I used to love writing on sticky notes. A few years ago, if you walked into my office you would have seen an array of rainbow notes with everything from grocery lists to the details of a recent phone call with a customer. As an entrepreneur and also a parent, I am pretty busy and often on the go. I regularly need to jot something down and then find it later. The only issue with sticky notes was that this strategy always left me hunting for information. I knew I had written it down and my mantra often became, “it must be here somewhere.” The problem is that sticky notes are just so small and so easily lost.
Instead of using sticky notes and having them all over, you can create multi-colored notes in Keep.
Then I found Google Keep. Have you tried it? It is a free app available for iOS and Android that allows you to keep all of your notes in one place. I know what you may be thinking, that sounds difficult. I prefer to just pick up a pen and write my notes. Now, I would not even call myself tech savvy. Despite this, I can use Google Keep with ease. In addition, Google Keep’s completely free price tag makes it superior to other note taking apps like Evernote and its variety of features beats out apps like Notes on iCloud or the note taking app that comes with many phones or devices. Here are three ways that you can start utilizing Google Keep to stay more organized:
Create and Store Notes
Instead of using sticky notes and having them all over, you can create multi-colored notes in Keep. There is an option to create a standard note or a list which is especially helpful for things like to do lists and grocery shopping. You can type the notes on your computer, tablet or phone. If you prefer handwritten notes you can even use the app to write notes with your finger or a stylus. Maybe you are too busy or your hands are too occupied to type. Notes can be spoken with the voice-to-text feature. Once you have your note in Keep, you can organize the notes by housing them under a label and color-coding them. Notes are also searchable by keyword.
When a Note Just Won’t Capture What You Need
Sometimes you just can’t capture what you need with written words. Google Keep allows you to easily take a photo or “scan” a document in order to store it as a note. You can also record and store an audio file. This allows you to listen to the audio later, and it is also transcribed. In addition, you can use the stylus or your finger to draw a picture of something you want to remember. I have found Google Keep especially helpful for storing groups of websites related to a specific topic for my work and at home for storing recipes. Writing these things down would take forever, storing them in Pinterest would lead to distraction, but saving them on Google Keep can be done in a second or less.
Makes Notes Usable
How often do you write something down as a reminder but then forget where you wrote it or that you wrote it at all? When a note is typed on Google Keep, you can set a reminder to go with it. So if you wrote a note that said, “Send refund on Friday morning”, you could then set a reminder for Friday morning at 9:00 so that you would remember to complete this task. Reminders can also be set by location so that the note will pop up when you arrive at a certain place. No more writing your shopping list and leaving it on the counter!
But say you are like me and currently have notes or business cards scattered across the desk in front of you. Google can use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to take your handwritten note or the text on a business card and copy it into digital format. Just take a photo, paste it into a note, click the three dot menu button, and then select “Grab Image Text”. Perhaps you have a note that you want to expand or on which you want to include collaborators. You can share your note by adding email addresses or make your note a part of a larger document by adding it to Google Drive.
Maybe you are reading this while looking at a desk or perhaps even a computer screen littered with little notes– ideas, inspiration, to-do lists and action items each written out on their own little sheet. They are stuck to the desk or a stack of papers just waiting to get covered up or accidentally thrown away. Let’s face it, with all this work to do, it will be a while until you get around to the tasks on all those little notes. In the meantime, store them in the cloud on Google Keep where they are easily accessible and organized.
-Nina Parrish, M.Ed.
Owner | Parrish Learning Zone, LLC