Remember how Google Assistant used to let you add items to lists in Keep? Then Google took that ability away and replaced it with a super-lame “shopping list” in Google Express — something precisely no one wanted?

Yeah. Good times.

The saga didn’t stop there, either: After a while, Google replaced that mess with a weird “daily list” that’s built into Assistant and a real pain in the ass to access — and then kept promising it’d bring back the original ability to use Assistant to make lists in your own favorite list app. Yeesh.

Well, it’s been years now that this whole thing’s been going on, and we’re still waiting for Google to bring us back to where we started. But while we wait, there’s actually a way to get around Assistant’s list-making limitations and add items to any list you want within Google Keep, without much trouble.

Here’s the trick: When you want to add a new list item, instead of activating Assistant, activate the search prompt from the Google app. You can do that by tapping the search bar or the “G” logo within the search bar on your home screen (and if you don’t have a search bar there already, you can add one by long-pressing in any open space, selecting the option to add a widget, and then finding and adding the “Search” widget within the Google app’s section). You can also tap the search bar within the actual Google app or within the Google feed to the left of your home screen, if you have that in place.

Once you have the Google search prompt open, either hit the microphone icon to issue the command by voice or simply type it out: “add [item] to my [whatever] list. Use whatever item you want to be added and whatever list name you want it to be added to, whether it’s a list you already have present in Keep or a new one you want to create.

If you typed the command out manually, you’ll see a confirmation box that lets you edit and then approve your list addition. If you added it by voice, the system will just automatically confirm it and take you to the appropriate list within Keep, with your item added.

I haven’t been able to get this to work with note-taking apps other than Keep (even though it seems like it should), but being able to add stuff to any list within Keep is still a heck of a lot better than being stuck with that single awkward Assistant-based option.

Hey, Google: This is how it oughta be done.

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