January 8th, 2015

googleapps_Dec26_AAs a business owner or manager there is always some task that needs to be completed and some project that needs your attention. While we often like to think of ourselves as super human, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that needs to be done. One useful tool that can help us follow our to-do-list successfully is the Google Tasks function in Gmail.

What is Google Tasks?

Google Tasks is a sub-feature included in all versions of Gmail. As the name suggests, its main function is to allow you to set up tasks directly in Gmail. With this feature you can create itemized lists, set due dates, add notes, and create tasks directly from Gmail messages.

When you use this feature, you will see a chat-like window appear at the bottom-right of the screen. The window looks and functions a lot like a Hangouts chat in that you can minimize it and even pop it out of the Gmail window.

How to use Google Tasks

As we noted above, Google Tasks is a feature of Gmail, and can be accessed by:
  1. Going to your Gmail Inbox.
  2. Pressing on Mail which is located at the top-left side of the window.
  3. Selecting Tasks from the drop-down menu.
When you do this, you should notice the Tasks window open at the bottom-right of the screen, beside any open chats or emails you may be composing. Once you have opened this you can add a new task by clicking on the + at the bottom right, or by clicking in any blank area in the window. You should then notice a square box appear with a blinking cursor beside it. You can then enter the task you would like to make note of.

Once a task is finished you can tick the box beside it and it will be struck through, indicating it has been completed. You can then click on it and press the trash can icon at the bottom to delete the task from your list.

Other useful Google Tasks features

  • Create sub-tasks - If you want to create a task with sub-tasks, simply create each task normally and then hit Tab to indent tasks so that they are identified as sub-tasks. Hit Shift + Tab to move any indented tasks to the left.
  • Add a due date and notes - Click on a task and then click on the black arrow to the right of the task to assign a due date and add any notes.
  • Create new lists - Create multiple lists by clicking on the list icon at the bottom-right of the window and selecting New list.
  • Move tasks up or down the list - To change the priority of a task, hover your mouse over the square beside the task name and click on the grey dots, then drag the task up or down.
  • Email a task list - You can send a task list to other Gmail users by selecting the list you want to send, then clicking Actions at the bottom of the window, followed by Email task list.
If you would like to learn more about using Google Tasks, or any other Google app please get in touch with us today.
Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
November 26th, 2014

googleapps_Nov25_AFor businesses who use Google Apps, and many other users, Google's Chrome is the browser of choice. While certainly a powerful browser, there are times when not everything works perfectly. One of the most common issues with Chrome is when a page or tab crashes or won't load. However, there are ways to deal with an an unresponsive tab.

First off, what exactly is an unresponsive tab?

As you know, Chrome is based off of tabs. Instead of opening a new website in another window you can simply open a site in another tab. This cuts down on the number of windows you need to have open at any one time, thereby ensuring Chrome uses power more effectively. However, at times certain tabs and sites you are trying to load can become unresponsive.

What we mean by this is that either when you click on the tab it won't open, or the page the tab is loading won't scroll or an extension has crashed. When this happens you will normally see sluggish performance as your computer shunts more resources into trying to get the tab running or figuring out what the issue is.

How do I deal with an unresponsive tab?

When this happens, our most common first reaction is that all of Chrome is acting up, and then to open Task Manager to shut the whole program down. With Windows, for example, when you open Task Manager it may indicate that Chrome is not responding.

Most of the times, this is not actually the case, and terminating the program this way will cause all open tabs to close. If you have not saved your work or enabled the tab-saving feature on Chrome (where tabs will re-open the next time you open Chrome), you will have to spend time tracking down these tabs to open again.

Instead, when a tab starts to act up, try:

  1. Clicking on the three vertical grey bars at the top-right of the Chrome window you have open.
  2. Hovering over More Tools or Tools which should be located at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
  3. Selecting Task Manager.
  4. Clicking on the tab that is not working.
  5. Selecting End Process.
When you do this you should be presented with a blue error page. Once you get to this page you can either reload the previous page or service (the Web address should still be in the URL bar), or go to another page.

Another use for Task Manager

Task Manager is also useful because it gives you an overview of the general usage stats of each tab. For example you will see:
  • Task - The name of the tab or process that is currently running in Chrome.
  • Memory - How much memory the tab is currently taking up. Higher amounts of memory use will result in a generally slower performance.
  • CPU - The amount of your computer's processing power each tab is using. This is shown as a percentage, and the higher the percentage means the more power being used.
  • Network - How much data the tab is currently transmitting. The higher the number, the more data being used.
  • Process ID - A unique ID given to each process and tab you have open. This helps Google engineers and network specialists quickly find and identify issues.
It is important to note here that you should not go ending the process of every tab and process as this could cause Chrome to become unstable and crash. As a general rule of thumb: If you aren't sure of the function of the task you are looking at, it is best to leave it alone.

If you are looking to learn more about Chrome and how you can leverage it in your business, contact us today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
June 3rd, 2014

googleapps_June2_AOne of the best parts about a vacation is capturing shots to be shared with loved ones. Whether it’s a group photo, scenic views or a memorable moment. In business, you might want to preserve photos of a special corporate event such as an exhibition, training session or important visit. Sharing your photos just got a whole lot simpler thanks to the introduction of Google+ Stories and Movies. So what exactly is this feature and how does it work?

Google+ Stories is a mobile Web application which automatically weaves your photos, videos and places you’ve visited through Google+ into a stunning montage when you use the auto upload and backup feature. No more sifting through photos for the best shots or racking your brain for the sights you saw, Google+ Stories will automatically do away with out-of-focus images and use geo-tags to figure out where each picture was taken.

The next time you unpack after a trip, Google+ Stories will do all the work to help tell your story. Whether you’re looking to create a personal memoir or a business story about the development of your latest product, Google+ Stories is equipped for the task.

The Google+ Movies feature automatically produces a highlight reel of your photos and videos, including effects, transitions, and even a soundtrack. You can now tell the tale of your business or create a promo video for a product or service yourself. Google+ Movies adds the finishing touches that your videos may lack.

Both Web applications are available for Android and the Web, but as of the writing of this article, iOS users will have to wait a little longer.

How to use Google+ Stories and Movies:

  1. If you don’t have a Gmail account you must first create one.
  2. For those with a Gmail account, visit here and click on Upgrade.
  3. Download Google+ Auto Backup here and click on Preferences to turn Auto Backup on so that your photos can be synced automatically from your computer. Note that Auto Backup is available for desktop on both Windows and Mac as well as on Android and iOS mobile devices.
  4. Back up your photos and videos to Google+.
When your Google+ photos and videos match certain criteria, Auto Awesome copies them, leaving the original file intact and creating another version of your photos and videos made with add-ons like wide-screen panoramas or even short animations.You’ll get a notification when a story or movie is ready.

You can also create your own visual account by:

  1. Uploading photos and videos onto Google+ by hovering over the Home menu on the upper left corner and clicking on Photos.
  2. Clicking on Upload photos on the navigation panel and clicking Share.
Backing up photos to the cloud is now becoming essential for many. With Google+ Stories and Movies, it’s even easier to bring corporate and personal moments to life. Interested in learning more about using Google’s products and services in your business? Call us today for a chat.
Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
May 7th, 2014

GoogleApps_May06_ASetting up Gmail’s Undo Send feature is really easy to do. It’ll only take you about a minute to setup but the benefits from enabling this can be massively useful. Find out how to set up your Gmail account with the easy steps outlined in this article, plus if you wish to customize the duration of this feature, there are easy steps for to set this too.

In this modern day and age, we all lean towards anything that gets the job done faster; like email as opposed to snail mail. Email is a widely-used form of business correspondence which explains why most email hosts are continuously adding exciting features like chat, theme customization, file sharing, and even the ability to unsend or recall emails. We all hate that moment when the Send button suddenly becomes a magic portal for instantly spotting typos and mistakes we may have overlooked or errors that we never thought were there in the first place.

It is extremely important to practice business email etiquette because these messages represent you and your business, and the recipient can form an opinion of you from a single email. We all want to give the impression of credibility and not send the wrong information or message. Gmail gives users a second chance with the easy to setup Undo Send feature.

The Undo Send feature gives the sender a chance to retrieve or recall an erroneous email at an allotted duration. The default duration is 10 seconds but you may choose to customize it up to 30 seconds. An undo link appears after hitting the Send button so if you forgot to include an attachment, notice an error, or simply change your mind about sending an email, you can click the link and the email won’t be sent until you prompt it to.

How do I set up the Undo Send feature?

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click the gear icon. The gear icon is the pinwheel-like icon found in the upper right corner of your Inbox.
  3. Select Settings followed by Labs.
  4. Scroll down to the Undo Send feature.
  5. Click the Enable button to activate the feature.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.
You should now see an Undo link at the top of your Inbox every time you hit the Send button. Clicking the Undo link will reopen the compose window so that you can edit or delete your message.

How do I customize the duration of the Undo Send feature?

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Inbox.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Select General from the top row of options.
  4. Look for the Undo Send section.
  5. Click the drop down box, you may select 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
  6. Don’t forget to scroll down and click Save Changes.
  7. Now, you’re all set!
It pays to always review any form of correspondence before hitting the Send button. You may find it easier if you get into the habit of reading through your message and also having a checklist in place for every email. Ask yourself what you want to communicate and whether you have included this information. Then:
  • Check that you have included all the relevant information and no extra details that are not necessary.
  • Double-check the recipient fields such as whether you have the correct address and whether you need to CC anyone else.
  • Check the subject line matches the message and,
  • Finally, check that you have added any attachments.
The ability to compose an error-free, well-worded email is fast-becoming a valuable business asset and the Undo Send feature gives you precious extra seconds to retrieve a potentially disastrous email. Never underestimate the power of a single second as it could save you from messing up a business deal with your suppliers and customers. If you need more than 30 seconds or wish to schedule email delivery at a later date, we may be able to help with a solution, so get in touch to find out more.
Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
November 13th, 2013

2013Nov13_GoogleApps_AGoogle has become one of the main providers of business apps for companies the world over. Because of this, companies are increasingly turning to these apps when looking for a new way to drive their business forward. Many small businesses that use Google Apps are running systems that are fairly dated and are maybe even using an older version of Internet Explorer (IE). If you use IE, be aware that Google recently made an announcement that you will want to pay attention to.

In early November, Google announced that they will be discontinuing support for users who access Google Apps on older versions of Internet Explorer (IE).

The announcement

The current version of IE is 11, which was introduced with the recent Windows 8.1 update. However, many companies that use IE are still using version 9, which came out in 2011. Google has announced that they will be ending support for IE 9.

What this means is that users of IE 9 may no longer be able to access the full versions of Google Apps. For example, instead of opening Gmail you will be redirected to the HTML (most basic) version, or calendars will be displayed in read-only mode, not allowing you to create or edit new entries.

This is an important development to respond to if your business hasn't updated to newer versions of the IE browser. You could find yourself unable to access Google Apps, which could create problems, particularly if your company relies on them to operate on an everyday level.

What should I do?

If you are using an older version of IE, the first change you are going to have to make is to update your browser. When you log into a Google App you should see a message come up instructing you about the impending cessation of support and how you should go about upgrading.

Before you press the update button however, check with an IT partner or your IT department to ensure that the update can be installed with minimal or no problems. Most users should see little to no difference but there is always a chance of something not working, especially if you use older software.

It is recommended that you  find out if other computers in your company need to be updated too. If you are unsure as to what version of IE you are running you can find out by:

  1. Opening Internet Explorer.

  2. Pressing Ctrl+H and selecting About Internet Explorer.

To inform yourself about Google's browser support policy check out this page here for more information. In general, Google supports the latest versions of Chrome, which automatically updates, and the current and previous major versions of FireFox and Safari. For IE, Google supports the three latest versions.

To learn more about Google Apps and services and how they can fit into your organization, or if you have questions about updating any software, please contact us today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 28th, 2012

When it comes to productivity programs like Microsoft Office and Gmail, many employees are firmly fixed in one camp only. It can be hard to convince them to switch from one service to another. When companies switch from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail, for example, they might find they only meet reluctance from their employees. However, there’s a way to get the best of both worlds.

If you have employees who are reluctant to switch from Outlook to Gmail, there is a way to use the Gmail platform with the familiarity of Outlook through a feature Google calls Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. Here’s how you can set it up. Note: you need to be a Google Apps Administrator for this to work.

  1. Log in to your Google account and navigate to your Dashboard. From there go to the Settings tab (located on the bar going across the top of the window) and click Email (located on the left of the window). Under the General tab scroll down and tick the box that says Enable Google Apps Sync and Google Apps Connector for my users.
  2. Scroll down to User email uploads and tick the box that says Allow users to upload mail using the Email Migration API. This will allow users to upload their profiles from Outlook.
  3. Select Contacts from the left side of the screen and select Enable contact sharing.
  4. Click the Dashboard tab from the top of the window, and select Your Google Apps and ensure that Google Calendar is on.
  5. Navigate to Domain Settings, the tab is at the top of the window, select User Settings and check the box that says Enable provisioning API.
  6. Download and install the Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Office tool. It should run automatically.
  7. Sign in to Google Apps Sync and select which data is to be merged from Outlook into Gmail and press Create profile. A screen will pop up asking you to open Outlook. When you do, the migration will then start.
  8. While the migration is in progress, which could take a while, right click on the Google Sync icon on the bottom right of your screen (beside the clock) and select Set calendars to sync. Select the calendars and hit Ok.
After the sync is complete, your employees will be able to continue to use Outlook to compose and send emails. Outlook will also sync with Gmail. If you have any questions about the syncing process please contact us.
Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 15th, 2012

Google started out in a garage as a search engine, and have since expanded at an incredible rate into one of the largest tech companies in the world. One of the biggest limiting factors to Google’s expansion is Internet connection. In most countries, Internet services are provided by a few companies that more or less run the market. Google is tackling these telecommunication giants head-on, and may beat them at their own game.

In late July Google introduced its new Internet and TV service, Google Fiber and Google Fiber TV. The service aims to bring 1-gigabit Internet connections (1,000 megabits) and fiber optic TV services to customers, while simultaneously encouraging current Internet and TV providers to adopt faster and better Internet connections at lower prices. As of the last week of July, residents in Kansas City could sign up for the service, which is currently under construction. Service connection is expected by summer of 2013.

A gigabit Internet connection is the fastest Internet connection currently available in the United States, and most countries for that matter. For small businesses this will essentially make anything related to the Internet up to 100X faster, and you’ll also be able to communicate with clients and other businesses using HD video, or operate in the cloud with no connection interruptions.

Currently the service is only available in the Kansas City metropolitan area, but Google has stated that if the project is successful, they would like to roll it out in other cities. With the launch, Google is offering three packages:

  1. Gigabit and Fiber TV. The first package includes both the gigabit connection and Fiber TV. Fiber TV offers all the regular broadcast channels along with television shows on demand and Fiber TV specific channels. The Internet connection comes with no data cap - download as much as you want - and 1 terabyte of storage on Google Drive. The cost for the service is USD$120 a month.
  2. Gigabit Internet. Users who don’t want to sign up for TV can sign up just for the gigabit Internet connection. As with the first package, there is no data cap and you will also get 1 terabyte of storage on Google Drive. This package will cost USD$70 a month.
  3. Introductory. This package is for users who don’t have a broadband connection. For $300 for the first year, and free for the next six, you get a 5 megabit connection.
Each package costs USD$300 to connect on top of the monthly price, except for the third package. For the third package, Google is allowing users to pay the connection fee on a monthly basis over one year - USD$25 a month.

While this service is only in Kansas city for the time being, it’s a high possibility that Google will expand the service across North America in the near future. If this is successful, it will be guaranteed that small businesses will see Internet providers introduce plans with super fast speeds at incredibly affordable rates. This means there will be no excuse not to be on the Internet, and companies currently limited by slow Internet speeds will be able to utilize the Internet much more effectively.

If you’re interested in Google Fiber and would like to know more about it, or any other Internet Service Providers, please contact us.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 7th, 2012

Google is one of the few companies that nearly everyone has heard of, with an instantly recognizable logo and go-to products many can’t live without. People and companies around the world use a number of Google’s products, namely email and search engine. What tends to happen is companies use the same Google products, often missing out on some great features.

Here are five Google features and products you’re probably not using.

  • Hellofax. From the name, you probably guessed that Hellofax is an app that can send and receive faxes. What makes the app appealing is that it integrates with Google Drive, allowing you to send faxes directly from Google Drive and faxes that come in will be automatically converted and stored in Google Drive. If you only send the occasional fax, or don’t want a fax machine in the office, this is a great app for you.
  • DocuSign. As a business owner, chances are nearly 100% that you’ll sign documents on a relatively regular occurrence. It can be wasteful to print a document, sign it, scan it and email it. To save your time and paper, you can use DocuSign to attach your signature to documents saved in Google Drive.
  • Activity Reports. Would you like to know how much time you spend using Google’s products, what you search and anything else about Google? With Activity Account you can do just that and have Google send reports to your email. This is a great tool if you’re looking for ways you can improve your productivity, or Google Fu.
  • Gmail Snooze. When you’re on holiday, or away from the office do you ever feel that you’re never really “away”? If you’d like to escape for a while, even for a couple of minutes for a quick siesta, Gmail Snooze is a script that can help. If you’d like to install a script like this, follow Lifehacker’s great step-by-step instructions.
  • Gmail Meter. Have you ever wanted to know exactly how many emails you get in a week, your average response time and your most productive - email wise - time and day? Gmail Meter is a script that will compile a report to let you know exactly this and more. There is a little bit of installation needed, however the gmail blog has a good explanation on how to get it set up.
These are just a few of the many features, apps and products of the Google universe that should help you and your business. Are there any other Google features or products you use that others don’t? Let us know below.
Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 1st, 2012

One of the major weaknesses of the cloud is the fact that not all employees will connected to the Internet at all times. If your company employes cloud solutions and has sales people who travel a lot, they may have a tough time keeping up to date. Google wants you to use their products, and as they are largely cloud based, has announced a few updates to help those with less than 100% Internet connectivity.

At the I/O conference in June, Google announced some big changes to its cloud storage/document suite - Google Drive. The biggest announcement was that you can now create and edit spreadsheets and documents when you’re not connected to the Internet. Google calls this new feature Offline Docs.

This is a great upgrade for businesses with spotty Internet connection who have been looking for an cloud based office suite, or are looking to provide employees with a solution that allows them to be more efficient while mobile.

How to enable Offline Docs At this time, Offline Docs is only available to users of Google Chrome. If you use Firefox, Safari, IE or any other browser, these steps won’t work. Google has not announced when, or if, the feature will be available for other browsers.

To enable Offline Docs:

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Select More, located on the left-hand side of the screen, below CREATE.
  3. Click Enable offline docs and wait a few seconds for a dialogue box to open.
  4. Select Install from Chrome web store, followed by Add to Chrome.
  5. Click on the Google Drive icon and Offline Docs will be enabled.
After Offline Docs have been enabled, docs stored in your My Drive folder will be available offline. When your Internet isn’t working, simply open a new tab in Chrome and select the Google Drive icon, the offline version of Drive will open and you’ll be able to edit documents. Note that any features that require an Internet connection will be unavailable. When you connect to the Internet again, the document will be uploaded.

If you find that you don’t need to use Offline Docs, you can turn it off by clicking the gear in the top right-hand side of the Google Drive window and selecting Stop using Docs offline. To learn more about other useful features of Google Drive, please contact us.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps
July 24th, 2012

Google is well known for Internet search and all aspects related to it. To deliver search results, Google relies on advanced algorithms, page rankings and keywords to execute searches. Getting your business’s website to appear higher in search results has become an important part of marketing and brand building. To further complicate things, Google recently introduced a new search algorithm that could affect your page ranking.

In order to make your website, its pages, links and keywords within them relevant, while ranking them by importance to related search results, Google uses advanced algorithms that assigns a numerical weight to keywords and then ranks them. The better the total rank, the higher your page will be on relevant search results.

Companies that take advantage of this algorithm and keywords to get their website to show higher in results are engaging in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In order to ensure better, more relevant search results, Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm. These tweaks could be a big thing for your website as they could force it to show up higher/lower in search results. A recent update, Penguin, has many businesses confused as to why their ranking has suddenly dropped.

About Penguin Penguin, an update to the Google algorithm was released in April 2012. Its goal is to update page rankings, and decrease ones that don’t meet Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. In layman’s terms: If your website doesn’t meet the established guidelines, it will show up lower in search results.

There are three things about Penguin website owners should be aware of

  1. It’s not out to harm all websites. As Penguin is an update and some websites will receive a lower rank, Google doesn’t mean for this to be a punishment, rather a correction and update to bring more relevant search results.
  2. Certain links are harmful. If your website has site-wide links - A link or links that appear on every page of your website, referring to another site. These links often appear in the header and footer of webpages, and serve no other purpose than increasing page rank (more links with keywords = better ranking). - your rank will fall.
  3. Websites can recover. The good thing about Google’s analytics is they’re dynamic. If you’re Web page drops in rank, you can act to improve it. In fact, Google will email you notifying you about the links. Google will also contact you if you have too many links from low-quality websites/networks (Google considers low-quality to essentially be spam).
If you’re unsure about your SEO ranking, and would like to see your website feature higher in search results, please call us, we may have a solution for you.
Published with permission from Source.

Topic Google Apps