Back again with another blog. Today, I’ll be introducing what I call Lifesaver Apps. You guessed it right; it’s basically a place where I’ll be showcasing applications on mobile devices or software on computers that I couldn’t live without. I usually use them everyday.

Without further ado, the first subject to taste at that medicine is Google Keep. If you haven’t heard of it (I’m surprised at how many people have not, given it’s a Google product), it is a simple note taking application that is accessible on your Android phone/tablet or on the Web (there isn’t an iOS version yet). It’s not as advanced as it’s competitors (e.g.: Evernote, Wunderlist) but I like the UX and UI and I’m really into the Google ecosystem so that’s why I think it’s the best for me. Of course, it sports the new Material Design that Google introduce to their product with Android 5.0. It is also clutterless. The interface all revolves around the notes in form of rectangles arranged in your screen like a Flickr photostream would be. The included widgets are also über-useful as the can remind you of something very easily. You can choose from a 3x1 one that is just the buttons or a much bigger 3x2 version with actual notes you can scroll through.  Just click on one, it pops out and lets you edit the reminder.

The pretty useless 3x1 Google Keep widget.

Speaking of reminding, you can tell the software to send you a notification about a note at a specific time (to remind you of where to go when you quit the office, for example) or location (think at when you arrive at the grocery store, a grocery list would take center stage on your handset).

You can put in place Time as well as Location reminders.

Now on the actual note-taking aspect of it. You can create four types of notes - audio pieces, picture entries, regular text ones and checklists. I only really use the two latter. Other features include color-coding notes, sharing it with others (a big one for collaboration or that little grocery list from earlier), adding a picture to an already created note and a search option (it’s Google after all). Pretty basic. One thing I would enjoy seeing is a way to group the records (I suggested it to them).

Included: Regular notes, checklists, audio pieces and picture records

So, why is it a lifesaver? Well, it’s basically a hard drive (pardon me, a SSD) for my brain. As David Allen would say: “Your head is for having ideas, not holding them”. Ever since that video came out, that sentence stayed in my mind (how ironic is that?). Having a way to jot down ideas as they come by is crucial for me. It helps concentrate on what I’m doing and, of course, not forgetting the said Eureka! I noticed that most ideas I have would have morph into air if wasn’t for Keep. You don’t know how much time I read a note a thank myself for having written it down. Anything from To-Do lists to photograph that will be in a composite shot (talking about my workflow here) passing by a Bitcoin Address, blog and Twitter ideas and other event-specific notes will get conserved with it. Just during the time I’m writing this blog, I noted 4 ideas.

All of this is to say “You should really give Google Keep a try”. That was the first (of hopefully many) app showcased on my blog. Tell me in the comments if you use another note taking solution. What is it? Why is it better than Keep?

Cheers,

Tristan