Migrating to G Suite: Keep

Google Keep – Google’s answer to Evernote – is a great way to organize notes, links and other miscellaneous bits of info.

Unfortunately, Google Takeout doesn’t do a good job of exporting this info – it basically saves each note as an HTML file with no way to import them in to a new account.

So, similar to how I migrated my custom maps, the play here is to do the following:

  1. From the original account, open each note and add the new G Suite account as a “collaborator”
  2. In the new (G Suite) account, select each newly-shared note and “Make a copy” of them
  3. With the shared notes still selected, now “Delete notes”
  4. Finally, select your copies and “Change labels” to label them

Here are a few pointers to minimize the pain of doing this:

  1. Start by organizing your original collection of notes with labels – preferably a single label per-note. Why? because I found this process to be a bit easier to go through if I did the share/copy/delete routine label-by label. Once I got one group of notes over to the new account then I could, en masse, assign them the same label as they had in the old account (as described by Step #4 above)
  2. Make sure every note has a label so that you don’t miss any as you go through this process
  3. Lave your original collection intact until you can verify that you got all of them successfully copied over to your G Suite account

Migrating to G Suite: Voice

Google Voice is one of their lesser-known tools but I find it invaluable – basically, you can get a free, local phone number that functions as a virtual phone, one that can call out, receive calls, record (and transcribe) voicemail and send/receive texts, all from a browser (or the Android/iOS mobile app).

If you’re considering migrating a Google Voice number, The first thing to be aware of is that, although they’re free for personal Google accounts, it’s a paid add-on for all versions of G Suite for Business ($10 per line per month).

To move an existing number, the first thing to do is to unlock the phone number of your current (free) Google Voice number. You can do that by going to https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/unlock.

Once that’s done, set yourself up with the Google Voice service in your Google Admin console and port the number in according to these instructions.

It’s worth noting that existing text messages and voicemail recordings are not migrated to the new G Suite-based account. In fact, I’m unclear whether or not they are actually deleted once the number is ported out, so best to export the data using Google Takeout before proceeding with the number port.


There seems to be some conflicting information online about this process… here’s an article from Google that suggests that personal Google Voice numbers can’t be ported to G Suite accounts in the first place…


Migrating to G Suite: Maps

I’m a big fan of creating custom Google Maps – been doing it for years. My wife and I have found that it’s a great way to collect our mutual research when getting ready to visit a new place.

I don’t want to lose all of that research, so I was definitely interested in getting my custom maps (which can be found at mymaps.google.com) moved over from my personal Google account to my G Suite one.

Now, the first thing to be aware of is that creating a custom GMap results in a map file on the root level of the Google account’s GDrive – you can move those files into sub-folders on the same account and MyMaps will still see them.

As for exporting your existing custom maps, you can do it either from the map itself:

or as part of a Google Takeout archive. Unfortunately, both methods result in .kmz files and, though Google says you can import those, I was never able to successfully do it without getting an error message.

So here’s what I did:

  1. Make sure you’re signed in to Google with your “source” account and go to mymaps.google.com
  2. Open each map and use the sharing capability to share each map with the G Suite account
  3. Now sign in to to My Maps using the “destination” account (your G Suite one) – you should see every map under the “Shared” tab
  4. Create a copy of each shared map using the “Copy” command
  5. Finally, go back to the source account and either delete the maps there or un-share them with your G Suite account – that will get the (now) duplicates to disappear from your G Suite account