Google Keep Alternative—4 options reviewed

Find the right Google Keep alternative for your needs and learn what to look for in a note-taking platform, whether you are a personal or business user.
Google continues to dominate the online workspace industry with its rich suite of tools—Keep being among the most useful ones. Still, the platform is far from perfect, especially if you care about privacy and data security. It’s also not the most feature-rich solution on the market, so advanced users might not find it robust enough for everyday work.In this article, you’ll learn what to look for in a Google Keep alternative and discover some of the most capable apps worth checking out. You’ll see their features, pricing, and other relevant information to find the ideal solution for your workflow.
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Factors to consider when browsing Google Keep alternatives

Every note-taking app has unique features and selling points, so it all comes down to your preferences and specific needs. Still, there are a few universal factors you should take into account while exploring your options, notably:
  1. User interface
  2. Collaboration
  3. Organization features
  4. Cross-platform support
  5. Privacy and security

User interface (UI)

A note-taking platform’s design doesn’t only impact its visual appeal. The user interface must let you navigate the main features seamlessly and jot down notes on the go without complications.A well-designed UI is particularly important for the app’s mobile version. You don’t get as much space as you do on a desktop, so the key features should be laid out clearly without any clutter.The only way to get a feel for the platform’s UI is to spend some time using it. Test out different options and see which one feels the most natural.

Collaboration

If you plan on using your notes app for work, make sure it lets you collaborate with your team. Ideally, you’ll find a platform that supports real-time collaboration so your workflow doesn’t fill with bottlenecks.Note-sharing options can vary significantly between apps, though most solutions offer either link-sharing or invite-based collaboration. The latter is typically superior as it gives you more control over who can access your notes.

Organization features

There’s a high chance you’ll create numerous notes once you commit to a platform. Having them neatly organized is crucial, especially if you use the same app for private and business notes.Different note-taking platforms can have varying approaches to organization, from folders and labels to interlinked maps. Your choice will mainly depend on whether you prefer a simple, practical approach to organization or a more visually appealing overview.

Cross-platform support

It may seem obvious that your note-taking app should offer a cohesive experience across different platforms and devices. Still, many solutions fail to ensure seamless use due to a lack of cross-platform feature variety.Google Keep is a perfect example—it only offers text formatting on the Android app, so you can’t bold, italicize, or underline text on an iPhone or through the browser version.Such discrepancies can be frustrating and limiting, so find an app that works the same across all your devices. At the very least, the app should offer a browser version optimized for mobile devices to overcome the limitations imposed by operating system differences.

Privacy and security

Security is often overlooked in favor of an app’s features and design. This oversight, however, can cause a lot of damage—everything stored on the cloud requires extensive protection so that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.A lack of privacy and security is among the main reasons you should look for a Google Keep alternative in the first place. The company’s invasive privacy practices are well-known in the tech world.Unfortunately, other Big Tech platforms like Microsoft’s OneNote aren’t much better regarding privacy and security, mainly because they all implement subpar encryption methods.They typically rely on two encryption protocols:
  1. Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for encryption in transit
  2. AES-256 algorithm for encryption at rest
Besides various vulnerabilities, key ownership is one of the main issues of these encryption types. The provider owns your decryption keys, which means they can decipher and read your notes’ contents.To avoid this, you need a platform with end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and a provider that won’t spy on your activity. E2EE works by encrypting notes using a key created and stored by you, and only the users you share notes with can decipher them using private decryption keys on their devices.Only a handful of providers offer such extensive security, and many of them make significant compromises with their platforms’ features. Finding a solution without this trade-off can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
Ensure cross-platform securitySkiff Pages offers E2EE on dedicated apps for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and browser access, ensuring your notes are securely accessible on any device
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Alternatives to Google Keep—4 options worth considering

Based on the above factors, we’ve selected four Google Keep alternatives you should explore:
  1. Evernote
  2. Notion
  3. Obsidian
  4. Skiff Pages
While most tools don’t check all the necessary boxes, they all deserve a spot on the list due to their standout features.

Evernote

Source: EvernoteEvernote is among the longest-standing and most popular note-taking platforms out there. It has evolved into a comprehensive solution for personal users and small teams due to numerous features besides simple note-taking, most notably:
  • Task creation and delegation
  • Document scanning and annotations
  • Auto sync
  • Thorough notes search
  • Numerous integrations (Slack, Gmail, Outlook, Google Drive, etc.)
A particularly handy feature is Web Clipper, which lets you save web pages, images, and documents that you can later manage and annotate. This feature makes it easy to instantly mark down any valuable resources you stumble upon.The interface is easy to navigate, and Evernote is better equipped with organization features compared to Google Keep. You can organize notes by categories and keywords, and the Home page automatically shows your most relevant documents.Despite its useful features, Evernote is far from perfect. It relies on TLS encryption and has migrated to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), where customer data is stored. You get AES-256 encryption at rest, which is strong but nowhere as secure as E2EE.The free plan is also quite limited—the maximum note size is 25 MB, and you can upload up to 60 MB of files monthly. To overcome these limitations and unlock the platform’s best features, you must subscribe to one of the three paid plans:
  1. Personal—$14.99/month
  2. Professional—$17.99/month
  3. Teams—$24.99/user/month
ProsCons
User-friendly interfaceBasic encryption
Webpage and document annotationsLimited free plan
Various organization featuresCostly paid plans

Notion

Source: NotionNotion combines document creation with project management to offer users a collaborative workspace. It’s more capable than Evernote, OneNote and apps alike, or Google Keep because it has various features you don’t get with a typical note-taking app.You can create project roadmaps and assign tasks, which you can view in different formats, including:
  • Kanban
  • List
  • Table
  • Calendar
A rich text editor lets you create elaborate wikis and documents containing various elements, such as:
  • Lists/to-do’s
  • Code snippets
  • Videos
  • Images
Organization features are also quite impressive. Besides different view options that give you a clear overview of notes, tasks, and files, you can organize documents with custom tags and labels.Notion offers a free plan that’s rich enough to let you decide whether the paid plans are worth the investment. You have three tiers to choose from:
  1. Plus—$10/month
  2. Business—$18/month
  3. Enterprise—Custom
For a platform that heavily advertises its project management capabilities, Notion lacks important features like goal setting and time tracking. You also don’t get PDF annotation and voice notes, which are standard among note-taking apps.Because of its many features, Notion isn’t as easy to use as many of its competitors, and it can be a bit overwhelming to beginners. If you can go through the learning curve, it might still be worth it.
ProsCons
Comprehensive document creationSome useful features are lacking
Project timelines and several view optionsMight be complex for beginners
Rich free plan.

Obsidian

Source: ObsidianObsidian is a secure, innovative note-taking app with several features that set it apart. Unlike Notion and most other platforms, Obsidian stores notes on your device in the form of text files by default.This type of storing is a double-edged sword—it means your notes are safer than they’d be on a cloud, but you also get no cloud storage, so you’re limited to your device’s space.Local storage also means you can’t sync files across devices. Obsidian lets you unlock this option as an add-on, for which you must pay $10/month ($8/month with annual billing). If you opt-in, your files will be end-to-end encrypted and synced across all your devices.Obsidian’s customization features are among its main selling points. You get access to hundreds of plugins you can use to expand its functionality and tailor the platform to your liking.The platform also takes a unique approach to note organization. You can interlink notes, and Obsidian will display a graph showing all their connections. Besides being visually appealing, this feature makes connecting ideas and having a clear overview easy.The platform is free for personal use, and you can get a commercial license for $50 per year. Note that this still won’t unlock the sync option, and you must pay for it separately. The same goes for the Publish add-on, which lets you post your notes to the web.
ProsCons
Strong securityNo cloud storage
Unique note organization through graphsCross-platform syncing is charged separately
Hundreds of plugins.

Skiff Pages

Source: SkiffSkiff Pages combines the most powerful features of note-taking apps into one comprehensive platform. It’s an end-to-end encrypted solution suitable for note and document creation, ensuring the user retains complete control of their data.Your docs are encrypted using a symmetric key, so their contents and key metadata (name, time created, etc.) are unreadable to unauthorized parties. A separate private key, part of an asymmetric key pair, is stored on the user’s device and decrypts the document, meaning nobody but the key holder can decipher it.These advanced security mechanisms happen on the back end, so there’s no effort needed on your part.When you create your free account, you’ll find a clean, user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use Skiff Pages’ many features, some of them being:
  • Invite-based real-time collaboration—E2EE document collaboration relies on Web Sockets to ensure complete privacy
  • Rich text editor—Formatting options like templates, tables, code blocks, and various other elements and media types allow you to create comprehensive notes
  • Instant migration—You can seamlessly move your projects from apps like Word, Google Docs, and other document editing platforms to Skiff Pages
  • Multi-level page creation—Convenient categorization into parent pages and subpages allow for clean organization
  • 10 GB of end-to-end encrypted storage—You can store quite a few notes in a secure environment
If you want more storage and helpful extras, you can upgrade to one of Skiff’s paid plans, which start at only $3 per month.Offline access isn’t available as of this writing, which is the only notable drawback of the platform.
ProsCons
End-to-end encryptionNo offline access
Easy to use and navigate.
Robust document editing tools.
Secure real-time collaboration.

Do more with Skiff’s rich E2EE productivity suite

A free Skiff account gives you access to an extensive online workplace consisting of three E2EE platforms besides Skiff Pages:
  1. Skiff Mail for secure email correspondence, document sharing, and complete anonymity without risks
  2. Skiff Drive for storing your files securely and leveraging optional InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) integration
  3. Skiff Calendar for scheduling events and holding secure meetings through the built-in video conferencing tool
All platforms feature excellent cross-platform support with their dedicated Android, iOS, and macOS apps, and you can use all Skiff tools on Windows through all major browsers.You can read this whitepaper to learn more about Skiff’s features and security measures. The entire suite is open source, so you can find the codebase on GitHub.

Get a secure ecosystem in seconds

You can access Skiff’s entire product suite in three quick steps:
  1. Visit the signup page
  2. Choose your username and password
  3. Explore Skiff Pages and other E2EE products
Skiff implements zero-knowledge login, so you don’t need to leave any personal information to get started. All data stored on the platform’s servers is end-to-end encrypted, and you can enjoy uninterrupted privacy from the moment you sign up.

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