Friday, January 8, 2016

Set Gmail as Default in Chrome

So you are cruising the web and run into an email link on a site. You want to contact that person so you click on the email link. Suddenly every email program you have installed on your computer is asking permission to open when all you really want to use is Gmail (I mean really, what other email service could you possible even want?). If only there was a way to fix this so when you click on an email link Gmail would automatically open. The good news is there is a way to do this! Follow these four easy and quick steps to get set up!

Set Gmail as Default in Chrome

  1. Make sure you are signed into Chrome and open Gmail in a tab.
  2. Look at the top right side of the Chrome Omnibox. You will see what looks like 2 diamonds overlapping. Click on them.

  1. The box that opens is asking you to allow Gmail to open when email links are clicked. Well, Yes Please! Click “Allow”.

  1. Click “Done”. You are all set. Now when you click on an email link, Gmail will open and create a new message with that email address in the “To:” line.

Happy Emailing!

If you want these steps in a document click Here!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Searching Google for Copyright Free Images

We all use them...images from the web. We also all “know” the rules of copyright laws. The tough part is getting in the habit of only using copyright free images. If only Google had an easy way to do that...but it does! Below are a couple of quick and easy ways to find images that you can use on documents, newsletters, websites, and other media.

Searching Google for Copyright Free Images

Find Copyright Free Images with a Simple Google Search:
  1. Go to
  2. In the search box (or the omnibox) type in the subject of your search.
  3. When search results appear click on “Images”.

  1. You will see all images Google found for your search. These are ALL images, not only copyright free. Next, click on “Search Tools”.

  1. Select what level of copyright you are looking for.
    • Not filtered by license
      • will not filter your results
    • Labeled for reuse with modification
      • will locate images that can be modified and altered and used commercially
    • Labeled for reuse
      • will locate images that can be reproduced, communicated, redistributed or published for commercial purposes
    • Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification
      • will locate images that can be modified and altered
    • Labeled for noncommercial reuse
      • will locate images that can be reproduced, communicated, redistributed or published

Find Free Images While in a Google Document:
  1. Open a Google Document.
  2. Click on “Insert” and click on “Image”.

  1. On the far right choose “Search”. The listed service are filters. I usually use Google. Type in your search.

  1. You can also filter by color, face, photo, clip art, and line drawing. This is useful when you are trying to narrow down to your specific need.

  1. Double click on the image you want to include or single click and then click “Done”.
  2. You are all set. The image is not in your document ready to use!

There are many sites that also allow free images to be downloaded. Whichever option you choose to use, please make sure to follow the copyright laws to protect you, your students, and the original creator of the image.

For these directions in a document click Here!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Google Keep: More than just a To-Do List

We all have them: To-Do Lists! Whether they are on Post-Its, scraps of paper, digital documents, Evernote type tools, iOS/Android Reminders, or any other app or form we use they are part of our life. There are so many apps out there that it gets tough to decide which one to use. I have been using Google Keep for a couple years now and it is my “go to” list tool. The best part is that it is not device specific. I use it on my Android phone, my Mac/PC computers, and my iPad daily. All devices sync beautifully and best of all, it is tied to my Google accounts. This allows me to have personal and work notes without them ever crossing (sharing access).

Google Keep: More Than Just To-Do Lists

How to access Google Keep:
  • Computer:
  1. Sign into your Google Account.
  2. Go to or add the Chrome App.
  3. Create a note in your browser.

  • Mobile:
  1. Go to the App Store/Google Play and download Google Keep.
  2. Create notes from the app.
  3. Make sure to be in the correct account if you are using multiple accounts on your device.

Here are the ways I use Google Keep:
  • Make to-do lists
    • Start by creating a note. Just click/tap the “Take a note” on mobile or “Add a note” on the web to get started. You can also just tap/click the type of note in box that you want to create (checklist, audio, or image). I have a running (Today) note. As things come up I add them to it. As I do them, I delete them off. Easy, and in one place.

  • Create reminders
    • You can have Keep send you mobile reminders as well! Just create a note and click on the reminder icon and set a date and time. You will get a notification to view the note when it is due.

  • Type notes
    • Take notes and save them in Keep to come back to then later. These can also be added to a Google Document at any time. By clicking on “Copy to Google Drive” you will create a new Google Document containing the text in the note right on your Drive!

  • Create checklists
    • Checklists are my favorite. Once on the list all items can be click-and-drag into any order. Using this tool you get a list of items/tasks to get done. When you complete them just tap/click on the box. It gets marked completed and sent to the bottom to be deleted later. It is a great feeling seeing all those completed items at the bottom!

  • Create a grocery list
    • This is the same as the checklist. The best part is as you put items into your cart and check them off, they go to the bottom of the list under completed. The next week’s list can be made by simply unchecking the items. This puts them back into the list to buy. It is like a recycling grocery list!

  • Record voice notes
    • So, you don’t want to spend time typing or just want to record audio and save it? Keep will do that for you! Just tap/click the microphone and record audio to playback/share later (mobile devices only)! The best part, Keep will transpose your voice into text in the note as well as have the audio for playback!

  • Color-code label to sort notes
    • Keep yourself organized by labeling or color coding all your notes. Then all you have to do is filter by color or label to find them easily! You can see here that I even have a Keep note for my color codes.

  • Take picture notes
    • We all know that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Take a picture and add it to a note!

  • Draw notes
    • New in Keep is the drawing feature (right now only in Android version). Sketch out your ideas and save them!

So you start using Keep and need to find a specific note among all your work. Finding a previously made note is easy. Just do a search. You can even filter by note type, color, or label!

The best part: because it is a Google tool you can share any one of the above notes with others who use Keep!

For more basic Google Keep help check out the Help Site.

If you want these directions in a document click Here!