So… Where all my OCD friends at?? I myself am a very type A person and am not ashamed of it. While it can become a hindrance at times, for the most part it is the thing that keeps me, me. One of my biggest type A characteristics I would say I have is list making. I mean seriously, I have a list for everything. I also am constantly rewriting, reworking and reorganizing them all. This being the case, it feels as if I am always on a quest to find the perfect application and or planner, even if I have a system that seemingly is meeting my current needs. For those of you who are like me and are constantly making list after list after list, I’m sure you understand what I’m saying.
When I began teaching last September I knew organization was going to be key. I would have several different classes with different progress being made; lesson planning, grading and everything in between. While I had a system that “worked,” I was not satisfied, and I began searching for options. Taking into account that my classes are almost entirely paperless I started to look up applications and or sites which would allow me easy access to my lists while I was working on the computer throughout the day. List functionality was not the only component I was searching for. Can I access the same information easily from my phone? Can I make sub-lists? What about if I want to just jot down thoughts in a note? Do I really have to download something else for that? Everything I was finding was falling short in one way or another.
Until I stumbled upon Google Keep. And to this day, guys.. I. Am. Obsessed! I have been using it for over a year now and it works well for what I need to do inside and outside of the classroom. There are a few features it lacks that I wish it had (remember I’m type A so I had to allow myself to “settle”), but overall it has not let me down. The interface is easy to use and customizable. It is fairly error proof. The app and the desktop version communicate nicely. Beyond these things I can:
- make to-do lists with sub-categories for each class
- design my own headers for each list so that it is creative and fun
- jot down notes and ideas in the same space as my list
- move around lists and pin them in order of priority
- set timed reminders for a list
- access from multiple different platforms
As aforementioned, one element to note is that the interface is very user friendly. Hours do not have to be spent playing around with it to figure out the ins and outs. I had mine set up in just a matter of minutes. Creating lists and adding to them is simplistic. One thing I will mention however, is that moving the items can be finicky at times. While this may be my computer sensitivity…as I try to switch, change, and rearrange it takes a steady hand.
The one thing I found a little tricky, at first, was personalizing the headers of each list. I was searching all over Google Keep to figure out where it was located until I looked at a tutorial online (there are many!) and finally figured out they had to be created through a 3rd party. Once you create and save, you then upload the image to Google Keep as an image to the list.
At first I was unsure as to how to “create” my own so I turned again to our handy friend Google and was able to find several templates available. One of my favorite resources for templates can be found here. I love the bright colors and the fonts used. See below! While templates make customization quick and easy, I hope to soon experiment with creating my own.
If you have been searching for a new way to stay organized I highly recommend checking Google Keep out. I believe you won’t be disappointed!