Google Keep—Keeping your life orderly

Part 2 of my #CrazyBusyHelps series.  Ahhh…..Google Keep! Of all the things I could not live without, Keep ranks extremely high on my list.  It’s literally my brain most of the time.  One of the most common things people say to me is “I don’t know how you do it all!”.  I say to you, I could not do it “all” without this fabulous tool, and lots of prayers. Winking smile

What problems does it solve?

The jumbled brain problem….
  • Do you have endless tasks and to-do’s floating around in your head, and you're just trying to keep them all straight?
  • Have you ever gotten to the store and realized you forgot your shopping list?
  • Or come home from the store to realize your spouse needed just one more thing?
  • Do you have “I keep forgetting to…” syndrome?
  • Started that Honey Do List lots of times, but can’t see to keep track of it?
  • Trying to remember all the things you need to pack for your trip?
  • Want to remember a great quote you heard?
  • Haven’t figured out a good menu-planning solution?
Google Keep will solve all of these problems, and that’s just to name a few.  Keep is so adaptable, I know that you’ll have your own complete list of problems you’ll solve using it soon, and I hope you’ll come back to share them below.

So let’s dig in, Google Keep as defined by their PlayStore description, with added commentary from yours truly:

Capture inspiration when it strikes! Keep is simply the quickest way to offload ideas, thoughts, and to-dos without losing focus.
• Create notes and lists, set time and place reminders, and check off your completed tasks.

  • Notes & Lists: I make a note or list for EVERYTHING: To-do lists, Shopping Lists, Packing Lists,
    Weekly Menus, blog ideas, Family History tasks, etc…. You name it, there’s a list for that.  This way I don’t have to keep track in my mind or on a piece of paper that I’m likely to misplace.
  • Reminders: This is huge! The reminders feature is fabulous because often it’s “don’t forget to cancel that subscription or make that phone call, but it’s for some future date or time, so I whip out my phone, create a note, then set up the reminder. Lastly I swipe the note away so it doesn’t distract me again until I can actually take care of it.
  • Check off completed tasks: Who doesn’t love the satisfaction of checking off a completed task? Admittedly sometimes I add an item I’m working on to my list just so I can check it off in a few minutes. Shh! Winking smile
• Add a collaborator to your notes and lists, then get things done together.
  • Collaborators: My hubby and I use this all the time, but now that I’ve introduced my friends and co-crazy busy’s to it, I use it with them too.  I create lists for meetings and as I have things cross my mind, I add it to the list, then I share the list with whomever needs to see it. My PTA lists are shared with my Vice President, my Family Discovery Day lists are shared with my committee and so on.  But the most benefit I get from this is by far with shopping lists.  I create a Costco List, share it with hubby then we both add to it for a day or two before we go, he can even update it while I’m at Costco.  Or how about that long list of, we need to buy this or that at some point.  We have an ongoing To Buy list, then when we’re already making online purchases we flip over to see what else we need to add to our cart.

• Add photos and drawings, or just draw on your photos.

  • This feature can be super helpful when in a hurry. If you see a sign or note that you need to remember, snap a quick pic, then you can draw notes to point out the important parts right on top. Super quick, and super helpful on the fly.
• Dictate your thoughts, Keep will transcribe them for you.
  • I’ve found that even swiping in text these days is sometimes just too time consuming, so pushing the mic phone real quick to take down that to do item can be extremely helpful when on the fly.  Then later I go back in and organize it into a list, but having the option to just create it quickly is fabulous when in a meeting or on my way to something.
• Search notes by automagically created topics.
  • I didn’t even realize it was doing this, SWEET!
• Group notes together with #labels.
  • Labels/Tags, whatever you choose to call them, it’s incredibly useful.  I don’t always have time to do it right in the moment but I try to when I can.  This is especially helpful as you get a lot of notes going, which I do.  The more notes I have the more helpful the tags become.  I often will share quotes, or ideas from posts or articles to Keep. When I do I always tag it as #quote, then I can add a topic label too if I want.  That way I can find all the quotes on a certain topic when looking for them.  This is especially helpful when preparing for a class or meeting, if I tag them with the topic of the class then I can collect little snippets here and there in my day to day life, but have them all gathered in one place when I sit down to prepare the class, meeting, blog post, or whatever.
• Color notes for easy scanability.
  • Admittedly this is another of my favorite features, I color coordinate my notes according to what type of lists they are. But mostly I just really like the way it looks, it helps me scan my notes quickly when necessary.
• Access your notes on any device. synced automatically to your phone, tablet, watch, and laptop via the Google Keep website, or Chrome app.
  • Remember how I asked if you ever forget your shopping list, or your notes for a meeting, or whatever…do it no more.  With Google Keep you’ve got your lists with you no matter where you go, and if you forget all of your devices you can access it from any device online. Thank you Google!
• Use “Ok Google” voice commands to “take a note” or “add to to-do list”.

My Favorite features?

Reminders: Best feature! I love when I can put something completely out of my brain and not forget to do it. Keep makes this possible. No more stressing about this or that thing I need to do, just let Keep remind me when it’s ready to be done.  Making doctors appointments, monthly journaling, etc…
Collaborators: I mentioned this as one of my favs earlier, but it truly is. I use it all the time, and in tons of different circumstances, but my favorite part is just always being able to keep on the same page with hubby. With all the trips we go on, it’s nice to have ongoing lists for upcoming packing, shopping or the like.  We rarely forget anything when we work together on things.
Links: This one I didn’t even touch on above, but it is one of my favorite features as a mom.  When creating my lists, I can insert a link, it will populate a nice little photo link at the bottom of the list and keeps the one on the list line as well.  This is extremely useful for making my weekly Menu in particular.  I have a Menu list that I list all of my favorite recipes on, with links, then I check them off as I make them. Each week, when making my menu, I uncheck the item from the checked boxes, to return it to the top. I usually reorder them to match the order I’d like to make them.  It works perfectly for me, because we rarely stick to a daily menu schedule because things come up and pizza gets ordered, but if I have the list of menu’s I have ingredients for with the most important ones to make first at the top, I usually get it made before any food spoils.  I also use that list to make my Grocery list.  I click on the links, review the ingredients briefly and add any items I don’t currently have to the shopping list.  It works slick.  I’ve used several Menu Making apps in my day, and Keep actually serves my menu making needs better than any others I’ve tried, with the added bonus of not having to add an additional app to my phone.  Do it all in one place. See it in action.

Archive: To keep my list organized I can just swipe notes off my screen once I’m done with them.  But thanks to their archive, the notes are saved and I can search my notes via labels and the automagically created topics.  This way I NEVER have to stress about cleaning up my screen, because I know I can always recover anything I realize I needed. I’ve used this many times.
Colored notes: This one, let’s face it just makes my life look organized, and I LOVE THAT!! One of my favorite things is to share Keep with friends, I show them my list and their eyes always get big as I tell them all the great features and show off my color coded life. Winking smile

I love their line “Capture inspiration when it strikes!”, I’ll add, ideas, thoughts, tasks, notes, quotes, and anything that pops into my mind.  Basically put, install Google Keep on all of your devices, that way no matter where you are or what you’re working on, you can quickly jot down whatever side tracking thoughts or inspirations might arise. Then quickly return to your task at hand.  If you’re not already, start using it today, then come back and let me know what your favorite features are.


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