Free Video Tutorial: Keep It - Apple Mac, iPad & iPhone Tutorials from ScreenCastsOnline
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Keep It is an app designed to hold notes, videos, audio files, images, web links and any other kind of information you'd like to organize and be able to find later. No matter your organizational style, Keep It can handle it. Folders, bundles, tags, comments, coloured labels, saved searches - all methods are supported!

It is available for the Mac, and as a separate Universal app for iOS. Keep It is the destination for all those things you want to put somewhere, confident you will find them again later. Seamless syncing through iCloud allows you to use Keep it on all of your devices.

This week Allison dives deep into Keep It, goes through its many features, and shows you how it can help you make sense of all the pieces of information you want to keep track of in your digital life.

The full tutorial covers:

  • Purchasing Keep It
  • Basic Layout
  • Importing Files
  • Show in Finder
  • Folders
  • Bundles
  • Saved Searches
  • Deleting Folders
  • Focus on Folders
  • Moving Multiple Items
  • Labels
  • Tags
  • Creating Notes
  • Web Links
  • View Options
  • Sharing
  • Exporting
  • iCloud
  • Keep It Mobile
  • Controlling Downloads
  • Settings
  • Adding Items - iOS
  • Share Sheet
  • View Options - iOS

App Store Links:

Direct from Reinvented Software

Mac App Store

iOS App Store

Video Tutorial Comments

(13 comments posted)

Gray Hodge

Another great tutorial on Keep It. The first one convinced to purchase the Mac and iOS apps over a year ago. However, I was unable to really see how it could replace Evernote, although it did an excellent job of importing 1000’s of notes from Evernote. I shelved it and went on with Evernote. Your second tutorial has fired up my interest in breaking free of my dependence on Evernote, and their high subscriptions. I shall give it another go.
What confuses me most is understanding the realtsionship between bundles and folders and how they compare with Evernote notes and notebooks. Will have to look further.

Robert Gordon

Not really sure how Keep It is an improvement on Dropbox. I have purchased Keep It and loaded in up with a few thousand files. Initial reaction is that it is not really ready for prime time, especially with regard to iOS app’s poor performance in accessing files stored on iCloud.

Allison Sheridan

Thanks, Gray. It's come a long way and is up to the job of weaning you from Evernote I think. Proceed in chunks of notebooks. It can take a lot of data but things get weird if you try to import too much at once.

Robert, in the video I do show all of the ways it's different from just dumping your files into online storage. I get if those methods don't appeal to you but it is significantly different from Dropbox. I'm curious what kind of file the iOS app can't store in iCloud? Or did you mean iOS can't open certain kinds of files (which would be true of Dropbox too.)

Reply

Gray Hodge

Thanks Alison, am I correct in saying that Keep It will not sort bundles and folders by date?. In Evernote I like to have the most recent at the top always.

Reply

Robert Gordon

Allison, many thanks for your reply. First I should say that I am impressed with the functionality of Keep It, and I enjoyed your thorough and informative screencast. I like the versatile Keep It user interface. As a current user of both Evernote and DEVON Think Pro Office, I can see that Keep It offers some distinct UI advantages.

However, I have had some issues with Keep It's use of iCloud, namely frequent appearance of the dialogs:
- "A problem occurred with iCloud. Not all records could be saved"
- "A problem occurred with iCloud. Parent record xxx does not exist on the server"

I did mean that the iOS version of Keep It cannot open files that were written to iCloud by the MacOS version of KeepIt. In the iOS version, these files simply do not appear even though they were written successfully by the MacOS version.

As far as functionality relative to online storage services such as Dropbox and Box, my observation is that a good number of the Keep It functions are also available in these two services such as:
- Importing Files
- Folders
- Deleting Folders
- Moving Multiple Items
- Tags
- Creating Notes (Box)
- Sharing
- Exporting
- Adding and Viewing in iOS apps

Keep It does have additional functionality such as:
- Bundles
- Saved Searches
- Focus on Folders
- Labels
- Web Links
- Use of iCloud for file storage

So it certainly is attractive from that standpoint.

IMHO, I would think that implementing seamless transfer of data in/out of iCloud on demand is a challenging task that likely requires extensive programming efforts, especially to handle asynchronous data transfer. Based on my trial to date, I think that further effort may be required to make Keep It as adept at file transfer as programs such as Evernote, dropbox or Box.

Reply

Robert Gordon

Allison, many thanks for your reply. First I should say that I am impressed with the functionality of Keep It, and I enjoyed your thorough and informative screencast. I like the versatile Keep It user interface. As a current user of both Evernote and DEVON Think Pro Office, I can see that Keep It offers some distinct UI advantages.

However, I have had some issues with Keep It's use of iCloud, namely frequent appearance of the dialogs:
- "A problem occurred with iCloud. Not all records could be saved"
- "A problem occurred with iCloud. Parent record xxx does not exist on the server"

I did mean that the iOS version of Keep It cannot open files that were written to iCloud by the MacOS version of KeepIt. In the iOS version, these files simply do not appear even though they were written successfully by the MacOS version.

As far as functionality relative to online storage services such as Dropbox and Box, my observation is that a good number of the Keep It functions are also available in these two services such as:
- Importing Files
- Folders
- Deleting Folders
- Moving Multiple Items
- Tags
- Creating Notes (Box)
- Sharing
- Exporting
- Adding and Viewing in iOS apps

Keep It does have additional functionality such as:
- Bundles
- Saved Searches
- Focus on Folders
- Labels
- Web Links
- Use of iCloud for file storage

So it certainly is attractive from that standpoint.

IMHO, I would think that implementing seamless transfer of data in/out of iCloud on demand is a challenging task that likely requires extensive programming efforts, especially to handle asynchronous data transfer. Based on my trial to date, I think that further effort may be required to make Keep It as adept at file transfer as programs such as Evernote, dropbox or Box.

Robert Gordon

Not really sure how Keep It is an improvement on Dropbox. I have purchased Keep It and loaded in up with a few thousand files. Initial reaction is that it is not really ready for prime time, especially with regard to iOS app’s poor performance in accessing files stored on iCloud.

Reply

Allison Sheridan

Looks like your more extensive comment got posted twice, but I'll answer just once. In a way, you could compare Keep It to the plain old Finder. I thought about that while doing the video. If the enhanced functionality doesn't provide value, then Keep It isn't for you. To me, it's a subset of what I keep in the Finder (or Dropbox or iCloud or Google Drive or OneDrive).

It might be interesting to the developer to understand which kinds of data didn't work well with iCloud. I tried every crazy thing I could think of, including a disk image, and they all happily floated back and forth between my Mac, iPad and iPhone. I can't _open_ a disk image on iOS of course but that's not a limitation of Keep It or iCloud. I got no errors on any of the types of data with which I experimented. Even Microsoft documents worked!

If you'd like to pursue it further, the developer can be reached here: http://reinventedsoftware.com/support/keepit #getintouch

And like anything else, this might be great for some people and not for others, that's what makes it so fun to learn new stuff on ScreenCasts Online!

Paul Watts

I’ve only just resubscribed to Screencastsonline after being a very early member and using it for a number of years. It’s come a long way.

May I suggest with tutorials that you start with answering the question “Why Keep It” before doing the deep dive on how Keep It works. In other words why would I want to use Keep It and possibly buy it before getting down to how to use it.

In relation to the App itself I am always wary of Apps like this that are basically duplicating the already extensive functionality of the Apple Finder and Spotlight. You glossed over the “Copy” Vs “Move” functionality at the start of the Tutorial and I think therein lies the Rub. If you “Copy” as you did then you have 2 copies of the files with all the pitfalls that entails, e.g. changing one does not change the other. If you “move” then you are now dependent on Keep It for your file organisation. Also what happens if you move audio files from Garage Band (I am sure the app would no longer be able to find the files).

You can use folder structures, tags, and labels in the Finder if you really want to get anal about organisation with the benefit that this is supported by the Core OS and you have already have excellent fast indexing and search with Spotlight as well as the ability to use Saved Searches.

In terms of Note Taking with organisational abilities there are far superior solutions (Ulysses for one).

After watching the whole video I decided, based on the above arguments, that Keep It is not for me however it would have been nice to come to this conclusion in 5 minutes if you had covered the purpose of Keep It, what problems does it solve, what itch does it scratch, etc.

Reply

Allison Sheridan

I do see your point, Paul, on the comparison to the Finder. I found myself asking the same question while I was working on the video. The difference I see is that Keep It isn't for everything, it's to collect together those things I need to refer back to or reuse. For example, I use the GarageBand jingles and artwork constantly every week. In the Finder, they're buried in all kinds of disparate folders. I was spending an inordinate amount of time digging through artwork folders and audio folders filled with other similar content to find them. Now I have them in Favorites in Keep It for easy access. My sushi recipe is there at the tap of the search field when I'm at my sushi bar (I wouldn't have the Finder with me, right?)

And don't forget, when it's in Keep It, it's really in the Finder just like any folder and file instead of mangled in some impenetrable database.

As far as duplicates go, I do have some things copied, but some things only live in Keep It. For example, I have emails written to me that I copy into Keep It because I want to refer back to their content. I'd have to choose a format - Pages? Text Edit? Word? PDF? to copy those emails to, and then figure out where to store them. I can drop the emails into Keep It, and then tag them or bundle them or create a folder structure for them, or all of the above. It's all about being able to FIND them later.

As far as telling you up front whether you want to use the app, I can't really predict what you want to hear. I do always start my videos with a problem to be solved. In this case, it's as a replacement for apps like Evernote (where people are annoyed). I explain what it's for: "Keep It is a notebook, scrapbook, and organizer, ideal for writing notes, keeping web links, storing documents, images or any kind of file, and finding them again", but the real answer to whether it works for you is in the how it solves those problems, which is the video itself.

If Keep It doesn't solve a problem for you, that's cool, at least you know it's out there and what it can do.

Reply

Kurt Werstein

Allison -
You indicate:
"And don't forget, when it's in Keep It, it's really in the Finder just like any folder and file instead of mangled in some impenetrable database."

To clarify, the folder or file is accessible in the Finder, however, it could be buried in some layers of folders the software stores its information, much like iPhoto or iTunes stores its source files. (I am making an assumption here about Keep It, based on the above discussion.)

My hope was that 'Keep It' would be a layer over my folder and files to make them simple to access from a unified interface. One must copy or move items into Keep It. I don't wish to do that. Keep my files where they are and make "aliases" to them with Keep It, was my hope.

Kurt Werstein

An interview with the developer of 'Keep It':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzc4l3dJLd8

Reply

Allison Sheridan

Kurt - in answer to your earlier comment, Keep It does not bury your files in some weird structure like Photos does. If you create folders in Keep It, and put documents, etc in those folders, when you right click on an item and select Show in Finder, you'll see it in the exact same folder structure. Here's an example.

In this screenshot from Keep It, I've drilled down to my Podcasting folder, then PBS folder, and you can see my files in there listed alphabetically:
https://monosnap.com/file/hAtpFJ55jpxi2LJdsuOotY0V6EcCO6

Now look at the same files in the Finder. I've done a Show in Finder on the same files, and you can clearly see the exact same folder path as in the app itself.
https://monosnap.com/file/2MI64oMH60EkKwxum9NNez6dNZWjNt

Remember that Albums are really more of a tag, not a folder structure, and the Finder doesn't support that so you won't see your Album structure (also items can be in more than one Album at a time.

Hope that clarifies things for you.

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Video Tutorial Transcription