Monday, August 21, 2017

Google Calendar Notifications

Have you set up notifications in Google Calendar yet? For each calendar in Google Calendar, you can specify up to five default notifications. These alerts are automatically in effect for all future events — to alert you of all meetings, or all the activities you've scheduled for yourself to do this week. To have Google Calendar remind you about a calendar's events there are some simple set up steps.

Let's get started!

Follow the Settings link in Google Calendar.

Go to the Calendars tab.

Click Notifications in the desired calendar's line under My Calendars or Other Calendars.

Pick the desired alert method under By default, remind me via.

Select the desired lead time under before each event.

If you wish to have SMS alerts on your phone - click on Mobile Setup at the bottom of the window, or click on Mobile Setup tab.

Here's a short video explaining Notifications and Reminders in Google Calendar

Monday, August 14, 2017

Say Goodbye to the YouTube Video Editor

The YouTube Video Editor is on its way out the door. I really liked the YouTube editor, and I found it very convenient to use. But like many other things that are too good to be free, Google is informing their users about the end of life date for this apparently unpopular solution.

While YouTube refers to alternatives, it doesn't really offer any, so I have done a quick look at what is available in easy video editing tools for free or nearly free.

Not So Free

The good news is that District 50 will be piloting WeVideo for classroom use this coming year. WeVideo sports an easy to use interface and the functionality of a high-end video editing tool. Everyone from the video newbie to seasoned videographers can find something to like about WeVideo. This online tool works on any device from anywhere. For non-educational use, prices range from $59.88 - $95.88 annually.

While I have used both the Mac version and the iOS version, my limited video editing skill favors the iOS version. Simple, straightforward, and easy-peasy to use. Well worth the $10 investment.


Windows Movie Maker 2016
I know, I know, it's not as good as iMovie, but it is free! Movie Maker is also incredibly easy to use. Easy and free to download and install.

Open source free editor for Window or Mac. Must be downloaded.

Great free option! Perfect if you want to use video editing with your students - up to 100 students per teacher.
Students can make unlimited, full-length 360p videos.
You can watch, edit, delete students videos from your classroom account.

Google Calendar Reminders

Your calendar is meant for scheduling, your to-do app is meant for listing tasks, right? But given how interdependent these two activities are, that segregation just doesn’t make sense. Google integrates Calendar and to-do lists with Reminders.

Manually Entering Reminders

Add one-time or recurring reminders in Google Calendar.
Reminders carry over to the next day until you mark them done.

If you don't see Reminders under My calendars, click the Down arrow Calendar drop-down arrow next to Tasks and select Switch to Reminders.
Click an empty time slot in your calendar.
Click Reminder.
Type your reminder.
Choose a date, time, and frequency.
Click Create.

Using Google Keep 

So you use Google Keep? If you are using Keep and adding a due date/time, it will automatically populate in your calendar.

  • Go to
  • Click a note.
  • At the bottom left, click Remind me.
  • You can set reminders to go off at a certain time or place: Time reminder: Click one of the default times, or click Pick a date & time. ...
  • Click Save.
  • To close your note, click Done or click outside the note.

Don't know anything about Keep? Check out this post:

Do you like Post-its®? Try Google Keep!

Monday, August 7, 2017

How to Busy Search in Google Calendar

Sometimes the most difficult part of a meeting is finding a time that works for everyone involved. It starts out fine, then numerous emails, phone calls and texts later you finally settle on a date and time. Meanwhile, you've wasted precious time.
Google Calendar has a fix for that with the "Find a Time" tool. The only caveat is that everyone invited is using Google Calendar and they share at least Free/Busy information with you.

Find a meeting time

  • Open Google Calendar.
  • Create a new event, or open an existing event (you may need to click Edit event first).
  • Click the Find a time tab. If the other guests' calendars are shared with you, you'll see their schedules.
  • Find a time. Use the arrows at the top to navigate between days.
  • Once you've found a time, click the area within the calendar grid. The time will update at the top of the page.
  • Click Save.
  • Editing events: You can only edit the event if you created the event or if the event organizer gave guests permission to change the event.

Here's a quick video tutorial from Ryan's Tech Tips 

Monday, July 31, 2017

I Deleted My Calendar Event - Now What?

I have to admit it, I tend to over-purge when cleaning and organizing. Recently I was populating my calendar for next school year and in the process, I deleted a series of events that I really wasn't sure I wanted to delete. Worse yet, I couldn't exactly remember what the event was. Yikes!
Fortunately for me, Google has a trash feature in Google Calendar so you can get back the events you’ve accidentally deleted. Hooray!

It works for both individual and recurring calendar events that have been deleted, and for your own calendar as well as other calendars for which you have edit rights.

Restore deleted events in Google Calendar

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Under "My Calendars," point to your calendar and click the Down arrow View Trash. ...
  3. Check the box to the left of any events you want to restore.
  4. Click Restore selected events.
Here's a short video from Better Cloud Monitor that shows how this process works:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Google Docs - Extensis Add-on

A while ago, I posted an article about how to access more than just the default fonts in Google. On the font menu drop-down, simply select More Fonts, and then you can browse a huge list of fonts. One click is all it takes to add it to or remove it from your font menu.

That's a great tool, but sometimes it's nice to have an easier way to visualize fonts together or to quickly modify fonts on parts of my document.  There’s an add-on for that, and it's called Extensis Fonts. It gives you a panel of fonts on the right-hand side of your screen to make it easy to find the perfect font.  
With Extensis Add-on you can:
  • Immediately access the entire Google Fonts collection of over 1200+ fonts
  • Select any text and with one click apply a font
  • Easily browse font options with large, easy-to-inspect font previews
  • Search for fonts by popularity and trending status
  • Browse fonts by style

To enable the Add-on, follow these steps:

1. Open a Google Doc
2. On the menu bar, click on Add-ons. Go to Get Add-ons.

3. When the Add-Ons menu appears, use the search box in the upper right corner to search for fonts.  Extensis Fonts should be one of the results.  Click the blue FREE button, and then click the blue ACCEPT button to add it to your Drive

4. Once Extensis is installed, you can find it by clicking on your Add-Ons menu.  Simply click on Extensis Fonts, and then Start.  

5. The panel will then open on the right, and you can highlight text in your document and click on a font to change it.

6. I decided to use Macondo Swash Caps for my Lorem Ipsum text. Very classy, don't you think?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Evernote and Google Drive

Did you notice in last week's post about Evernote that there was an editing tool for Google Drive? Evernote's ability to integrate with Google Drive is another reason why it is such a useful tool. The integration with Drive works in both the desktop and online versions of Evernote.

With this tool, you can add any file in Drive to your notes without leaving Evernote. And any changes to files in Google Drive will dynamically update in Evernote.