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Norski Ninja: Week 9!

We’re in the home stretch of our Norski Ninja series. And today we’ll begin thinking about the ways we love GoogleApps as next week’s tip will be just that–sharing the good parts of this change. Here are this week’s Ninja skills:

  • Calendar: Sharing your calendar with others takes a few steps and we covered that in Week Three. Now you can take it a step further by creating additional calendars to share. How about a classroom activities calendar? How about a volunteer calendar? A project calendar? You may not want classroom, sports, club, or other activities merged with your calendar, so just create another one. Share it. Embed it on your web page.
  • Mail: February can be pretty busy and your Gmail box might be filling up now, so use filters to automatically categorize, label, color-code, and organize your messages.  Say you’d like all of the messages from your principal to be labeled “Important”–a filter can do that. (This feature is similar to Rules in Groupwise.) Here’s how filters work in Gmail.
  • Docs: Although it’s improving all the time (Tables! Presentations! Page Numbers!), I’ll admit that Docs does not do everything that Word does. Sometimes you might need a more elaborate layout than Docs can offer. In that case, try downloading your GoogleDoc in another format for revision or sharing. Go to File >> Download As. You’ll have a choice of formats:
    • Word: Use this one if you’re going to do a big layout, need more clipart or need to use the excellent SmartArt in Office.
    • PDF: Use this one if you’re not going to make changes to the document, but you want to “freeze” it for posting to the web, sharing with others, or as an alternative to printing.
    • RTF: This format is pretty universal. Almost any word processor will open it up. It won’t be fancy, but it will be shareable and editable by lots of tools, including the very confusing Microsoft Works.
  • Here’s more information on downloading, including Drawings, Presentations, and more!
  • You can download and upload files to GoogleDocs much like you would use a flash drive. You don’t have to convert them to upload and you may still share with others. When you’re using Docs, Mail, and Calendar to cut down on the paper in your life, you are definitely approaching black belt status.

Remember to comment on this post to be entered into our weekly Google drawing. Give it a try! Tell us how you’ve used any of these tools or any Google tools.


2 Responses

  1. I am a google geek! I use a few google calendars, I guess…

    I have a personal google calendar for appointments, work schedule (for my other job), birthdays, etc. I also have a work google calendar for my school account. I put my schedule on it so that I can see which classes I have and when. I did the DHS Daily Schedule calendar so that I can see A/B/C days, plus I added the district calendar to see days off and stuff like that. ADDITIONALLY I have a separate calendar for my GAPP (German American Partnership Program) which I share with parents and students who are involved. Plus, I have a different google calendar for my German Club activities (which I have also shared with students who are involved). I love it because I can look at one calendar at a time if I need to, or I can look at them all simultaneously to make sure nothing overlaps.

    Um, but that’s not all. I made a google calendar specifically for cleaning, because I am not a very good housekeeper.

    My husband has shared his calendar with me for his work schedule, but he also has a homework calendar, which he loves because he can set up deadlines and have an e-mail or reminder sent to him a day/week/hour before something is due.

    Have I mentioned that I love google? I even made a poster for myself.

  2. My favorite “Gmail” discovery is the “filters”. I have color coded my e-mails, so when I see a “blue” label from the principal or a “green” label from a parent, I know they’re urgent. The rest of them can usually be saved until I am able to sit down for more than 3 minutes. Well worth figuring out!

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