Hackernoon logoMy Google Keep 2017 Wishlist by@Kelset

My Google Keep 2017 Wishlist

Lorenzo Sciandra Hacker Noon profile picture

@KelsetLorenzo Sciandra

React Native developer

or, my plan to try to be more organized and procrastinate less

I have to admit it, I consider myself among the ranks of the master procrastinators. As Tim Urban in his amazing TED talk explains, this means that if I have two weeks to complete a task, I’ll almost surely wait the last 24 hours to do it.

You should watch it before moving on

Does is always end up well? No.

Because of this, over the last couple of years, I tried to approach this issue in the only way my engineering mind allowed me: writing down A LOT of lists and post-its.


At one point, this past summer, I was using at the same time:

  • Two physical agendas (one daily + one weekly Moleskine)
  • One blackboard
  • Evernote for long notes
  • Wunderlist for lists and recurring tasks
  • Google Keep for shopping lists and small notes
  • Google Drive & Calendar for drafts and events and such

As you can see, it could not last. Ever. Being a developer, using all these tools for one overall task was bugging me: all I needed was something to write down “stuff” I need/have/want to do in order to keep my mind focused in the current task. Basically, a buffer.

Moreover, the mental stress of remembering to use all of these different places to do different things was the first barrier between my rational self and the actual act of writing things down.

I had to find something that was:

  • Multi platform (mobile and desktop)
  • Always in sync
  • Able to store “properly” different kinds of lists, recurring task, events, and more general notes
  • Simple to use

It wasn’t easy to research what and how and which software to use to fit that list of requirements in the smallest amount of tools (I gave up on having only one after the first five mins of looking around).

Luckily, during this year, Google enhanced its Calendar app, and being an avid Inbox user I could handle reminders and recurring tasks using those two apps.

One step was taken

But I was sure I couldn’t rely only on digital apps to trick the monkey in my brain: I knew I had to have a notebook to write down stuff while at work or during those occasions a smartphone can’t be used (ex. battery). In this case, the Kevin Rose’s newsletter “The Journal” provided me of what I needed: an approach to note taking. (by the way, that newsletter is awesome and you should totally read it)

This is the video he links, in case you don’t want to go over there to read it

But I still needed something technological for lists and drafts: I don’t always have my notebook with me, or I simply don’t want to go look for it when I could open an app on one of my screens. And all of this keeping in mind that list above: simplicity had the highest priority.

I then decided to... (insert drum roll sound effect)

…stick with Google. Meaning, using Google Keep for all kinds of lists and notes, and Google Drive for longer drafts.

So, basically, I reduced drastically the number of different accounts needed: I know it may sound silly, but being able to rely on one 2-step authenticated account for all these different tasks was a stress relief.

So, is this approach going to be perfect? No.

Or, to give a better answer, not yet. I think that Evernote is still a good app for taking long notes, and Google Keep has a lot of room for improvement… which brings us back to the title.

I chose this image because it’s pretty similar to mine

Here are the three features I’d really really really like to have in Google Keep:

  1. Conditional formatting
    With this I mean the possibility to have colors automatically added to the notes when a label is added. I know it may sound dull, but it would provide such a smoother experience.
  2. More visualization options
    Right now, you can see all of your notes in the same page (just like the picture above) or, by going in the drawer menù on the left side, see all the notes of a particular label. I’d really like a third option: something like Evernote’s “Notebooks” view, where you see sort-of folders, one for each label, with the number of items inside.
  3. Encryption
    I kept the best for last: one huge missing feature is the possibility to add password to certain notes. Moreover, I still have not clear understanding of how these notes are stored — tried asking once, didn’t get any significant answer.
So, here we are.

I hope that somewhere someone who knows somebody working in that team at Google have at least one of these ideas — or something similar; this way, 2017 is going to be much smoother for my productivity.

In the meantime, I’d really love to discuss with you people who made it ’til the end: what other feature would you add to this list? Which app I have not considered that would totally change my life? Let me know in the comments, or send me a tweet.

Disclaimer: all the images in this article are taken from the internet. If you are the author of one of those and don’t want it here, let me know and I’ll remove it.


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