Experiences with Keep It for Mac and iOS?

I am curious if anyone has experience with the app Keep It? I use Devonthink heavily on my Mac and iOS for academic research and writing and while it has all the features I want and need it has always been a bit clunky. Keep It seems like an interesting alternative that I have never heard much about.

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When Keep It was called Together, it was more of a general purpose library for documents, with a so-so iOS app. The reincarnation as KeepIt (which was a reversion to the name before Together) is marketed now as a note taking app. With support for markdown it does very well at that. There are lots of additional features – I think Keep It has shaped up to be a good notebook for people who write or clip / import a lot of text. There is a $9.99 annual fee for iCloud sync between platforms.

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I’ve been testing it for 2 weeks, or so, and do like it. If you are a Screencastonline member, they have a tutorial on it, that would be worth watching…


I’ve been using it for the past month and it’s been solid. The main thing that I prefer is the editor is so much prettier/more useable than DEVONthink. When 90% of what I’m using the app for is editing notes, the editor matters. DEVONthink is rock solid but it’s text editor is just terrible.

Keep It (to me) combines what’s best with Evernote and DEVONthink into a single app.

  1. Store any files as files.
  2. Unlimited nesting of folder groups.
  3. More useful text editor (styling, tables, code blocks, etc…)

Anyway, it’s worth checking out. URL scheme is really good as well for automating appending, creating notes.

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Liking the app so far. I’m finding at least on iOS 12 the sync to be slow and buggy.

On the Mac I also had a scanned pdf that the app was not searching for some reason. I dragged the pdf to the desktop, deleted the pdf from Keep It and re imported. After that search was fine. So maybe some bugs but it’s a great iOS and Mac app which is more than you can say for EN these days. I think of this app as a more native devonthink lite.

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I like that comparison, to an EN lite.

I’m liking it also…

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Thanks for the thoughts everyone! The more I use it the more I like it. I was never an Evernote fan but have been relying on Devonthink pretty heavily lately for research; the most important feature for me is the ability to “replicate” files since I will often use an article in multiple different projects (and don’t want to make copies). I think Keep It’s “Bundles” feature might serve a similar function (using Bundles instead of Folders). I might try to transition one small project to Keep It and see how it goes. I am still curious how search compares to Devonthink.

Depending on how much you’re relying on DEVONthink searching, you could find it really lacking in Keep It. Keep It supports some handy functionality in searching. You can whittle it down to just searching names of notes, natural language dates, etc… However, I know DEVONthink does a great job of surfacing notes based on how you interact with it with other notes. Gives relevancy ratings. Has the ability to search around “phrases” (find all notes where I wrote Airmail within 5 words of Workflow).

I have never needed that power, but if you are a heavy user you might miss it.

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This has been a really useful conversation. Thank you!

Thats just it. For me at least, Ive never actually used the advanced search or relevancy features.

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I’m also trying it since DEVONthink’s sync mechanism never serves me well. I love DT’s search power but value more a transparent, Finder-compatible file structure. Keep It seems to have the potential.

That being said, I also don’t want to let go DT totally, so I came up with a workaround: I keep all documents in Keep It, while using DT’s “indexed folder” feature to index the path of Keep It. In this way I’m now able to manage and sync PDFs with Keep It while searching for keywords among documents in DT. (It does’t work on iOS, but since DTTG isn’t that powerful itself I have nothing to lose.)

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FYI this July Josh Ginter over at The Sweet Setup wrote he was evaluating Keep It, and thus far found it a "near perfect replacement for a “giant Bear workflow” he’d written about the past Spring. He’d been using bear to “capture ideas, web links, PDFs, screenshots, images” and later search on the files, and notes that Keep It might be even better than Bear for those needs.

This week on that site he posted a write-up of changes in the latest Bear update, but hasn’t yet said anything more about Keep It. :man_shrugging:

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This sounds like a great idea that I may try as well.

I heard a quick mention of this app over on the Class Nerd podcast. I’m pretty intrigued; right now I’m using my cloud services and Bear to manage some document & note reference and it’s pretty good except it’s getting cluttered and I wish it could support folders on top of tags, because I have too much of everything for tags alone to suffice (my “all notes” view becomes pretty useless for the rest of a day after updating a few personal notes until regular use of my work-related notes reorders some things)

One advantage Bear seems to have is that it’s $15/yr for a single multi-OS subscription, while I believe Keep It requires two subscriptions for Mac+iOS, totaling $37.50/yr.

Another option perhaps is Notebooks, which is Mac/PC/iOS cross-platform and has total purchase price (no subscriptions) of $26 (plus $3 IAP to unlock the iOS pdf reader). It’s been around for maybe 8 years now. It might appeal to you because it’s more oriented towards managing notes than as a writing app. Macstories had a decent write-up of it in 2016:

And here’s another:

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Keep It also offers the option of a one-time purchase for the Mac version for $49.99. No one-time purchase option on iOS, however (the iOS subscription is $9.99/yr).

Ok … going to try Keep It again. See how the ENEX import works. Paid $10 US for the one year deal since I had used up my free trial time.

…seem to have a habit of needing to trial most apps a couple times.

Edit a little later — Imported an entire recipe notebook into Keep It from Evernote. Excellent capture… Showed up on my iPad and iMac… Keep It may be a keeper.

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Has anyone had any trouble using Keep It with a large number of large PDFs? I’m trying it out but haven’t yet pulled the trigger on importing my library of 2009 academic PDFs. Anyone experienced sync or performance issues with so many big files?

Not sure how many PDFs I have compared to you, but I’ve had no trouble with it yet.

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I know it’s not positioned exactly in the same way, but can the app Agenda perform the catch all functionality of KeepIt/EN?