Using Google Keep

The Google Keep icon with the post title, "Using Google Keep" superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

If you’re like me, sometimes you can get ideas at the most inconvenient times.  Like sitting at an intersection, waiting for a light to turn green.  Or in the produce section of the grocery store.  And I have to write these ideas down.  I may think that I can remember them, but I never do unless they’re recorded somehow.

Many times I’ve resorted to scribbling things on the backs of receipts but now I’m taking a more high-tech approach.  Of course, you could use an app like Evernote: which I do…but not for ideas.  Evernote has a few too many bells and whistles for me to use it for something like a quick note.  I do keep all of my recipes there (handy when in the grocery store and trying to remember ingredients), the best writing articles that I want to refer back to, and even records of the Christmas or birthday gifts I’ve given family members in a particular year (and their sizes, etc.)

But for ideas  I want something a bit more basic.  And you really can’t get much more basic than Google Keep.  It’s a free app for your phone and it’s, to me at least, very intuitive.

I have a shortcut for the app saved to my phone’s home page and when I have an idea, I click to open.  Then I click the microphone icon and speak into it since I’m very slow when I type on my phone (I’m very speedy on a laptop keyboard, but have never mastered the tiny “keys” on the phone).

After you’ve created your note, you can share it, either with someone else or even with yourself, if you want it emailed as a reminder.  You can also get a reminder that your note exists by clicking the ‘reminder’ icon (which is a finger with a string tied around it).  When you click the reminder icon, you can choose the day and time to remind yourself.  You can even collaborate with someone else on the note.

If it’s more important than your other ideas, you can click the tack icon to pin it to the top of your notes.

And really…that’s basically all it does.  No bells and whistles on this model, but clean functionality from Google.

How do you record ideas that you have on the go?

How to Use Google Keep to Record Ideas: Click To Tweet
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24 thoughts on “Using Google Keep

  1. Keep is fantastic! I use it all the time to remind myself of ideas and articles to read later. Best of all, it syncs between my laptop, tablet and phone. Excellent app.

      1. Great article and suggestion! I too am so slow on the tiny keys on my Android;). I can type really fast on a regular keyboard too.

  2. I often send myself an email from my phone, but for significant brainstorming when I’m driving I use a digital recorder I keep in my car. I might dictate into it for a half an hour or more on a drive cross town. The act of transcribing at my computer stimulates yet more ideas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well in the shower.

  3. Seems pretty nice. I used to keep a voice recorder on my phone to record ideas that came to me while I was driving. I may just use Google Keep instead. Thanks for the tip, Elizabeth.

  4. Love this idea! I use a recording app on my phone while driving, since pen/paper is too frightening 😨 but never thought of Google Keep. Psyched to hear it will send it as an email. Hurray! Thanks for the tip.

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