Why a Career-Loving Busy Parent Organized Her Life Using Google Keep
What is Google Keep?
Google Keep is a note-taking app. It is an application that helps users organize their thoughts. Users can safely keep their ideas, order information collected from here and there, and convert this information into one solid store of knowledge. The app has the capability of making users productive by helping them create checklists, adding reminders, and organizing lives.
There are various ways one can use Google Keep. As a result, the app has the potential to help users in numerous ways.
Getting started with Google Keep describes how to start using Google Keep on your computer if you are using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox as your browsers.
A Little story is for readers who love stories. You may be able to relate to the story as a new parent. It will give you a reason to consider using a note keeping tool.
For those who are convinced that they need a note taking app and want to know the ways they can use Google Keep should go to Getting Straight to the Point
Getting started with Google Keep
One needs a Google account to get started. Here are the instructions to get started.
Using Google Keep as a Chrome Extension
Google Keep is easy to use if you are using Chrome as your browser. On your computer, download the Google Keep Chrome Extension from the chrome webstore.
Here is what it looks like in your browser window.
Using Google Keep on an Android device
On an Android cellphone, go to Play Store and install the Google Keep - notes and lists app.
Using Google Keep with iOS, Firefox or with any browser as a web app
Download Google Keep from the Apple iTunes Store, or,
If you re using Firefox as your browser, you can add Google Keep to Firefox from FireFox add-ons.
To use the web app, just type keep.google.com, sign into your Google account. This way you can use the application with any browser.
This is an account of a busy couple, Alisha and Dan and they started using the app.
A Little Story
It was the summer of the year 2014. On a Monday morning, Alisha was getting ready to go to her office. Her husband, Dan, was sitting at the dining table, reading the newspaper. The morning was fragrant with fresh air. The bright green plants in the balcony were working their charm like every morning; slowly activating the family members as the chirping birds filled music in the quiet morning.
Alisha and Dan had two lovely kids. Adny was four years old, and Bek, one and a half. Dan liked to spend time with the kids in the mornings. He loved waking them up, getting them ready to go to school. Alisha would work with the cook to get breakfast ready. She would also pack lunch for all four of them before they stepped out of home.
That day, Dan had already laid the table for breakfast. He was waiting for Alisha to join him. She pulled the dining chair to sit down next to him. Just as she seated herself, she realized, there was no yogurt on the table. Both of them had divided household chores. Meals were her responsibility.
“Sorry Dan,” Alisha said.
”It’s alright,” replied Dan.
Dan would never complain about the menu. But he absolutely loved yogurt. He wanted it every day, for all his meals.
“Oh God”, Alisha thought, closing her eyes. She had forgotten to order yogurt for the second time in the same week.
Later that morning, after Dan, Adny, and Bek had already left home for school, she picked her phone up. She saw a notification from the Grade 1 group chat on Whatsapp. “Swimming today”, a mother had reminded the others. Alisha had to work late last night, after which she was exhausted. She checked the message too late. Adny had a swimming class that morning and she had missed packing his swimming bag.
Swimming was one activity Adny really looked forward to; the entire week. Alisha dreaded to see the disappointed look on her child’s face. Moments later, she was in the car, rushing to the school to deliver his swimming bag.
Alisha had a presentation in office that morning. She hurried again and reached just in time for the talk. She thanked her stars.
Mornings are chaotic for most people. There are times when everyone messes up. However, something had to change in her life. She had to become organized and she needed to put in her sincere efforts to do so.
Alisha could manage just fine in college. She got married in the year 2006. As wonderful as a marriage is, it comes with its own set of challenges. Challenges entail changes. Most changes require efforts. Efforts made without goals in mind often lead to frustrations in life. On the contrary, efforts backed by systematic learning help a person grow.
She often wished for a course that could equip newly married couples with guidelines on how to cope with added responsibilities after starting a family. There is a lot of advice from family and well-wishers. They generally have a huge list that says what should be done. But how?
Markets are flooded with so many applications and tools on the internet. There are tools for personal finance, managing time, managing fitness, organizing life itself, and what not. So many tools and apps in the market can get overwhelming for a busy user. There are also a lot of help documents available on the internet. And then, there is a learning curve. To connect and apply one’s own life’s scenarios to these tools and use them to one’s advantage needs time and effort.
For Alisha and Dan, it was not exactly the stage of life to be reading how-to manuals. When they were blessed with their first son, Adny, they were the happiest couple in the world. Their days were filled with baby talks, diapers, baby food, lots and lots of laundry, vaccinations, and so on. Two and a half years later, Bek was born. Bek’s arrival completed their family. Alisha and Dan were ecstatic, Adny on cloud nine.
For both of them, like any other parents of small children, responsibilities had snowballed. Their to-do list swelled up. It felt like they had been snowed under with tons of never-ending chores to be done throughout the day. With an infant at home, they were constantly sleep deprived.
Dan was of great help. The couple had divided chores amongst themselves. When Alisha looked around, she saw some women who could manage things so well. She clearly needed a better mechanism to make her life organized, to manage her responsibilities well. Somewhere, she sensed Dan’s restless as well.
Alisha started searching. She came across Google Keep while browsing the internet. After reading numerous articles on Google Keep, she started to make it work for her. It was fairly simple to use.
Getting Straight to the Point
Here is a description of what is possible using Google Keep
- Organizing learning
You can collect bits of information from the web or other sources. You can organize all of it into notes.
Accordingly, it is possible to create notes for all kinds of things like useful websites for writers, teaching resources for teachers, and so on.
- Extracting useful information
You are admiring the pyramids of Egypt or the grand canyons. You are with hungry and tired kids who have no inclination or the energy to read fascinating stories about the most famous places in the world.
Click a picture of the write-ups. Use a photo note or add the image to an existing note. Use the feature called ‘Grab Text’ from Image and there you go! You have the write-up text extracted from the image. Use it to help your children with the essay they have to submit to school at the end of every break - Write 1000 words about how you spent your vacation!
- Classifying documents further
Using color coding and labels, you can further segregate their notes. You realize you need this feature when you have 10 motes that say Work Help 1, Work Help 2, Work Help 3, and so on.
Color all notes related to work green, so everytime you see a green note on the board, you know what it is about. Add labels to specify, for example, effective presentations, writing great emails, cool product templates, tools to learn, etc.
- Creating lists
So you have monthly reviews in the office. You work late on the third Monday of every month. You have a wonderful mom who spends time with the kids at home. She loves her green tea with fiber biscuits.
Create your grocery lists as 'Grocery list Week 1', 'Grocery list for Week 2', 'Grocery list for Week 3', and 'Grocery List for Week 4'. Add the green tea and fiber biscuits in the third list. Be thankful and reciprocate the love!
- Adding reminders
People are quite used to time-based reminders in various applications on their phones. What is really exciting about Google Keep is the location-based reminder feature.
Your guest bathroom needs a new mat. Create a note that says 'Bathmat Upgrade'. Add information, for example, the size and colors you have in mind. Add a location-based reminder for your grocery store. Next time, you are at the store, a notification will pop-up on your screen- 'Bathmat Upgrade'!
- Saving ideas on the go
While returning from Singapore, you see this amazing coloring station in front of all the duty-free shops. The station has white sheets and lots of color pencils.
There are 20 stencils that the kids can use to create art. The art station is swarmed with kids. The children are busy for good 45 minutes to an hour while parents shop in peace.
You want to write about this wonderful experience on your blog. You don't have to start typing. Create an audio note and save your idea along with your emotions while you are on the move.
- Doodling great ideas
Want to explain the way to the meeting point to your friend on a busy shopping street? Draw it on the drawing note and share the note using the collaborate feature.
- Transferring notes to Google Docs
You want to tell your children about great men and women. The biographies are complicated for their age. Collect facts in Google Keep and copy to Google Docs. Create a short and beautiful story and engage your kids!
She immediately started using it to create her notes and share them with Dan. Since then, she had been thankful for this great app. She just wished Google Keep had an option to save clippings from the web. There are applications that make it possible. But the Grab text feature kind-of makes up for this limitation and keeps Google Keep light. quick to learn and easy to use.