TLDR: What it means and why I use it

TLDR, or TL;DR stands for Too Long, Didn’t Read.

Some people like reading long posts with background info, analysis, anecdotes, etc. Others don’t like long posts, or don’t have the time to read them. I’ll be using TLDR occasionally to indicate a summary of a longer article and sometimes suggest an action to take. It may help you decide whether you want to read the whole post.

You will get Windows 10 this Tuesday whether you want it or not *

If you don’t want Windows 10 installed automatically on Tuesday 9th February (or shortly after) then you need to take action now. I have this from two very reliable sources.Windows 10 enforced upgrade
*This applies to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. If you have these versions then Microsoft will “upgrade” you to Windows 10 as part of Windows Automatic Updates starting this Tuesday 9th February.
Some software (programs and apps) and hardware (printers and other things you plug in to your computer) will not work with Windows 10.
I can block this unwanted upgrade and turn off all the annoying popups about the upgrade.
I expect to be busy with this fix. I may not be able to reply to emails until after the deadline.
So, if you don’t want Windows 10 then phone me as soon as possible and leave a message if I am not available so I can get back to you.

Projects in Google Keep and Google Drive

I use Google Keep to keep track of thoughts, tasks and to-do lists, and reminders. If, like me, your Google Keep is becoming hard to manage then I have some ideas that you might like to try to keep more organised and efficient.

To give this some context, let me explain that I have adapted some methods from the Getting Things Done (GTD) productivity system to suit my needs. In GTD there is a concept of Projects and Next Actions. A Project is the thing you want to achieve (like “organise Emma’s birthday party”) and the “Next Action”, or “NA”, is the very next thing that can be done towards the project. There may be lots of things to be done on the project, like “send out invitations”, but the only thing that should be on your to-do list is the very next thing you need to do, such as “Call the play centre to check availability of dates”.

So, generally there are two types of projects, big projects and small projects. If you keep all these projects in Google Keep, you will find that you have a mass of Notes which are hard to organise and go through even if you’re using colours and labels. We need to keep Keep clean. So, here is my suggestion…

If a project has only a few steps then use a List with check-boxes and keep everything for that project in that list. Use colours and labels to organise as you would normally, but keep everything about that project in one Keep note.

Drive docKeeping a big or complicated project in Google Keep makes it hard to manage, especially if there is more than one thing that you could describe as a Next Action like “Call the play centre to check availability of dates” and “draw up a list of attendees”. Use a Google Docs (word processing) document in Google Drive to organise your project with notes and lists of things to do (use bullet-points). When you know what your Next Actions are, put each Next Action in its own Note in Google Keep and refer to the main project, such as “Draw up a list of attendees – see Google Drive ‘Birthday’ project”. And here’s the best bit…

You can add a link in the Google Keep note which will take you to the Google Drive Project. When you open the Google Keep note, you can click the link within it and it will open up the related project document in Google Drive, allowing you to note down your progress, review the project, or set a new Next Action. This link works on computers, tablets and phones; wherever you’re signed in to your Google Account.

Drive linkTo insert the link, go to the Google Drive document, highlight the entire URL link (the website address) and select Copy. Then open up the Google Keep note, and Paste the link into it.

It sounds more complicated than it is in practice. Once you’ve done it a few times it will seem easy. Your Google Keep will be less cluttered and you will be more efficient.

If you need any help with Google services, with computers and IT generally, or even entire organisational systems, please contact me using “Contact” at the top-right of this page or phone me on the numbers just below “Contact”.

How to backup Google Keep notes

UPDATE 2/5/2017: The method below doesn’t backup notes in Archive. In addition to the main notes section as described below, you have to also backup the Archive notes by going to the Archive section (at the bottom of the left slide-out menu), then follow the same process as below for the regular notes section.

Update 20/9/17: This is my site’s most popular page. If you find it helpful, please consider a small donation (see below) to encourage me to keep updating. Thanks.

I use Google Keep a lot. Notes are stored on Google’s servers. No doubt Google has backups, but what if something happens or I just permanently delete a note by mistake? It’s not easy to ask Google to recover it for me. Here’s a quick and simple way to backup all your Google Keep notes.

  1. On your PC, to to Google Keep and Select All notes by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-A
  2. In the grey bar above the notes, click the three dots
  3. Select “Copy to Google Doc” and all the notes will be copied to a Google Drive/Docs file.

If you want to download a copy to keep locally (which I recommend), open the Google Doc, click File, Download As, and select your format of choice.

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Quick Tip – get all my new posts delivered straight to your inbox

Follow me to get get posts sent to your inbox If you can’t bear the thought of missing any of my extremely interesting posts, then you can easily subscribe to email updates. Just click on the Follow button at the bottom right of any page and input your email address. One confirmation email later, and you’ll get an email every time I post the this website.

Quick tip to make copied text match the format of the rest of the text

Do you ever copy and paste text from one place to another and find the formatting doesn’t match? Here’s a quick keyboard shortcut to make the copied text match the format of the rest of the document.

Highlight the text with the incorrect format, hit Ctrl-space. Done! Your copied text should now match the formatting of the rest of the document.

It works in email, word processing, websites, and almost all other software and applications.

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For other tips, click the IT Tips on the menu bar at the top of this page. For all IT posts, click All IT on the menu bar. To view the services I offer, click Services on the menu bar. Contact me if you you need IT support or services.