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Google Stopping Development of ‘Scratchpad’ Note Taking App

If you’re an avid user of Google’s note taking web-app ‘Scratchpad’ you’ll want to jot the following down: development on it is stopping.

The application, which comes pre-installed on ChromeOS, is a popular “jot pad” for ideas, especially since it works offline and syncs back to the cloud when connection is resumed.

But it’s to be no more. All bugs relating to Scratchpad have been classed as ‘won’t fix’, with the following comment added:

“Pausing development on Scratchpad for now.

‘Paused = Discontinued”

Paused doesn’t sound as dramatic as ‘discontinued’, but when it comes to Google projects it essentially means the same thing. Remember Google Wave? Before it was formally canned for good development on it was “paused”. The same trend has happened to other Google services.

The good news is that although the web-app may vanish (no word yet on whether it will be removed from existing users) your notes won’t as Scratchpad uses Google Docs to store your notes.


At the time of writing the app is still available to install, so if you want it – there’s still time to get it.

Scratchpad on Chrome Web Store

Via François Beaufort

  • ojdon

    No way! Loved this little app With its drive integration. Does anyone have an alternative app?

    • Chariblaze

      For Drive integration, no. For offline features and online syncing, I like Quick Note.

      • boomer

        Why’d they get rid of this. If something works…don’t fix it!!

    • google keep

  • radekbe

    Just discovered the app thanks to your post. Very mixed feelings now.

  • Israel Lai

    But why?

  • Jack_mini_evo

    I’ve been looking for an application like this for a long time (I never knew Google had a note taking app), and as soon as I find it, development stops :(

  • While it probably won’t be uninstalled directly from users, if the underlying APIs that it uses change, the app will not run in future versions of Chrome.

  • I’ve never used the app, but I hate to see software go…

  • Well that sucks. It was a great little app.

  • Jonathan

    In my opinion, this is the only good notepad app on the Chrome Store.

    The only other one that was equivalent and possibly better because it was an extension is “Mini
    Notepad” although this doesn’t work anyone and still downloadable.

    I’m confused why it’s so difficult for someone to make a great, easy notepad. I’m willing to pay.

    Does anyone have any alternatives?

  • Leon Victor

    I use “Nullpointer” and it’s a browser based linux scratchpad, it is as safe as javascript.

  • Matthew Dye

    Well this is just great. It worked for about 10 minutes until I switched to the Beta Channel, my Chromebook decided to completely reset, and now Scratchpad won’t do anything. And now I find out that not only is Google abandoning it altogether, it’s old news to boot. Seriously irritated.

  • Glyn

    Now that Google Docs has full offline ability there is no need for Scrachpad any more. That is the reason why Google are sun-setting development of this app.

    • This is true. It makes sense for them to closedown this app because with Google Docs; you can do everything you could with Scratchpad but far more features and better editing options.

  • Israel Lai

    I just installed this a couple of days ago and it’s like the note-taking app that suits me the best. AND it looks nice and Googlish. Any alternative?

  • Well, looks like Quick Note is getting a download again. I used Quick Note before cause it’s the same thing (minus Drive integration) but considering; as long as I have an offline solution; I’ll be fine.

  • Kelvin Davis

    Well it’s broken now…. ;~;

  • Richard Brown

    Well, the launch of Google Keep has explained this

  • Kevin Williams

    There is always Quick Note (search in the Chrome Web Store). This app allows you to take notes, sync to the web, and do most other things you would think of to do with a notepad. It supports Android and serious computers as well as Mac and iPhone. ;)

    It currently only syncs to the Diigo site (you will need an account to go with it), but it’s free and there are other apps that fill in the blanks for things like bookmarks and so on.

    Originally I got Scratchpad and Quick Note at the same time as I didn’t know which I would like better. I use Quick Note almost exclusively, now.

    It would be nice if it synced to the Google Calendar task list, though. (Something that a lot of people have asked for with notes apps, in general.)

  • Ashwin Kumar

    The extension is no more available in the webstore :-( :-(

  • CoffeeScale

    Google Keep doesn’t do formatting as of today. I wanted to move my notes from Scratchpad to Keep but the formatting (bold, italic) disappeared! I would not use it without formatting.

    The constant preview of all the notes is unsightly to me. It would need a “Titles Only” option for display, or I would not use it.

    Further, maximizing the window doesn’t maximize the reading/writing area of the notes themselves, which make outlining a real chore. And because of this, I would not use Keep.

    I also just don’t like the thought of using Offline Google Docs to substitute my already practical Scratchpad! I could already do that with the lab computers at school using the full MS Office suite and a flash drive, keeping organized with a directory hierarchy. But I bought the Chromebook so I wouldn’t have to take up space at the lab, or mess around with clicking through folders!

    I hope that if they do not wish to further develop Scratchpad that they don’t disable it from working altogether. I have noticed strange little bugs here and there but I have my workarounds. Once the preinstalled version of Scratchpad no longer works on my Chromebook, I have no actual need for a Chromebook.

  • Sketch Mist

    i had to wipe my computer and now the app is gone :| it was the only note writer out of browser >:|

  • Sketch Mist

    could someone tell me how to download this again somewhere else? I lost it for nothing.

  • Anoek Hofkens

    I just lost al my notes on scratchpad. Out of the blue. Does any one know where I can find them? They are not in my Google docs list. :(((((