Keep It 1.9

November 12th, 2020 by Steve Harris

Keep It 1.9 is now available for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. On Mac, this version updates the app for macOS 11 Big Sur with a refreshed user interface design, and is ready for Apple silicon. Keep It for iPad and iPhone 1.9 has been updated for iOS 14 and iPad 14, adding the ability to create single-page web PDFs, custom label colors, a new sidebar, and a three-column layout on iPad. All versions benefit from color-coded lists in the sidebar, new label colors, and improvements for editing notes.

macOS Big Sur

Screenshot of Keep It 1.9 for macOS Big Sur

Keep It has been extensively revamped for macOS Big Sur. The library toolbar is now sectioned, and shows the current list name and a collapsable search field. The sidebar is now full-height and its icons match the app’s accent color or your preferred accent color. 

The item list uses the new inset style, and the View Options and Tag Filter buttons are located above the list in the toolbar. The item count can now be shown below the name of the current list, rather than in the status bar.

Editor windows also show the name of the current item, and will show a path menu when Ctrl-clicked or right-clicked. The Preferences window uses the new Preferences style.

Throughout the app, just about every icon has been updated, and there is a new app icon in the Big Sur style. Keep It for Mac now requires macOS Catalina or later, and will run natively on Apple silicon.

iPhone and iPad

Keep It 1.9 for iPad

Keep It 1.9 has been updated to take advantage of the new technologies in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.

On iPad Keep It uses the new three-column layout that makes navigating and dragging items between lists quicker and easier, and the Lists view uses the new sidebar style with colors to match the Mac app. Keep It for iPad and iPhone can now also create labels with custom colors, as on Mac.

On iPhone and iPad, Keep It can now create single-page web PDFs as on Mac. Single-page PDFs capture the entire content of the web page similar to a screenshot, but with links and selectable text.

Menus are used throughout the app to provide a more fluid experience. For example, tapping the + button below the list now shows a menu that streamlines the creation of new items, with commands to add files, photos, web links, stationery items, and scan documents in a single action, rather than navigating through a hierarchy.

List Colors and New Label Colors

To take advantage of colors in the sidebar on Big Sur, it’s now possible to assign a color to any folder, bundle, or saved search in the sidebar. This feature also works on iPhone and iPad. On macOS Catalina, a color icon will be shown alongside the name.

Standard label colors have been updated to provide consistency with list colors and system accent colors, and now automatically adjust for light and dark modes. 

Other Changes

There are improvements when adding highlights to notes, and on Big Sur the text on web pages can be zoomed with the keyboard. On Mac, the Move to Folder menu is now hierarchical, and favorites are shown at the top for both that and the Add to Bundle menu. Use calendar-based date pickers when editing saved searches and file information. There are also improvements for printing notes and other text documents on Mac, and improved Shortcuts on iPad and iPhone.

See the Release Notes for Mac, and the Release Notes for iPad and iPhone for all the changes.

Pricing & Availability

Keep It 1.9 is a free update for all existing customers. 

Keep It for Mac is available for $49.99 directly from Reinvented Software, and Together 3 users can upgrade for $24.99, unless they purchased Together 3 in its final 6 months on sale, in which case the upgrade is free. A 15-day free trial can be downloaded from this site.

Keep It for Mac is also available from the Mac App Store, offers a free trial and a choice of one-time purchase for all Keep It 1.x releases for $49.99, or an upgrade from Together 3 for $24.99 (or free if Together 3 was purchased in its final 6 months on sale). Alternatively, choose from yearly or monthly subscriptions at $19.99/year or $2.49/month.

Keep It for iPad and iPhone is available separately from the App Store with a choice of yearly or monthly subscriptions at $9.99/year or $1.49/month.

Keep It 1.8

February 12th, 2020 by Steve Harris

Keep It IconKeep It 1.8 is now available for Mac, iPad and iPhone. This version adds sketches in notes on iPad and iPhone, thumbnails for web links, text editing improvements for notes and rich text documents, many new and improved ways to automate the app, help files on iOS, and various other tweaks and improvements.

Sketches

Add sketches to notes on iPad and iPhone, whether with Apple Pencil or by drawing directly on the screen.  The sketches will remain editable and will be displayed appropriately for light and dark mode on iOS 13 and macOS Catalina.

Text Editing Improvements

Notes can now be set to start with with any predefined style, and there is a new “Subheading” style. Bulleted or numbered lists will now be created automatically when a line starts with a valid list prefix, such as a bullet character or number.

Editor Windows on Mac

Editor windows on Mac can now be set to float above all other windows, and it’s possible to set a default size for new items. 

Automation

Keep It for Mac now provides Automator actions for adding web links, files, text and attachments, and to help support iPad apps on Mac, now supports the exact same x-callback-urls as on iPad and iPhone.

Whether using AppleScript, Automator, x-callback-urls, or the Shortcuts app on iPad and iPhone, it’s now possible to specify a note style when adding and appending appending text to notes. It’s also possible to use AppleScript, Shortcuts, and x-callback-urls to append a link to a note or other editable text files.

On iPad and iPhone, the Add Files to Keep It shortcut can now convert text files to notes. There are also new shortcuts to work with bundles and folders, and the Set Properties on Keep It Item shortcut can now change an item’s Source URL and whether or not the item is a favorite.

Help Files on iOS

Screenshot of Keep It on iPad and iPhone

There are now extensive help files for Keep It for iPad and iPhone. The help files are fully searchable, and on iPad it’s possible to open the help browser in a new window for use alongside the app in Split View or Slide Over.

And More

Keep It will now generate thumbnails for web links on macOS Catalina, iPhone and iPad. On iPad and iPhone, notes and Markdown documents can be exported as PDFs, and it’s now possible to drag and drop items and lists on iPhone.

See the release notes for Mac and for iPad and iPhone for a full list of changes.

Pricing & Availability

Keep It 1.8 is a free update for all existing customers. 

Keep It for Mac is available for $49.99 directly from Reinvented Software, and Together 3 users can upgrade for $24.99, unless they purchased Together 3 in its final 6 months on sale, in which case the upgrade is free. A 15-day free trial can be downloaded from this site.

Keep It for Mac is also available from the Mac App Store, offers a free trial and a choice of one-time purchase for all Keep It 1.x releases for $49.99, or an upgrade from Together 3 for $24.99 (or free if Together 3 was purchased in its final 6 months on sale). Alternatively, choose from yearly or monthly subscriptions at $19.99/year or $2.49/month.

Keep It for iPad and iPhone is available separately from the App Store with a choice of yearly or monthly subscriptions at $9.99/year or $1.49/month.

Keep It 1.7

September 18th, 2019 by Steve Harris

Keep It 1.7 is now available for Mac, iPad and iPhone. On both Mac and iOS, version 1.7 adds search and text recognition for attachments, improved Markdown previews, and improvements for viewing and working with mail messages, along with various other improvements.

This version updates Keep It for iOS 13 (and, when it’s released, iPadOS), adding support for Dark Mode, the ability to annotate PDFs and images, contextual menus, the ability to scan multi-page documents, and improved automation support in the Shortcuts app.

Keep It for Mac can now print all file types that it natively supports, there are improvements for Dark Mode on macOS Mojave and later, and improved Touch Bar support for notes, Markdown documents, PDF files, and images.

Dark Mode

Keep It now supports Dark Mode on iOS 13. As on Mac, notes, rich text, plain text and Markdown files will be shown as light text on a dark background, along with mail messages when appropriate, and Markdown previews and web pages styled to work in Dark Mode.

On both Mac and iOS, notes and rich text files with custom background colors will now always be shown as light content, to avoid issues where synced styles created in Dark Mode cause issues on devices not using Dark Mode.

Search Attachments

Keep It will now search files attached to notes, rich text documents and mail messages as though part of the item’s overall content, and will perform text recognition on attached PDFs and images when necessary.

Annotate on iOS 13

On iOS 13, tap the Markup button to annotate PDFs and images with Apple Pencil or drawing on the screen. It’s now also possible to markup PDF and image attachments in notes and rich text files, as on Mac.

Multiple Windows on iPadOS 13

Keep It will support multiple windows on iPadOS when it’s released. Drag items from the list to create new windows in Split View and Slide Over. Items can also be opened in their own windows from a contextual menu in the item list.

UI Changes on iOS 13

Tap and hold on individual items in the item list or thumbnails to show a contextual menu with quick access to things such as moving items and adding tags. Contextual menus will also be shown when tapping and holding in the Lists view and Tag Filter.

Every icon for lists and buttons has been updated to match the new look of iOS 13.

Shortcuts on iOS 13

To take advantage of the Shortcuts app on iOS 13, which now supports input and output parameters for third-party shortcuts, Keep It provides shortcuts to create items from text or files, append text to items, attach files to items, save web links, get items based on a wide range of criteria, obtain and change the properties of those items, and open items or lists in the app.

Touch Bar on Mac

Keep It for Mac now shows document-specific Touch Bar for notes to choose styles, highlight text, and insert checklists, for formatting Markdown documents, for navigating, zooming and annotating PDFs, and for rotating PDF pages and images.

And More

Scan multi-page images using the camera using the document camera on iOS 13. On iPad and iPhone, mail messages now show image attachments inline, and on Mac it’s now possible to find occurrences of text in mail messages and work with attachments. Also on Mac, printing support has been added for all editable text files, Markdown previews, PDFs, images, and web pages. 

See the release notes for Mac and for iPad and iPhone for a full list of changes.

Pricing & Availability

Keep It 1.7 is a free update for all existing customers. 

Keep It for Mac is available for $49.99 directly from Reinvented Software, and Together 3 users can upgrade for $24.99, unless they purchased Together 3 in its final 6 months on sale, in which case the upgrade is free. A 15-day free trial can be downloaded from this site.

Keep It for Mac is also available from the Mac App Store, offers a free trial and a choice of one-time purchase for all Keep It 1.x releases for $49.99, or an upgrade from Together 3 for $24.99 (or free if Together 3 was purchased in its final 6 months on sale). Alternatively, choose from yearly or monthly subscriptions at $19.99/year or $2.49/month.

Keep It for iPad and iPhone is available separately from the App Store with a choice of yearly or monthly subscriptions at $9.99/year or $1.49/month.

The Sweet Setup: Best Evernote Replacement App for Long-Term Research

June 19th, 2019 by Steve Harris

The Sweet Setup has named Keep It the Best Evernote Replacement App for Long-Term Research for general users:

The biggest reason that Keep It wins the mantel as the best long-term research app for iPhone and iPad is that its the same app for iOS and macOS. No feature we could find wasn’t present on both platforms. That means if you’re an iOS-only user, you’re not missing out on any power by not having a Mac around.

The Sweet Setup: How to Use Keep It for Long-Term Research

May 25th, 2019 by Steve Harris

Josh Ginter has written a great post about Keep It on The Sweet Setup, How to Use Keep It for Long-Term Research, which is very much appreciated. Near the end he raises two concerns:

First, while I appreciate Keep It is paid for via subscription — and thereby, at least somewhat, ensuring more consistent revenue throughout the app’s lifespan — the app is way less known than other major players in this category. The fear of Keep It being swallowed up by a competitor or being sunsetted due to business reasons scares me, especially when looking at the long-term. For shorter-term users — perhaps those writing a dissertation or thesis, or those writing a book — I don’t expect this will be a major factor in your decision process. But with the rate of change in the iOS app industry, will my notes and research be available for my entire lifetime inside Keep It?

Second, while the benefits of using a digital tool far outweigh the consequences, there’s still something about physically writing in a book. Especially an heirloom item like a Bible. Perhaps this is specific to my use-case, to which I plead ignorance. But one day, I’d like to pass on my research and thoughts to the best of my ability. Keeping everything inside Keep It — if it’s around when I’m in my elderly years — is probably less safe than keeping it in a physical format.

First of all, Keep It has a longer heritage than people might think. Its features and design are heavily based on an app originally called Keep It Together, which began life in 2004. The app was renamed to Together for version 2 in 2007 (because the frequently-used abbreviation KIT was an impossible search term) and continued under that name until 2017, when Keep It was released as its successor.

There was also an iOS app for Together from 2014 onwards. Working well with iCloud and app extensions, and achieving feature parity across Mac and iOS meant taming some of the Mac app’s decade-long legacy and a substantial rewrite of its underpinnings. Giving the app a new name and resetting the version number to 1.0 was the best way to indicate this was a fresh start.

Throughout the last 15 years, there has always been an upgrade path and discounts for loyal customers.

Secondly, no app is guaranteed a future, no matter how big or established the company behind them, and digital formats cannot compete with the durability of the annotations in Josh’s physical copy of the Bible (not to mention how much BETTER you appear if your Bible has almost as many annotations as verses), but there are things apps can do to help ensure you’re not left in the lurch.

Like its predecessor, Keep It is designed to avoid lock-in. Everything you put in Keep It is stored in files and folders that you can access in the Finder on Mac, and the Files app on iOS. You can add files to these folders and they’ll automatically be added to the app, and open those files in other applications to edit them.

Keep It uses standard file formats for everything except its own notes, because those offer features that go beyond what RTF allows. Whenever those notes are exported, they will be converted to RTFD files, with incompatible things such as interactive checklists replaced with the equivalent static checkmarks and boxes, dividers with asterisks, etc. Alternatively, you can make the default format Markdown, rich text or plain text. Even Keep It’s password-protected files are actually ZIP files encrypted with AES-256 that can be decrypted by apps such as The Unarchiver.

Keep It allows you to export everything, including metadata, in a single operation, converting notes to RTFD files, decrypting the encrypted files, and preserving the folder hierarchy (and on Mac, the tags too). 

In the digital world, using standard formats is the closest you can get to the durability of physical media. When Keep It Together was originally released back in 2004, it was expected that apps either work directly with standard formats or export them. iOS’s siloed approach may have made the idea seem less relevant for a while, but apps have been able to access each other’s files since iOS 8, and should provide ways to get data out of them in the most useful formats possible.