2 Reasons Why I Won’t Be Trying Google’s Evernote and Springpad Competitor

google keep on the wayCould Google be launching a competitor to Evernote and Springpad? Google scrapped its Notebooks app quite some time ago, but according to a story on the Verge yesterday, it looks like the company might be ready to get back into the note taking app business. Would you give it a try?

I’m sure that Google will insert many hooks into its other services, that will make the app very tempting. Still, there are a couple of reasons that I probably won’t be leaving Evernote anytime soon.

Here’s the meat of the story from the Verge:

Android Police reports that a new note-taking app called Google Keep will let you take notes, which you can color-code and add pictures to, as well as use to build checklists. The idea is reminiscent of Google’s failed Notebook service and products like Evernote, although with a seemingly trimmed-down feature set.

I have some concerns myself. First, I’ve lost faith in Google’s desire to keep apps going after I invest in them. This happened with Google Reader, and years ago with Notebooks, to name just a few. Second, Google is in the advertising business, and wants to learn as much about us as possible. I store tons of information in Evernote. I’ve bit the bullet with Gmail, given its superiority to other email clients. But with other good choices out there, I don’t think I’d do the same with a note taking app unless it was mind blowing. I’m not too invested in Google Drive yet, so even a tight integration with Drive wouldn’t bring me around.

Would you give a Google note taking app a fair shot? What features would it need?

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. Good points mentioned. Love Google Reader and have been using it for years since its first release. Google started to focus on things that they think are important, like Google+ which appears to some users, not that important (well, we heard of the ghost town). I also recently started moving things away from Google, Calendar, Reader (of course). Well, at least I will have to keep our Google account to use the Webmaster tool, Gmail, Analytics and of course, search engine.

    • Every now and then I give some thought about moving away from Google, too, but it makes my head hurt thinking about all the work that would be involved in taking everything somewhere else. It’s probably inevitable at some point in the future, though. Hopefully that’s far down the road.

  2. Google- I’m done. Too many product failures I invested time in to learn and populate only to be discontinued. Rock on Evernote!

  3. This is the main reason that I am now just fine paying for products like e-mail and note taking software – a company that I pay for a service has a vested interest in keeping me happy and good companies make sure that customers have a direct line to product and technical support. Neither of these are even remotely true with Google. I was a beta tester when Gmail first came on the scene in 2004 and I was an enthusiastic user of every Google product that I found useful. But now, with the demise of reader and the revelation that they can use anything I upload or create on Google Drive in any way they choose, I am finished. I’m even considering abandoning the Android platform altogether and going back to Apple. And I now gladly pay for Fastmail and Evernote premium (among other tools) and aside from the initial setup hassles, the transition has been seamless. The only thing missing now is a viable Google search replacement. a

    • Have you tried Duck Duck Go for search?

      I also don’t mind paying for a good service. I dipped my toe into Fastmail a few years ago, but don’t recall whether it was a worthy Gmail competitor or not

  4. No way in hell would I invest time and energy into this – for exactly the reasons you cite. Google has absolutely no credibility in the application department for me – we spent substantial time and effort teaching our clients how to set up Google Notebooks and iGoogle to name just a couple…. and suddenly POOF…. Never again.

    Secondly, you hit the nail on the head with the data issues. Google makes a good % of its billions selling anonymous data parsed directly from its users. They SAY there is no personal association, but what about later? What happens if there happens to be a global terrorist with the same name as me – or one of my clients ? They’ve already caved multiple times to requests for information from the government (and governments of other countries). So no – Google cannot be trusted with anything important. If they want to sell a correlation of my path through the Internet – fine. i don’t do or go anywhere too questionable, and I really do like Chrome better than the other browser alts. But trusting Google with my mission-critical confidential client data that they’d find in some new iteration of “Google Notes” – no way in hell.

    I’d go back to my paper Day Timer before I did that.

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