Google KeepOur own Juli Monroe was first to bring Google’s weak Evernote wannabe to my attention. It seemed like a weak offering (no Web clipper, no iOS app, and so on) and I didn’t pay it much attention. But then the comments started rolling in. Susan, on our own site, had this to say: “Two words about Google Keep: Google Notebooks. I kept all my stuff in there for years, then Google cancelled Notebooks. I drank my coffee to iGoogle and Google Reader for years too, both of which are headed to the trash pile. I’m taking a pass on any new Google thingie.”

And it seems she is not alone. By far the dominant sentiment out there on the blogosphere seems to be, ‘They have some nerve asking us to trust a new product after they just killed off Google Reader like that!’ One burned, twice shy, I suppose. A sampling from around the ‘net:

“As for Google’s new Keep notes service, well, it can keep that. There was a time when I might have considered making the switch from the tool I’m currently using—Evernote—to Keep, but not now, not after Google has demonstrated such a lack of commitment to its services.” (Forbes)

“Given the context, it’s hard not to wonder: Is Keep actually a long-term committed project? Or is it another random service we’ll become invested in as users only to find on the Google “spring cleaning” list a few years later?” (Computerworld)

“And in case you were wondering yes, I am still upset over Google Reader. That doesn’t invalidate my opinion of Google Keep, but it does remind me that we can’t trust Google not to rip the rug out from under us.” (The Digital Reader)

“If you hesitate to embrace Keep after watching Google shed services like Notebook and Reader, you probably won’t be alone.” (Techhive)

“Despite the permanent-sounding name “Google Keep,” I have to wonder whether it’s a good idea to start relying on a new Google product of this type.” (Liliputing)

Sure, products get tweaked or bought or ‘killed’ all the time. Google isn’t necessary ‘evil’ just because they’re killing off Reader. But it does seem a little poorly thought out to kill off a product even they admitted they know people love, and then immediately turn around and ask these same people to embrace a new one. The comments above are just a sample. Every single article I saw on this, other than the straight-up press releases, said the same thing: Well, they just killed off Reader, so why should I trust a new Google offering to stay around? And it’s not even that great an app anyway…

My advice to you? Don’t get too attached to Google Keep. The timing has doomed it before it even had a chance to grow, and it will be a victim of Google’s next ‘spring cleaning.’

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  1. I confess I only tried it for two reasons. 1) It gave me an excuse to write an article. 2) I’ve become a sucker for lock screen widgets. And if I weren’t writing for TeleRead, #2 probably wouldn’t have been enough.

  2. Agree that it was poor timing. I have tried many Google items over the years, but the planned demise of Google Reader (which is the reference base for many other apps) has broken my faith in Google products. So I am no longer interested in any new Google products. I am even re-thinking the use of Gmail now.

  3. It’s wrong to just assume this service will be axed next chance Google gets. I don’t think the service is as good as Evernote, yet, but that will change quickly. Once Keep is rolled into Google Drive and has more integration with Google Docs (which I think is also just a matter of time), people probably won’t have to worry about losing their content. Drive seems like a pretty core part of Google’s business. In fact, they sell it as a service to businesses and universities, so it is already monetized. I’m sad to see Reader go, but it’s been easy to switch over to Feedly and hopefully they will clone the API with as seamless a transition as they have claimed.

    I wouldn’t expect Google Keep to disappear anytime soon. It doesn’t need to beat Evernote to be a worthwhile product. It just needs to meet the demands of a certain population that is really tied into Google services, which has been Google’s business model for a while now. It is why they’re pushing Chrome OS. Having control over its own Evernote-like service is valuable for that kind of platform and fits well with its overall mission with Google Drive.

  4. There are plenty of better nifty note apps from small developers out there, but many of them lack decent cloud services. that now throws in the towel was small simple but had superb GUI and plenty of possibilities.

    Neither OneNote nor Evernote can make a decent check box list that works on mobile devices, how come these big players cant when plenty of small developers can.

    OneNote or Evernote is not nifty note apps, rather overloaded clumsy note app wannabes that don’t work very well on mobile devices. And now the giant Google “develop” and launch and still born and if you are polite half-finished note app. How come, bloated with to much money and middle managers?

    How come all these crappie notes and files organizing thing these days when MSFT already in Windows 1.1 did have an superior system in winfile/file manager. Until Vista came it did improve, from then it have been down hill.

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