Sticky notes and to-do lists used to take over my desk, until I discovered the magic of Google Keep.
I am a list-maker.
I would jot down notes and ideas on random pieces of paper – inevitably lose those notes – and end up back to the drawing board.
Enter Google Keep.
Google Keep is a digital note-taking tool that you can access anytime, anywhere.
Google Keep helps me manage so many aspects of my life – from professional to personal.
In this blog post, I’m sharing tips for teachers on how to use Google Keep as a simple task management tool.
What is Google Keep?
Google Keep is a note-taking tool that is part of the free Google Suite. With Google Keep, users can take notes, manage to-do lists, brainstorm ideas, and more.
I like to think of Google Keep is a simple task management tool. The easy-to-use interface isn’t as robust as other task management tools, but it is perfect for light project management like organization, reminders, and collaboration.
To use Google Keep, all you need is a Google Account and a device. You can access this tool from your web browser or the mobile app.
Now let’s take a look at my Google Keep tips for teachers.
#1: Write To-Do Lists
Use Google Keep to write and manage digital to-do lists.
To create a to-do list in Google Keep, begin typing in the “Take a note…” field. Add checkboxes, and cross out items on your list as you complete new tasks.
Consider getting started with Google Keep to cover all your list-making needs – grocery lists, packing lists, and even bucket lists!
#2: Jot Down Thoughts on the Go
Many of us have probably experienced an “aha!” moment, only to discover, there’s no paper nearby!
With the Google Keep mobile app, you can jot down ideas on the go, and they will automatically sync to Google Keep on your computer for you to revisit later.
No more losing scraps of paper featuring your brilliant ideas!
#3: Use Labels to Stay Organized
Organization is key to staying on top of tasks.
Hand-written lists can be difficult to manage. With Google Keep, you can use labels to categorize and keep track of lists and notes.
To add a label to a note, click on the 3-dot menu, and select “Add label.”
Once you have given your label a title and added it to Google Keep, you can then add that label to other notes.
To view all of the notes that are sorted into that label, click on the label title on the left hand side of your screen.
For example, I have a label titled “Ongoing Projects” that consists of all of the notes in that respective category.
#4: Color-Code Your Ideas
In addition to utilizing labels, you can also color-code your digital sticky notes by changing the background color of each note.
Consider using colors to organize notes based on categories like: School, Family, and Personal. I personally use:
- Blue for school
- Green for family
- Red for household responsibilities
- Yellow for EdTech Classroom (this blog!)
Then, you can even use labels to more clearly define categories. For example, if all school sticky notes are blue, you may choose to create labels that function as sub-categories for school.
Consider leveling up your digital organization with Google Keep.
#5: Set Time and Location Reminders
My pen and paper to-do lists have a big downside: they can’t send me reminders!
With Google Keep, you can schedule reminders with your notes and lists based on time and/or location.
For example, let’s say you want to be reminded to submit a PD request on a certain date. Set a Google Keep reminder to ping you when it is due.
Or, maybe you want to receive a reminder when you arrive at a certain location. Google Keep actually allows you to set reminders based on your physical location – pretty cool, right?
All you need to do is enable location services, select an address, and press save.
To learn how to set time and location reminders, check out the YouTube tutorial at the beginning of this blog post.
#6: Share Notes with Collaborators
Much like with many of the other products in the Google Suite, you can share your notes files with collaborators.
Let’s say you want to share Meeting Notes with your teaching team. Just click the share button, type in their Google Account (i.e. email address), and press share!
To learn how to share notes with collaborators, watch my tutorial video!
#7: Search for Specific Notes Using the Search Bar
Use the search bar at the top of your Google Keep screen to search for specific key words.
This trick will come in handy as you use Google Keep more regularly!
#8: Take Notes (and Transfer to Google Docs!)
I love jotting down stream-of-consciousness-style notes in Google Keep.
Whether you’re in the middle of a meeting, or jotting down ideas that pop in your head, you can write your ideas quickly.
Then, use the “Copy to Google Docs” button to automatically transfer your note over to Google Docs so you can reorganize, reformat, and add to your ideas later.
Google Keep for Teachers
Thank you for reading this blog post about how to use Google Keep as a teacher. What other ways have you used Google Keep for simple task management? Let me know in the comments below, DM me on Instagram @edtechclass, or send me an email at email@example.com!