Friday, February 24, 2012

Using email web links with Firefox and Chrome

It's always annoyed me when I'm on my home PC and I accidentally click on an email link in a webpage. Up pops a message trying to get me to install or configure outlook. I don't use Outlook. I use gmail! However, I've learned that in Firefox and Chrome you can change this setting!! Here's how.

Click on Tools and select Options
Click on Applications.
Scroll down to "mailto."
Click on whatever application is currently set for mailto to get a dropdown of other options.
Select "use Gmail."
Click OK
Changing mailto application to use Gmail in Firefox

Chrome offers an extension that you can install by going to

Update 2/28/2012: This was posted on the Google apps blog today:
Starting today, thanks to the magic of HTML5 things are getting simpler. Now, when you go to Gmail in Chrome, you will be asked if you want Gmail to open all email links. Say yes, and clicking on email links in any application on your computer will open a fresh Gmail compose window. 

For internet Explorer, they suggest installing the Google Toolbar application then following these directions that allows Google Toolbar to open up Gmail for email links

Friday, February 17, 2012

Google Sharing

Almost as soon as we were born, our parents told us we were supposed to share. Google makes that easy. You can share almost anything. You can share documents, calendars, blogs, and even share editing for an entire website. Sharing documents among students opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Think class group work. Think organizations. Think sharing with your professor for comments or a virtual office visit. Once a document is shared, all members can edit it at the same time. You can also turn chat on and suggest information back and forth through that medium. I'll do some screenshots below, but you can also view a quick video and watch it in action on the HackCollege blog where he shares his ideas for collaborating with your class friends by taking notes together on the same document.

Create any type of document - document, spreadsheet, presentation, etc - by clicking on Create and choosing from the drop down menu.

Within the document, click on the Share button in the top right.

Click on the text box below "Add people" and type in an email address. (Note that you can also share the document with a Google group. Organizations, are you getting ideas yet?) To the right, you can choose if the person can edit, make comments, or just view. Then you can choose to let the person receive an email that the document has been shared with them and even add your own message. Click "Share & save" and you're done. Let the group edits begin.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Calendar Notifications

Okay, so classes are going pretty strong now. You probably have a few assignments and tests coming up. You could continuously check your paper syllabus, could set up a Google calendar and send yourself notifications for all of your dates. Notifications work for both personal calendars or other calendars you have added (like the Cameron University event calendars.)

Setting up notifications is quick and simple. You can choose to receive a daily agenda, set reminders for specified time intervals, or both.

Hover over the calendar name to make the drop down arrow appear to the right of it. Click on the arrow and select Notifications.
Select notifications from the calendar drop down.
SMS Notifications
If you want to receive a text message instead of email, you'll need to click on "Set up your mobile phone to receive notifications first. Put in your phone number and click on send verification code. When you receive the verification code on your phone, enter that in and click finish setup. This will add SMS to the drop down for reminders and allow you to check SMS for other notifications.

Daily Agendas
Google can send you an email message with a compiled listing of all your events for the day. Just check the box for Daily Agenda and click "Save."
Check the box for Daily Agenda in the calendar notifications screen.

You'll need to do this for each calendar that you want included. Then each day you will have an email listing the events for the day or an email saying you have no events for the day.
Example daily agenda email

While daily agendas are good, sometimes you may need more advance notice. For example, if you have a test or assignment due, it would be more helpful to get a reminder a few days earlier rather than the day of the event! On the same notification screen for a calendar, you can click on "Add a reminder" near the top of the page. Then you can add as many reminders as you want. You might add an email reminder for a week out, then a few days later have a text message sent to you. Then add a popup for the day of the event as a final reminder. (Note, popups only work if you are logged into Google calendar.) Just keep clicking on "Add a reminder" to add another one. Click "Save" and your done.
Click Add a reminder to add additional reminders.

If you chose by email, then at the appropriate time before the event, you'll get an email that includes all of the information about the event:

That's it. No more excuses for saying you forgot about an event or an assignment!

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Calendars

Cameron has added additional calendars since my post about how to add CU calendars to your personal Google calendar. Go through the process again to select and add the new calendars to your own Google calendar. Here are all the calendar categories we have right now:

  • CU Events Calendar - Organizational meetings, bake sales, and activities. 
  • CU Special Events Calendar - Overall university sponsored events that often also involve the public such as the Afghanistan Festival events, commencement, and convocation.
  • CU Academic Calendar - Class related dates such as enrollment opening, last day to withdraw, and finals.
  • CU Liberal Arts Calendar - Music, theatre, and art performances and seminars
  • Student Activities - Student wide events sponsored by PAC or Student Activities such as movie nights, entertainment, dances, homecoming, welcome week, and Rolling with the Aggies to away games.
  • CU Athletics Home Games - All of the home games for CU Athletics.
  • Student Wellness Center - Workshops and classes offered by the Wellness Center such as dealing with depression, post-traumatic stress, ADHD, or even when the massage therapist will be available.
  • Wellness and Fitness Calendar - Times that special fitness classes are offered such as aerobics or weight lifting as well as special activities such as the Healthy Life Style Group meetings that are sponsored jointly by the Wellness Center and Fitness Center to help you get in shape.
  • Student Development - Workshops to help you find a job, explore majors, or become a better student.

By separating them into different calendars, you now have the ability to turn on and off the ones that interest you the most. You can do this both on your Google calendar and also on the webpages and AggieAccess to help you zero in on your interests.

Google Calendar
If a calendar has a colored box to the left of it, then its events are currently being displayed. Clicking once on the calendar will hide it (the colored box will go white). If you hover over a calendar name with your mouse, then an arrow will appear to the right of the calendar name. Click on the arrow and you can choose to display only that calendar. This is especially helpful to quickly turn on just your personal calendar or when you're looking for a particular type of event. You can also change the color for that calendar.

Google calendar screenshot

Webpages and AggieAccess
If you're looking at the calendar on AggieAccess or on the Cameron Events webpage, there is a down arrow at the top right of both calendars that activates a dropdown for narrowing the events. Click on the arrow and then check and uncheck the boxes to see the calendars for which you are interested.

AggieAccess Channel showing Calendar select dropdown

University webpage showing Calendar select dropdown