I started using Google Keep a few months ago. Google Keep is essentially a note taking app that can record notes, messages, reminders, checklists, etc. in a variety of methods. It’s also flexible enough to handle photos and other types of data imports. It integrates with other Google apps (Drive, calendar, etc.), which I also use, and across devices. I thought it would be pretty amazing, but the organization methods are a bit too basic for my needs. And then I got burned by Google Keep last week.
I was using Google Keep to record a unique 25-character passcode on a note with similar types of information. I realized I didn’t need the passcode and deleted it. The delete key went too fast and wiped out 95% of my note in about 2-3 seconds. Then I saw Google Keep autosave the “changes” with no option to reject, unsave, undo, or restore a previous version. The irony of The Deletist being out deleted by an app named Keep!
The whole experience made me keenly aware of how different my smartphone keyboard is from a laptop, or desktop, one. Had I been using Google Keep from my laptop, I could have easily undone the accidental deletions with ctrl+Z, or by right-clicking the mouse. Or I might have been able to restore the document from an earlier auto-saved version.
And then I started to feel really irritated by the instant auto-save feature. I’ve definitely lost work when it wasn’t saved and something happened to the computer or network. But to me the solution was never to autosave every keystroke. I like having the document temporarily autosaved in the background for restoration purposes, but only if it doesn’t cause the app to slow down. But I also prefer to consciously decide when I want to save, or not save, changes. Why can’t Google Keep have an option for me to choose when I want to save something? Why can’t I have the option of closing the document without saving changes?
As for the note… I did a few Google searches and found similar stories. A couple people had accidentally replaced their notes with a single letter while trying to copy and paste them. I still haven’t found a way to restore the information, other than by recreating it. Fortunately only 2 things got deleted and I can replace them with minimal effort.