Android Expert Profiles

How I Use Android: Google Keep product manager Mario Anima

A Googler responsible for the Keep organization app shows us how he uses Android to keep his own life organized.

How I Use Android - Mario Anima

Android Expert Profiles

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Google Keep is a great tool for managing all sorts of notes and lists -- especially if simplicity, universal access, and tight integration with Google services are priorities for you. I've used it on and off for years myself, and lately, it's become a core part of my mobile tech setup.

So how do the people who actually make Keep keep their own lives organized? I thought it'd be interesting to find out. I got in touch with Keep's product manager, Mario Anima, to get the inside scoop on his own personal Android habits and how he molds the platform to fit his day-to-day needs.

In his own words, this is how Mario Anima uses Android.

The basics

Your current primary phone: I’m currently using a Nexus 5X. I rotate phones frequently for testing purposes and just recently switched from the Nexus 6P to the 5X. So far, I’m enjoying the smaller form factor of the 5X.

What case is on your phone (if any): Against better judgment, I really prefer going caseless on my devices. I like the look and feel of a device as it was designed, and if I cased my 5X, I wouldn’t be able to show off the awesome Ice color scheme. Aesthetics aside, I’ve collected some data, and there is definitely a correlation between how a device handles wear and tear and my overall enjoyment of the device throughout its lifetime. My favorite devices almost always wear well over time without buttons breaking, etc.

Your current tablet (if any): Nexus 7. I tend to upgrade phones consistently. However, with tablets, I get more comfortable and set in my ways. For me, the 7 is the perfect form factor and size for reading, light gaming, and relaxing.

The home screen

A quick walk-through of your phone's home screen setup: Starting from top to bottom, I've got a Google search bar, followed by two home screen widgets. First, Calendar: My day is largely dictated by my calendar, so having it at the ready at all times is key. Second, Keep: Having access to my to-do lists to stay on top of tasks and check items off as they get done is super important to me. Plus, the ability to take a note from the widget is a big time saver.

Mario Anima Screenshot

My docked apps are pretty straightforward: Inbox for all inbound communication, a “Create” folder with the editors (Docs, Sheets, Slides) and Drive, Chrome, and Hangouts.

What launcher you're using: I keep my setup fairly stock, though I’ve used the Google Now Launcher on devices with less useful stock launchers, and I’ve played around with Apex Launcher in the past.

What wallpaper you're using: I have a black and white photo of my kids near the ocean that was taken during a hike we did recently at Point Lobos.

Anything else of note (interesting customizations, special icons, etc): I installed Monsterball Icon Pack to show my kids on the Nexus 7 a while back. It was fun for a while, but I eventually reverted to stock icons.

The experience and the apps

What's one of your favorite Android-related tips or tricks?

I really love the responsiveness when unlocking my phone via Nexus Imprint. It’s easy to use, and the location of the sensor is very intuitive. I set imprint up with both index fingers so I can unlock using either right or left hand depending on how I’m holding the device.

Beyond the obvious stock Google programs, a few apps you can't live without right now (and a quick word about why):

  • Flynx: Flynx helps me multitask while browsing through streams of content. It lets me load a bunch of URLs in the background while still scanning through my feeds and then open them up to consume when I'm ready.
  • Strava: I love cycling in my off time, and Strava helps me stay on top of my rides, monthly goals, and performance.
  • Feedly: I’d be lost without a feed of content to dip into in my downtime, and Feedly lets me curate a list of sources to keep my feed full of great stuff to read.

Check out more Android expert profiles below or in the official Google+ collection -- and stay tuned for even more entries in the weeks to come!

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