One of my favorite note keeping and note collecting apps is Evernote, but there are times where I just need to jot down a thought, web link, reminder, phone number, etc… without having to navigate my large Evernote collection or having to actually use paper. The post-it note concept, whether paper notes or electronic notes, did not really catch on with me due to the notes being scattered about. I needed something that was simple and within immediate reach.
One solution that I came up with to keep these types of notes, where I could quickly access the notes, was to create my very own quick access notepad using Google Docs (aka: Google Drive). If you have a Gmail account, you can easily gain access to and start using Google Docs (aka: Google Drive). Google Docs consists of a suite of apps such as: Documents, Presentations, Forms, Spreadsheets, Drawings, etc…). In my case, to create my very own personal notepad, I used the “document” component.
To get you started, simply open up a new Google Drive “document” where you can let your imagination fly in creating and customizing your own quick access notepad.
In my case, I changed the margins on both sides to 0.5 inches (to take full advantage of the document space), I changed the background color to yellow (to emulate the color of a canary yellow notepad); I inserted a table with two columns with blue table borders (to emulate the line color in a yellow notepad); and finished it up by inserting a header with a title of Rick’s Notepad (in a red font). The fun part about all of this is that it can be customized and changed at any time.
After creating and customizing the notepad, we now need to make it where we can quickly access (and even share) the notepad. To do this, click on the “File” menu and select “Share”. The “Share Settings” dialog box will appear. NOTE: In my case, I kept my notepad private and did not share it.
Here is the most important part (or key) to making your notepad quickly accessible.
Under “Link to share (only accessible by collaborators)”, you will see a web address. That address is a direct web link (or shortcut) to your notepad. At this point you can copy that web link to anywhere you desire. In my case I inserted it on my browsers bookmark bar, inserted it into my actual favorite bookmarks, and used the link in my Symbaloo web launcher app (which is very cool). Other places to save the link that is possible is your desktop, the Windows taskbar, the Start Menu, etc… This web link (shortcut) allows you to quickly access your notepad directly from any internet browser enabled device (such as your computer, smartphone, tablet pc, etc…).
Once you have this all customized to your personal taste, you can save text, web links, pictures, etc… to your notepad. You can even search for note entries by holding down the “Ctrl+F” keys on your keyboard. NOTE: I highly recommend that you insert a table when you create your notepad so that it can serve to separate the notes.
I have found that the notepad I created, I use more and more everyday, because it’s just plain simple and it works; plus, it gives me a sense of creativity.
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