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Monday, February 29, 2016

Keep Organized with Google Keep

Since becoming a TOSA this year I find myself busy... I mean, I was always incredibly busy as a classroom teacher, but this year, it's different busy. Collaborations with teachers at 9 different sites, meetings at the district office, after school trainings in our professional development building,
conference presentations, planning meetings, and more. I'm on the road constantly, back and forth across town, working with a variety of different teams across different sites on a plethora of different projects... it's hard to keep it all in order.

I tried several different "to-do" and "checklist" apps before finally finding Google Keep-- I was immediately sold!

So how does it work? Well, that's the best part-- Keep has a simple, clean, easy-to-use interface that makes it really appealing for someone like me, who likes things organized and efficient. Keep allows you to create text notes, checklists, voice messages, image notes, and, on the Android app, you can even draw your notes (crossing my fingers for an iPhone upgrade with the draw feature soon!).

Notes in Keep can be organized into a list view or grid view, and within either of those views you can drag and drop your notes into any order you like. You can also color code your notes and tag them for easy searching. Keep even has a "reminder" feature that lets you set a date/time reminder alarm on your note. And, being a Google tool, Keep is collaborative-- still my favorite feature of Google products! Working on a presentation with a partner or team? Start a to-do list in Keep and share it to
Shared notes show other person's pic
your teammates for collaborative note-taking and assigning of tasks.

Finished planning that district-wide event? Archive the note instead of deleting it, so you that you can access your notes again during next year's planning session. Or are your notes turning into a team brainstorm? Export your Keep note to Google Docs with the click of a button to continue the brainstorm on a larger document. And on mobile devices, you can export share links into Google Keep-- this has been great for saving Tweets that I want to read later or share with my staff.

So how might you use Google Keep? Here are just a few of the ways that I've used Google Keep as both a classroom teacher and district instructional coach:

  • Weekly to-do lists
  • Quick note-taking in a meeting (I export to a Google Doc when the notes get lengthy, but like having them in Keep so that I see them at a glance when working on my to-do lists)
  • Collaborative project/PD planning
  • Wish lists
  • Saving frequently used web links (for example, I have link to my GForm mileage tracker saved on Keep so that I can click to it quickly while on the road)
  • Saving and sharing interesting Tweets and websites
  • Random tidbits of information that I want to remember
  • Students have used Google Keep to create collaborative to-do lists during team projects
  • Reminders
  • Saving inspirational quotes
  • Follow-up lists

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