Read This on Android Authority, “New update to Google Keep lets you pin your notes“, that made my day. According to their article, “Google is bringing you the ability to pin your notes to the top so that you don’t have to scroll down”… I love Google Keep and this new feature is definitely something I was looking for…
Make Simplenote Along With Google Drive (and Docs) Your Premiere, Powerful, and FREE Note Keeping AppAugust 18, 2016
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.
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 and Bold***
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.
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.
Recently I posted an article [click here], that gave you some insight about Google Keep and how it has become one of my favorite apps. If you do not know about Google Keep I encourage you to read the article. Google Keep has become a very popular note keeping app that is available on the web (in your browser) and as an app on your mobile devices.
This past week Google added two NEW features to Google Keep. The one feature, that was definitely on my wish list, is that you now have the ability to add labels to your notes. This is a very powerful feature that gives you the ability to organize and categorize your notes. The second NEW feature is the recurring reminders where you can configure notes to repeatedly remind you of matters so that you never miss a beat.
As the title of this blog post suggest, “Google Keep – Keeps Getting Better”… I can’t wait to see what Google has up their sleeve in the future for this very popular and useful application.
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Google Keep is a NEW online note keeping service that works in connection with your Google Drive. If you have a Google account, such as Gmail, then your account will give you access to the other Google services such as Google Drive; and now, Google Keep. Google Keep is web based, so you can access it from any internet enabled computer or device (click here for an example) or you can install the Android version of Google Keep to your Android based phone or tablet (click here for more on this).
From what I am seeing right now, Google Keep is in the very early stages and actually I am not seeing where it is connecting to my Google Drive (yet). The actual notes are very basic (right now) with no rich text formatting; however, you can add images.
Will this be a competitor to Evernote and Springpad? Time will only tell whether more features will be added, etc… in order to bring Google Keep up to the speed with Evernote or Springpad. I just thought it to be interesting, that Google is making a service such as this, available.
The biggest concern I have is that Google comes up with these great ideas, then couple years down the road decides to kill them (i.e. Google Notebook, iGoogle, and Google Reader). Personally, I thought Google Notebook was ahead of its’ time and was an excellent service.
You can read more about Google Keep on Google’s Official Blog [HERE].
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Evernote and SpringPad are the top guns out there when it comes to storing notes, thoughts, images, articles, etc… I currently lean toward Evernote, calling it my supplemental brain; however, SpringPad always has my eye. I encourage you to look at either of these online note keeping services. You will not regret it…
As I mentioned, SpringPad has my eye and recently I decided to give it another good look. What had me concerned is that I could not find any easy way, within SpringPad, to import my notes from Evernote.
After doing some futile searching, I did come across an Evernote to Springpad Converter site that gives you the ability to convert the Evernote “enex” notebook files to the SpringPad format.
In order to do this, you will have to install the desktop version of Evernote so that you can export each notebook to a file (enex format) that can be uploaded to the converter.
Anyway, after getting my notebooks transferred to SpringPad, and really playing around with it, I am still hooked on my supplemental brain (Evernote). SpringPad is still developing, looks very nice; but, what I experienced is that the search feature for a specific note or specific text in a note was not as robust as in Evernote.
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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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This does not get any simpler or basic than this… Go to notepad.cc and you will be looking at a blank page where you can create and save an endless page of notes. No account is required.
When you get to the site, you are automatically assigned your own personal web address, that you can also change (at the bottom of the note page). Make sure you remember the address so that you can access your notes again. Once you get the address you desire, you can share your notepad and even password protect it. If you need another page to save notes, simply type in notepad.cc in your browser and you will be presented with another blank note. I found this app to work perfectly on my Toshiba Thrive Tablet and has come in real handy when I need to jot something down.
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Recently I have been focused on the cloud based bookmarking and notekeeping services such as Evernote and SpringPad. Everyday I find something new and this week I have been testing out another online service called Diigo. Now Diigo, as I soon found out, is not something new; but is new to me. As matter of fact Diigo has been around for approximately 5 years and actually started out as a social bookmarking service similar to Delicious. It has evolved into something very special and very powerful.
Recently Diigo came out with a new beta version (V5.0) of their service, that in my opinion, is really making it shine. I currently have lined up on my PC, Delicious, Evernote, SpringPad and Diigo. For the life of me, I keep going back to the beta of Diigo and have come to the conclusion that Diigo is now my go to app for gathering and storing information I find on the internet.
First off, it is more than your typical bookmarking service. It is a conglomeration of various research utilities (in one package) that gives you the ability to collect and highlight information with powerful browser annotation and note keeping tools; the ability to remember, organize, tag and bookmark your information; and, the ability to share that information and knowledge with others in a knowledge sharing social network. To be honest with my readers, Diigo is one of the best personal research and bookmarking tools I have ever experienced. It is simplistic, loads fast and is just plain awesome (in my opinion). It does not have all the eye candy that you may see with some of the other services, but it gets the job done and does it fast.
I think the favorite part of Diigo that I like the most is that any bookmarks that I have saved, there is a link, adjacent to the bookmarks that allows me to preview (load) the actual web page without leaving the Diigo site.
Diigo provides a browser add-on that can really improve your research productivity. As you read on the web, instead of just bookmarking, you can highlight portions of web pages that are of particular interest to you. You can also attach sticky notes to specific parts of web pages. Unlike most other web “highlighters” that merely clip, Diigo highlights and sticky notes are persistent in the sense that whenever you return to the original web page, you will see your highlights and sticky notes superimposed on the original page, just what you would expect if you highlighted or wrote on a book!
Moreover, all the information — highlighted paragraphs, sticky notes, and the original url — are saved on Diigo servers, creating your personal digest of the web, your own collection of highlights from the web – ones that are meaningful to you! You can easily search, access, sort and share this collection from any PC or even iPhone.
I encourage anyone who is into blogging, research, and information gathering to give this one try. Best part about Diigo is that you can sign up for a FREE account (which I use) or can go all out with a PREMIUM account (with more bells and whistles).
Here of late I have been on a roll with applications that are cloud based; or in other words applications that you run directly from the internet. Recently I have been testing an online note keeping application called SpringPad.
In summary SpringPad is a totally FREE powerful online application that gives you the ability to store information. Look at it as your personal database of everything that’s of interest to you that can be accessed anywhere in the world where you can get to the internet.
For example, I use SpringPad to bookmark web sites, keep notes, maintain to do lists, clip information from web pages, reflect my thoughts, etc… All this information can be organized in notebooks or posted on your own digital bulletin board. There are also mobile uses for SpringPad available such as barcode scanning, locating nearby places and businesses and photo saving.
Think of Springpad as your own place in the cloud – a high-powered internet-connected personal database of everything that’s of interest to you, even if you’re not ready to do something about it right away. Everything is automatically synced between your mobile devices and the web for instant and universal access.
The one feature that is most important to me is the SpringPad Google Chrome Browser Extension. With this extension installed you can instantly save information you want to save without leaving the site you are browsing. If you are not a Google Chrome user, there is a bookmarklet available that will let you do the same thing.
After testing SpringPad, I can honestly say it has found a home on my PC. I encourage you to give this application a try. It is FREE, requires no installation on your computer and has so many features I cannot begin to mention them all here.
If you are a flash drive junkie and carry your computer programs on a stick, then I am going to point you in the direction to a very simple note keeping program that you can carry on that stick (your flash drive) , called ResophNotes .
What makes ResophNotes standout from the rest of the pack is that it serves as a client note keeping program that will sync with the online note keeping service called Simplenote. The advantage to this is that not only will your notes be available to you on your flash drive; they will also be available to you anywhere there is internet access. If you compose or update a note online (using Simplenote), the note will then be in sync with your flash drive version of ResophNotes and vice versa.
To get started, go to Simplenoteapp.com and sign up for an account (it is FREE).
After you have your online account setup, go to the ResophNotes site [HERE] and download/install the portable version of ResophNotes to your flash drive. After launching ResophNotes you will go into the configuration settings to enter your SimpleNote account information. Other options are available in the settings to auto or manual sync your notes, as well. Once you complete those couple of steps, you are good to go.
Neither of these programs are a ramped up program like Evernote; however, if you are looking for a basic notekeeping option with portable app capability and online syncing that is stinking fast, then this pairing (ResophNotes and Simplenote) is a good option.
Evernote is a “cloudware” application that you use to store notes, web clips, web pages, links, reminders, phone numbers, snapshots, To Do lists, research content, labels, business cards; just about anything you can think of. Evernote is available in a variety of platforms (Windows, Mac, Web, iPhone); all which can be synchronized with each other. After you setup a “FREE” account (premium account also available), you can configure the Evernote software on your computer (and/or USB flash drive) to synchronize with the web based version and vice versa.
I have worked with other (database) hierarchy note keeping programs, but the “cloud computing (web based)” version of Evernote really caught my attention. After setting up my account with Evernote, it did not take long to learn how to create and manage notes. I really like the idea that I can get to my notes from any PC that is connected to the internet. To help organize and categorize notes, you can assign tags to each note and create separate notebooks. As a blogger, this has become an invaluable tool for research and the gathering of web clips. Once you start using this, you will get hooked. I subsequently installed Evernote on my PC and on my USB flash drive.
There is also a Web clipper bookmarklet available (for IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and others). The bookmarklet allows you to capture web page content right into your account —text, images, links, and all. Another neat feature with the web based account is that you get an Evernote email address where you can email notes and content that will directly and automatically be placed in your collection of notes. You can email notes, photos, and audio clips from your computer or phone right into an Evernote notebook. Evernote also has handwriting recognition and the ability to recognize text in pictures. If you were a Google Notebook fan, Evernote has a an import tool to bring all of your notes over to Evernote. Evernote also has a great Delicious bookmark import tool.
Below is a comparison of the monthly upload allowances between the free and premium accounts. The free account is limited to what file types you can upload; however, for everyday (normal) use of gathering or inputting text notes and pics, I have found the upload allowance to be sufficient. Evernote has a built in meter to let you know the status of your current monthly usage. I can see this web based (cloudware app) to only get better.