Google Keep – Strong but Simple
If you’ve heard of Google Keep, perhaps you don’t realize that it’s more capable than you expect.
It’s one of the most focused and useful apps in Google’s arsenal. On the surface it’s a stylish basic note taking app, but dig deeper and it ties into several other Google services, making it easier to get things done. Here are some ways to unleash the amazing power of Google Keep.
Checkbox Lists: You can make lists with checkboxes, and if you title one of those lists “shopping list,” you can add new items to it without even opening the app. Just pull up the Google voice search by tapping the mic in the search bar or using the “OK Google” hotword.
Then say, “Add to my shopping list,” and you’ll get a cool Google Now card that lets you list items one after another. When you’re done, say “finished” or “that’s it” to have everything you’ve added inserted into your shopping list note. You can also add single items in a single step by saying, “Add [item] to my shopping list.” It’s a remarkably well-developed feature.
Reminders: Down at the bottom of each note in Keep is a “Remind me” button. You might never have paid attention to it because you already have reminders on your phone via Google Now. However, this feature is actually tightly integrated with Google Now.
When you tap the reminder button, you have the option of setting a time or location reminder. With the time, you just pick when you want a reminder notification pushed. For a location-based reminder, type in an address or the name of a location, and your device will remind you when you are nearby. All the reminders you set in Keep are accessible in Google Now—it’s the same system. You have the added bonus of getting the note text right there in the reminder when you set it through Keep.
Text From Images: This is my favorite feature, and it’s almost totally unknown and undocumented!
Did you know images can be inserted into Keep notes? That’s pretty straightforward, but what about extracting the text from those images? Keep can do that too, and it’s a really useful feature. For example, you just snap a photo of someone’s business card or a page, then have keep turn it into editable text.
The first step is getting an image in Keep. You can add a photo to a new note with the camera button at the bottom of the screen. Either snap a new image or import one you’ve already taken (these can be screenshots as well). For existing notes, the image option is in the menu.
Once you’ve got the image in Keep, open the menu and select “Grab image text.” Google Keep runs optical character recognition on the image (which takes just a couple of seconds) and adds the text under the image.
Send to Docs: Move an entire Keep note to a new Google Doc for more advanced editing.
With all the widgets, voice commands, image imports, and so on, your Keep notes might start to get a little ungainly. If you want to use that text for something more intricate, Keep isn’t the best environment. Luckily, you can get all the text in a note into a Google Drive document in one step.
Open the note you want to transfer to Docs, and go into the menu. At the bottom you’ll see “Copy to Google Doc.” This option grabs all your text and images, then transfers them to a new Google Doc. And, the original note is left untouched.
I’ve started to depend on the ease and abilities of Google Keep, and I hope you’ll find it just as efficient too!