Google, ever-more focused on being involved in every part of every one of our every moves, has released something new. Ignoring the issue of Google’s trustworthiness, or what happens when your stuff is in ‘The Cloud‘, Google Keep is . . . well, it might be a Keeper.
The idea behind Google Keep is simple. We all have ideas that strike us at all times of the day or night. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a way to get them into our computers, phone, or tablets immediately so we didn’t forget them and they were then available to use wherever we were, from all of our devices? Google Keep is brilliant! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?
Oh wait; others have thought of this, and they’ve done it way better. Springpad comes to mind, right after Evernote. So: do you keep Google Keep?
My initial impression of Google Keep was that it was a toy, not worthy of serious consideration. Evernote, already entrenched to the point that I know of schools that pre-install it on students’ laptops and teach them to use it, is both capable of storing more kinds of ‘stuff’ and has organizational abilities to sort your free-form snippets into folders. Comparatively, Google Keep looks like a toy.
What you see above is everything there is to see in Google Keep. You can store images, notes, and lists, and using the SmartPhone App (but interestingly not from your desktop), record voice notes. You can also archive Keeps that you’re finished with. That’s it. Done.
There’s another thing you should know about Google Keep: It’s accessed through Google Drive by going to http://drive.google.com/keep, but isn’t actually part of Google’s regular storage cloud; you don’t see and can’t access your Keeps from anywhere in Drive.
All of this adds up to what makes Keep feel like a half-baked, rushed-out-the-door tool that Google decided couldn’t wait another moment—the latter part of which they should have taken into consideration several years ago. But ignore that. Aside from the fact there there’s no migration path from Evernote or anything else to Google Keep, Google just might have gotten this thing right.
Sure, Google is the world’s largest advertising agency. And Google’s position as the search engine of choice for about two-thirds of everyone is what made them Google. But they want more. Google wants all of us to trust them with all of our stuff. They’re figuring out how to make money at that in pieces—for example, giving you 100 GB of storage with your new Google Chromebook, but only for the first two years—and the center-point of this strategy seems to be Google Drive.
So it’s sloppy to arrange things the way Google Keep is set up right now (keep.google.com would be better and could redirect to the address where Google keeps Keep), and there should be a link in your Google Drive to your Keeps. But the strategy is clear: Google wants all your stuff in their cloud and that cloud is Google Drive.
Oh, and as for that folderless, nearly interface-less feature set? Gmail worked pretty much the same way when Google turned it on, and by including the ability to archive your Keeps (making them disappear while still being there) but be able to search everything easily, it’s possible that Google Keep is actually onto something with Keep’s minimalist feature set.
Why do I bring this up? Answer Guy Central isn’t a review site, after all!
I tell you about Google Keep because with it Google is illustrating Influency, to the Nth degree.
Google’s trying to define, for you, me, and every other Googleholic, what owning your own cloud means. Or more accurately, Google is trying to get us so ensconced in their cloud that getting out will be close to impossible. And clamping Google Keep onto Google Drive was just … simple. It’s an interesting premise. But then again, so is using Evernote from your refrigerator. And of course, we had all hoped using Google Reader would stay simple, until this happened.
Need to talk Influency? What are you waiting for?