Using A Dedicated Gmail Account for Note-Keeping

I have been exploring the various note keeping applications (Google KeepZoho NotebookSimplenote, and Standard Notes ) and thought I had settled on Microsoft OneNote; then, the light bulb went off. Back in August 2019, I had posted an article I had composed titled, “Quick Tip: How To Turn A Gmail Account Into A Powerful Note-Taking And Note-Keeping App“. Folks, what I posted in that article about using a separate Gmail account (from your normal email account) as a note-keeping and note-taking app really does work.

The key is: Use this separate account for note and document storage only; not for email. The most important thing in doing this is to use the tagging feature in Gmail to categorize your notes (see screenshot below). You can let your imagination fly by using all the powerful features associated with Gmail (especially the search function). In the end, I created a cross-platform note-keeping and note-taking app that works hand in hand with all the Google services, on all device platforms, with 15GB of storage; ALL, for FREE.  I even prettied up my creation with a theme (that is an option that is built into the Gmail platform). The real beauty is that I can send anything to this Gmail note-keeping account from my phone, my browser and from my main email; then, organize the content accordingly.

Screenshot of my
Gmail Note-Keeping App

Source: This article is an excerpt from Today at What’s On My PC – November 18, 2019

Today at What’s On My PC – Using A Dedicated Gmail Account for Note-Keeping

November 18, 2019


Today’s Thoughts From Rick (Using A Dedicated Gmail Account for Note-Keeping):

The past several days I have been exploring the various note keeping applications and thought I had settled on Microsoft OneNote; then, the light bulb went off. Back in August, I had posted an article I had composed titled, “Quick Tip: How To Turn A Gmail Account Into A Powerful Note-Taking And Note-Keeping App“. Folks, what I posted in that article about using a separate Gmail account (from your normal email account) as a note-keeping and note-taking app really does work. The key is to use this separate account for note and document storage only; not for email. The most important thing in doing this is to use the tagging feature in Gmail to categorize your notes. You can let your imagination fly by using all the powerful features associated with Gmail (especially the search function). In the end, I created a cross-platform note-keeping and note-taking app that works hand in hand with all the Google services, with 15GB of storage; ALL, for FREE.  I even prettied up my creation with a theme (that is already built into the Gmail platform). The real beauty is that I can send anything to this Gmail note-keeping account from my phone, my browser and from my main email.

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Today’s Tech News Briefs:

Using 5G VR Technologies, a connected ambulance could allow doctors to diagnose patients remotely and speed up treatment; People are complacent when it comes to data breaches despite high profile data breaches in 2019 where 33 percent of respondents have been a victim of fraud or identity theft; AND, here are all the new features and changes that Microsoft has added to  Windows 10 version 2003 (20H1), May 2020 Update…


Today’s Software Pick(s):

NirLauncher – a package of more than 200 portable freeware utilities for Windows, all of them developed for NirSoft Web site during the last few years.

Speccy – a FREE software app that answers the question, what’s inside your computer?


Today’s Android Pick(s):

HiPER Scientific Calculator – a popular calculator with more than 16 million downloads and 100,000 five-star ratings. The calculator has up to 100 digits of significand and 9 digits of exponent. It detects repeating decimals and numbers can be also entered as fractions or converted to fractions.

Screenshot Image


Today’s “How To” Pick:

How Can My ISP Tell I’m Using BitTorrent? – Many people have reported getting notices from their internet service providers after downloading files using torrents. How does your ISP know? It’s all in how BitTorrent works. BitTorrent is a lot less anonymous than it might seem at a glance.

Blue Network of Connected Lines


Today’s Amazon Deal(s):

Save nearly 1/2 on these Sony WH-XB900N Wireless Noise Canceling Extra Bass Headphones

 

Take advantage of the 5% coupon saving on the Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp with supertraX Surface for Maximum Traction

Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp with supertraX Surface for Maximum Traction, 4 Models to Choose from, 42-71 in. Long, Supports 150-200 lbs, Find The Best Fit for Your Pet


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What’s On My PC

Zoho Notebook – A FREE Alternative to Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, and Google Keep

Some years back I can remember exploring a note-keeping application called Zoho Notebook, that was in its’ infancy. Recently I revisited Zoho Notebook and boy was I in for a surprise. This application rocks and I am now committing myself to moving all of my note-keeping data from other platforms where I have data stored (i.e. Microsoft OneNote, Evernote and Google Keep). The reason for my decision is that Zoho does what all of the other applications do, but better (in my opinion).  Zoho Notebook works on nearly all OS platforms and devices out there.

Below is a verbatim (best description) I could find on Zoho Notebook. You can judge for yourself.

  • Take notes, add files, create checklists, sketches, record audio, and capture moments. All your notes are instantly synced across your devices and to the cloud.
  • The simple, intimate joy of Notebook comes from using the app. We’ve been meticulous in our design, paying attention to every detail. Notebook is 100% free and ad-free.

TAKE NOTES

Notebook provides different ways to take notes and capture your thoughts.

– Write notes. Start with text, add images and sketches, checklists or audio, all in the same note.
– Add PDFs, word documents, spreadsheets, and more with the dedicated file note card.
– Create and mark checklists to get stuff done with the dedicated checklist note card.
– Record ideas, meetings, and lectures with the audio note card.
– Capture moments using the dedicated photo note card.
– Sketch ideas and take hand written notes using your finger with the sketch note card.

SMART CARDS

Content added to Notebook gets intelligently formatted into beautiful, distinct cards.

– Recipe Card automatically pulls the recipe photo and description, creates a checklist for ingredients, and provides step-by-step cooking instructions. See zoho.com/notebook for supported sites.
– Video Card automatically pulls video preview and, once opened, plays in a distraction-free space. Works for YouTube and Vimeo.
– Link Card pulls headline or page title, along with the main image, creating a beautiful note card.

ORGANIZE NOTES

– You can organize various notes into notebooks.
– Notes can be grouped together.
– You can reorder your notes within a notebook.
– Move or copy note cards between notebooks.

SYNC

– Synchronize all your notes and notebooks across devices and to the cloud.
– Take a note on one device, add to it from another.

CUSTOMIZE

– Change the color of your note cards.
– Choose a notebook cover or create your own.

SECURE NOTES

– Lock individual notebooks and notes

FIND NOTES

– Search your notes within a notebook or across notebooks.

SHARE

– Share your notes through email and other options.

Source: Zoho Notebook

More Downloads Here


Quick Tip: How To Turn A Gmail Account Into A Powerful Note-Taking And Note-Keeping App

Evernote, OneNote, and SimpleNote are the note-taking apps that we all hear about. I have accounts with all three and have used them extensively; however, I just cannot get settled with any of them. I initially started out with a free Evernote account; then, Evernote ended up limiting what you could and could not do. OneNote, great note-taking app; however, I was never completely satisfied with the app, due to its’ slowness (in loading and performing searches). Simplenote, which is text-based only (with some markup language) is ok if all you want to do is save text-based notes.

After using all three of these, I kept thinking, there has to be a better way. This is when I came up with the idea of creating and using a separate Gmail account from my personal Gmail account to specifically store notes, documents, etc. Continue reading “Quick Tip: How To Turn A Gmail Account Into A Powerful Note-Taking And Note-Keeping App”

Set Up Reminders With Google Keep

Google Keep is Google’s cross-platform note keeping app that is an electronic version of sticky notes. If you don’t use Google Keep, you are missing out on a great application. It is one of the most used apps on my computer and smartphone.

One feature I personally use (especially on my smartphone) is the reminder feature built into Google Keep. After I create a note and set the reminder (see steps below), the reminder will pop up in the notification section of my phone when the reminder comes due. I have a note called “Reminders” that I have configured to pop up every day at 8AM to jostle me in completing various tasks.

You can set a reminder from your phone (Android and iOS), but the easiest way is from your computer.

How To set up reminders for your notes:

Go to keep.google.com.

Click a note.

At the bottom left, click Remind me Remind me.

You can set reminders to go off at a certain time or place:

Time reminder: Click one of the default times, or click Pick a date & time Pick a date and time. You can also set the reminder to repeat.

Location reminder: Click Pick place Pick a place. Then enter the name or address and click Done Done. You’ll need to let Keep access your location.

Click Save.

To close your note, click Done or click outside the note.

To change your reminder, click the reminder time or place at the bottom of the note.

Tip: To delete a reminder, in the bottom right, click Delete reminder Delete reminder.

View upcoming reminders:

Go to keep.google.com or open the Keep app.

At the top left of Keep, tap or click Menu Menu > Reminders.

You’ll see all notes with upcoming reminders.

Change default reminder times

You can change the pre-set reminder times for morning, afternoon, and evening. Learn how to change your default reminder times.

You do need a Google account in order to use Google Keep. As I indicated, Google Keep is a cross platform application and will run from your computer, Android smartphone and iOS smarphone. Once installed on your computer and other devices, the notes are kept in sync.


SOURCE: Google Keep

Using A Gmail Account To Create Your Own Customized Note-Taking App

Evernote, OneNote, and SimpleNote are the note-taking apps that we all hear about. I have accounts with all three and have used them extensively; however, I just cannot get settled with any of them. I initially started out with a free Evernote account; then, Evernote ended up limiting what a free user could do. OneNote, great note-taking app; however, I was never completely satisfied with the app, due to its’ slowness (in loading and performing searches). Simplenote, which is text-based only (with some markup language) is ok if all you want to do is save text-based notes.

After using all three of these, I kept thinking, there has to be a better way. This is when I came up with the idea of creating and using a Gmail account specifically for note-taking (or note-keeping). Think about it. anything you find on the internet can be sent directly to a Gmail account; plus, on my Android phone, I can share (or send) just about anything to a Gmail account (i.e. scanned documents, photos, etc…). Gmail also has the labeling feature built-in where hierarchical note categories can be created (or labeled); plus, it has the ability to create rich text-based notes (using the email editor). The real clincher with this is Gmail’s (Google’s) powerful search capabilities, 15GB of storage, and the ability to attach documents using Google Docs. I have been working with this idea and the key point in making it work is that the account should be strictly used for note-taking (or note-keeping) purposes only; and, not for daily email purposes. In other words, my Gmail note-taking account is a completely separate account from my main Gmail account.

Below are the steps I took to create (in appearance) my own personal note-taking (or note-keeping) app using a Gmail account as the container to store stuff (notes, pics, docs, etc…) that are important to me. 

Step 1: Create a new account at Gmail.com. Give the account a name that you will recognize for note-taking purposes.

For example, “johndoe.notebook@gmail.com” …

Step 2: Once the account has been created, one of the first things I did was change the theme so that it stood out. Go to the “cogged gear” icon, at the top right side of the Gmail window and click on “Themes”. The theme I selected was one called “High Contrast”, which gives it the look of a note-taking (or note-keeping) app — (see screenshot below).

Step 3: Go to the “cogged gear” icon and click on settings.

Step 4: Under the “General” tab, scroll down and turn the “Conversation View” to “off” and if you like, scroll down to “My Picture” and add a profile picture. In my case, I used a notebook icon. When done, scroll to the bottom and click on “save settings.

Step 5: Go back into the “Settings” and under the “Labels” tab, hide all labels with the exception of the “inbox” and “drafts” labels. Scroll down to the “Create Labels” section. This is where you can create your own label categories. You can always add or remove labels, in the future, from this section.

Step 6: Under the “Inbox” tab go to the categories section and “uncheck” the categories that are shown; then, scroll to the bottom and and click on “save settings”.

Step 7: Go back into the “Settings” and under the “Labs” tab scroll until you see “Preview Pane”. Once found, click on “Enable” to activate the “Preview Pane”; then, scroll down and click on “Save Settings” which will return you to the main Gmail screen.

Step 8: We’re almost done… Now that you have activated the “Preview Pane”, you will see a toggle icon (for the Preview Pane) with a down arrow. Click on the down arrow and select “vertical Split”.

After completing the aforementioned step, your Gmail note-taking app should look something like this:

Click Here For Larger View

When composing a new note, within your Gmail note-taking account, click on “Compose” to draft your note. When finished drafting your note send the note back to yourself. Once it lands in the inbox, assign a label to it. I also use my main everyday Gmail account and my Android Smartphone to send important stuff to my Gmail note-taking account. Another point to make is that I eventually tag and move items out of the inbox and use the inbox to show items I am currently working on.

To draft an existing note, I search for the note, click on “Forward”, make my changes, then forward it back to my Gmail note-taking account; then, I delete the original. When I see that a note has FWD that tells me at one point it has been changed.

In the end, as I continue to work with this, I am finding that the concept of customizing and using a Gmail account as a note-taking app has far exceeded my expectations… What I have reflected is “my way” of doing this and have changed “my way” of doing this several times since the original posting of this article. You can make this as easy or complex as you want and that is one of the reasons I like using a separate email account for my important notes.

Make Simplenote Along With Google Drive (and Docs) Your Premiere, Powerful, and FREE Note Keeping App

As I mentioned recently, I made the switch from Evernote and OneNote to Simplenote to meet my note keeping demands. To keep this article short, a supplement option to Simplenote that I started to use is Google Drive (and Google Docs). I love the idea that Simplenote is super fast (and TOTALLY FREE) and the reason for that is that it is strictly a text based application; however, there were those occasions where I wished I could pull up a document, or picture using Simplenote.

Simplenote and Google Drive

The solution I came up with, that is working better than I ever expected, is to use the “markdown” feature in Simplenote to create links in a note that will link to and pull up a document, picture or any file from my Google Drive (or Docs). In Google Drive I created a folder called “Simplenote Links” and then created subfolders that matched the tags I used in Simplenote. For example, if I had a batch of notes in Simplenote tagged as “Rick”, then I created a folder in Google Drive (under the “Simplenotes Link” folder) called “Rick”. This method provided a way to keep the documents organized, based on my Simplenote tags. Keep in mind, any document you want to link to in Google Drive, you will have to get the shared link for that document.

The beauty to this is that I can use the power of Google Docs to create impressive documents and the simplicity (and speed) to find and load those documents by using Simplenote. This is especially remarkable on my smartphone, when I am out and about: and, need to locate a document quickly. Another plus to this is that the documents in Google Drive that I use for this purpose are synced and backed up to my home based computer.

The hardest part of all of this, and it really is not hard at all, is to create a note using “markdown”. When I have a note that I need to link to a specific document or file (or folder) in Google Drive, I simply create the note with a link using “Markdown”. 

What is Markdown? The best definition I found for markdown was at Lifehacker:

At its core, Markdown is a super simple way to add formatting like headers, bold, bulleted lists, and so on to plain text. It was originally designed to be an easy alternative to HTML, and allows people to create web pages with no HTML experience—but it’s also a great way to organize notes, to-do lists, and other things. It has all the advantages of plain text, but with the organizational power of a word processor. The end goal is a minimalist writing system that you can use to get your thoughts down, and then export them elsewhere without worrying too much about the appearance. — Source: Lifehacker

Here is a sampling of using markdown in Simplenote and one of the examples below shows you how to create a link, using markdown, in Simplenote.

# heading 1

## heading 2

### heading 3

*Italics*

**Bold**

***Italics and Bold***

[WordPress](https://wordpress.com)

Lists

I know to most, this may sound like a geeky way to keep notes; but, I am telling you this works and it works great… The best part of it all is that Simplenote and Google Drive (Docs) are FREE… Also, both applications work on a variety of OS platforms, making it widely available from nearly every device we use.

HOT NEWS – Simplenote Now Open Source

With the changes taking place with Evernote, you may want to take a more minimalistic approach and try Simplenote. I was familiar with Simplenote and decided to give it a try to see if it would be sufficient for my note keeping. What I have found is a very fast and simple (text based) note keeping application, available on many platforms, that (so far) is getting the job done for me. I currently have (and use) Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote, but what I am finding is that these applications are geared more for the student, the business person, or someone who has a need to collect and maintain a massive amount of information.  Simplenote is completely text based with nothing fancy; thus, it is fast.  I can search for a note, via a keyword, and have the note up before me at the blink of any eye. If you are looking for something to keep your notes, give Simplenote a try…

Another BIG factor with Simplenote, is that it now Open Source Software where (if you are a coder), you can gain access to the source code and essentially work your magic to make Simplenote even better.

Simplenote – iOS, Android, and macOS Apps Now Open Source

 oss

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