We’ve all had occasion to use sticky notes around our home or office to remind us of those little things we all forget, just when we need them. So we write a quick note and stick it on the bulletin board, computer screen, refrigerator or another place we know will be just the right place to find it when we need it — except when we lose it!
But, wouldn’t it be great to keep that sticky note with us all the time, no matter where we wander?
We can! If we have a smartphone, all we need is a little bit of help from an app.
I use Google Keep for my notes because it is dead simple, fast, convenient, sends reminders if I need them, and … it comes free with my Gmail account.
Keep is cloud based so I can even type the notes on my computer at home and be sure they’ll be patiently waiting for me to open when I need them on my phone. Paper sticky notes are great for note-taking folks worldwide because of their utility, convenience and low cost. Note-taking smartphone apps share the same benefits, plus all the other advantages we have come to appreciate about our smartphones: take-it-everywhere availability, web-connected features, instant searchability and much more.
My top “sticky notes to go” are my grocery list and my reminder to log the mileage on my leased car every week so I know how I’m doing on the allowed lease miles. Google Keep has two great features for these particular recurring chores. For my grocery list, I use the checkbox feature which allows me to put check marks beside each item when I put it in my grocery cart. Keep even moves the item to the bottom of the list out of the way of the items I haven’t checked yet … a feature that is pretty slick and useful. Before I go shopping the next week, I start with the same check box list and uncheck the items I need, and they magically pop to the top of the list, ready to be checked as I put them in the cart.
Keep also allows me to set reminders which give me a little notice that it’s time to do something. I can set one-time reminders, recurring reminders (mine is a weekly mileage log entry), or custom sequence reminders. For me, this is much less cumbersome than using my main calendaring app so I tend to use it more.
Of course, Keep has many other features you may find useful like keeping notes with photos you take on your phone, hand-drawn sketches, recorded audio notes, color choices for the note backgrounds … and the list goes on.
One caveat is that to use Google Keep you must have a Google account, but for folks who are already using other Google products with the same requirement, all they have to do is download the app and log in to their account if they aren’t logged in already. On the computer, the rules are the same — log in and start Keep in your browser.
There are many other apps which do essentially the same thing and, if you want, you can wander around the Google Play store (Android) or App Store (iPhone) and find another one you like better. But, for me, I just made the natural leap to Google Keep since I was already using Gmail as my prime communications tool.