Thursday, May 07, 2015

Google Keep is Really Turning Into Something Useful!

I'm always on the lookout for good note-taking or organizational apps, and I must say, I've been intrigued by the development of Google Keep. At first, I thought that there was little to recommend it - it was just a way of keeping lists or notes on my Google account. I thought that the color coding was pretty neat, but it lacked quite a bit in comparison to other note or organizational apps. I went ahead and began using it as a quick way of recording notes and keeping them handy. I really liked the speech to text angle on my tablet. It worked fairly well, and allowed me to take my notes hands-free while I was walking around.

Since that initial impression, Google has quietly added updates and features, getting it to the point now where it has become extremely useful for me. In no particular order, Google has added:



  • Reminders.
  • The ability to capture and add photos to notes.
  • The ability to export the notes in a variety of formats (on an Android device).
  • The ability to share notes and update them in real time.
  • The ability to add labels or keywords.
  • A nice search function which will let you search by color, label, whether there is a photo, whether it is a list, whether it was recorded voice, and whether it has been shared.
  • When you perform a search on a the web version, you can export discovered notes as a Google Drive document.
Those last few items are game changers for me. It is now possible to color code my notes for topic, project, or field. I can then add keywords, and when I search, limit a collection to those keywords. I could color code my library work as Orange, and then add keywords, like 'Apps', or 'Google' as I add notes. Once I perform a search for Orange notes labeled 'Apps', I can further limit by keyword or go ahead and select notes from the list and export them to a Google Doc, essentially creating an outline on one topic, waiting for editing and later publication.

As I said, this is a game changer for me - the ability to dictate, label, organize and publish from one app tied to my Google account is what I've been looking for for awhile.

Here are some screen grabs to give you an idea about Keep's capabilities:


Here, you can see Keep's search box, with options to search by color, list, voice transcription, photo, reminder, and sharing status. You can, of course, search by text also. Here, I have chosen to search by the color Orange.



I have limited the search further by choosing the label 'Newsletter'. I have then selected the five cards on display.



From the three dot drop down menu in the middle of the gray bar, I can now select 'Copy to Google Doc' to create a document from my notes.

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