Tuesday, January 19, 2016

4 Simple Steps to a More Efficient Google Drive

Here are four simple steps you can do today to organize your Google Drive.  Not only are you modeling good organizational skills for your students but you will save yourself tons of time and aggravation!

1.  Categorize by Folders - Create a folder for each category of document.  You can even create sub-folders within your folders.  An 'uncategorized' folder can hold all the documents that don't fit into any other folders yet.  When you are ready to move a document into a specific folder simply right click on it and select 'Move to'.  Or when the document is open, click on the folder to the right of the document name and select desired folder or create a new one.

To create a new folder, select the red "NEW" button, then select 'folder.'

2.  Add some color - Adding color to your folders will streamline your search.  You may want to categorize by color and have your subfolders within that folder be a different shade of the primary color.

To change the color of a folder right click on the name of the folder then select the 'change color' option.  OR click on the three vertical dots on the right side of the top bar to access the same menu.

3.  Standardize your Naming Convention - The naming convention needs to expedite your search. Therefore, the naming conventions must be chosen by you.  Some names may include content areas, or topics such as PDPs, purchase orders or professional articles.  The name can begin with the date (1.8.16 Google Drawings) if you prefer to search by date.

To rename a document, highlight the documents name in Drive and then click the three vertical dots on the right side of the top bar.  Then select 'rename.'

4.  'Shared with you' Files - When a document is shared with you, it does not automatically get added to your drive.  Make sure to add the file to the appropriate folder in your My Drive.  If it does not adhere to your naming conventions, create a folder that suits you and add the file to that folder.

To add a document that is shared with you to your My Drive, highlight the document under "Shared with Me", then select the three vertical dots menu on the right side of the top bar.  Next, select 'Add to My Drive' from the dropdown menu.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Aspen and Report Card Support

Recently there were issues with scrolling when in Aspen.  Turns out this was not an Aspen issue but rather a setting on your computer.
  •     Go to System Preferences 
  •     Choose the General icon  
  •     You will see a setting called "Show scroll bar to:"
  •     Set that to Always.
Then your scroll bars should appear.

Converting Microsoft to Google

Still using Microsoft as your go to?  Converting Microsoft to Google couldn't be easier!  Benefits of uploading your documents and presentations to Google Drive include automatic saving, saving to the cloud, access from any device, and more memory on your computer.  Though not every alignment is perfect, the new Google Document is accessible and you have the ability to share and collaborate with others!

4 Easy Steps:
1.  In your Google Drive select the Gear and "Settings"

2.  Check the box that specifies:  "Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format"

3.  Select red 'NEW' button and choose "FILE UPLOAD"

4.  A list of your documents will open, select the document you would like to upload.  To upload multiple documents, hold the "command" key and select multiple files.  Choose "Open"

You can also upload entire folders or Power Point Presentations.  Remember when you convert, some of your alignment may need adjusting.  This is usually true with tables and presentations.

The more you experiment with your Google Drive and it's capabilities the more comfortable you will feel.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


If you know me at all, you know I am the queen of list making.  At this moment, I have a post-it note of things to do today.  My cell phones notes app includes lists on books to read, movies to watch, notes from a conference, food shopping, errands and much more!  I have always found lists helpful in keeping me focused and achieving my tasks or even long term goals.

There are an endless amount of tools to help with productivity.  I have highlighted a few below.  But the most effective tool is the one that works for you.  If you have a tool that has helped you stay organized and manage tasks, please share, so we can each find which works best for ourselves.

Chrome Extensions:

ToDoist is a free Google Extension (available in the Chrome Web Store).  This electronic "to do list" icon will appear to the right side of your Google Search Bar.  You can prioritize, set reminders group projects and manage your tasks in one location.  Found a great article but no time to read it?  ToDoist will link directly to your article! You can also add emails to your to do list directly from your Gmail account, reminding you to respond or complete email related tasks. Check out this brief video for more ToDoist tips!  (Video provided by 1st Productivity.)

Prefer something more visual?  Check out Google Keep or Padlet Mini.  Google Keep allows you to create colorful "stickies" which can be arranged to meet your needs, include photos, checkboxes or reminders. Pressed for time?  Record a voice memo and Keep will transcribe it so you can find it later! Google Keep can be used on your smart phone, tablet or computer. Use Padlet Mini to create (and share if desired) a grocery list, Venn diagram, a discussion board, brainstorm ideas, collect resources for an upcoming project or vacation.

One last app I couldn't live without.....Due is a reminder app for your phone.  Quickly remind yourself to make that appointment, complete a project or send that birthday card!  

Please share any tips or tools that you use to help you achieve your smallest tasks or even your biggest goals!

Google Keep:

Padlet Mini: