Recently in productivity Category

by Brenda Senger '14, Communications Assistant

Google_screenshot.pngMany social media sites make it easy to share every last detail of your personal life with the entire world, but haven't you ever wanted to share one passion, idea, or common interest with a specific group of people? The customizability of Google+'s Circles and Communities make that possible.

Google+ Circles allow users to categorize friends, co-workers, and family into separate circles. Users can either post publicly or post to a specific group of people. This is a great function because it provides the option of maintaining a professional presence among co-workers and a social presence with friends. An education-based example of this might be organizing contacts (students) into different classes or sections.

Google+ Communities are broken down into two categories, public and private. Public communities range from Coffee to Fly Fishing. You can join a community with other Google+ users who are interested in that same topics. (Like, eLearning, perhaps?) You can also create your own private community using an invite-only process. For example, private communities could be used for a niche research interest or in-class activity.

Whether you are posting to the world or a selective group of users, Google+ gives members an individualized experience and I think it creates a safer, more effective way share varying kinds of content.

Check out Google+ Circles, and Google+ Communities for more detailed information.

by Silke Moeller, eLearning Assistant

Google Forms is a useful tool to help you plan events, send a survey, give students a quiz, or collect other information. You can receive notifications when particpants submit data. Here are two ways to set up notifications (one is easy, the other more advanced!).

Simple notification setup

  • Open the spreadsheet (result) view of the form and select Tools>Notification rules...

  • Here you can setup the way you would like to be notified. Notify me at ...@umn.edu when... ✔ a user submits a form and Notify me with ... ✔ Email - daily digest

  • FormNotification1.jpg
    FormNotification2.jpg
  • Watch this video for detailed step by step instruction

  • Note: You will be the only receiver of this notification, shared form user don't get the notification. In case you would like to distribute the notification, see the advanced setup "FormEmailer" information below.

Advanced notification setup
Install steps:


  • Open your Spreadsheet/Form. (It should already have at least the basic structure of your data, i.e. the 1st row filled with the data headers. In case of a Form it's done automatically when you create the form).

  • Click menu Insert > Script.

  • A internal popup window should open, click the search box and type: formemailer

  • A list with some scripts should appear, locate the "FormEmailer" script, developed by hgabreu and click its install button.

  • A authorization popup shows up and you need to click Authorize to proceed.

  • A browser popup window shows up, it should close itself automatically. And back to the main window, you can close the Script Gallery internal popup window by clicking Ok.

Configuration steps:

  • An additional menu option, "FormEmailer," appears in your spreadsheet.

  • Click FormEmail in menu and install script.

  • An additional worksheet will be created in your spreadsheet with information about "FormEmailer" .

  • Click FormEmailer>Settings to configure the recipients and the email you would like to distribute.

  • For detailed settings and more information, go to the FormEmailer website or watch this demo video how to install, configure and use "FormEmailer".

As always, don't hesitate to contact the School of Kinesiology E+DS Team for questions or support!

Evernote: A new way to organize

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By Brenda Senger '14, Communications Assistant

With thousands of organizational apps and websites eager to gain customer loyalty, it can feel overwhelming when choosing just one application. Many tools initially seem appealing and it is only after hours of organizing and compiling all of the upcoming events, deadlines, and commitments that an app crashes and nothing was saved. At that moment, technology seems confusing and frustrating, and a pen and paper never seemed so ideal.

Evernote.fw.pngNot every organizational application will cause users this trama. In fact, some could change the way your world works. Evernote may just be that tool. It think it is a great way to simplify and store information or share ideas and projects with others. It syncs data to all devices, and best of all, it is free. Evernote is available for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android.

Ways to use Evernote:

  • Share documents from any device with colleagues, family, or friends.
  • Snap photos of handwritten class notes or whiteboards. Save them as notes and Evernote recognizes words within photos.
  • Use it to study with Evernote Peek, turning notes into virtual quizzes with your tablet or iPad.
  • Scan and organize photos.
  • Create itineraries and lesson plans.
  • Keep an electronic address book, linking individuals with social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook.
  • Use in classes, meetings, or personally to organize that busy schedule.

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