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Guide: Dropbox Paper vs Google Keep: Comparison and Review
One of the core features of a smartphone takes notes. Previously, users had to rely on a notepad and pen to jot down random thoughts, ideas, and inspirations. With the advent of smartphones, apps like Google Keep, Dropbox Paper, and even voice note-taking apps are replacing the good old paper.
While all note taking apps have one purpose, the way they work and the features they offer vary widely. Take Google Keep for example. I’ve moved my notes from Evernote to Google Keep because it’s free, easy to use, and offers only the essentials features (no clutter), and deeply integrates with other Google apps.
I recently started paying more attention to Dropbox Paper after a fellow tech blogger didn’t quit. Dropbox Paper is also free, integrates with Dropbox, offers rich formatting, and allows you to view just about anything on the web.
Let’s take a look at how these two note-taking powerhouses differ from each other and what their target audience is. Which one should you use and why?
Let’s start.back to menu ↑
1. Take notes
With Google Keep, you can quickly take notes. When you first open the app, you will see the cursor on the right in the new notes section. Start typing whatever you have in mind, tag the note, color it, and forget about it. There is no way to create directories.
Dropbox Paper follows a hierarchical system in which you can create folders and notes in it. Just like how Google Docs works. As such, it’s not the fastest note-taking app, but lets you organize notes differently, and for some users, a better way.
You can export the notes taken in Paper in PDF and markdown format. Many users will certainly appreciate that.back to menu ↑
2. Format notes
Taking notes and jotting down ideas is one thing, but digital notes are much more than that. Both Keep and Paper take a different approach here.
Keep has no formatting options. You cannot use bold, italics, or even indentation. You simply enter a title, annotate and add links or images. Notes can be of two types: with or without check boxes. You cannot have paragraphs with frames on the same note.
On the other hand, Paper takes things to the next level. You can use formatting options such as bold, italics, indentation and add checkboxes to the same document. The newspaper calls them documents instead of notes and I can see why. They work that way too.
But the real strength of Paper, and where it leaves Keep, is its ability to work with many file types. You can add YouTube videos, live images and even entire galleries, code snippets, live audio files from tons of platforms including SoundCloud and even more.
Paper’s ability to work seamlessly with so many services that use API makes it a powerhouse, a little more than just a note-taking app. All you need to do is copy and paste the link. You can embed just about anything and even use drag and drop to pull and display things.
Paper also offers some free templates to work with. Each template is designed to get you started with meetings or brainstorming ideas as quickly as possible. You’ll find tables, bullets, checklists, headpoints and more in every template that you can fill out and expand. An impressive feature is the ability to create custom templates with the Templatize option.
Keep was never meant to be what paper is. Its strength lies in its simplicity and its deep integration with Google Drive. Google Docs gives you formatting options and a folder hierarchy system that we saw in Paper before. You can convert a Google doc to a Keep note or vice versa with the click of one button
Yes, this means that you are using two apps instead of one. But you have a choice and more flexibility about which one to use and how. While Google Docs is a powerful word processor with many formatting options, it cannot play live videos and other media files such as paper.
Google Keep allows you to add code drawings colors and labels (tags) so you can find them faster with Google’s powerful search features
Other remarkable features or Paper include the ability to present any document as a slide show with the Present option. Dropbox also remembers document history, so all of your past edits can be found and managed efficiently. And you can use dark mode the moment you present the document.
Keep is smart when it comes to voice note taking. You can easily record your thoughts and Keep will convert them into text and add the audio file to the same note – quite useful if you need to edit something. Paper lacks this featureback to menu ↑
3. Collaborate on notes
With both Google Keep and Dropbox Paper, you can invite others to collaborate and add to notes and documents respectively. The process is quite simple.
In Keep, click the Collaborator icon to send an email invitation with your Gmail ID. The person can then view and edit notes. Useful for planning road trips, creating and managing shopping lists, and brainstorming ideas. When you check off an item in the list, Keep moves it down, which makes a lot of sense.
In Dropbox Paper, click the blue Invite button to send email invitations. You will see there is another option at the bottom. You can share the document directly in a Slack channel. Another example of how Paper works with various commercial and business solutions.
You can also manage permissions in Paper so that the invitee can only comment and share or edit as well. You can limit an invitation to only those who have received it or anyone with a link.
Paper supports responding to individual images, paragraphs, and other elements that may be in your document. Makes it easy to assign tasks and call employees in real time.back to menu ↑
I am not talking about integration with third party apps. Dropbox Paper has already won that round. For some odd reason, Paper doesn’t integrate directly with Dropbox. Yes, Paper’s folder structure is separate from Dropbox’s, meaning your files and documents (notes) are different homes
Note: You can attach files from Dropbox (and other cloud storage services) with the click of one button
I am talking about documents and folder structure here.
Google decided to do the same with Keep and while Keep works with all Google apps like Docs, Slides, etc., it is a separate product and not part of Google Drive.
Both Keep and Paper work with both Google Calendar. In addition, Paper also works with Office 365 calendar.
With Google Keep, you can create reminders based on time or location. The location-based reminder is useful if you have trouble remembering messages that require attention when you pass a specific location, such as a gas station or an ATM.back to menu ↑
Dropbox Paper vs Google Keep
If you are looking for a note taking app that is fast and works with Google apps then Google Keep is quite powerful. If you want a business solution where you work on projects and apps with different employees, Dropbox Paper is a better solution.
Paper’s ability to integrate and play fun with so many third-party apps wins it brownie points. The real question is, which one are you going to use? Maybe try both.
The next up: Are you using Google Keep? Do you want to create a nested list in a note? Here’s an easy and quick way to do it.back to menu ↑
Dropbox Paper vs Google Keep: Comparison and Review: benefits
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