5 Ways Google Keep will Unclutter Your Brain

Google Keep

Remembering the little things are difficult, but incredibly useful.

Instead of telling you about the features of Google Keep (Which you can watch from the video below), let me tell you how it’s made my life so much simpler by using it every day for several months.

I’ve been using it for quite a long time: since it was codenamed ‘Memento’, and I’m still a daily user even now, when it’s the current Google Keep state, so everything I mention below is what I actually do, not what think the app could be used to do.

So here’s what I’ve been using it for:

1. Record down ideas throughout the day

When do you get your best ideas? It’s not usually ‘brainstrom sessions’, but it’s typically in places where you’re free of distractions, like in the shower, toilet, right before bed etc.

Those are also the times where ideas get lost. Recording down ideas as an when it happens is the best way to make sure you follow up on them. Because Google Keep can be integrated into my phone lockscreen, it just takes me no longer than a swipe and a button press to record an idea.

Having such a low barrier to entry also results in two things. You tend to capture ideas regardless of how strongly you feel about them at that point in time. You don’t limit yourself to capturing the ‘best’ ideas, you just capture ideas, and move on.

It can be pictures, sounds, text, a page in a book, anything.

There is currently no way to sort them, tag them, etc. but you can search, which is what you need 99% of the time, so speeding up the capturing of ideas is a worthy trade off, because things are so much faster. It’s absolutely frictionless.

2. Find Receipts and warranties when you need them

Sorting through mountains of receipts, adds a ton of stress when something breaks down. To solve this, just snap a pic with Google Keep, and label it “blender warranty” (if you bought a blender of course). Then just proceed to move on with life, and when you need it, just search ONCE and find the receipt.

3. Keeping a spare copy of transit maps

I don’t normally take the subway, but when I do, I’d like to use Google Keep to snap a map on my phone just in case I’m in a corner where I can’t see the printed map on the train. Again, this is something I want to find easily, and can pull up in seconds.

4. Making an on-the-fly-to-do-list

For very short term to do’s like making a list of things to buy once you arrived at the store, is something you can easily do, and Google Keep comes complete with checkboxes for easy task management. Dead on easy.

5. Never forget crucial parts of a manual

Manuals, especially for electronics (camera folks – I’m looking at you) tend to be a very extreme dump of information which makes no sense to most people (including me). Most of them are however, smart enough to include a ‘Quick Start’ section which you should read first. If you’re a first time user of the device, it also happens to be most read and used section.

The issue is that in most cases, you’re out and about and you don’t bring that unreasonably large manual with you. Just use Google Keep to keep photos of the parts of the manuals you actually want to read.

These are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, because I’m sure you’d have much more uses for it in your own life situations.

Try Google Keep, and leave a comment below about what you’re going to use it for!

How Much Should You Tip in Any Country?

How much you should tip

How much you should tip
Some workers take extremely low wages (In desperate times, some take zero wage), just to have a chance to be employed, and make their money through tips.

Most places are OK with tips, in some countries (Like Malaysia), service charge is put in place in most places like restaurants, so a tip isn’t encouraged. In some countries, hotels even make special effort to put up a signboard telling tourists not to encourage a tipping culture.

If you’re travelling, and don’t want to offend anyone, just go to How-Much-Should-I-Tip and select your country of choice, and all your questions will be answered. (It also has a funnier – but more foul-languaged sister site which I won’t link to but the link is easily visible from the site above :))

You want to know how to treat waiters, porters, taxi drivers, and get some local tipping tips, this is the one-stop-shop for getting your head around service situations which differ from country to country. So check up those rates, and never feel embarrassed again.

How to switch Google profiles in Chrome WITHOUT using Incognito Mode

incognito

incognito
incognito

I’ve had my Gmail and Adsense accounts in two different accounts, and so far, the only way to log in to both of them was to use the Incognito window… which does the trick, but it is pretty cumbersome opening another window and typing in your passwords all over again every time you want to do this.

So if you want to take the easy way out (which is what all the tips on the blog are about), follow these steps:

1. Use Chrome (Why wouldn’t you?)
2. Do this

This will add a seperate user profile where all you need to do is click on the top left and select your profile. This will open a new window which has your new profile.

chrome profile
chrome profile

Why would you want to do this???

If you’re either:

1. Too lazy efficient to key in your password ALL OVER AGAIN every time you get onto Incognito mode
2. Not wanting to bother logging out, and let your family members use the computer
3. Wanting a separate set of browser bookmarks & passwords to make life easier

Just go with this solution. It carries across everything, from your passwords to your history to you bookmarks etc.
So yes, life really can be that easy.

Thanks to Anil for this cool tip :)

My Favorite Online Video Service [Frequency]

I’ll be honest. 99% of all my online video consumption is on YouTube. I simply don’t have time to go through all the other niche video sites which also have amazing content. Good content however exists on every platform, which is why I use Frequency, which is both a free web based service, and a free iPad app which crawls all the various video services, and supercharges it by taking the best videos from all the services, and letting you browse them easily.

My three favorite things about this app are:

1. You can view highlights from many sites at once

frequency videos

Link up all your feeds from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and just pick some of your favorite topics (eg. New York Times for news) once, and Frequency sorts out everything for you ongoing.  This essentially lets you browse channels you care about very, very quickly and watch the videos which appeal to you the most no matter where it comes from. 

2. You’re watching a video stream not a video

One key difference between online video and TV, is that online video is much more interactive.   You watch a video, decide what’s the next video, and keep going on. Frequency is a much more laid back approach where playlists get created dynamically, and one video goes on to the next – without interaction – Just like TV.  Strangely this only works on the iPad version.  PC version, you still have to click on each video to play it.  I guess they figure people are more laid back when using a tablet. 

3. Highlights are YOUR highlights

Frequency has a section called ‘Your Highlights"’.  This is where the most popular content from your feeds be it Facebook, news, and other networks get aggregated and you can watch it all in a continuous stream.  If you want to go deeper into certain topics, you could also create your own stream and add the relevant channels to it.  In my case, I have one channel just for funny videos.

All in all…

While you’re waiting for YouTube to release an official iPad app, this is the way to go. No video app on the iPad gives you as much fun,and it runs really well on the website alone :)

How to Effectively Work Out at Home (Sworkit)

sworkit

Too busy to go to the gym? Can’t spare more than 5 minutes? Don’t have gear or know what exercise to do next? These are all commonly used reasons excuses which I have struggled with when I try to work out. 

Sworkit is a free tool which customizes your home workout based on

  1. Which parts of your body you want to exercise
  2. How much time you have

I’ve been using it for a several weeks now, using it to get my fitness back up to speed, and I’ve been very happy with the results thus far.  Especially for someone like me, recovering from a medical incident, picking short and targeted workouts have really helped to build everything up (strength, stamina, etc.) in a gradual, but yet systematic fashion. 

It’s great and you’ll even probably learn a few new exercises because it has a good variety of routines, and everything comes with video demos for all the exercises just in case the instructions aren’t clear enough.

They’ve got all their bases covered terms of accessibility.  You can run Sworkit on both desktop and mobile browsers, or if you prefer mobile apps, there are both iOS and Android versions available as well, all free (with paid functions having slightly more features).  Friedbeef’s tech gives this app a two thumbs up!