Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Experiences with Google Keep (or I'm shamelessly in love with checklists)

By now most of us are back in school and that means back to a crazy schedule. I'm an English major, so I know all about how school can flood your schedule *cough* endless reading *cough*. I've definitely seen the repercussions of that as the blog-o-sphere seems to have been slowing down over the past few weeks. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to do everything that needs to be done and still find time to blog. Today I wanted to share how I (attempt to) stay on track with Google Keep

I thought I was pretty familiar with all the bits of Google (docs, gmail, obviously blogger), so I was shocked when my boss at work mentioned Google Keep, something I'd never heard of. After getting over my initial ignorance, I quickly made this free (!!!), checklist/note keeping app part of my life. 


Google Keep is essentially a bunch of virtual check lists or notes that you create and access from multiple devices using your Google account. I've always loved to-do lists. They're such a great way to keep track of all the little things I need to do. I used to just use a notebook, but I wanted to be able to see it anywhere, so I switched to an electronic list. I used to swear by Evernote, but I find Google Keep visually superior since I can see all my notes and checklists on the same screen (a Pinterest-esque setup), colour coded by topic.

In case you're interested, I use orange for school related lists, white for personal/everyday lists, blue for A Splash of Ink lists, and teal for A Splash of Photography lists. There are eight colour options. 

I use Google Keep on my desktop and on my andriod phone. I'd love to use it more on my Windows Surface tablet, but they haven't created an app for it yet, so I just access it through my internet browser (similar to how you access Google Drive). 

Now that I've convinced you of how amazing this program is (I hope), I wanted to give a brief tutorial about how the icons at the bottom of each individual note work. 

Set Reminder: this gives you the option of setting an alert to remind you of a note or checklist. You can either set it for a particular time or place (if you're using mobile). I've never done a location based reminder, but the time based reminders buzz on my phone regardless of whether the apps is open or not. The reminders will only work on the computer if you already have to program open (it can be minimized). 

Share list: this allows you to share a list with other Google accounts with real-time updates (as long as you have internet access). This is a great feature if you're working on a joint project with someone else. Our family shares a grocery list that we can update simultaneously. 

Add Image: this feature allows you to add a photo to your note. If you use the mobile app you have to option to use your camera to send the photo directly to a note. I like to use this if I see a neat design or some interesting typography when I'm out that I'd like to look at later for inspiration. 

Archive Note: this function allows you to archive a note for future reference. Under the "More" icon you also have the option to delete the note, but archiving can be useful if you're going to have to repeat a task. For example, I like to archive my travel packing list and reinstate it whenever I'm going somewhere again. 

More...: clicking on this gives you a drop down menu that gives you the option to delete the note, make a copy of the note, label the note, and send the note to a Google Doc

I've been using this program for a few months now, and I love it. It makes my inner OCD tendencies happy. I'm definitely a goal oriented person, so this helps me stay on track. There's a strange satisfaction in checking off those little boxes. I've found this program so helpful, so I hope you found some value in me sharing it. 

How about you? Are you a check list person? Have you heard of/used Google Keep (please tell me I wasn't the only one oblivious to this)? Do you have some other top-secret way of staying organized? I'd love to hear all your thoughts in the comments!

Reading: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Listening: Peggy Lee
Watching: Holes 

14 comments:

  1. I use a whole lot of Google products, but I've never heard of Google keep before. Since I am a check list fanatic, it looks like a dream to me. I've never been able to find a virtual to do list app that really works for me. So up to this point I organize my to do lists in special journals. I'm quite happy with that set up, but perhaps it is time to SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT and try something new : )

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    1. Everyone once and awhile, I use a notebook, but I love how organized I can be with Keep. You should definitely try it and see if it works for you:)

      Good luck!

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  2. ERMAGERD! I didn't know Google had a notes option. LISTS! YES! *goes off to check it out*

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  3. What a great tutorial! I was so pleasantly surprised when Buzzfeed introduced Google Keep a few months back. I've been wanting to mess around, but I never knew exactly how to operate it. I think the location-reminder is sooooo cool! So like if you go to a certain shop, you'll get a reminder that you needed to buy something there?
    ~ Sanjana
    peridotcove.blogspot.com

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    1. I really like the location feature as well, but I haven't used it yet! I'll have to try it out. I'm glad you enjoyed the tutorial; hope it helps you start with the program:)

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  4. I have never heard of Google Keep before, but oh my goodness, where has this been all my life? I need to go out and give this a try for myself. Seriously, I've just been looking for a way to keep myself on track and more accountable with my goals and activities, and this might be it. Plus this tutorial is perfect for helping me get started (I suck at trying to work out how to use programs). Thank you!

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    1. My thoughts exactly when I first found out! I'm so glad that this tutorial came at the right time for you. I thought it'd be good to post it as we all get back to school. I think you'll have good luck with Keep; it's really user friendly.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  5. This sounds really cool! I'm totally a check list person. XD I keep most of my lists on my Stickies on my computer or on my phone in the notes, but it would be nice to able to connect them. Does this only work on newer smartphones? That's usually my problem with these apps.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm not sure what this app is compatible with, but I'm using an Andriod and I just downloaded it from the Google Play Store. I'd recommend just trying it out and seeing if it works. Even if the app doesn't work out for you, you can always just use it in your phone's internet browser.

      Hope it works!

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  6. Woah - I had no clue that this existed until now and it seems very handy indeed! I have an iPhone so I use the Reminders app which comes with it but it's really basic and I've always wished it had more functions so this sounds perfect! Thanks so much Sunny for introducing it. :)

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    1. I can't believe how long it took me to find this app too! I've tried using the generic reminder apps, but this is so much nicer. Glad to introduce you to it!

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  7. I actually discovered Google Keep a few months ago and I was impressed, but since I basically use Google Calendar for all my scheduling needs, I didn't really feel compelled to test it out or anything. It looks awesome, though, and I am muy glad it is useful to you! *scrolls back and stares at her own overwhelming list on Google Calendar and wishes that her month were not quite so full*

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    1. I've never really used Google Calendar, but I've heard that it's great. I'm glad that it works so well for you:)

      October is a crazy month!

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