One of my favorite Google services is Google Keep. I use it across all of my accounts as a journal of sorts for tracking my experiences, thoughts, and more. For work, I write down interesting article ideas, and for my game studio, I use it as a worldbuilding tool for my game universe. It’s one of the most versatile, flexible, and useful tools that the company offers, and today, I wanted to give you a few pro tips on how to manage your Keep notes in bulk.
Traditionally, most users would edit or manage one note at a time, but what if you had a reason for bulk modifying notes? What if you had a standard Gmail account for your small business, but then opened up a Workspace account for it instead? You will likely have loads of data in the form of notes, tasks, emails, files, and more in the old account that you’d like to pivot over to the custom domain email.
You could use Google Takeout to grab a copy of all of that data in open source and common formats for safekeeping on a local storage device, and you could even upload many of these file types back into Google’s cloud services, but when it comes to Keep notes, you’re severely limited.
If you do use Takeout, you could manually copy and paste notes in from HTML or TXT formats into the browser to create fresh copies of those notes on the new Workspace account, but then, that’s quite tedious. Instead, let’s take a look at how you can move notes over from one Google account to another without leaving your browser. I will warn you that this is also a manual process, but I find that it’s a cleaner, and ultimately easier one that allows you to keep track of your progress and come back to it casually at any time to chip away at it.
Bulk sharing notes across accounts
Alright, let’s get started, shall we? Before we do though, be sure to use Google Takeout to make a backup of your data just to be safe! Next, open up Google Keep on both the source and the target accounts in separate windows. If you have dual monitors, that works even better, but you can also opt for a split screen setup if that makes it easier than jumping between windows. While you could simply copy and paste note titles and details over one at a time to your heart’s content, that process requires more brainpower than what we’re going to do.
Instead of clicking on each note and bringing it to the forefront – something that takes time as it’s animated – just hover over the note with your mouse and tap or click the person icon with the plus sign. This will allow you to add a collaborator. Type in the email address you want to share the note with and before clicking ‘Done’, go ahead and copy it to your clipboard.
This will allow you to quickly paste in the target account each time you call up the collaborator menu for every note. You can get into a rhythm here if you act quickly, but it’s still tedious as all hell. It truly is a shame that Google doesn’t just offer the ability to add collaborators from the top-right three dots ‘more’ options menu after multi-selecting a mass amount of notes, but it is what it is. Hopefully, someone at Google will see how slow this process is and offer some updates in the near future.
Duplicating shared notes
As a heads up, you may be wondering how many notes you can ‘share’ or add collaborators to. I’ve tested the limit, and I capped out at 250 notes in one 24 hour period, and attempting to add someone to any notes beyond that limit within the span of a day will give you the error that ‘Sharing is not available right now’. Moving right along, go to the window with your Google Keep target account, or the account that’s now listed as a collaborator on the notes you just ‘shared’.
Click and hold down your mouse just outside of the first note, and drag to select all of the notes that you see your source account’s collaborator profile image on (this may appear as a generic person icon in a circle, but that’s just because it hasn’t loaded the profile image!). Again, I was only able to share 250 notes from one account to the other, so you should be fine to duplicate that many at once. At the top-right, select the three dots menu again, and choose the ‘Make a copy’ option.
Here’s where it gets interesting – any notes that you’ve ‘duplicated’ will now be original and owned by this new account. In essence, you’ve now moved them over without ever leaving your browser! Pretty cool, right? Now, you may notice that if you have any drawings, images, or any other attachments on these notes, they will be dimmed, or have a blue loading bar on them. Drawings may even say ‘Generating thumbnail’. I would advise against leaving the Keep site or closing the window until these operations are complete so you don’t experience any data loss, but all of this is technically occurring on Google’s servers, so it should still be fine. Again, stick around just to be safe and for your peace of mind!
Tidying up a bit
Now that you have duplicated a massive amount of notes over from one Google Account to the new Workspace account, go ahead and click and hold your mouse just outside of the first note that has a collaborator attached to it (the original source account). Drag across all of the notes to select them, and choose the three dots menu at the top-right of the window once more. Choose the ‘Remove myself’ option to remove them from your account.
Don’t worry – you’re not deleting these notes for the source account they came from because you don’t have permission to do so! Collaborators can only edit notes, not delete them for everyone. Instead, you’re simply removing yourself from collaboration on those notes. If you don’t see the option, or if you see ‘Delete notes’ instead, it’s because you’ve accidentally selected a note or notes that are not shared with you and that are original to your account. Be careful with this step!
Lastly, be sure to verify that all of your notes are on the new account, and then if you want, you can even delete them from the source account so you don’t have duplicates. Don’t forget, if you used Takeout, then you’ll have a backup stored locally. Again, I really wish Google would allow one person to mass share notes or send copies via drag and select, but the issue would be spam in the same way that Calendar and Drive have seen in recent times. Perhaps some account tools for data transfer of ownership on Google Takeout would be useful, but only if the receiving party accepts the permissions.
I also wish that Google would simply add a notes upload option or allow you to import notes from local storage after downloading them from the opposite account’s Google Takeout. Mass moving notes from one account to another may be a less frequent endeavor for many, but as someone who never thought to set up Workspace account since I run my personal business by myself and have no employees right now, and since individual Workspace accounts were not a thing until recently, keeping them all on a standard, free Google Account for years meant that I had accumulated lots of notes in a location where they no longer belonged! Let me know in the comments if you have experienced this, or if you just let your notes lie where they’re created.