Sunday, June 27, 2021

Summer Sunday Tip #4: Organize Drive - Yes! You Can!

This week my focus goes back to technology. I've been seeing in lots of places teachers asking about switching jobs and how to take their files with them to a new school. It's entirely possible with Google Take-out, but the Google admin has to have allowed it and you have to wait and hope that it works. I'm not against trying it, but I also think there are a lot of possible things to go wrong, so I have a different way of tackling this job.

Since it's summer time, it's a great time to go through your Drive and clean it up a bit because if you weren't aware - Google will be imposing some limitations on storage. Boo! I've had my time to cry over this - and now I'm ready to make the best of it.

Nearly 2 years ago, I wrote a post "Google Drive Organization You Can Do" where I shared 6 steps to help you organize your Drive. I am sharing it again today because the steps still hold value. Organizing your Drive is NOT easy ... for most teachers, it's not fun, so I cannot stress this enough ... set a timer and do it over several days or even a couple of weeks. (I talk about this in Step 3.) You can set aside 10-15 minutes and you'll be shocked at how fast the time goes.

Now, for those of you leaving one school and going to a different school - now is the BEST time for you to tackle this. I find that we tend to hold on to a lot of unneeded files. Take this time to go through your Drive and decide what you REALLY want to keep.

I'd strongly recommend the following proceed in conjunction with the 6 Steps from the post above:

  • in your CURRENT Drive make 2 folders "Keep" and "Don't Need"
  • go through your Drive using the 6 steps - and quickly make a decision as to which folder you need to move it to
  • once you're done, share the "Keep" folder to your PERSONAL account with editing
  • in your personal account, make copies of all the files (you can select multiple files at one time and use the "make a copy" to make copies of all of them at once)
  • you can un-share the "Keep" folder which will take the originals away from your personal account
Here is the slide deck with my 6 tips to Google Drive Organization.

Now, I suppose I should go practice what I preach and do some organization of my own!

Psssst! This week I am joining forces with Dr. Desiree Alexander for "Level Up with Google Sheets" on Tuesday AND "Level Up with Google Slides" on Thursday. Check out the website, "Leveling Up with Google"  devoted to sharing this entire series and the intro series from last year.

Comment below or contact me on any of the social channels - they are all linked above on the right side.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Summer Sunday Tip #3: Stop Avoiding Things You Can Do

Many teachers I know take care of everyone else really well - their families, their students, their schools, their homes, etc - but they put off taking care of themselves. I'm not going to go on and on about self-care and how or even why you should do it. My message today is simple - take care of the things you have avoided (or put off).

Summer is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and say to yourself, what do I need to take care of? For me it's a lot of around the house items but also some personal items. Looking back at my 1st Summer Sunday Tip, Summer Sunday Tip #1: To Do Lists You Can Do, I focused on to do lists. I'm happy to report I've checked a few things off my to do list. They are not glamorous items - oil change, fixed an electric outlet in our kitchen, cleaned out all 3 of my girls closets, and met with our financial planner. But man! It felt great to get those items checked off.

I have several things I still need to check off my lists and a few things to schedule. My girls and I have dentist appointments coming up in July. Isn't that sweet? Yep, we have one giant appointment together. It's a great way to spend about 2 hours.

Female? You know what I'm talking about. Don't put those items off. 

How about some downtime for just you? I still set my alarm so that I have some quiet time in the morning all to myself. I love that time. I cherish that time. Maybe your vision of downtime is reading a book or two? I know I have a couple that I still want to read. 

And here's something else. How about some crafty time? I hope to paint my girls bathroom cabinet and maybe redo the floors, too. I'm half-way through a bit of a reorganization in my basement, so I need to finish that. 

I share all this not to tell you to go find things to do or to do the things that I am doing. But in summer, I use my time very differently than I do during the year. That is a benefit of this extended time off.

So ... what do YOU usually put off during the school year? Pick one thing to check off your list tomorrow. Then repeat the next day. You'll feel better. (It goes so well with my Summer Tip #1!)

And the next thing on my list of things we've avoided ... vacation! We couldn't do it last year, so no more postponing! I'm signing off to enjoy!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Summer Sunday Tip #2: Organize Chrome (in 5 Steps) You Can Do

Time seems to pass differently in the summer for me. It's still 24 hours in one day and 7 days in one week, but summer feels like an endless stretch of time, yet I know it's not. I don't spend nearly the amount on time on professional work during the summer - but I have things I really want to get done. This series of tips is meant to capture small chunks of time and use them productively.

Summer Sunday Tip #1 was all about "To Do" lists. I use to do lists to help organize myself daily and for long projects. One thing on my to do list is to take some time and organize my Chrome accounts. I try to be good during the school year, but if I take about 15-20 minutes at the beginning of the summer, I can get through my Chrome accounts and do some clean up work. School is fresh "enough", yet not breathing down my neck, so I'm sure to keep only what I really need.

Step 1: Separate Chrome Accounts
This is a huge problem for a lot of people - they don't 100% understand the difference between logging into their Chrome account vs their Google account. If you've ever not been able to find something in your account and you are shocked to find it in a different account, this is probably your cause. There might be a bit of work here ... but the bottom line is this - it's EASY to keep your Chrome accounts separate, yet easily accessible. You just have to know how.

Kasey Bell has a great video to show how to do this: 

Once you have your profiles separated, you can work to see if you have files that need to be moved to the correct account.

Believe me ... it is well-worth the time to do this! You will thank yourself later.

Step 2: Bookmarks - use the favicon!
I have a deep love of bookmarks. I will never forget my student, Juliana, who showed me how to use ONLY the favicon for bookmarks that I am super familiar with. (The favicon is the small image that is associated with the website ... the colorful triangle for Drive ... the colorful M for GMail ... etc). It saves SO much space & allows me to use the rest of my bookmark bar for additional websites. 

Check out the video I made showing how to make this happen.

Step 3: Bookmarks - use folders!
Another way I save space & keep my Chrome organized is to create folders on my bookmarks bar. Another super simple tip and goes a LONG way in helping keep my organized. As a classroom teacher, I had a folder for each unit and each chapter, saving me a ton of time year after year when I wanted to find the same great resources. I use folders as categories to group like bookmarks together.

Check out the video I made showing how to make this happen.

Step 4: Bookmarks - delete!
Something a lot of people might not think about when organizing their Chrome is to actually go ahead and delete the unwanted - or unused - bookmarks. When I sit down with teachers to do some organization in Chrome, many are often surprised the sheer number of bookmarks they have. "Wow!" or "I don't remember bookmarking that!" are common comments. It doesn't matter when, or why, you did, if you aren't using it, delete it. You might be surprised how much cleaner and easier it is for you when you are looking for the bookmarks you really do use. Another super simple way you can organize your Chrome account.

Check out the video I made showing how to make this happen.

Step 5: Customize your theme & profile for each account.
The final suggestion I have for you when organizing your Chrome accounts is to change the theme and your profile image. I have several Google accounts (a personal one, a school one, a Google Trainer one, and a couple of others). If they all had the same profile image and looked the same, I would struggle in knowing which is which. I have strategically used a different profile image for each and used the available Chrome themes to help me more easily see which account I am using. This is a MUST if you have multiple accounts.

Check out the video I made showing how to make this happen.

I promise, after doing these 5 steps, your Chrome accounts will feel organized. Each step should be fairly simple and easy to do.

Come back next week - Tip #3 will focus on doing the things we put off during the school year.

Questions? Comment ⤵ or connect with me on any of the socials - my links are above on the right.

Psssssst! Have you heard? I've got some upcoming presentations YOU can join me! Here's a quick peek, but for a list of all of my upcoming and an up-to-date list, head over to "My Presentations" page. (I just added a couple more of August, too!)

  • Tuesday, June 22 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Docs
  • Tuesday, June 29 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Sheets
  • Thursday, July 1 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Slides 
  • Friday, July 9 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Forms
  • Monday, July 12 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Drawings and Jamboard
  • Tuesday, July 13 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Sites

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Summer Sunday Tip #1: To Do Lists You Can Do

Fact: I love my to do lists. 

Fact: I have multiple to do lists - both personally and professionally.

Fact: There is something super satisfying about checking off an item on my "to do" list.

Today I am kicking off series of blog posts focused on small and doable things perfect for summer time. And the first thing I want to focus on is "to do" lists. 

Summer Sunday Tip #1 : create your own to do list for things you want to accomplish. This should take no more than 5 minutes. Use something as simple and handy as a notebook and pen. Or do something digital - Google Keep, the Reminders or Notes app, or even a Google Doc or Sheet. 

Not buying in? Here's why you should:

My to do lists often reflect and incorporate my goals. They are long-term and short-term as well as reminders. They are a means of centering me each day. They are also a source of brain-dumping where I can write out projects or ideas that maybe I can't do right now, but I can record, modify, improve on later.

I start each month with writing out a to do list of what I'd like to accomplish that month, broken into big categories. I don't have tons of items in each category and often there is carry over from the month before.

  • personal - family items, around-the-house projects
  • fitness - my Apple watch goal, a milage goal for running
  • school - items specific to school projects/activities
  • professional - my blogs, presentations
Next, I journal every day. The final part to my daily journal is my to do list for that specific day. Since I workout in the mornings, I start with my fitness goal. The rest of the list are items like blogging, laundry, scheduling "x" appointments, DIY projects, and my daughters' activities. If I'm in the middle of a project, I'll add a part of the project I'd like to get done. Most days, my to do list is no more than 10 items long.

Now, for school purposes, the school year is over. But that doesn't mean I've checked everything off my school to do list. Before I closed the book on the 20/21 school year, I wrote out a to do list so I wouldn't forget things. Most of these are items that I need to do in order to start the year off, but a few items are things I didn't complete before school ended.

And you might be asking why do I do this? I find to do lists to be both calming and overwhelming. I find my to do lists to continually grow and evolve and be revised. I sometimes refer to my to do list as a "to don't" list ... that's in the overwhelming moments. These lists are a way for me to jot down reminders and important items I don't want to forget.  My ultimate goal is to check things off - but not to be "done". Each day will require new "to do's".

Finally, how do I do my lists? You are probably assuming I use some app for my to do lists, but I don't. Believe me, I have tried. I have tried so many different apps and I just haven't found the same satisfaction as using a pen to check it off - or to add to it. I just love my colored pens and paper.

Next steps:

Have you grabbed that notebook (or app) yet? Go ahead. Reach for it. 
  • Do you have a fitness goal? Maybe you want to start a walking program. Maybe you want to increase your weights. Write it down.
  • Are there projects around the house you have been putting off? Right down. Have you been putting off calling the plumber for that leaky toilet? Write it out.
  • Need to pack for a summer vacation? To do lists will lessen the crazy last minute running around.
  • Random items you want to do? Jot it down.
I've got one more thing for you to add, "Come back next week to Tech You Can Do". My Summer Sunday Tip #2 will be about organizing Chrome. Just like this week's tip, it shouldn't take all that long, but it will pay off BIG time. And summer is the perfect time to clean it up.

Psssssst! Have you heard? I've got some upcoming presentations that YOU can join me! Here's a quick peek, but for a list of all of my upcoming and an up-to-date list, head over to "My Presentations" page. 

  • Wednesday, June 9 @ 2:05 pm EST - #WakeletCommunityWeek: Wakelet for Everyone!
  • Tuesday, June 22 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Docs
  • Tuesday, June 29 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Sheets
  • Thursday, July 1 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Slides 
  • Friday, July 9 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Forms
  • Monday, July 12 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Drawings and Jamboard
  • Tuesday, July 13 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Sites

Do you have questions? Feel free to comment ⤵ or connect & follow me on any of these platforms: