How To Use Voice Dictation to Type Notes in Google Keep App

Google Keep is a popular note-taking app that allows you to quickly capture thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, and more. One of its most useful features is voice dictation, which lets you create notes completely hands-free just by speaking.

As someone who uses Google Keep daily, voice dictation has been a total game-changer for me. It has made taking notes so much faster and easier when I’m on the go or need to jot something down quickly.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to use voice dictation in Google Keep, from getting started to troubleshooting issues.

Getting Started with Voice Dictation in Google Keep

Using voice dictation in Google Keep is simple, but there are a few things you need to know to get set up:

Install the Google Keep Mobile App

Voice dictation only works on the Google Keep mobile app, not on the web version. You’ll need to install the app on your iOS or Android device to use this feature.

Allow Microphone Access

When opening Google Keep for the first time, you’ll get a prompt asking for permission to access your device’s microphone. Make sure to allow access so voice dictation will work properly.

Tap the Microphone Icon

To start voice dictating, simply tap the microphone icon at the bottom of the app screen. This will launch voice dictation mode.

Once you tap the icon, you can start speaking to create your note. Google Keep will automatically transcribe what you say into text.

Dictating Notes in Google Keep

When using voice dictation in Google Keep, speak clearly and at a natural pace into your phone’s microphone.

Here are some tips for dictating notes effectively:

Speak in Complete Sentences

Speaking in clear, complete sentences will allow Google Keep to transcribe your speech more accurately. Avoid fragment sentences.

Use Natural Pauses Between Sentences

Pausing briefly between sentences provides cues for Google Keep to add punctuation like periods to separate your ideas correctly.

Say “New Line” for Paragraphs

To start a new paragraph in your note while voice dictating, say “new line” out loud. This will add a new paragraph break in your note.

Give Commands for Punctuation

You can say commands like “period”, “comma”, “question mark”, and more while dictating to automatically add punctuation to your notes.

Say “Undo That” to Delete Text

If Google Keep transcribes something incorrectly, say “undo that” to delete the last section of text. This is an easy way to fix minor mistakes.

Formatting Notes with Voice Commands

In addition to basic voice dictation, you can use specific formatting commands to style your notes in Google Keep.

Here are some helpful voice commands:

Bold Text

To make text bold, say “bold” before the text you want bolded. Then say “bold” again after the text.

Example: “Bold this is bold text, bold”

Underline Text

To underline text, follow the same style by saying “underline” before and after the text.

Italicize Text

Say “italicize” before and after the text to make it italicized.

Capitalize Text

Say “caps on” before text you want capitalized, then say “caps off” when finished.

Create Bulleted Lists

Say “new bullet” to start a bulleted list. Then dictate each list item. Say “new bullet” again for each additional list item.

Numbered Lists

Use the command “new number” to start a numbered list. Google Keep will automatically number each item.

These voice commands allow you to add rich formatting without using your hands!

Sharing and Exporting Voice Notes

Notes created with Google Keep voice dictation offer a few sharing and export options:

Listen to Recordings

Your voice dictation notes contain an audio recording you can play back. Tap the microphone icon on the note to listen.

Share Notes Directly

Open the options menu and tap “Share” to share a voice dictation note via email, messaging apps, social media, and more.

Export as a Text File

You can export your transcribed notes to a TXT file using Google Takeout to access the raw text.

While voice notes contain an audio recording, keep in mind that the exported TXT file just contains the text transcription.

Tips for Improving Accuracy

Google Keep voice dictation works well, but accuracy is not 100% perfect. Here are some tips to get better results:

Speak Clearly and Slowly

Enunciate words properly and leave pauses between sentences. Speaking too fast can decrease accuracy.

Reduce Background Noise

Find a quiet environment without too much competing background noise when voice dictating. Loud environments make transcription more difficult. Consider using headphones with a built-in microphone to further minimize competing sounds.

Speak Closer to the Microphone

Keep the phone microphone near your mouth as you talk for the best audio quality. Accuracy gets worse as distance from the mic increases.

Use a Clear Accent

Certain accents can be more difficult for speech recognition software. Try to speak clearly with a neutral accent where possible.

Practicing good voice dictation habits will get you the best results!

Troubleshooting Voice Dictation Issues

Voice dictation relies on an internet connection and microphone access, so issues can pop up if either gets disrupted:

No Microphone Access

If Google Keep can’t access your device microphone, voice dictation will fail. Open your device settings to check that Keep has microphone permissions enabled.

Poor Internet Connection

A weak or unstable internet connection can prevent accurate voice-to-text transcription. Make sure you have a strong 4G LTE or Wi-Fi signal before voice dictating.

App Crashes

In some cases, Google Keep may crash or freeze if voice dictation fails. Force close and restart the Keep app to resolve this.

Inaccurate or Delayed Transcription

Choppy audio, loud background noise, mumbling, and fast talking can all cause delays or transcription issues. Be aware of your speaking conditions.

Microphone Hardware Issues

Faulty device microphones can degrade audio quality and prevent voice dictation from working properly in Google Keep. Test your microphone in another app or use headphones to isolate issues.

Following the best practices outlined in this guide will help you avoid most technical problems with Google Keep voice dictation.


The ability to create hands-free voice notes in Google Keep is a big time-saver, especially when you’re in a rush or don’t have free hands. Following this comprehensive guide will help you master voice dictation to boost your productivity.

Some key tips to remember include:

  • Install the Google Keep mobile app and allow microphone access
  • Tap the microphone icon and speak clearly in complete sentences
  • Use voice commands to format your notes with bold, italics, lists
  • Practice good dictation habits like proper enunciation
  • Share or export your voice notes
  • Troubleshoot issues with internet, hardware, or background noise

With a bit of practice, voice dictation can become second-nature, allowing you to rapidly capture any thoughts or ideas that come to mind no matter where you are. Give it a try next time you use Google Keep!

About the Author

I’m a long-time Google Keep user who relies on voice dictation daily to take quick notes on the go. I run a productivity blog focused on note taking apps and methods to stay organized across both mobile and desktop.

In addition to Keep, I regularly use Evernote, OneNote, Todoist, Trello, and other apps to manage both my personal and professional projects. I’m passionate about testing and writing tips and how-to guides for digital note taking with the goal of helping others boost productivity and streamline their workflows.