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Google Keep gets even more useful with a Chrome extension and new goodies

Product manager Mario Anima updated the Google Docs blog on Wednesday with news that a few updates have rolled out to Google Keep to better help users collect and manage their important information. One of these new features is an extension for the Chrome browser that can quickly add a website to an existing or new note.

If you’re not familiar with Google Keep, it’s a free note-taking service launched back in March 2013. Available for Android, iOS, and the Web, Google Keep users can quickly jot down notes using text, their voice, or by adding an image. Everything is stored in the cloud via Google Drive, and the service even includes a search feature so users can locate an important checklist in a snap.

For instance, users can have Google Keep automatically pull up a shopping list when they arrive at the grocery store thanks to a location-based reminder. This list can even be shared with other friends or family members who came along for the ride, and will show the items being checked off in real-time as each person grabs an item from the shelf and manually modifies the list.

As for the new Chrome extension for Google Keep, Anima says that Android users can add websites to notes as well without having to open the Google Keep app. This seems to be accomplished using Chrome for Android where users tap on the menu icon, tap on “Share…,” and choose “Keep” to create a new note.

Organizing and categorizing notes is now even easier thanks to Google Keep’s new hashtag feature. Users simply add these tags to specific notes so that when performing a search, they show up in a list. For example, #recipes would pull up the user’s collection of favorite recipes while #trip would pull up notes relating to an upcoming planned trip.

That’s it regarding new features in Google Keep. Anima says that the apps now have relocated menus so that similar options are grouped together. A provided example shows an “Add content” button located in the left-hand bottom corner of a new note while a “Customize & Share” button is seated in the right-hand bottom corner. Buttons for “Reminders” and “Archive” are seen lined up together in the right-hand corner at the top.

“How many times have you found yourself with a great idea, but no easy way to jot it down for later? Or maybe you’ve got lots of notes scattered around, without no central spot to find them. Having a single place to capture what’s on your mind and save your ideas and to-do lists is what Google Keep is all about,” Anima says.

According to Google Play, loyal Android device owners have downloaded the Google Keep app between 50 million and 100 million times. The app for Apple’s iOS platform hasn’t seen that much action, as it just launched back in September 2015. There’s an app for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS too, which was one of Google’s first “packaged” app collections that doesn’t require to be installed locally on the user’s hard drive.

That said, desktop users can either use the basic website, install the Chrome app, or install the Chrome browser extension. For the latter, a “Keep” badge is added next to the settings button for quickly saving websites, images, and quotes for later. Notes and labels can be added to these items, and even pulled up on supported devices based on Android Wear.

Google Keep for Android requires Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” and above while the iOS version requires iOS 8.0 or later. Happy note-taking!

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