Transforming teaching and learning for the 21st Century

Increase productivity at school (and at home) with Google Keep…

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It’s that time of year when we are busy making and breaking New Year’s resolutions.  I have to say that I have never been one for making resolutions only at the start of a new year,  I am constantly making (and breaking) them! However, there is one resolution I made a while ago that I try never to break… be productive and manage my time efficiently!

As a keen advocate of anything that can make life that bit easier and help me with my resolution, I added a page called Bright Ideas to my blog; a place to share these ideas and discoveries…

I found out about the latest Bright Idea whilst training to earn the Google Certified Educatator level 1 certificate. I learnt to use some Google tools that have made both my personal and working life more productive and helped me save lots of time. One of these is Google Keep, an online note-taking tool.

Why I’m enjoying Google Keep…

It’s really easy to use

No time wasted working your way around it, always a plus!

It’s universal and web-based, so you can access it on any device

When my phone died, I once lost all the notes I’d taken in another note- taking app which was stored locally on my phone, needless to say I wasn’t very happy and wasted a good deal of time trying to remember all the things I had to do…

You can collaborate with colleagues, family members, friends…

All collaborators can view, edit and add to notes

You can add images

Images can be added from your gallery/photo library or you can take a photo using your camera and add it

You can draw your own images

You can add links to websites

You can add voice messages to your notes

You can colour code notes

Maybe you just want them to look pretty, but colour coding can also be used for searching for notes.

You can add reminders

You can add labels (tags) to your notes

Labels can be used to search through your notes but you can also search by type (reminder, lists, image…), things (books, films, music..) people and colours.

You can make your note into a checklist (which you can uncheck and reuse)

You can share your notes to email, google drive, facebook and other apps

Some of the ways Keep has helped me personally and professionally so far…

I have an ongoing school to do list

I have a lesson ideas/things to try list

As things pop into my head or someone gives me a great idea I add it the list, no more time wasted looking for those bits of paper I scribbled things down on, or where I copied it in my notebook, or trying to remember all those things I didn’t scribble down….

I have a reading list

I used to forget about all the articles I’d bookmarked for reading later, or articles/books recommended by colleagues, or on courses and webinars. Even some of the books I’d downloaded to Kindle, iBooks or Google Books would sit on the “bookshelf” for months before I remembered about them. Now I just add the link to download, read or buy at a later date.

*Remember notes can be shared and used collaboratively, if like in my case, it’s often difficult to get together with your colleagues you can use Keep to create department meeting agendas, have a collaborative ideas board, have a causes for concern list (to be treated in future department meetings), have a never to do again or what went well list…

I also have an ongoing blog post ideas list….

My personal life has also become more organised with Keep (which means I manage time more efficiently, am more productive and consequently less stressed in my professional life too!)

I have an ongoing home to do list

I have a things I’d like my partner to help me do/do list (which I can share with him as often as I like…;-))

And finally, as we are still in the festive season (at least we are in Spain), although it’s a bit late for this year, I must share my Google Keep Christmas hack…

I have a Christmas card and a Christmas present list… this year I spent the time I would have spent trying to remember who I send cards to and buy presents for, making mince pies and drinking mulled wine 😉

Here’s to a Happy, more productive, New Year!

P.S if you use Google Keep or have any more bright ideas for using it, please share below…

Author: lisajwood

I am an English language coach and Neurolanguage Coach® I current teach adolescents and adults. My areas of interest include brain-friendly learning, flipped learning, student-centred learning and promoting lifelong learning skills. I am also a keen advocate of using new technologies to facilitate the learning process.

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