Should I adopt Google Keep?

In my series on working with tools in development, i felt it important to share this awesome tool that i have been using for a while. The tool none other than  Google Keep is the perfect tool for #productivity and daily organisational management out there. I have been using for a while now and it has kept me organised in my daily project work. Simply, Google Keep is a syncing notepad that connects to Google Drive. It also supports photo notes, voice notes, and checklists.  It’s ideal for quick note-taking on the go, anyone who appreciates simple, fast note-taking tools or to-do apps, or for saving notes on the desktop that you know you’ll need on your Android phone, like shopping lists, addresses, phone numbers, checklists and to-do lists, or conference call codes. Keep even supports Google Apps accounts, so you can use it with your own domain or a business account.

2017-08-28

The interface is colorful and easy to use. Those colors are actually organization tools that make it easy to tell your personal notes apart from your work-related ones, or your family-related ones, and so on.

Lets take a look at what keep can do;

1. Transcribe Text from Images

Keep has the ability to transcribe text from photographs. (As you see above, depending on the image, results can vary.) Just upload an image and then click the three dots in the menu below. This will prompt a pop-up menu. Select “Grab image text” and it will do its best to transcribe the words it finds (or thinks it finds) into searchable, editable text.

This little trick comes into handy if you want to easily access information on a business card, come across a sign that interests you, or want to revisit just about any print you’ve come across in your travels. Unfortunately, Keep’s tech doesn’t play so nicely with handwriting (at least not mine). Which is annoying considering Google has added handwriting recognition to a number of its other apps.

2. Keep Is Your Own Personal Stenographer

Ever have an absolutely brilliant idea while you’re on the move, but not have time to fiddle diddle with some touch-screen keyboard? Then, when you finally have a moment, you find that the brilliant idea was gone? Poof! Well, with Keep, you can just record a note into your device and it will be transcribed (fairly accurately in my experience) into a searchable, editable note.

Please note that Keep records audio as 3GPP files, which will probably work just fine on your mobile phone, but may not play on your older computer or laptop.

3. Set Reminders 

You can create a pop-up reminder in Keep, and it will show up elsewhere in your Google ecosystem (in your browser where Keep is open, in Google Now, or on your phone). Just click the icon resembling a finger with a string on it at the bottom of any post. Once you click that, you will prompt a pop-up menu that will allow you to set a reminder that can go off at a certain date/time or when you reach a certain location. You will then get notification in your browser or on your phone.

4. Easily Copy to Google Docs

Keep Google Doc
Since it’s part of the greater Google ecosystem, it would make sense that you could easily transfer a note in Keep into Google Docs. Just click the three dots at the bottom of a note and choose “Copy to Google Doc.” Then boom, it’s magically transformed into a Google Doc, which you’ll find conveniently in Google Drive.

5. Share and Collaborate With Others

Google Keep Share

Click the icon with the little plus sign next to a person and then you will share your note with someone else’s Keep. Then any changes one person makes will be reflected among all the people it is shared with. The original owner will have the ability to delete other users at any time. Maybe if I can actually convince others to use Keep, I’ll actually be able to use this function one day.

6. Filter Search

Google Keep Search
You might spend so much time searching creating and maintaining your notes that you might get overwhelmed by all the notes you’ve accumulated. Up at the top of the screen, there’s a handy search that allows you to find all the instances of a certain word or phrase. You can even filter further for notes that have been labeled a certain color, ones that have reminders, ones that have audio in them, etc. No knowledge will ever fall out of your brain ever again.
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The Top Small Business Software

When it comes to software, i hold a soft spot here because almost all of the of the things we do or create by a means uses software. From a personal perspective i feel this is any area that is very important but most often few of us know the answers to what would be helpful. Having worked with both small and large companies i feel i can give some ideas on what productive software one needs in day today work. The reality is not all software is created equally. Here are a few of the top small business software solutions to consider in 2017.

Having the right software for your business needs can mean the difference between getting things done or… having tasks linger, unaddressed, on your to-do list.

Unfortunately, most top software companies often focus on larger businesses, rather than small enterprises. As a result, many of their solutions are either unaffordable or loaded with features smaller companies don’t need.

Not all software is this way. More and more, software providers are offering small business versions of their enterprise solutions or are targeting the small business market with programs uniquely designed to meet its needs. If you’re in the market for a new tool, here are a few of the top small business software solutions to consider in 2015.

Accounting

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, chances are you’re good at what you do–but significantly less practiced at the administrative side of running a business. But whether you’re knowledgeable or not, needs like accounting must be taken care of. Any of the following tools will help get your books in order, whether you do so in order to manage your own finances or to pass your information on to your CPA.

QuickBooks

One of the most recognized names in small business accounting, QuickBooks offers both desktop and online versions (depending on the needs of your company and the experience of your team members), you may prefer one over the other. Regardless of the option you choose, Quickbooks is reasonably affordable, though taking full advantage of the program does require a bit of training.

As an added bonus, most accounting firms are experienced with QuickBooks. If you plan to seek outside support for your business’s finances, give this program a shot, as its widespread familiarity will make transmitting your data to your accountant a snap.

FreshBooks

If QuickBooks proves to be a bit of an overkill for your startup’s needs, check out FreshBooks. This cloud-based accounting software program is easier to use than QuickBooks and supports over 50 integrations–including payroll and email programs. FreshBooks features a 30 days free trial and subscription-based pricing from $19.95 per month up to $39.95 per month after this period.

Wave Accounting

Another cloud-based accounting tool, Wave Accounting has been named the best free accounting software for small businesses by Business News Daily. It’s important to note that Wave is for very small businesses–in particular, companies with fewer than 10 staff members will get the most out of this QuickBooks alternative. That said, it provides excellent functionality for free, with free user forums for support or live support packages starting at $9 per month if your needs are more complex.

Human Resources

Scaling your startup by bringing on employees is a major milestone for small businesses. But despite the game-changing nature of this step forward, few entrepreneurs take the time to fully address their human resources needs or to implement the HR technologies that can streamline these systems.

Instead of letting your human resources needs get out of control as you expand, put one of the following tools into place as soon as possible:

Zenefits

This all-in one human resource software program gives you access to benefits management, payroll processing, onboarding tools and more. Even better, many Zenefits features can be set to run automatically after your initial configuration, significantly reducing the amount of time you need to spend on these tasks on an ongoing basis.

As an added bonus, if your small business uses contractors rather than–or in addition to–regular employees, Zenefits makes it easy to manage their details as well, allowing you to track their compensation and handle their tax needs from within a single program.

BambooHR

Like Zenifits, BambooHR is a cloud-based HR system that’s simple interface and intuitive design make it a great fit for small and medium sized businesses. Although the program is exclusively an online human resource information system, it does integrate with other payroll solutions or applicant tracking software, giving you easy access from one central dashboard.

sumHR

Finally, sumHR is a great small business HR software program that focuses on attendance, leave, and payroll functions. If you’re looking to take your employee directory out of the spreadsheets and into a professional program, sumHR may be the solution for you. The company is also planning on adding new features soon, including reporting and performance reviews, making it one to watch into the future.

HRMagic

HRMagic has Employee Profile Management, Recruitment, Leave, Time Sheet Management, Payroll, Commission/Contract Invoice Management among other modules ) and HR consultancy to various companies.

Scheduling

Plenty of small businesses have scheduling concerns to deal with, whether yours come in the form of hourly workers or customer appointments to be booked. But despite the widespread nature of this problem, many of these companies still rely on outdated pen and paper scheduling books which are both time-consuming to manage and vulnerable to human error.

There’s got to be a better way–and there is! Check out any of the following programs for your scheduling needs:

When I Work

Scheduling staff hours doesn’t have to be difficult–When I Work makes the process intuitive and simple, helping to reduce absences and avoid employee miscommunications. When I Work offers mobile accessibility so that staff can see their schedules, trade shifts among themselves and request time off while on-the-go. The program’s pricing comes as a monthly subscription fee that’s based on the number of staff you manage–up to 20 staff can be scheduled for $29 per month.

Booker

If you have clients that need to make appointments or you offer classes that your customers need to sign up for, Booker makes it easy. Once installed, you can attract customers from your website or social media profile and bring them to a central site where they can then book appointments. The site is optimized for mobile users, making it easy to build relationships with clients through the program’s provided messaging and retention tools.

Genbook

Another solution for online booking, Genbook allows your customers to book appointments while also giving you the tools needed to manage your business, staff, and reputation. Genbook allows your former customers to post reviews of your company, giving you immediate credibility with new clients. Your staff can access the schedule and receive reminders, and you can publish promotions and share them on social media. To give this innovative program a try, take advantage of Genbook’s 30-day free trial (post-trial prices range from $20-$70 per month).

Google Keep

Free, cheap, no complicated training needed and good for scheduling. I must say I use Google Keep more than I thought I would. I have an Evernote account and I think it a great application, which I do use daily. The two applications have similarities and different users will definitely see different strengths in both.

Simple. That’s how I would best describe Google Keep. If you have ever used sticky notes, you will get the idea.  Once you start playing with Google Keep, you’ll figure it out quickly.

I think the three neatest features that it offers are: sharing, optical character recognition (OCR), and labeling. Again, once you execute the function the first time, you will remember how you did it.

Small business software can be a difficult world to navigate, but the good news is that there are plenty of companies out there doing it right. Whether you need help with your accounting, human resources or scheduling needs, the software listed above will help launch your company successfully into 2015.

What’s your favorite small business software program? Why? Share your recommendations by leaving a comment below!