Access Google Keep without opening it: View, create notes

Google Keep is a great note-keeping app and it is available in more places than you might think. In fact, you can save notes to Keep without even opening it and access notes without going there.

It may sound strange. After all, how do you access Keep notes without even opening it? That is because it is built into some things and access can be added to other things. Read on to see what I mean and get more from this useful notes app.

Google Keep is a component of the apps and services you get when you have a free Google account. There are apps for the iPhone and Android phone, and it can be accessed on the web in a browser at Being browser-based, it can be used on Windows PC, Apple Mac, Linux and Chromebook.

The note-taking app has an unusual tiled interface and a minimalist design, but it has a lot of fans. It is just so useful for storing text, images, web links, and checklists. There are no fancy features and it just does the basics very well.

Google Keep Chrome extension

It takes almost no effort to keep Google Keep open in a web browser tab, and that tab can even be pinned so that it is always there. (Right click the tab in Windows, Ctrl+click on the Mac, and select Pin). However, there are advantages to installing the Chrome extension, which works also in other Chrome-based browsers like Microsoft Edge.

Install Keep from the Chrome web store. Some browsers hide extensions, so make the icon visible. In Chrome for example, click the puzzle-piece icon and then click the pin next to Keep in the list of extensions. Other browsers are similar.

There are three benefits to having the Keep extension installed in your browser:

1 Save the current web page to Keep

When you are browsing the web and find a useful web page with great content you want to remember, perhaps for a work project, hobby or interest, click the Keep icon in the browser toolbar and a note is automatically created with the page link and preview image.

Google Keep extension in Chrome browser.
Save web pages in Google Keep with Keep extension

You can simply click Create note to store it as is, but you can also click in the note body and enter notes to be stored with it. Click the label icon in the bottom right corner and a list of labels you have created in Keep is displayed. Click a label to add it. This is great for saving information and resource URLs you discover while browsing the web.

2 Save web content to Keep

Click and drag over text and images in a web page to select content. Right click (PC) or Ctrl+click (Mac) to display a menu and click Save selection to Keep. This creates a new note and saves the selected content to it.

Save web content to Google Keep with the Chrome browser extension.
Select web content and save it to a Google Keep note

A new note appears in the top right corner of the browser, which is similar to clicking the icon to save the web page URL. However, this time, the selected content appears in the ready-made note. You can edit it if you need to, add a label, and then save it.

This is another great way to save useful content you come across while browsing the web.

3 Create a new note in Keep

Sometimes you might want to save an idea, address, phone number or other content not directly related to the web page you are on. The extension enables you to create a new blank note into which you can type anything you want.

Create a new Google Keep note in Chrome browser.
Create a new Keep note with the Chrome extension

Right click (PC) or Ctrl+click (Mac) the Keep icon in the browser toolbar and select New blank note from the menu that is displayed. A new note window appears and you can enter a title, enter the note body, select a label and then save it.

Use Google Keep in Gmail

If you access Gmail in a browser on the web, there is a toolbar running down the right hand side of your inbox that contains useful items, including Keep. If you do not see the right-hand sidebar, look for < and > buttons in the bottom right corner to show or hide it.

Access Google Keep from the toolbar in Gmail in a browser.
Access Google Keep in the sidebar in Gmail

Click the yellow Keep icon and a larger panel opens that shows the latest notes and has a plus button to create a new note. If you want to create a checklist, then click the checkbox icon to the right of Take a note…

Access Google Keep in Gmail.

It looks simple, but it has a clever feature that you will use all the time. Open an email and then click the plus button to create a note. A button-like link to the email is automatically inserted into the note.

This makes creating notes from emails so easy. When you view the note in Keep, you can click the email button and the email opens in a new browser tab. This is a great feature.

Use Google Keep in Google Drive

Just as with Gmail, when you visit Google Drive in a browser, there is a toolbar on the right side of the page. If you do not see it, click the < and > buttons in the bottom right corner.

Access Google Keep while using Google Drive in a web browser.
Make notes in Google Keep while browsing Google Drive

The toolbar is the same as elsewhere and clicking the Keep button opens a panel on the right in which you can see the most recent Keep notes and create new notes.

Use Google Keep in Google Docs

Open a Google Docs document and that toolbar is on the right side of the browser window again. Click the Keep icon and you can view recent notes and create new notes.

Access Google Keep while using Google Docs in a web browser.
Take notes in Keep while using Google Docs

A nice feature of Keep in Docs is that a link to the document you are viewing or editing is automatically inserted into new notes. When you look at the notes later in Keep, clicking the link opens the document you were using when the note was created.

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