Change is Inevitable

Just getting comfy with the latest changes to Gmail?  Well, rumor has it that change is in the air.  <sigh>

To be fair, Google has been willing to change and modify as technology – and the way we use it – continues to change at breakneck speed.  That said, I am still struggling with Google presorting my work emails – it seems capricious and yes, I have worked with it to try to “train” it.

PC Magazine posted an article on May 11, 2014 that you may want to read if you’re a Gmail user – Google Testing Huge Gmail RedesignIt sounds like it may resolve the sorting issue…or maybe just change the way it works.  Stay tuned.

New Google Tips

Here are my tips of the week!

10 Simple Google Calendar Tips

These tips may not be new, but I didn’t know about some of them.  Since I depend on my Google calendar, improving its functionality is always fantastic!  Check it out:

http://mashable.com/2012/01/25/google-calendar-tips/

Google Training Center for Round Rock ISD

My old friends over at Round Rock ISD have put together an awesome website with resources for all things Google.  Need to know how to do something?  It’s probably here.  Of course, it’s aimed at RRISD employees, but most of it translates nicely for ACC employees:

https://sites.google.com/a/roundrockisd.org/rrisdgoogletraining/home

Enjoy your Google weekend!

 

Google-speak

One of the hardest things about teaching people how to use Google Apps is that they have to learn a whole new vocabulary.  Honestly, why did Google have to rename everything?  I seriously doubt it was a case of copyright infringement.  Was it to make their product just a little cooler?  It would be like marketing a new car by renaming all the parts.  “Open this Compartment Enclosure Device, and seat yourself on this wonderful leather Position Enhancer. Put your hands on the Direction-Enabler….” well, you get my drift.  Whatever. Enough ranting.  Google doesn’t care.  You must learn because you must use Google.  So, without further ado, here’s my handy translation guide: Gmail Terms Labels –  You give your email “labels” to organize it.  Think folders.  Not sure how to label an email?  No problem.  Give it several different labels.  Now you can look for it in “Upcoming Meetings”, “Current Projects” and “Things to Think About Later.”  Surely one of those things will trigger your memory.  This is actually a really cool feature. Labs – I know what you’re thinking.  You’re wrong.  These are special little tweaks you can give to your email to make your life easier.  Or more interesting   Or, just because you’re bored and avoiding that report you have to write until the very last possible minute.  But I digress.  You can add stars,  add a calendar to the web page you view your email on….what?  You’re using an email client to view your Gmail?  Why? Google Drive Terms Google Drive – Looking for your stuff?  This is where it is… if you uploaded it there.   The good news is that if your hard drive dies, it isn’t going to take all of your hard work with it.  See my post, Google Drive for iPhone to find out how you too can be connected to work 24/7. My Drive –  where the stuff YOU created is.  Not to be confused with Shared with Me* ** – where stuff other people created and “shared” with you is located.  Don’t get these two confused or you will never find that PowerPoint that you worked on until 3:00 in the morning. Shared – you give permission to others to access and/or edit your stuff, or in other words – now they have a Shared with Me*…from you.  Don’t overthink this. Of course, given how often Google changes things, this all may be outdated in a couple of months.  Good luck, traveler; good luck.

*Updated 10/7/2014: This used to be called “Collections Shared with Me” – now it’s just “Shared with Me.”  Still the same thing.

**Updated 01/29/2015:  Now “Shared with Me” is called “Incoming.”  Seriously.  I feel the urge to duck and cover every time I read that.

Tip of the Day: Google Drive for iPhone

I haven’t been this excited about a tip since I discovered how to use “concatenate” in spreadsheets (no, I do not need to get out more).   Yesterday I was stuck in the seemingly endless Purgatory of waiting for for software to install.   Because I had to stay right there so I could hit “Continue” or “I Agree” at the appropriate moments, I was playing around with my iPhone.  I love my iPhone, and I am always thrilled when I find yet another thing that makes me love it even more.  My big find?  Google Drive for iPhone.  It’s amazing.  I can manage everything on my Google Drive, right there from my phone.  For example, I wanted to change the permissions on some of the folders that are shared with some of my colleagues.  No problem – it was almost easier to do on my phone than it is to do on the computer.  A much better use of my time than playing Words With Friends!

Google Drive is available in the App Store.

Tip of the Day: Color Your (Google Calendar) Weekends Blue

I confess that I am addicted to my Google calendar. Everything goes on my Google calendar.  So when I came across this cool trick  for making the background for the weekends a different color, I just had to pass this on.

If you’re like me, and your calendar week starts with Sunday, and ends with Saturday, then do this:

Many thanks to Lifehacker and CSGeek for this cool trick.  To see the rest of the options, plus some other tricks, check out Calendar Views, Frozen Macs, and Address Bar Shortcuts.