Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Google Drive Search Tip

When you are hunting for a file in Google Drive and you type into the search bar, it searches your entire Google Drive - including files that have been shared with you.  This often creates a very long list and makes it more difficult for you to find your file.  If you are looking for a file you created, type "owner:me" into the search bar (do not include the quotes) and then type your text.  For instance, if you are looking for an English Essay file you made, and you don't want the 120 English Essays your students wrote to show up, type the following into the search bar:

owner:me English Essay

Your results will only include files that you created.  This helps narrow the results significantly and helps you find your files faster.

For more Google Drive tips check out these posts I made:

Google Drive Search Tips
Google Drive Organization Tips

Stop by again soon for more handy tech tips!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Get More Themes for Google Slides - Slides Carnival

When I suggest using Google Slides instead of PowerPoint, one complaint I get is that there aren't as many nice design themes.  Students might feel the same way.  It is true that there aren't many design themes native to Google Slides, but there are people who have created some great ones and they don't mind sharing!

Visit the Slides Carnival website and check out all the beautiful and practical Google Slides design themes they offer free of charge.  When you find one you like, you can click on it to bring up a more detailed page about that theme.  Now, Slides Carnival does have some advertising on their page, which I agree is no fun, however it enables them to offer us free themes, so we just learn to navigate around it.  When you want to download the theme, be sure you are clicking on the orange "Use this presentation template" button and not a download button of any kind.  

When you click that button it will take you to a view only Slides presentation.  You can then go to the File menu and choose "Make a copy".  

It will prompt you to name the copy.  I like to name it something that reminds me of what it looks like, so when I want to use it later, I can find it easily.  I also add the words "presentation theme" to the name.  I organize all of my presentation theme files into a folder in my Google Drive because it makes it easier to find the theme I want later.

Once you have your copy, you can close the window and browse for more themes.  When you are ready to use that theme in a presentation, open a new slide show and click on the "Change theme" button across the top.  At the bottom right hand corner of the panel that opens will be an "Import theme" button.  

Type in the words "presentation theme" and all of the slide shows you have named with "presentation theme" in the filename will pop up.  Choose the one you want and click, "Import theme".

Now you can build your presentation using that theme.  When you click on the "Layout" button across the top of the page, you can choose which layout you'd like to use on your slide.  You can also click on the little plus above the slide list.  A short cut is to click the tiny down arrow instead of the plus because it lets you choose which type of slide you'd like to add.  

Happy slide building!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gmail - Undo Send

Ever wish you could hit undo after sending an email?  Maybe you sent it to the wrong person, or you accidentally hit send before you were finished?  With Gmail - you can!

To enable the undo send feature, click on the gear icon in the top right hand side of your Gmail inbox and select "Settings" from the menu.

Scroll down until you see "Undo Send" and click the box to enable it.  You can then use the drop down to set your desired time frame for the undo.  You will only have that amount of time to click undo before you lose the option.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Save changes" button.

Now when you send an email, you will get the normal message at the top of your screen that lets you know the message has been sent, but now it will include a link to undo.  After the time frame you selected has passed, the undo link will disappear.

The reason you only have a certain time frame to undo the send, is because it isn't actually sending your email when you hit send.  It waits for the time frame you selected before it sends the email, which is what gives you the chance to undo the send.  

This feature has come in handy for me several times!  I hope you find it helpful as well.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Set Chrome to Open Your Favorite Tabs

There are probably a few websites you visit everyday.  Email, attendance, Google Drive, maybe even Hapara Teacher Dashboard.  Did you know Google Chrome can open all those tabs automatically each time you open the app?  It's really simple to set up.

First, open all the tabs that you want to have up each time you open Chrome and make sure they are in the order you want them to be in.

Then click the hotdog menu (the three little lines) on the upper right hand corner of your browser window and choose settings.  

Look for the "On startup" section.  Select the option for "Open a specific page or set of pages" and then click the little blue link that says "Set pages".

At the bottom of the window that pops up, click the button that says "Use current pages".  Then click "Save".  

That's it!  Now when you open up Chrome, all of your tabs will open just the way you want them to.  

*Note - If you use a Mac, these pages will only be opened each time you re-launch Chrome and not each time you open a new set of windows.

Google Keep

Are you one of those people who have sticky notes and lists littering your desk?  I was - until I found Google Keep.  Access to my sticky notes whenever, where ever, no matter what device I'm using.  You can make to do lists, set reminders, add pictures, and change the color of your notes.

To get started, be sure you are logged in with the Google Account you want to use, and browse to  There will be some notes already there giving you some information about what you can do with Keep.  You can delete them when you are ready and replace them with your own notes.  Here is a picture of what my Keep looks like at the moment:

To add a new note, simply click on "Add note" in the white bar near the top.  If you know you want a list, you can click on the little list icon on the right side of the bar.  If you know you want a picture note, click the picture icon.  

Once you begin editing your note - you will have several different options.  

You can get reminders about your note, share it with others, change the background color, add an image to your note, or archive it (not delete it, but get it off the screen until you need it again).  

If you click on the three little dots to see more options, you can delete the note, add a label (for tracking your notes easier), make a copy of the note, choose to have checkboxes for a little list, or even copy to a Google Doc (the copy to Doc option will only show up once you have typed in some text). 

I love the "Copy to a Google Doc" option because if I start a list or some brainstorming on a note, I can click that and it will create a Google Doc with the text and/or photo that was in my note and it gives the document the same title as the note.  Pretty handy!

On the upper left hand side of your screen, you can click on the little menu to see a few more options. 

You are already on the "Notes" page.  You can click to see your reminders, filter notes by labels, see what you have Archived or even what you have deleted.  Under settings you can enable sharing of notes.  

Take a moment and check it out.  If you like it, you just might be able to get rid of the crazy sticky note parade.

Helping teachers incorporate technology, one tech tip at a time.