Google Keep might be one of the best, lesser-known apps in the Android arsenal. It's part Evernote and part Google Now — plus it has plenty of features and works seamlessly between your Android device, your Chromebook, and your Chrome browser. Many don't realize that Google Keep can do more than just "keep" your notes. With this handy app, you also create (ala Google Now) reminders based on time and location. It can even remind you of an important event (or something you need to do) when you arrive at a particular location.
The only caveat to Keep's reminders is that their creation isn't exactly obvious. If you open Keep, you won't find a reminder button to tap, nor can you speak that magical phrase "Okay Google Now." However, Google Keep's reminders can be easily created and will go a long way to extend the app's functionality. Say, for example, the next time you're shopping at that massive warehouse store, you need to pick up supplies for your home and your office. You could create a shopping list (for both even), and then attach a location-based reminder so you don't forget to pick up the items. And since this is Google Keep, you can add to this reminder whether you're at your phone, your Chromebook, or your Chrome browser.
How do you make use of location reminders in Google Keep? First, you have to install the app. Let's do that and then walk through the process of creating a location-based reminder.
The installation of Google Keep is quite simple. Just follow these easy steps:
- Open the Google Play Store from your Android device
- Search for Google Keep
- Locate and tap the entry for Google Keep by Google, Inc.
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
You should now find the launcher for Google Keep in your app drawer or on your home screen. Tap it to launch. Since you're already logged into your Google account, anything you've added to Google Keep (from other devices using the same account) will appear.
Creating a location-based reminder
In order to create a location-based reminder, you first must create an item. You can add reminders to notes, list items, voice recordings, and images — in other words, anything you can add to Google Keep can have an associated reminder.
Let's create a list and then attach a location-based reminder. Here are the steps, as shown on a Verizon-branded HTC M8:
- From the Google Keep main window (Figure A), tap the list icon (second icon from left)
- Enter your list items (however many you need)
- Tap the Remind me button (Figure B)
- Select Location remind from the drop-down
- Enter the location (you have to do this manually — you can enter a store name and it will offer suggestions)
- Either select the entry from the suggestions or manually enter the address
You don't have to bother saving, as notes in Google Keep are saved on the fly. If you go back to the main window, you should see your new list, including the location-based reminder (Figure C).
A location-based reminder listed in Google Keep.
Google Keep is a great way to not only keep track of important notes (in various forms), but also to help remind you of "things" based on time or location. Take advantage of the location-based reminders in Google Keep to expand the usefulness of an already useful tool.
Is Google Keep enough for you — or are you still holding tightly to the likes of Evernote? What features would you add to Google Keep? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.