Google Keep is an excellent, cross-platform tool that enables you to keep track of just about anything. From lists, to images, to notes, to audio…you can manage a running commentary on everything your mind spits out. But sometimes, uploading an image, taking a note, or recording audio just isn’t fast or flexible enough to keep you from losing that train of thought. Thankfully, Google understands that and has finally added another option for the mobile version of Keep…Doodles.

That’s right, you can now do quick doodles in the mobile version of Google Keep. These doodles can then be imported into Google Docs or edited (but only on the mobile version). Let’s take a look at how doodles work on Google Keep and how you can make the most of them.


If you’ve updated Google Keep to the latest version, you should already be good to go (if not, open up the Play Store on your device and check for a Keep update). If you don’t have Keep installed, here are the steps to installation (I’ll demonstration on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6).

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for keep
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Google
  4. Tap Install
  5. Read the permissions listing carefully
  6. If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept
  7. Allow the installation to complete

That’s it. You should now see Keep on your device. You won’t need to log into Keep as it is tightly integrated with Android and your Google account.


As you might expect, using doodles in Keep is simple. Open the app and tap the pen icon at the bottom of app window (Figure A).

Figure A

The new doodles icon in Google Keep.

At this point a new note will open ready for you to start doodling (Figure B).

Figure B

Your canvas is ready for brilliance.

Take note of the different icons at the bottom of the canvas. They are (in order from left to right):

  • Add a box shape
  • Eraser
  • Blue pen
  • Red pen
  • Highlighter

Once you’ve created a doodle, tap the back button and you can then give the doodle a title, add a note, and/or add a reminder (Figure C).

Figure C

Adding information to your doodles.

From the buttons at the top of the window, you can share your note, add a background color (this only applies to the title/note space), add tags, and tap the menu button to add more (such as another drawing or an image).

From the menu you can also copy the doodle to Google Docs. This will add the doodle as an image into a new Google document in the root of your Google Drive folder hierarchy. The title and note will appear in the new doc as document text. If you add to that text (in the Google Doc) it does not appear in the Google Keep note.

If you’re looking for an even more efficient way to keep your mind organized with Keep, Google just handed it over. Make use of this new feature and you’ll find yourself doodling more than typing.