I started this blog post intending to list the apps that I use everyday to make my life easier. When I realised that the first three I thought of were all Google apps I figured I should change the theme of the blog post.
I think a lot of us now use our phone more and more to make little tasks a lot more efficient. With only a gmail account you instantly have access to a number of services that I have come to rely on more and more.
These are my four favourites.
This is a very nice app to use. Simply swipe an email to the right to mark it as “Done” (similar to Archive), or swipe it to the left to snooze the email so that it comes back at a later date.
Inbox does some pretty clever things with my emails too; intelligently grouping them into bundles so all emails of a certain type are together (such as receipts) without my intervention.
I’m still learning all the little things it does but even at its simplest it’s still a nice email app to use.
The reason I like Google Calendar so much is that it ties in with my emails (since I use Google Inbox) so when I get an email confirming a reservation it will appear in my calendar. It also supports reminders (so I can have a recurring reminder to put the bins out) and calendar sharing.
Calendar sharing is probably the bit that I like the most. Me and my fiancée both have access to a shared calendar so if something comes up that concerns us both then I can put it in the shared calendar instead of my personal one.
For the low, low price of having a gmail account you can get unlimited photo and video cloud storage.
That is a pretty huge deal. Most people have a fair few gigabytes of photos and videos kicking around. A lot of people have over a hundred gigabytes and are constantly backing up and clearing space on their phones and hard drives. This makes that whole headache obsolete.
Albums put together by the app without my input
Obviously if you’re into photography then you will want to keep your photo’s completely untouched at their full resolution, but for the rest of us, with our day to day snaps, what Google offers with Google Photos is just amazing. It will downsize images to 16mp (still big enough to print at a regular size) and videos down to 1080p (which is still HD).
On top of that the app will automatically upload new photos to the cloud, sort them all chronologically, create little animations out of similar pictures, put together albums and videos when you go on trips, and even let you search for photos by using image recognition (so you search for “Dog” and it will find all your dog pictures).
Although I like trello for my more organised kanban board (see my post on dealing with distractions for more on that) I like Google Keep for less structured note taking. This is the app that I use to write shopping lists and to take down random bits and bobs.
The age old question: “Remove door?”
One of my favourite bits about it is that it is cloud based so I can share notes and lists with my fiancée and if she or I edit it then the edit is also reflected for the other person.
We mainly use this feature with shopping lists so no matter who is at the shop we know we both have the most up to date list to go off, and when one of us ticks something off, it is also ticked off for the other person.
Well, there you have it, my top 4 Google services and what I do with them. Please leave a comment if you also use any of these apps to help you in your day to day life, or if you use any different apps that you think do it better than Google. I’d love to hear your thoughts.