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Keep Google Keep always within reach on your desktop

The Google Keep extension for Chrome lets you quickly and easily access Google's note-taking service.

Google Keep may be a great Android app, but it's less useful on the desktop because Google has yet to integrate the note-taking service into Google Drive. Sure, you could bookmark your Google Keep page or keep a tab open for it, but neither solution feels right. For my own purposes, if a note-taking app isn't easy to access and use, I will continue on my merry way of jotting down notes on sticky notes and various scrap pieces of paper. With the Google Keep Extension for Chrome, the note-taking service is always within reach on the desktop.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

After installing the extension, an orange button gets added to Chrome to the right of the URL bar. Clicking it will open a pop-up window for Google Keep. (Remember, as with any Google product, you must be logged into your account to use Keep.) While a small pop-up window is an easy and useful way to access Keep, if you enable the experimental Panels feature in Chrome, you'll be able to launch Keep as an always-on-top Chrome Panel (or as a new tab.)

To enable the Panels feature, head to the chrome://flags/ page and click the Enable link for this entry:

Enable Panels Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS
Enable Panel windows that open outside of the browser frame. Attempts to open a Panel will open a popup instead if not enabled. Panels are always enabled on the dev and canary channels.

Restart Chrome, and now when you click the extension's orange button again, Keep will open as a Panel in the lower-right corner of your screen. From this Panel, you can create new notes and archive and delete current notes. You can also switch between list and grid views and search your notes. While you can color code notes, the ability to add an image to a note doesn't currently work.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In settings, you can choose to open Keep as a Panel, a pop-up, or a new tab. You can also adjust the size of the Panel or pop-up window.