Google Keep: 10 Amazing Note Taking Features & Tips

Are you tired of keeping track of scrap papers scribbled with notes? Most of us carry around the most powerful notepad in the world and only use it for Candy Crush. Phones have made walking around with a pen and pad a thing of the past. Now you can type all your ideas into your phone for safe keeping. However, if you’re looking to bring your note-taking game to the next level you can’t just be using your phones basic note-taking app – you need Google Keep.

Google Keep makes jotting down and organising your ideas a breeze. While Google Keep may look like a basic note-taking app, it has some compelling features that can help you out tremendously. Enough talking though, let's get to some tips and tricks for you to use on Keep.

Label and Tag

Never lose track of your notes again with Google Keep labels. Nobody likes scrolling through a sea of notes to find what they’re looking for and you’ll never have to do that again once you take advantage of labels. Tag each note as you make them, and you’ll be a master at organisation in no time.

Looking for your notes on a specific tag? Just click on the menu button in the top left corner of the Keep app, select a tag, and you’ll only be looking at notes that contain the selected label. Don’t be afraid to create new tags when you need them!

Colour Coding

Take your organisation to the next level with Keep by colour coding your notes. If you take notes about different subjects or categories, this is a great way to keep track visually. The best part is Keep makes it incredibly easy to colour code your notes. Open your note, tap the overflow button in the bottom right corner, and pick the colour of your choice – done.

Set Reminders

Don’t get behind on any of your to-do’s by setting reminders. This one is pretty straightforward, at the bottom of each note in the Keep app is a ‘remind me’ button. Reminders aren’t anything new, and lots of times your notes won’t need to be on a schedule, but the location-based reminders are a pretty cool feature. Set up a location reminder by typing in an address and you’ll be notified when you’re nearby.

Take Photo Notes

There’s a lot of different ways to take notes, and it doesn’t always have to be text-based. Saw something on the street you liked? Snap a photo, maybe scribble down some notes, and move on with your day – it’s that easy. Google Keep lets you add photos from your camera roll or take new ones and place them in your notes. You can make your notes a lot more comprehensive by adding images to compliment your text.

Transcribe Text from Images

Re-writing words from images or printed materials isn’t usually fun or fast but Keep can transcribe text from pictures, so you don’t have to. It’s as easy as taking a photo, selecting ‘Grab Image Text’ in the top right menu button. Now give it a quick spell check and your set, so much time saved.

Another cool aspect of images in Google Keep is that you can find images by searching for words contained within them. Took a picture of a ‘for sale’ sign the other day and wanna find it? Search ‘for sale’, and your image will pop up.

Audio Notes

Tired of typing everything? Take audio notes! Record the ideas as the stream out of your mouth into the world, so you don’t miss a minute of your genius. We can all talk faster than we can type making audio notes that much more jam-packed with information.

Sometimes typing requires you to lose your train of thought, but on Keep, you can tap the microphone icon and launch into your tirade without trying to find the right letters of the alphabet to touch. Keep also gives it a shot at transcribing your audio for you, which can go either way right now depending on the dialect and pacing of how you speak.

Archive or Delete

Another handy feature on Google Keep is the option to archive notes. Once you’re done with a note, and you don’t want it crowding up your home, you can choose to archive it instead of deleting it. Archived notes can be searched through and reopened which is perfect if you need it, for whatever reason, down the road. I usually only delete notes when I’m confident I won’t need them later.

Drawing in Keep

I’m a big fan of the ability to sketch and draw in Keep. Sometimes ideas can be hard to put into words, but it’s important to get it out in anyway possible, and drawing can help. Jot down quick sketches or handwritten notes by tapping the pen icon at the bottom of your screen. You’ve got a few options to play with; colours, line weights, shades, highlights, and more.

Google Keep Chrome Extension

Switch back and forth between your phone and your desktop with the Google Keep chrome extension. Browse the web and create notes at the same time with Keep as a browser extension. If you create a note using the extension, it automatically saves the URL you were on so you can go back and browse that same URL. Keep is the perfect tool for when you’re writing research notes because you can keep your notes and examples in context together.

📝10 Amazing Note Taking Features on Google Keep 💡

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Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re going to be using the chrome extension you may as well learn some keyboard shortcuts, right? Shortcuts are super handy if you use something often and they can help speed up your productivity.

Here are the most useful shortcuts in Keep:

c – Compose new note
o – Open selected note
Enter – Edit selected note
Esc – Close note
e – Archive selected note
# – Delete selected note
j – Go to previous note
k – Go to the next note
Ctrl or Command + g – Switch between list and grid view
/ – Search

Export to Google Docs

Okay, so you have all these comprehensive colour coded notes nicely tagged with images, drawings, and audio, what now? Obviously Keep isn’t the best place for your beautiful ideas and content to live but what’s the first step to bringing the material to life? Exporting to Google Docs!

Send all your text and images from a note in Keep to a fresh Google Doc in one easy step – Open your note, go into the overflow menu at the bottom and select ‘Copy to Google Doc’. Once you’re in Google Docs, you have a lot more freedom in formatting and organising your text or ideas.

Harlen Malkowich
May 16, 2018
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