You should never give out your Gmail password to anyone. But sometimes it is necessary for a Google Apps user to access another user’s inbox. This is where email delegation comes in. Email delegation allows access to a user’s inbox without the exchange of passwords. Commonly used for checking the mailbox of a user when they are on vacation or for assistants to send emails on behalf of their superior.
You can delegate access to your own Gmail inbox right from the Gmail interface. The Google Apps management application, BetterCloud, takes this a step further by allowing Admins to delegate inboxes of users on their domain to other users. You can even do it in bulk! Necessary access should not need to hinder security.
A large aspect of managing a Google Apps domain is reporting. It is essential to know the breakdown of your domain at any given time. In the Admin Console there is a reporting section that can give you many of these statistics about your domain, but what if you want these reports served to you on a regular basis?
Using BetterCloud to schedule reports allows you to get relevant reports about your domain emailed to you on a regular basis so you can stay on top of management aspects without having to constantly sift through the Admin Console reports. Scheduled reporting makes it much easier to notice changes on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis so you can take the necessary actions as an Admin.
Creating a chart is one of the best ways to draw important conclusions from a set of data. Although visual charts are easier to digest than countless rows of spreadsheet cells, they still fall short when it comes to showing you more detailed numerical data. Thanks to a recent update to Google Sheets it is now possible to fill that gap using a tool called Data Labels.
Data Labels add the numerical values into a chart, so in addition to seeing trends visually, you can also see them numerically. A line chart that shows a budget increasing from around $500 to around $600 now can show you that the budget actually changed from $502 to $595. In a business setting, every detail matters. Adding Data Labels is easy and can be very impactful for those who like to summarize data into charts but still want to see the specific numbers to back it up.
My inbox is my sanctuary. On an average day I receive 200+ emails, so it is important that my inbox is customized to fit my needs. With so many options for tweaking your Gmail inbox, it is easy to lose track of what will actually make your life easier and what are just bells and whistles. I thought I could offer some clarity on this subject by giving you a peek inside my inbox and explaining why I set it up the way I do.
My main concerns when it comes to my Gmail inbox are organization, visualization of relevant information and ensuring I don’t miss anything important. These five tools have made a sizable impact on these concerns and I think everyone should know how to use them. Priority inbox, filters, labels, and even third-party Chrome Extensions can make a huge difference in your ability to best utilize your inbox.
1. Filters and labels automate inbox organization
Labels are Gmail’s equivalent to organizational folders. Adding a label to an email that correlates with a specific topic makes finding what you are looking for a breeze. If you harness the power of filters you can automate the labeling of important emails. Simply create a filter for a specific sender or phrase and designate it to add the corresponding label to any matching emails. This way you never need to waste time finding emails as long as you know the category in which the email is contained.
2. Rapportive tells you everything you need to know about the person you are emailing
It is important to know who you are emailing. Information like their real name, and where they work can be vital when deciding what to include in your correspondence. Rapportive (website) is a Chrome Extension that pulls your contact’s data from LinkedIn and social profiles and displays it in Gmail when you are emailing them. This removes the opacity that is often prevalent in online communication, so you can cut through the meet and greet and get right to business.
3. Tailor your email to the recipient with Crystal
Emails to your boss should look different than emails to your parents. But how do you make sure to compose the perfect message for whomever you are emailing. Crystal (website) makes a Chrome Extension that builds personality profiles of everyone you contact and then recommends the best way to compose an email to them. For instance your boss may like bullet pointed lists of actionable items and your intern may only skim emails that are over 200 words. These behaviors will all be taken into account based on your past correspondence and Crystal will use them to help you create perfect emails every time.
4. Priority Inbox makes sure you never miss anything important
Priority Inbox describes a way to set up your Gmail inbox so whatever is most important to you always remains at the top. I personally have a sectioned for starred emails that I intend to get around to answering later in the day, followed by all of my unread emails, and the final section contains all read emails. This is by no means the only way to set this up. Depending on your use case it can often be beneficial to create a section for emails with a specific label. I love priority inbox because it keeps my important emails on the front page at all time so they never get lost in the shuffle.
5. Learning keyboard shortcuts makes everything faster
Organization, data visualization, and prioritization will all make Gmail more efficient for you, but now it’s time to make yourself more efficient for Gmail. KeyRocket (website) is a Chrome Extension that will display the equivalent keyboard shortcut every time you take an action in Gmail. Eventually the shortcuts become second nature and you find yourself navigating Gmail faster than before and without the use of a mouse or trackpad.
How do you set up your inbox? Tell us here for a chance to be featured in an upcoming Gooru article!
If you want to be notified whenever you have a new email or Chat message, we suggest enabling desktop notifications for Gmail. When enabled, a pop-up window will appear on your desktop, so even if you’re not looking at Gmail you can always know if someone is trying to contact you.
Desktop notifications are just another reason why we strongly urge Gmail / Google Apps users to use Chrome, as it’s the only browser where this feature is available.
A few other things to keep in mind:
1.) Chat notifications are enabled by default, but you can always disable them if you want
2.) After enabling notifications, make sure to approve mail.google.com to show desktop notifications
3.) To make sure you receive desktop notifications, you’ll need to be logged into Gmail in one of your windows
To enable desktop notifications:
1.) Click the gear icon in the upper right, then select Settings.
2.) On the General tab, select the option you’d like in the Desktop Notifications section.
3.) Choose to turn email notifications off, receive notifications for all incoming email, or only those Gmail marks ‘important’.
It’s summertime and everyone seems to be catching the travel bug. If you plan on taking to the skies for an upcoming vacation, I suggest using Google’s own digital travel agent. While most flight search platform’s either take a cut from the booking or take money from airlines to recommend their flights over less expensive options, Google Flights provides a completely free service untainted by advertisements or confusing results.
I recently switched to Google Flights for all my flight booking needs. The simple interface paired with the clear highlighting of the least expensive itineraries puts it a league above other options. If you just want to get away but don’t have a destination in mind, Google Flights recommends popular locations along with the best deals for visiting them. Explore the world without breaking the bank.
You don’t have to be an international spy to want to keep some aspects of a document private. Google’s native sharing settings are only capable of sharing an entire Doc or keeping an entire Doc private. What do you do if you want to hide only specific passages?
Using this free add-on, you can block out sections of text from a document so you only show collaborators what they need to see. Info like full names, email addresses, or other personal information will remain private while the rest of the document is shared. Although the Docs look a little bit like classified government reports on extraterrestrials, the functionality is great for any Docs user who is serious about privacy.
Note: This add-on is for end users looking to add another level of security to their Docs, but if you are an Admin and want to implement domain wide Drive security, I would recommend at looking into an enterprise level drive security tool.
Google Forms is an often overlooked product in the Google Apps Suite. I can see why, who likes to spend their time filling out surveys? But as is the case with most Google Apps products, Google Forms is capable of more than meets the eye. We put together five of our favorite outside-the-box uses for Google Forms that should be implemented at every school (and even most businesses).
If you are using Google Forms solely as a survey tool then you are missing out. With a little creativity, Forms can be used as grading rubrics, quizzes, student election ballots, job applications, and order forms with custom email confirmations. The possibilities are vast, but pay close attention, because each use case requires its own configuration.
1. Quickly grade assignments using a Google Forms grading rubric
Teachers can use Google Forms as a quick and easy way to grade assignments, ensuring grades are neatly organized in a spreadsheet automatically.
First make sure the option “Only allow one response per person” is NOT checked so you can fill out the Form for multiple student assignments.
I recommend adding ‘Student Name’ as a Form field, this makes it easy to associate grades with their respective students.
Lastly, check the box that says “Show link to submit another response”. This provides a faster way to access the Form again, and makes grading the next student even easier.
2. Create a cheat-proof quiz or exam
While Google Forms makes it a breeze to distribute quizzes and exams, we all know there are concerns about academic misconduct. The Form results page will actually track submission times, which makes it easy to see how long it took each student to complete their quiz. With all the submissions in a spreadsheet, you can quickly scan for students with suspiciously similar answers.
Tracking each quiz back to the correct student is crucial, and it’s easily accomplished by requiring students to login with their school account to view the Form. I also recommend limiting submissions to one per person and shuffling the order of the questions to hinder academic dishonesty.
To ensure every student gets a uniquely ordered quiz, go into advanced options for each question and shuffle the answer selections as well.
3. Show live results for student elections
Class Elections teach students about campaigning, responsibility, and leadership at an early age, but running a class election can be difficult if you are collecting paper ballots in an old shoebox. Google Forms takes the headache out of tallying votes and recording nominations.
Automatically record the email address of each voter and limit votes to one per person, guaranteeing a fair election.
Setting the Form to show a link to Form results will enable students to view live election results immediately after they cast their vote.
4. Add clarity to an application process
“Applying to jobs is easy and clear!”, said no one ever. Use Google Forms to efficiently create and distribute easy to understand applications for clubs and positions. After applications are submitted, you can accurately compare applicants in the Form results spreadsheet.
Edit the Form settings to display a progress bar that shows how far along the applicant is in the Form. This will add some much needed transparency to the application process.
No one will fill out an application if they don’t know where to find it.To link directly to the application Form from the position posting, click “Send Form” and copy the share link, then post it on the website where the position is advertised.
5. Send customized ‘thank you’ emails when receiving fundraiser donations
Whether you are selling t-shirts for a fundraiser or tickets to an upcoming school play, order forms are used by schools as much as they are used by businesses. Google Forms makes it easy to track your incoming orders and go the extra mile by sending a customized auto-response email. This email lets the customer know their order has been recorded and the personal touch will remind them that their business is appreciated.
Google Photos is the new kid on the block when it comes to Google Apps. Announced last month at Google’s I/O conference, Photos is still in its infancy but the functionality it provides is still quite impressive. A one stop shop for storing all of your photos on the cloud, for free.
While many services will offer you a gigabyte or two of free storage, Google Photos takes it to the next level and offers unlimited storage of all your high quality photos for the unbeatable price of zero dollars and zero cents. In addition to being a bottomless cloud storage bin, Photos acts as a top of the line photo editor. You can adjust coloration, add effects and filters, and even create animations out of multiple photos. Check out our guide to see all that Google Photos has to offer.
Google continues to blur the line between physical and digital. What used to only live on ink and paper can be edited right in your Drive. The OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature in Google Drive can convert an image of a physical page of text into an editable Google Doc.
I use this feature to make changes to recipes I find in cookbooks, but it can also be used for legal documents or school assignments, the possibilities are endless. Today, we took this feature to the test when we used Google Drive to transcribe an image of a typed thesis paper and then a (poorly) handwritten note. See for yourself what you can accomplish with this next-level scanning technology.