Out of all the many productivity apps out there, Google Keep is a default preference for some users mainly because of its integration with other Google apps. It’s also quite a simple app to use with the focus of mainly taking down notes and other information as fast as possible.
If you’re a frequent user of Google Keep and have accumulated a notable number of notes and lists, you’ll find that it takes a bit of work to sort through them. Luckily, a Google Chrome extension called Categories for Google Keep will make this task easier for you. This free extension allows you to assign a category for each note color provided by Keep.
To start adding categories, you’ll need to install the extension from the Chrome Web Store.
Once done, a new tab will confirm installation of the extension. You may close this and access your Google Keep account on a new tab.
When you reach your Keep dashboard, click on the Menu icon to open the left pane. Click on “Customize Categories”.
Here you’ll see the category setup on a new tab. Each color can be edited to indicate a category of your choice. You can uncheck colors that you won’t be using. In the example below, I chose to use only the first five colors so I left the rest unchecked.
When done, you can again close the tab and refresh your Google Keep account. You should see the categories and their responding colors on the top bar of the page.
You can then start filtering your notes by category by clicking on its name on the top bar. It’s recommended to keep the “All” category so you can switch back to seeing all your notes.
While this extension does add a functionality that’s helpful for organizing notes in Google Keep, it does present a problem when you want to change the color of an existing note. You may not always remember what category is assigned to which color, and the labels on the color picker do not reflect the category name.
In the example below, I’ve assigned the Yellow note for a category called Blog Ideas. However, when I change a note color, it won’t show on the color picker for an individual note – it only says “Yellow” which is the default. Unless you keep looking up the top bar to check the categories, or you have an excellent memory, changing note colors will be a bit of a challenge.
Nevertheless, Categories for Keep is an excellent addition to a minimalist to-do app like Google Keep. If you use Keep a lot and want to organize or search through numerous notes quicker, then this extension is definitely worth trying. Note that this extension only works when you access the web version of Keep. It doesn’t work on the Android app or the Chrome app version of Google Keep, although you can still change note colors and it will reflect the change (including the category) when accessed from the web version.