How Google Keep Allows Me to Organize My Life

I am not one of those people who has a planner that follows her everywhere. Many planner options are adorable and offer the crafter in me a lot of creative outlet, but to be honest, lugging a big book with me everywhere I go isn’t my style. I’m more of a minimalist. I do, however, always have my phone with me.

Google Keep is an app that is part of your personal or education Google account, so no worries about hidden fees. It’s a place for you to keep notes. They can be text, pictures, drawings, hyperlinks, or even lists where checked items go to the bottom of the list within the note (you can still see them, but they’re clearly finished).

You can pin those notes to the top of the list by simply clicking the pushpin icon in the top right corner of the note. A reminder can be set for a specific time and date, or even when you arrive at a specific location. Those reminders can be set to occur for set intervals too, such as daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or using a custom range. For example, I have a note set to remind me once every 10 days to progress monitor students. I can also set a reminder to pop up when I arrive at Target with the list of things I need to buy (not including the extra $40 in items I will inevitably put in the cart while hypnotized by the Target bullseye).

Notes can be color coded, labeled with tags for easy searching, archived or deleted when finished with them, sent to a Google Doc, used when creating Slides by going to Tools>Keep Notepad within a slideshow, and shared with other people (I often share notes from my secondary Google accounts to my personal account so I only have to look at one within Google Keep to stay organized, but other people might prefer to compartmentalize by switching back and forth between profiles). Caution: When sharing a note on Google Keep, all collaborators have editing (and deleting) rights. Only share your notes with people who won’t change or delete your stuff and cause you heartbreak.

Some Ways to Use Google Keep:

  • Have a shared note for a grocery list with your roommate or significant other. As long as they have their phone, there’s no concern about whether someone left the house without it, and the person still at home can add to the list and the one shopping can see changes in real-time.
  • My husband and I have a shared note with brands of spaghetti sauce we’ve tried, with a thumbs up or thumbs down icon beside each one depending on what we thought about it. (We like to buy what’s on sale, but not at the cost of it tasting terrible.) This has saved us from a sub par spaghetti dinner several times. Priorities.
  • I have a colleague who uses Google Keep to have often repeated lines of code ready to copy and paste whenever their working on a new Google Apps Scripts project.
  • I keep a to-do list for days that I have a ton of errands and don’t want to forget something, and another for tasks around my classroom (what I need to photocopy, anchor charts to make, work that needs to be graded, etc).
  • You could even use it as a digital journal or scrapbook by including photos and jotting down the memory that goes along with it. Not everything that you want to remember belongs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The year and anyone involved in the memory could be labels, and the date could be part of the note’s title.
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