Google rules everything around me. At this very moment they provide my email servers, handle my test messaging and voicemail, allow me to work on a collaborative blog post with six other people on Docs, created my web browser, and they even designed the Nexus phone and tablet on my desk. Google has a hand in nearly everything I will do today.
And as of today's update, it'll even remind me to get a bag of brown rice when I drive by the grocery store on the way home. It'd be almost creepy if it wasn't so dang handy.
Keep is Handy
We were a bit smitten with Google Keep when it came out a few months back. It is simple, colorful, and has unlimited sync between our devices. While we wouldn't use it for something comprehensive, like blog posts or for the kiddos' class notes, (that's what Docs is for), it is perfect for creating to-do lists or jotting down a quick writing idea.
If you are using an Android phone, you can even open the Google Now app and say "Google: Note to Self: get rice at store" and it will add a Keep note to "get rice at store."
Of course, you may not remember to pull out your phone when walking or driving by the store. If you're like me, you'll even forget when you are in the store. Now, in an update that is rolling out to Android smartphones today, and is already available in the web version of the app, you can set a reminder.
Keep Does the Creep
There are time-based reminders, of course. Those are a common sense add-on that we expected to roll out sooner or later, especially since Google Now (the search app) already had a half-baked ("Google: Remind me in fifteen minutes to ...") version of such reminders.
No, the cooler part of the update, announced on the official Android blog, is when it does creepy location-based reminders. You can tell the app to remind you, when you are near a set location, to complete a task, such as buying rice at the grocery store.
Keep Needs Collaboration
You can edit documents collaboratively with Google Drive. You can store Keep notes in Google Drive. But you can't collaboratively create notes, such as a family shopping list. It's a feature that is in demand, and would be exceptionally helpful for lawyers. Imagine your assistant being able to push lists and reminders to your phone while you are on the way to a meeting or a hearing -- it's a step above the nag text.
One way to get that functionality now, that a coworker suggested, is to create a new Google account to share with your family or coworkers. You can switch back-and-forth between accounts in Google Keep, so you won't lose your personal notes on your phone when you switch over to the shared Keep lists.
It's a clunky workaround though. Here's hoping that shared notes will be the next feature added to this admittedly very young product.
- Meet Google Helpouts: Your New Virtual Law Office Platform? (FindLaw's Technologist Blog)
- Chromecast: $35 Toy or Invaluable Asset for Your Practice? (FindLaw's Technologist Blog)
- WebRTC: Simple Video Chat Can Work for Your Law Practice (FindLaw's Technologist Blog)