Thursday, 26 June 2014

Momentum - be inspired and stay focussed

This useful app is great at keeping you both inspired and focused. Momentum is a Chrome extension that replaces your new tab page with a personal dashboard featuring your key focus for the day, a to-do list, the weather, an inspirational quote, and (best of all) an amazing scenic background.
Momentum makes opening a new tab a mini-escape and motivation boost - just what you need to get through the school or work day. You can also still quickly access all your apps by clicking the Apps link in the top left corner.

How do I get it?

Momentum is totally free! The quickest way to get started is to:
1. Visit Momentum in the Chrome Web Store.
2. Install the extension.
3. Grant Momentum the permissions it needs to run.
That’s it! You’ll now get a great new tab page every day, just like the one below.

Simplify’s tips

If you want Momentum to display the weather, you will need to grant it permission to use your location.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Gentle reminders for Google Calendar

If you use pop-up reminders in Google Calendar, you’ll have noticed how the reminder interrupts whatever you’re doing to take pride of place on your screen. Although this is great for ensuring you don’t miss an event, in can be frustrating when you are right in the middle of something important. The Gentle reminders Calendar lab takes a more polite approach, giving you a blinking browser bar or a notification in the right corner of your screen that does not steal the focus. You can have a nice sound alert too.

Here’s the difference:

Standard reminder


Gentle reminder


As you can see, the Gentle reminders notification is much less intrusive, but still does the job of letting you know about upcoming events.

To enable gentle reminders:

1. Click the Settings cog button > Settings.
2. Select the Labs tab.
3. Find and enable the Gentle reminders lab.
4. Click Save.

To configure gentle reminders:

1. Click the Settings cog button > Settings.
2. Select the General tab.
3. Find the Gentle reminders (labs) section.
4. Tick or un-tick the options to suit your preferences. Leave the Show floating desktop notifications option ticked to get a pop-up reminder (Google Chrome users only).

This lab is most effective when used in Google Chrome, as it supports floating notifications. However, if you are not a Google Chrome user, you will still see the blinking browser tab with the name of the event, and the full pop up notification when you open the tab.
Tip: Clicking on the floating notification will make it disappear, then take you to your calendar and prompt you to have another reminder in five minutes.

Friday, 20 June 2014

5 tips for searching Gmail

Being able to effectively search for messages in Gmail is a great time-saver. Knowing a few shortcuts helps you find exactly what you are looking for as quickly as possible. Here are five of our top tips:

Tip 1 - in:anywhere

By default, a Gmail search does not include messages in Spam and Trash/Bin. However putting the search operator in:anywhere in front of your search term tells Gmail to search everywhere - including Spam and Trash/Bin. In the example below, Gmail will search for the word ‘demonstration’.

Search bar with in:anywhere operator

Tip 2 - is:unread

You can quickly locate all unread messages in your Gmail account by searching for is:unread. This is a great way to work through your unread mail when you return from holidays! If you only want to see unread messages in your inbox, put in:inbox on the end.

Search box with is:unread operator

Tip 3 - list:<mailing list address>

The list:<list email address> search operator finds emails from or to the specified mailing list. In the example below, all emails sent from or to would be returned as search results.

Search box with list: operator

Tip 4 - is:chat

Gmail search also covers your chat conversations (if they were not off-the-record). Using the operator is:chat limits the search to only chat conversations. In the example below, any chat conversations with the word ‘pasta’ would be returned as search results.

Search box with is:chat operator

Tip 5 - Search options drop-down

There are heaps more search operators you can use to limit your search to dates, subjects and people. An easy way to use these is via the search options drop-down. Click the arrow to the right of the search box to access search options.

Search box with search options arrow circled

Then simply enter your search criteria in the appropriate field.

Search options dialog box

These five tips are a great start to becoming a Gmail power searcher! If you want to learn even more, check out Google’s help topic on advanced search.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Put a file in multiple Google Drive folders

Sometimes it’s useful to put a Google Drive file in multiple folders. For example, you may want to have an assignment document in a resources folder shared with your colleagues, and in your own folder for a specific class.

Putting a file in multiple folders was very intuitive in the old Google Docs interface (pre-Google Drive), however many people now think it is not possible. Not so! In fact, it is very simple.

The trick? Just use your control (Windows) or command (Mac) key when selecting folders using the ‘Move to’ option. See the instructions below for more detail.

1. Select the file you want to move.
2. Click the Move to button.


3. Select the first folder you want the file to be stored in.
4. Hold the control (Windows) or command (Mac) key and select the other folder(s) you want the file to be stored in.


Note: This process does not create multiple copies of the same file. Instead, the same file is just visible in multiple locations.

Nice and simple as promised! Happy filing!

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