what versions you will be using? If you want to stick with the mobile, then both will do the job, because of many similarities, but if you want to work on desktop/web as well as on mobile, then OneNote is the tool to go with. A wide range of tools with a password feature are some of the powerful tools. You can check out the apps down below.

Google KeepOneNote
iOSiOS
AndroidAndroid

In conclusion

The comparison covered most of the stuff. I hope it helped, thanks for having a read. Let me know what you think down below so we can discuss more.

Important information: Stratos Stratos creates Google Keep logo under Creative Commons and Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). Read more at Use of Microsoft Copyrighted Content and Logo and Trademark Permissions on Google.

2 thoughts on “Google Keep vs OneNote | Which One is the Best in 2020?”

  1. I think these two have vastly different design philosophies. Google Keep is a deliberately simplistic note app with reminder functionality. OneNote is a children of Word and more involved than Keep.
    You can easily get the hang of both Keep and OneNote, but I’ll go for Keep, been using it daily for a long while.

  2. I was a big fan of KEEP using it for years on my Samsung android. I switched to Google Pixel3. Today I discovered years of my notes were suddenly gone. I have no idea why or how. Update??? Who knows. Utterly disastrous for me. Google moves stuff to the cloud routinely with or without my permission. But it only stores KEEP notes for seven days. If you buy a new Google phone and the retailer moves all your files to the cloud, you might be in serious trouble if you don’t pay very close attention.

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