Organize with the Google Keep Notes App – at Home and at Work

I’ve always been a list-maker. I used a paper-based system for years, keeping a running list on scrap paper or in my planner. But when I got out of college and stopped going everywhere with my backpack, I started leaving my lists behind. So I turned to digital systems for to-do lists to help me stay organized. After trying Evernote for a few years and using the notes feature of an iPad and a few different cell phones, I was really excited to learn about the Google Keep notes app. I have started using the Google Keep notes app to help my students plan projects and keep schoolwork organized. Here are some of my favorite features.

Using Google Keep Notes App at Home


I keep a running grocery list using the Google Keep notes app. I use the share feature to share the list with my husband. The list has checkboxes so I can check off items I bought and uncheck them when we need them again. Once a week, the reminder feature tells me I need to plan my shopping for the coming week.

The Google Keep notes app is great for this because it syncs between all my devices. If I am sitting at my desk planning meals for the week, I can pull up the list on my laptop. Then I can use my phone to look at it while I shop and check off items as they go into the cart. When I find an unusual item or a terrific price, I take a photo and attach it to the list so I don’t forget.

Meal Planning

I have a plan of recurring menus that my family likes, which are quick enough to prepare on weeknights. One of the tools I use is a weekly to-do list that pops up on the Google Keep notes app. For example, if I’m serving tacos this week, Google Keep has a list of all the advance prep steps that I would do the weekend before: chop the peppers, grate the cheese, check the pantry for salsa, etc. I have a reminder set for that list every two weeks, because that is how often I have tacos on the menu. I archive the note when I’m done with the chores and don’t see it again until the following week, when it’s time to prep again.

Seasonal Chores

I have a recurring reminder for seasonal and recurring chores like changing the smoke alarm batteries, switching out everyone’s toothbrushes, and calling to get the boiler maintained every year. They are not items I put on my calendar, because they can be done somewhat flexibly. The Google Keep notes app makes this easy by allowing these reminders to pop up every six months around the week of the time change, and I just leave it up on my Keep to-do list until I take care of it.

Using Google Keep Notes App at Work

Client Notes

When I talk to a parent interested in tutoring for her child, I open the Google Keep notes app on my laptop while we are on the phone. I jot down any information I get about the student and family. A recent set of notes includes test scores, favorite books, names of siblings, and pets.

Then I add to the note anything I want to cover in our first session, like stories we might read or assessments I want to use. During or after the meeting, I can jot down test results and observations. The Google Keep notes app helps me remember the details about new students, especially in a season when I am meeting a lot of families.

Professional Goals

I have another note, with a weekly reminder, that prompts me to check in on my goals. Am I posting on social media as much as I planned? Have I designed the flyer I want to share with parents? Am I meeting my scheduling goals for this blog? What was that YouTube video I wanted to add?

That reminder means that I can’t ignore those goals for weeks at a time. Every time it pops up, even if I don’t have time to sit down and address those items, it refreshes my memory about what I should be doing. The Google Keep notes app helps me keep my eye on the prize!

Drafting Blog Posts

I’ll even start a longer piece of writing in Google Keep. It’s easy to open up Google Keep, start a new note, and outline the post I want to write next. When I’m ready, I “Copy to Google Docs” and finish writing the blog post on my computer. The Google Keep notes app is a flexible tool that gives me flexibility for writing. For some reason, it’s a lot less intimidating to sit in front of a little note screen, designed for quick things like grocery lists, than a stark, blank document on my computer. It makes it seem like no big deal to just jot down a few ideas.

The Takeaway

The Google Keep notes app has a place of honor on my cell phone. It’s right there with the camera and my text messages. I check my business and personal accounts from my phone. With these tools, the Google Keep notes app is an all-purpose tool that should be in anyone’s productivity suite.

Does your family struggle to stay organized? Busy kids? Multiple jobs? Complex schedule? Take a look at these executive functioning resources to help you simplify your complicated life.

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