May 11, 2011

4 Things To Make Life 4 Million Times Easier!

I. Make yourself a Google Account!
so that you can
  • A. Make an iGoogle Page (This is a lifesaver when you find yourself on someone else's computer because yours got left home or it got in trouble and had to go see Roy)
  • B. Use Google Docs (Why use Google Docs sometimes? Collaboration. Cross Platform. Available anywhere. Fill-able Forms.)
  • C. Take a Look at Google Calendar (I have 12 different calendars all stored in the same place, all color-coded. The Husb and I can access them from anywhere...even our phones. Saved my life SO many times!)
  • D. Consider a Blogger blog to put your class newsletter on. This is a super non-threatening way to delve into the techy-classroom stuff. Get your feet wet with a simple Blog style newsletter instead of an email one. It will be on the web, but you can make it so it's not searchable...only people with the link can get to it, so that's cool. Don't wait until you have time to make the perfect class website. You can literally have a cute blog up in 5 minutes and down in less than that if you change your mind. It's totally worth trying!

II. Magical Mac Tricks You May Not Know.
  • Touch Pad Finger Zoom and Right Click trick
  • Keyboard Short Cuts. CMD-X,C,V,A,Z. Know them, Love them. Do you have others to add to our vast storehouse of treasures?
  • Screen Capture. CMD-Shift-3: Captures the whole screen and saves it to the desktop. CMD-Shift-4: Gives you a little crosshair cursor. Drag it around what you want to capture and it will snap a picture of that and save it to the desktop.
  • Magnifying Glass Search in the Upper Right Corner. Did you know this was there? Use this to open applications and documents. So Awesome!
  • Hot Corners. They can be annoying or really awesome, depending on how you like to work. I set the bottom right corner to show my sort of mimics a PC tool I used to love!

III. Awesome App Tricks You May Not Know!
  • Sticky Notes are SO cool. Type in Stickies in the Search bar up there. The application is self explanatory, but if you want it to open every time you turn your computer on, click and hold the icon in the dock until you see Options pop up. Choose to Open at Login.
  • First Class is your default mail, but it's probably not set up to be the default when you're browsing the web. Irritating! That's ok, here are the instructions about how to set it up so that whenever you click on an email link from a website, FirstClass will open instead of MacMail. Click Here to Download the Instructions. Here is an email link to use so you can see if it's working.
  • Here's another FirstClass trick to make life easier. Save your name on the login screen so you only have to type your password. Here, I'll post a picture of what I'm talking about.
  • Make folders in your FirstClass to help organize your emails. Click on your inbox (or whatever folder you want to put your new folder inside of) Then go to File>New>New Folder. Now you can drag emails into folders.
IV. Web Browser Organization!
I recommend using Firefox as your Web Browser. It just plays nicer. But even in Safari, there are a few good tricks to know.

If you're in Safari:

1. First, Show the Tab Bar. Go to the View Menu and click Show Tab Bar. Phwew. Now you can keep track of where you are when you're surfing.
2. Now Get a Home Button. Go to View and Customize Toolbar. Drag the little house button onto the top toolbar. Phwew. Now we have a home key. Everyone needs a home that's easy to get to.

Now for either Safari or Firefox:

  1. Set iGoogle as your Home Page: Open up your iGoogle Page. On the Menu, go to Firefox(or Safari) >Preferences>General. Under the Homepage Bar click the button that says Use Current Page.
  2. Set your browser to open a new tab instead of a new window: Go To FireFox(or Safari)>Preferences>Tabs>Open Windows in a New Tab
  3. Remove anything from your Bookmark bar that you don't use: In Safari you just drag that baby off there and Poof! In Firefox you can Right Click and choose Delete.
  4. Make yourself some Folders up there: Right Click on an empty space on the bar. Safari gives you one option. Firefox gives you a bunch.
  5. Now Surf and find something you want to Bookmark. In order to save it...just do this: See the cute little picture in front of your address bar at the very top? Drag that into a folder you just made on the Bookmark bar. Link saved. You love this, don't you? You can also go into the bookmarks menus and get more specific with your organizing if you like, but this is the easiest way to deal.


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