Note-taking apps are a very handy addition to a mobile phone. We may all be big fans of Moleskine notebooks here at PC Advisor, but it isn’t always practical to have one in your pocket. And, even if you do there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a pen when you need one. See also: Get started with Evernote

A smartphone, of course, is pretty much always with you and has the added advantage of audio and photo capabilities with which to record your thoughts.

Google’s new Keep app is a simple, fast way to create notes of various types, organise them, and synch your creations directly with Google Drive on your desktop.

In this guide we’ll show you how to get started with Keep, and the different things it has to offer.

See also: How to back up your digital photos online for free with Google Drive

How to use Google Keep

Step 1:

At the moment Google Keep is only available on Android, although we’re sure an iOS version will appear in due course. To download the app head to the Google Play Store and search for Keep.

Google Keep Step 1

Step 2:

Once you’ve installed Keep, launch it and you’ll be asked which email account you wish to use. If for some odd reason you haven’t already got a Google account, now would be a good time to set one up.

Google Keep Step 2

Step 3:

Next we arrive at the Keep home screen. In typical Google fashion, it's mainly white and empty. We can change this by adding a note, so tap the note icon on the left-hand side of the bar at the top to begin.

Google Keep Step 3

Step 4:

Now you have a page with a title and note section. As you’d expect, tapping on either area will allow you to enter the relevant text. Tapping the three dots in the top right corner will also give you more options.

Google Keep Step 4

Step 5:

The drop-down menu from the three dots allows you to archive or delete notes, but possibly the most useful feature is that of Show Checkboxes. This instantly turns your note into a list with boxes you can tick for completed tasks.

Google Keep Step 5

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Here we continue our Google Keep guide.

Step 6:

Another useful feature is being able to colour the notes. Tapping the artist’s palette brings up a choice of pastel tones that you can choose from. This is actually a good way to organise your notes in the absence of folders.  

Google Keep Step 6

Step 7:

If you want to add a photo then tap the camera icon on the menu bar. This automatically launches your device’s camera, enabling you to take a quick snap which is then added to the top of the note.

Google Keep Step 7

Step 8:

Sharing your notes is easy. Just tap the three connected dots icon and you are presented with a comprehensive list of potential destinations including Gmail, Bluetooth, Facebook or Dropbox. Select your favourite and Keep will format the note accordingly.

Google Keep Step 8

Step 9:

Tap the yellow sticky pad icon at top left to return to the home screen. Here you’ll see your newly created note. As you continue to use Keep all your notes will appear here in a continuous stream.

Google Keep Step 9

Step 10:

Follow the same steps to create other types of note. Tap the Tick icon for a list, microphone for audio, and camera for an image. When you’re eventually finished with them, simply drag them to the side of the home screen and they will be archived.

Google Keep Step 10

Step 11:

The official Chrome app for Google Keep doesn't appear yet when you search on the Google Play store, but you can download it here - Functions are basic at the moment, but it’s an easy way to add new notes.

Google Keep Step 11