Do you use (or want to use) Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive? Do you want to know what you can do with them and how to pick the right one for you? Then this workshop is for you!
It will cover:
3. Everyday use
5. How to get the most of each service
6. How to choose the best service for you
I am a big fan of Google tools. There are Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Sites and a lot more. I became a Google Certified Educator because I use those tools extensively and wanted to learn to maximize the productivity. It can be intimidating to learn all of them at once.
Google released a Chrome extension called G Suite Training that offers useful tips while you actually use the tools.
Once you install the extension, you will see a new training menu in your Google Apps. You can tell by looking at the question mark with a Google-colored circle around it. Hit the links below to start learning G Suite!
G Suite Training | Chrome Web Store via G Suite Training
Google Drive got some useful improvements this week. It added spelling correction while typing in the search words and natural language processing (NLP).
NLP basically means you can search like you talk. You can say something like “open my project paper from last week” and Drive will search for the files that fit these criteria. Cool thing is that Drive will learn your queries, so search gets better over time.
It’s a big surprising that it took a while to get spelling check in the search. Drive will now autocorrect misspelled words and suggest corrections. You have seen this at work; Google search itself has this capability, and now you can use it within Drive.
I like Dropbox a lot, but Drive and, now with Windows 10, OneDrive are becoming my favorites.
Wolfram|Alpha is a useful tool in teaching mathematics or doing research. It can do math computations as well as answer factual questions like, “what is the population of Chicago?” The company introduced two add-ons for Google Drive to harness the power of W|A within Google Docs and Google Sheets. Here at the links to get them installed:
Wolfram|Alpha for Docs
Wolram|Alpha for Sheets
Once installed, in a Doc or a Sheet, go to the menu bar › Add-ons › Wolfram|Alpha for Docs or Sheets › Open Wolfram|Alpha Sidebar.
From here, you can use Wolfram|Alpha as you would do on the website. The neat thing is you can copy and paste the results from the sidebar into the document you are working on.
If you use both Google Drive and Wolfram|Alpha (and if you don’t, I recommend you do), these are two invaluable tools combined in one place.
If you are looking into improving your slide creations and presentation skills, Prezi offers regular webinars on these topics. I do not alway use Prezi, but the concepts mentioned in the webinars are applicable in presentations. I recommend you watch them to learn more about compelling storytelling.
I did a talk on Prezi.
Step aside, PowerPoint, Prezi is in the room. Learn about Prezi and how it can be used to showcase your portfolio and future presentations on the job.
I mentioned Google Keep a while back, and since then Google had a few new features. With Keep’s Chrome extension, you can easily save and add notes to links. It also adds link previews, duplicate check and autocomplete when adding food items. The web site also got a refresh that aligns with Google’s Material Design guidelines.
The autocomplete feature works with food related entries. This obviously helps with grocery shopping but I am hoping Google will add more categories. Duplicate check looks to see if an item you are trying to add had already been marked off as complete.
When you add a link to a note, you will see a small preview popup underneath that shows you the page title, domain and a picture.
I find Google Keep is quick and easy to manage. It now complements my Evernote notebooks.
Wolfram Research informed me recently that Mathematica 11 is imminent. This reminded me that I have not talked about WolframAlpha. It is called the Computation Knowledge Engine, which means it is not Google. It is, however, a tool that digests data and produces all kinds of useful information. This tool is useful in many disciplines, not just mathematics. See below for some examples.
- Business. Search for unemployment data in Chicago and you get the following:
You also get a chart explaining the rate over a period of time.
- History. Try “September 1945.” You get:
These are just two examples of what WolframAlpha is capable of. Check out the Examples section on the website to see what all it can do!
One issue with public speaking with a presentation is that it tends to lean towards speaking TO the audience rather than speaking WITH the audience. Google just introduced a nifty feature called Slides Q&A.
With Q&A, the presenters now can insert a link into the Slides presentation, and the participants can submit questions from the smartphones or laptops while they view the slides in real-time. Additionally, the audience can vote on which question they want the presenter to answer the most. This adds an element of interaction with the audience. I know of no other presentation software that does this.
Watch the video below to see the feature in action.
Google also introduced a new laser pointer option on the web.
For information on how to implement Q&A, here is the link to the help article.
I enjoy Evernote. It is an all-in depository of things I want to keep. I put reading materials, ideas, notes, documents I need to keep. But sometimes I just want to jot down simple notes and not necessarily make them archivable. It is like Notes in my iPhone. One limitation of Notes is that I do not know a way to sync the notes with other devices. I also like to centralize my notes so I pretty much use Evernote and clean up (i.e., delete) any unneeded notes after I used them. I looked into Simplenote, but again, it’s another service I need to connect to and have to remember. As much as I wanted to use it, I never got around to integrating it into my workflow.
Then I learned about Google Keep. It is pretty much the same as Simplenote but with one benefit: it integrates with Google. I use many Google services so Keep nicely integrates with my workflow. The app (iOS, Android) is fast. The website is minimalistic but functional, and it even integrates with Google Drive.
If you jot down lots of notes while you work, I suggest you look into Google Keep.