Google Keep is a great tool for project management, for keeping tabs on your travel plans, and for saving quick voice memos. At its core, it’s a super simple app that can be adapted for a variety of uses. But in its simplest form, Google Keep is great for making lists.
First, what exactly is Google Keep? Google’s multi-platform note-taking app makes it easy to save text, voice, and photo notes on your phone or computer. It has a variety of organization and sharing features, has some impressive OCR features, and takes advantage of location awareness. At a glance, it looks like a digitized version of post-it notes.
To see a brief intro to the app, check out the video below:
So why use Google Keep for your list-making? Here are a few reasons.
1. It’s Super Easy to Create Checklists
When it comes to creating lists in Google Keep, the easiest way to do this is by creating a checklist. When you create a new note, be sure to do so by hitting the checklist button.
This will insert one checkbox in your list and as you add more items to the list, more checkboxes will show up.
If you’ve started creating a list and realize after the fact that you want to add checkboxes, select the text, click the More button (three dots) and click Show Checkboxes.
After all, while creating lists can be super satisfying, it’s nowhere near as satisfying as when you get to check items you’ve completed off the list.
You can also rearrange items on your checklist, and when you check items off, they are still viewable so you can keep track of your progress.
2. Create Checklists From Your Homescreen
You can get widgets for both Android and iOS, giving you quick access to creating lists on Keep. Android users can add a widget to their home screen making it easy to create a new checklist. iOS users can add a similar widget to the Today tab, which is accessible from the phone’s lock screen and notification center.
3. You Can Keep Your Lists Organized
If you don’t take advantage of Google Keep’s organization features, your lists can quickly become an unwieldy mess. Luckily, those features are surprisingly robust. At first glance, you might not realize that these features exist.
Color Coding — You can color code your list (you’ll just have to keep a note of your color coding scheme) right within Keep. Color coding your lists means the entire background of your note will change to that color. This is extremely useful when looking at your list of notes, so you can see the categories at a glance.
Labels — You can tag your lists using Google Keep’s Labels feature. You can then filter your notes to view only those that are labeled a certain way. These labels will be viewable in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. To add labels to a note, open up the note, hit the More button and select Add label.
Google encourages you to use the hashtag (#) symbol to organize your labels. This is fine if you want to click labels, but it isn’t very useful if you actually want to conduct a search. Instead, choose a letter to prefix your labels with a “q” instead. For example, don’t use #MakeUseOf. Instead, use “qMakeUseOf.” This way, search results will be relevant, and won’t be swamped with notes that aren’t included under that label.
Archiving — If your list of lists is getting far too long and you need to do some spring cleaning in Google Keep, instead of deleting them, why not archive them. This keeps your Google Keep notes tidy, but also preserves a record of your notes. (And of course if you’ve labeled your lists, you can easily search your archived notes.)
4. It’s Integrated With Google
If you’re a fan of Google products, Google Keep fits right in with them. You don’t have to create a new account to use the service — just log in with your Google credentials. You can also copy Google Keep lists to Google Docs. Click the More button and select Copy to Google Doc. Unfortunately, the checklist is converted into a bulleted list, but at least it maintains its hierarchy.
5. It Offers Seamless Cross-Platform Apps
Because Google Keep is multi-platform, it means anyone can use it seamlessly across devices. Google Keep is available as a free app for iOS, Android, Chrome, and as a Chrome extension. And if you aren’t a fan of Chrome, you can use Keep in any browser.
Multi-platform access is something we now expect from our favorite apps. With Google Keep’s collaboration features, it’s essential that users are able to access the service on the most popular platforms. Google Keep’s multi-platform access is particularly seamless in that the interface and experience (with the exception of some features) is near identical on every device.
6. You Can Collaborate With Others
Google Keep is a great app to use by yourself, but its sharing and collaboration features make it a great option for those looking for a way to share lists, notes, and more with family, friends, or colleagues. And because of its seamless, multi-platform user interface, it’s easy to get everyone on board using Google Keep. Because of its simplicity, this is particularly useful for using it with family members who are technophobic.
The collaboration features are extremely simple too. You can invite “collaborators” to individual notes. Just open up a note, click the profile icon, and enter the person’s email address.
You can use this to share grocery lists, prep lists for travel, or a to-do list for a simple project.
It would be useful if Google made it possible to share notes based on label or color-coding because as is, the sharing feature is somewhat barebones.
7. Let Google Keep Remind You While Shopping
Google Keep not only includes reminders based on a specific date and time but can even remind you of a specific list at a specific location.
When adding a reminder to your note by clicking or tapping the hand icon and clicking Pick Place. You can then either allow your browser or phone to detect your location or enter a specific address.
This feature is particularly useful when you’re heading to the grocery store and want to make sure that you remember to stick to your shopping list.
What are your favorite Google Keep list-making tips? Let us know in the comments.