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Jenn Reidy
teacher, writer, creator
teacher, writer, creator
Jenn's posts

Can I print select Google contacts to labels? If so, how? If not, why not?

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Make it happen!
How you can help get us a second season of #Tabletop  in one easy step.

At GenCon last weekend, the most frequently asked question I got was "When do you start the second season of  #tabletop ?"

The next most frequently asked question was, "What are you going to play on the second season?"

My answer to both of these questions is: I have no idea, because we don't know if YouTube is going to fund a second season."

What usually followed was a series of confused noises and some stammering before the final question was asked: "How do I help you get a second season?"

Here is the answer:

The best and most effective way to support the show -- in fact, the only way that Google even cares about -- is to subscribe to the channel, like and comment on the episodes (if you, you know, actually like them) and encourage everyone you know to do the same thing.

Google cares about interactions like that on their Premium Channels (like G&S), and while we all know we're never going to get the same numbers as the longtime YouTubers who are getting five million views per video, I think that if we can stay up in the six digits, we'll get another season.

It's amusing to me that we're not dealing with a studio or a network, but we still have to hit certain numbers to get more funding (just like we would if we were on broadcast television.)

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This is a huge piece that is missing in today's classroom.  I see so many students who are afraid to try and so they learn so little. I would love to learn to implement this or as suggested in the essay, try it and see how it turns out.

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Interesting.  I'm normally to lazy to set this stuff up... but maybe
Your complete Gmail life with 5 favorite Gmail labs (5/5) + extra's!

Somewhere, hidden in Gmails vault but very robust, there are 40 or so, Gmail functionalities called that make your Gmail life totally different and more efficient. Each of them are worthwhile exploring, don't be a whimp and switch them all on. It's the best way of finding out which one or two you don't like.

Of these 40, I want to share 5 of my favorite functionalities. If you like these, you might like them all.

1. The left powerbar
Make your left column a mean machine instead of a waste of screen space
Labs needed: Right side chat, Quick Links, Add any gadget by URL
Let's go, let's make some space.

Step 1: In add Right side chat (don't forget to hit save at the bottom of the page). Now that widescreens are becoming the standard you might as well put you chat window on the right and in the settings of that window set it to large, since it's the only inhabitant in the right column.
Step 2: Do you really need all those on the left side? Mine are Inbox, Sent, All Mail, g+ (see ) and the rest is hidden.
Hide (or just remove) any label that you can also find with Gmail search.
Step 3: Instead, add Quick links in
Gmail is built on urls. Any command is a url and Quick links can capture all those internal links by just hitting Add quick link. Like what?
* Settings -> filters you just click here and you do one click instead of thee (Gmail settings gearwheel - topright -, settings, filter)
* Search Do you have your favorite search and you want it to be ready in one click? of instance: I always forget the format of search by date. This one makes it easy to me to change the parameters:
* One mail Always looking for the same mail with instructions? Go to that mail and add it to Quick Links
* Labels unread You want to filted on your unread mail?
Etc etc etc. Any screen in Gmail you can pull up.
Step 4: In Labs add "Add any gadget by url". Hit save and go to . There you can add any url gadget. I got mu inspiration from iGoolge and chose: and The formet is a small Google Translate and the latter is my Quick Links for external links. Again, these are just examples. Anyone for another good idea?   

After this, your left column will look like the powerbar in the picture.

2. Custom Shortkeys
I don't like grabbing the mouse when I'm writing mails, so my favorite keys while writing a mail are <tab>,<enter>,<1>,<ESC>. This means go to send-button, send, archive, go to back inbox. I don't aways want to archive, so since the ESC and 1 are next to eachother, I sometimes just hit ESC while I'm in the top left corner. In fact, ESC has turned into a great 'escape' wherever you are in Gmail.

In Labs add Custom keyboard shorcuts. In swich on Keyboard shortcuts (third from the top) and then here: you can set your favorite keyboard combinations. So my favorite custom settings - I have many - are 1 for archive and ESC for go to inbox. Since ESC is as a standard used for the chatmoles you need to overwrite the chatmole. For instance with WES or so. See picture (top, middle, bottom).

Lastly, since Gmail is url based, you can use <backspace> as well. For instance, if you do a search and enter into a mail, then you can return to the search by hitting backspace. Same with a mail that you just archived by hitting 1, but wanted to take one more look at.

3. Undo
Did you know you can undo sending but also undo archiving?
In Labs add Undo send and now in Settings (General) you switch the Undo to thirty seconds. This means that for 30 seconds you get to undo (with your mouse or hit the letter z as a shortkey) and revert back to the mail you just sent. I use that for a spell check while sending.

4. Secondary mailbox and Gmail's help filling it
You want to separate your B-category mail (newsletters, notifications, bacon) from your A-category (human made mails), why don't you label those in a filter with a label called '2nd' (for secondary) and put them in a separate mailbox using mutliple inboxes. Gmail can also help deciding what's secondary. I normally don't like a black box to decide what's secondary but this is good and harmless for your mail. If you want have Gmail help decide your filter will look like this 

 from:(label:^smartlabel_notification OR label:^smartlabel_promo OR label:^smartlabel_newsletter)
 Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label "2nd"

Because the inbox is skipped, aka archiving, you want to retrieve the secondaries in the browser with Multiple Inboxes (switch this on in Labs). Now, in , add a section for label:2nd AND is:unread (AND in capitals) and click on Below your inbox. Also make sure you can see your new section, you set your inbox to 15 long here: , right at the top. A small inbox length is a good exercise for archiving, if you're not already doing that.

Update 1: Btw, without entering the message you can make it disappear from 2nd mailbox by selecting the message and hitting the Mark as Read button. If you want to do that, first add Mark as Read from... Gmail labs. 

Update2: Another killer use of Multiple inboxes is that you can make your drafts not get lost in the drafts folder. Just let your next Mobile inbox look like this:

label:drafts AND -label:noshow  AND -subject:noshow

This means: unless you label the draft 'noshow' or you enter the word 'noshow' in subject (which is usually the case), you will see the drafts on your main screen.

For mobile secondary in your Android mobile you want to add a shortcut (longpress from the start screen) and choose 'Gmail label'. In your mobile Gmail settings you can switch on the synchronisation for that label and its notifications if you want to. For Iphone, you can go to that label through the main Gmail screen. 

5. Filters and mute - minimize signalling

1) Mute - Ever got bored with reply to alls going back and forth? I'm sure everyone does sometimes. There used to be a lab called Smart Mute, but that one is now graduated, implemented as a standard in Gmail.
If you now hit m or in the Gmail taskbar press More and Mute, you can make the follow up of that conversation go straight to archive. 
Of course you can make the muted stories reappear in your Multiple inbox: 'is:muted AND is:unread' does the trick.

2) General filter - If you want some newsletters to never appear, but you don't want/dare to unsubscribe, you can make them disappear in filters.

from:(-"newsletter from your friend but not in a reply. minus means NOT -subject:re) or he mentions your name" subject:hisnewsletter -subject:Re -yourname

Action:Skip inbox, label:filed

Minus and then text in double quotes leaves space for comments (see here ), given that the sender is never called like that. My label 'filed' shows me that it was in an automated filing. I have many of these filters, leaving the highest quality to go into my inbox.

3) Cc - If you're really swamped with mails, you might want to consider filtering the ones where you're in the cc. That filter looks like this:


Action:Skip inbox, Label:cc

Now, if other people start chatting, you don't even have to mute, you can just follow it in label:cc AND is:unread

4) Auto reply - This is just a small trick. Don't you hate it when you have a new mail and it turns out to be an out of office reply?

subject:((out office) OR "automatisch antwoord" OR "niet aanwezig" OR "Automatic reply" OR auto-reply))

Action:Skip inbox, label:2nd

Sorry, the middle words are Dutch so the Dutchies don't have to figure them out themselves.

5) Forward - My wife and I have a Gmail address that gets forwarded to a Googlegroup with two members, her and me.
However sometimes it's awkward to receive a mail on that silly tomandjenny address. 
So, I forward some stuff to her automatically. It's in the actions menu.

6) Spam attacking - I like checking my spam. I get so many (see ) that I got inspired to make my own spam filters as a hobby. Those filters delete all spam so that the unexpected - which interest me dearly - and the miscategorized - which interest me more - are the only ones left.

I have three types of filters (to:, from: and expressions) and two flavors for each. The flavors are: blatant and probable spam.
Blatant is if it contains a misspelled word like 'vigara' or if it's from:me AND to:me because that's typical spam. These get deleted no matter what. 

More advanced is 'probable spam'. Since Gmail does the spam filter before the custom filters, you can piggy back on Gmail's knowledge. 
So, if a friend writes to me about viagra (not that I need it) OR cialis (what's that?) but Gmail doesn't consider it spam (label:spam), the filter doesn't delete it. Otherwise, if Gmail thinks it's spam, the filter does too and deletes. Another example is the word 'watch'. Fake watches is a spammers topic. But 'watch a video' is a normal expression. I automatically delete everything with the word watch in the subject if Gmail thinks it's spam. The filter looks like this (label:spam means it's marked as spam by Gmail)

label:spam AND viagra OR cialis OR subject:(replicas OR replica OR watches OR watch OR ((bigger OR penis OR enlargement) (sample OR promo OR trial OR trials OR free))))

Action: Skip Inbox, Mark as read, Apply label "z words", Delete it

7)  G+ filters - Before, I wrote about my G+ notifications in Gmail (see here: ). Now here's my current favorite filters.
a) Shared by strangers - The posts shared and notified by people I didn't circle, get 'Marked as Read'. I can see them, but I never get woken up by a  notification

from:(-"shared from people not in my circles are read" replyto -(has:circle) "shared this with you" -tom

Action: Mark as read, Apply label "c-" - c- is my code for 'not in circles'

b) The ones shared with me or mentioning me get a label

From:(-"mentions in g+") ( (("mentioned you" -"in a comment") OR ("shared this with you" Tom)))

Action: label:"Tom"

c) Lastly. Maybe you don't like notifications about being added to circles but you do want to save them in Gmail. Maybe also not about events. Mark them as read, just like in a)

And here's the Suggested-by-you Lab review!

The list of labs that are other people's favorites in previous comments:

* Insert Picture - my original idea as 5th lab in this series. You can add a picture in the middle of a Gmail. Even from a url. Tip1: Using that insert picture button (next to the bold and italic buttons) you can also paste url into the file location (top option) it becomes a local copy instead of an internet link (bottom option). Tip2: In Chrome you can save a picture using the right mouse button (save as) which will show at the bottom save bar. Drag that icon from the bottom bar or straight into your mail. Or you can drag it into a magic region by the subject field if you want it to turn into an attachment. 

* Send & Archive - this was mentioned the most as favorite. If you use the mouse, or keyboard and you can train yourself on tab-enter vs tab-tab-enter-esc, then sending and archiving in one go is the way. There is a small bug. If you undo after send&archive, that button will disappear.

* Auto advance - this is a very efficient trick  to move to the next message from a previous one. I personally like to first get back to the inbox to decide on the next one to get marked as read. But efficiency is king in this series so: worth the mention.

* Canned response - speaking about efficiency. Do you ever need to send the same text over and over? Canned response allows you to select your pretyped text to answer. It's next to the subject line.

And if you want to, you can even automate answers in a filter. 
Example1: I don't use a certain address much. People who send to that eaddress get an automated reply asking them to use a different one. 
Example2: One of my colleagues writes 'then' when 'than' is meant. He receives an automated reminder if he is in error.

* Forgotten attachment - if you write "attached is" or "attached you find" but you didn't attach and when you hit send, then Gmail says: No you didn't! Several people told me they love this lab.

* Unread messages - shows in the tab how many messages were unread. I agree: that should be a standard functionality

* Signature tweaks - Why would one ever want to put his signature at the very bottom underneath the mail he replied to? No idea. This lab adds the signature in between, so below the new text.

* Green robots - a curiosity. If someone is on Google Chat on his mobile, you see an Android instead of a dot

* Colored labels - strictly speaking this is not a lab but did you know that you can make the labels a different color than grey? In your left column, press the area to the right of the label and there you can choose colors.

* Themes - oh and really, if you've come this far, whenever you login, wherever you login, you get your own settings. You might as well get your own theme. Settings -> Theme. At the bottom of the options, you can even enter your favorite picture. Make it a dark one on light letters. It gives you easier reading.

Anyone for more functionalities? Anyone? Bueller?


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Would like to instill this in more students.

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Heading back to school soon?  Check these out... of course, I am in the second week of school already.. (yikes)  but I will be checking these out as well!
For those of you heading back to school soon, the Chrome Web Store team has put together a collection of apps and extensions to help you manage your classes, homework, and general student lifestyle. Here are a few highlights from the Back to School collection you might find useful:

FlashCards - Helps you create, download, and manage sets of flashcards online. Available across mobile devices as well. 

College Packing List - Provides a customizable checklist of items college students might need for dorm life. Comes pre-populated with helpful suggestions. 

Task Timer - This simple tool helps you keep track of tasks & how long it’s taking you to complete them. 

You can find these & other apps in the Back to School collection here: #webstorewed

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I find this really interesting and it's one of the reasons I am most interested in teaching some version of Honors/AP.  Many of my students do not complete work outside of the classroom, so this might be very difficult. Also, not all of my students have access to computers/internet at home.  I do think this method has a lot of potential for being successful (as the infographic shows).  I would be interested in hearing from someone who has used this method and how successful it was for them.

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Don't buy a Cisco router. Don't buy a Linksys router either; they're the same company. Why?

Because they now lock you out of your own bought-for router unless you join their online service. A service that gives them the right to use your data, shut down your connection and to unilaterally change these terms at their whim.

Now, you may think that nah, they're not really going to do evil stuff like that. But they already did — you want to bet your money and your privacy that they won't again? There's lots of makers out there, so why take the chance?

Just stay away from Cisco and Linksys.

#Cisco #linksys #fail  

Students across from me were telling mom they get 15 min to eat and 15 min to play. That seems way too short. I wonder how much time we had as kids... of course we had recess 3 times a day in elementary. How about you?
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