anything done at all. But with the help of Google’s cloud-connected
notepad and these time-saving shortcuts, you can get your affairs in
order and knock out that entire To-Do list before lunch.
In essence, Google Keep is a network-connected notepad app. You write
stuff down, it saves your scribblings to the cloud for safe storage and
potentially retrieval from a different device. Easy, right? But it’s how
Keep organizes your archives that makes it so helpful.
Set Location-Based Reminders
You can make a the most exhaustive list of groceries you want, but it’s
not going to do you any good if you keep forgetting to stop by the
supermarket on your way home from work. Google Keep’s Reminder function
augments your spotty memory by popping not only chronologically-based
task reminders—either as specific times or just “tomorrow afternoon”—but
location-based reminders too. By leveraging your GPS signal and Google
Now functionality, Keep can not only remember what you need to buy, but
even tell you when you’re walking past somewhere you can buy it.
Say What You Mean
The crosstown bus is packed tighter than a Tokyo train car. You can
barely get your phone out of your pocket amid the scrum of commuters,
much less collect the requisite two thumbs to type with. So how are you
going to remember your idea for the next great american novel now? With
your brain? What is this, the stone age?
Look, just use the one hand you have free to tap the microphone icon at
the top of the screen and start talking. People will look at you a bit
funny because you’re, you know, speaking out loud on public
transportation but whatever, you’ve got the next great american novel in
Best of all, even if Keep doesn’t transcribe your idea perfectly, it
automatically saves and attaches the original audio file so you can go
back to your verbal notes later. And if you ever need a local copy of
that voice note, you can simply access your Keep account through a
desktop browser, select the note you want and right-click the audio link
to download it. The same can be done for a note’s permalink.
ToDo or Not ToDo, That Is the Question
So you’ve managed to park the car and make your frazzled way into the
grocery store to hunt down that list of items you need. While you’ll
have to search the aisles yourself, Keep will at least help track what
you’ve already got in the cart by turning that unformatted note into an
Just enter the note you want converted, click the three vertical dots
in the upper right corner of the screen and select “Show Checkboxes.”
Boom— instant ToDo list. And as a checklist, as soon as you mark the
individual item as completed, Keep will archive it within the note
thereby decluttering the list of active tasks and helping you stay on
It’s all well and good that your ideas, notes, and thoughts are safely
backed up in an external brain somewhere amid Google’s servicer but
there, they’ll only do as much good as if they were still locked away in
your noggin. To allow you ideas to truly come to life, you’ll need some
means of sharing them with the world—or at least your friends, family,
and coworkers. Luckily, Keep can deliver your notes, task lists, and
shopping itineraries almost anywhere in the digital world. This includes
obvious options like email, Dropbox, and Evernote as well as SMS,
BT—even Facebook and Flipboard if you are so motivated.
And speaking of sending stuff where you want it, the popular “note to
self” feature-the one where you simply state, “Note to self, [blah,
blah, whatever you needed to tell yourself, blah, blah]” and Keep saves
the note—natively only sends this note to your email inbox. That’s
great, unless you want to save these personal voicemails anywhere else.
Luckily you can easily swap the default association from Gmail to Keep
simply by opening Keep and starting a new voice note with “Note to
self”. If this is the first time you’ve used voice notes, Android will
prompt you to choose a default program association—just click Keep. If
the dialog box doesn’t pop, you’ll have to clear your OS preferences and
retry the process.
Work that Widget
Sometimes, the best ideas come in a flash. Problem is, they also tend
to leave your head just as quickly. So even if you’ve got both hands
free on your crowded crosstown bus, the in the time it takes to navigate
through your lock screen and app drawer just to open Keep, that idea
could sneak out through your ears. And then where will you be? You’ll be
riding a bus, like a schmuck, with your phone in your hands and no idea for the next great american novel in your head. Gratz.
Don’t be that guy on the bus, install the Keep widget on your mobile
device’s home screen instead. It provides you the same search, input
(both voice and touch), camera, and list-making options on the main
app’s control panel but at least three clicks faster.
Do you have any tips or tricks for Google Keep that you didn’t see here? If so, let us know in the discussion below!
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