A Quality Chromebook For Work Or School

August 11, 2017

Chromebooks are often described as a “browser in a box” due that they run the Google Chrome operating system and browser where the apps are internet dependent. Chromebooks are often seen in the schools these days due to their low cost and ease to maintain (and use). The Chromebooks I have tested boot fast, have long battery life, brighter screens and built in protection against malware and viruses. I have always loved the Windows operating system, but Chromebook computers makes great computers for grandparents due to their simplicity.

A Chromebook I am looking at is the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4. This Chromebook is on the high end when it comes to price and specs. If you want to explore cheaper Chromebooks, then CLICK HERE

The two reason I am looking at the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 is that it is one of the first Chromebooks that comes with native Android app support and the fact that ASUS builds great computers. This particular brand of Chromebook is an Amazon Choice and was most recently featured at ZDNet. Also, this Chromebook is, so far, carrying great customer reviews at Amazon.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

  • Flexible 360 degree hinge and 12.5” Full-HD touchscreen lets you use the C302 in tablet or laptop mode.
  • Extremely lightweight at 2.65 pounds with the protection of a sleek aluminum metal body.
  • Unlock the power of Chromebooks with access to your favorite Chrome Web Store apps like Google Docs and it is Google Play Store/Android app ready.
  • Starts up in seconds and lasts all day, thanks to a long battery life rated up to 10 hours*.
  • Work anywhere online or offline regardless of your internet connection. Enjoy your favorite games, entertainment, and keep up with work, wherever you go.
  • Intel Core Processor with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM for fast and efficient performance.

SOURCE: Amazon – ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4


How To Setup AND Share A Google Calendar

August 11, 2017

My brothers and I have been in a situation where we are caring for our Father. We needed a way to schedule when we were available to assist with his care. What I did, since I have a Google account, was setup a calendar that could be shared with each of my brothers. In this case, each of us had a Google account which made setting this up all the more easier; PLUS I was able to give each brother rights to edit (add or delete) events on the calendar. You can also make the calendar public (with viewing rights only) for those who do not have an account or those who need to see the calendar. Setting this up literally took me less than 10 minutes.

Image result for google calendar

Here are the steps to setup and share a Google Calendar:

You can create a new calendar and invite other people to view or edit it. When you create an event, you’ll see an option to choose which calendar to add the event to.

  • On your computer, open Google Calendar. You can’t create or share calendars from the Google Calendar app.
  • On the left, next to “My Calendars,” click the Down arrow.
  • Click Create a new calendar.
  • Add the calendar name.  In my case, I named the calendar “Family”
  • Under “Share with specific people,” add the email address of the person you want to share with. This is where it is beneficial that each recipient has a Google account.
  • Under “Permission Settings,” choose an option in the drop-down menu. In my case, I selected the option “Make changes to events”; which allows the people you are sharing with to edit, add or delete events. They can also restore events from the trash that have been deleted.
  • If someone isn’t already added, click Add person.
  • Click Create calendar and you are done. Each recipient will receive an email to announce that a shared calendar has been created for which they can edit.

If you shared your calendar with an individual email address, they’ll see your calendar in their “Other calendar” list. If you shared your calendar with an email group , they’ll see the calendar in their “Other calendars” list once they click on the link in the email invitation from Google Calendar.

Important: To get your new calendar to show up on your Android phone or tablet, you’ll need to turn on sync for that calendar.


SOURCE: Google – Share Your Calendar With Someone

 


Google Duo – New Version 14.1 Bug Fixes and Product Improvements

July 23, 2017

I have posted about Google Duo in the past and noticed that Google is still working to make it better. Google Duo is a very simple to use video conferencing app. I have found it to work very well over a cell data network, even when you are not connected to a wi-fi network. If you are a grandfather like me, Google Duo is easy to use and to setup on the Android, iPhone and iPad app platforms, that will give you the ability to do a virtual visit with the grandkids. There are many uses for Google Duo and the example I gave is just one example of how I use it. What sells me on this messaging app is that it is simple. If you already have a Google account, you are ready to go… Simply install the app on your device and follow the prompts.

  • Duo is all about ease of use. There’s no separate account to create, no need to build a new contact list: the app can use your phone’s contact list already, and start a video call with a click.
  • Duo’s “Knock Knock” feature means users will see live video of any caller before they pick up, giving a quick idea of where they are and what they’re doing.
  • The app does its best to keep you connected, seamlessly switching between mobile data and wifi as necessary, and automatically adjusting resolution to match available bandwidth.
  • Google hasn’t forgotten about security, either– end-to-end encryption keeps snoopers out, even on insecure wifi hotspots.

SOURCE: Download Crew – Google Duo 14.1


How to remove the “FWD” in forwarded Gmails…

July 20, 2017

As I continue to work on my project of How To Use A Gmail Account To Create Your Own Customized Note-Taking App, I am sure learning a lot about Gmail. For example, I wanted to know if you can remove the “FWD” in the subject line in a forwarded Gmail? I could see where this could be useful; especially, when you don’t want the recipient (such as a customer) to know that it was an email you received from someone else and then forwarded it to them. In my case, where I am using one of my Gmail accounts exclusively as a note-taking app, by removing the “FWD” would help me clean up any notes I had edited (forwarded) and ultimately would give the appearance of a true note-taking app (such as Evernote, OneNote, and Simple Note).

After some exploring, I found that you can easily remove the “FWD”. You just have to look for it. When you forward a Gmail you will notice a small box (see screenshot) with an arrow pointing to the right (which indicates it is a forwarded Gmail) and beside that arrow, you will see a small arrow pointing downward. Click on that arrow and a drop-down menu will appear. On that menu, click on “Edit Subject”. After you click on “Edit Subject” you will be permitted to edit the subject of the email; for which you can remove the “FWD” and actually change the subject line to anything you want. Also, after you have completed editing the subject line, go into the body of the email and remove any other extraneous text that you typically would see in a forwarded email. Once you get this cleaned up, the recipient will never know the email was forwarded.

SOURCE: What’s On My PC – How To Remove The “FWD” In Forwarded Gmails


Google introduces a new Backup and Sync tool that replaces the existing Google Photos desktop uploader and Drive for Mac/PC…

July 12, 2017

With Google’s new “Backup and Sync” tool you can sync some or all your files and folders on your computer to Google Drive.; AND, you can (also) sync files and folders in Google Drive to your computer for offline use. To download and learn how to use the new tool — CLICK HERE

Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that backs up files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos, so they’re no longer trapped on your computer and other devices. Just choose the folders you want to back up, and we’ll take care of the rest.

backup-and-sync-screenshot

SOURCE: Google Blog


How To Create and Set A Web Link To Go To A Specific Gmail Account

July 9, 2017

I currently have 4 different Gmail accounts that I access for 4 different purposes… One of these accounts, I wanted to directly access via a web link, is an account that I am using for note taking purposes (see the article on this). After doing some research you can link multiple Gmail accounts together through your main account, for which I already do; however, I wanted to create a web link that would take me directly to my note taking account, so that I could add that link to my Start.me home page.  Start.me is an awesome way to organize, access and quickly launch your favorite bookmarks on your own customized home page. I have been using Start.me for several years.

After doing some research, to set a specific Gmail account to open via a web link, you should use the following link:

https://accounts.google.com/AccountChooser?continue=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2Fu%2F%3Fauthuser%3DUSERNAME%40DOMAIN&service=mail&Email=USERNAME@DOMAIN

replacing USERNAME@DOMAIN.COM with the email account address.

This currently is working well, unless Google changes something.  In the event you are not logged into the account, you will be prompted to login as normal.


How To Use A Gmail Account To Create Your Own Customized Note-Taking App

July 6, 2017

Evernote, OneNote, and SimpleNote are the note-taking apps that we all hear about. I have accounts with all three and have used them extensively; however, I just cannot get settled with any of them. I initially started out with a free Evernote account; then, Evernote ended up limiting what a free user could do. OneNote, great note-taking app; however, I was never completely satisfied with the app, due to its’ slowness (in loading and performing searches). Simplenote, which is text based only (with some markup language) is ok if all you want to do is save text-based notes.

After using all three of these, I kept thinking, there has to be a better way. This is when I came up with the idea of creating and using a Gmail account specifically for note-taking (or note keeping). Think about it. anything you find on the internet can be sent directly to a Gmail account; plus, on my Android phone, I can share (or send) just about anything to a Gmail account (i.e. scanned documents, photos, etc…). Gmail also has the labeling feature built-in where hierarchical note categories can be created (or labeled); plus, it has the ability to create rich text based notes (using the email editor). The real clincher with this is Gmail’s (Google’s) powerful search capabilities, 15GB of storage, and the ability to attach documents using Google Docs. I have been working with this idea and the key point in making it work is that the account should be strictly used for note-taking (or note keeping) purposes only; and, not for daily email purposes. In other words, my Gmail note-taking account is a completely separate account from my main Gmail account.

Below are the steps I took to create (in appearance) my own personal note taking (or note keeping) app using a Gmail account as the container to store stuff (notes, pics, docs, etc…) that are important to me. 

Step 1: Create a new account at Gmail.com. Give the account a name that you will recognize for note-taking purposes.

For example, “johndoe.notebook@gmail.com” …

Step 2: Once the account has been created, one of the first things I did was change the theme so that it stood out. Go to the “cogged gear” icon, at the top right side of the Gmail window and click on “Themes”. The theme I selected was one called “High Contrast”, which gives it the look of a note-taking (or note keeping) app — (see screenshot below).

Step 3: Go to the “cogged gear” icon and click on settings.

Step 4: Under the “General” tab, scroll down and turn the “Conversation View” to “off” and if you like, scroll down to “My Picture” and add a profile picture. In my case, I used a notebook icon. When done, scroll to the bottom and click on “save settings.

Step 5: Go back into the “Settings” and under the “Labels” tab, hide all labels with the exception of the “inbox” and “drafts” labels. Scroll down to the “Create Labels” section. This is where you can create your own label categories. You can always add or remove labels, in the future, from this section.

Step 6: Under the “Inbox” tab go to the categories section and “uncheck” the categories that are shown; then, scroll to the bottom and and click on “save settings”.

Step 7: Go back into the “Settings” and under the “Labs” tab scroll until you see “Preview Pane”. Once found, click on “Enable” to activate the “Preview Pane”; then, scroll down and click on “Save Settings” which will return you to the main Gmail screen.

Step 8: We’re almost done… Now that you have activated the “Preview Pane”, you will see a toggle icon (for the Preview Pane) with a down arrow. Click on the down arrow and select “vertical Split”.

After completing the aforementioned step, your Gmail note-taking app should look something like this:

Click Here For Larger View

When composing a new note, within your Gmail note-taking account, click on “Compose” to draft your note. When finished drafting your note send the note back to yourself. Once it lands in the inbox, assign a label to it. I also use my main everyday Gmail account and my Android Smartphone to send important stuff to my Gmail note-taking account. Another point to make is that I do not move anything from the inbox; unless, I am deleting (or archiving) a note

To draft an existing note, I search for the note, click on “Forward”, make my changes, then forward it back to my Gmail note-taking account; then, I delete the original. When I see that a note has FWD that tells me at one point it has been changed.

In the end, as I continue to work with this, I am finding that the concept of customizing and using a Gmail account as a note-taking app has far exceeded my expectations…