Archive for August, 2008

Google Hacks

Friday, August 1st, 2008

I recently read (or skimmed) my way through Google Apps Hacks by Phillip Lenssen. I got a lot of great tricks out of it and recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about ways you can use or customize Google Tools. Sometime later I’ll have to put together a post about the implications of some of the hacks for teachers and students, but while I was reading I was inspired to use my Google Notebook more. Then I was inspired to create this post using a pretty cool series of “hacks”:

  1. As I went to web sites that described some of the hacks in the book in greater detail (or provided a necessary tool) I sometimes saved and annotated them in my new Google Hacks notebook.
  2. Then, I used the Tool menu in Notebook to export my Google Hacks bookmarks and annotations to a Google Doc… this gets even better.
  3. Next I used the Share menu in Google Docs to select “Publish as web page…” which gave the opportunity for me to “Publish to Blog.” (I also selected the “Automatically republish when changes are made” option, which is a great trick for live blogging.)
  4. Finally, I edited the document to add this introduction with these instructions, which you are now reading on my blog. Cool, eh?

In any case, the following list is not at all exhaustive, but you might find a few gems in here. Some of these didn’t work well for me, so please share if you know of better options, especially for the signature problem I have. ;)

Export the Feeds from a Google Reader Folder
Google Reader lets you export the feeds from a folder:
(you should replace FOLDER with the actual name of the folder)

I literally wished I could do this just earlier today! Sweet.

Gmail HTML Signatures –
Automatically inserts HTML signatures into your Gmail messages based on which address you are sending from.

I so wanted this to work! No luck. It would only remember the most recent signature I added. So I tried the new Blank Canvas Gmail Signatures Firefox Add-On, which is newer, but it was a complete no-go. Guess I’ll still be cut and pasting my signatures. :(

25 Incredible Skins, Resources & Tools for the Gmail Power User
These tips, monster resources and tools will change the way you use Gmail.

I plan to try a lot of these!

gdatacopier – Google Code
GDataCopier provides a command line tool called ‘gdoc-cp‘ that allows system administrators to automate bi-directional copy of documents & spreadsheets between local machines and Google document servers.

This was fun to try, but the stable version doesn’t yet support presentations. Using Greasemonkey, DownThemAll, and GoogleDocsDownload in Firefox worked better – in fact, it’s a great solution. I do it weekly now. Give it a try.

Publishing Google docs to your blog at bavatuesdays
Once you have a document you want to post to your blog, click on the Publish tab in the far right-hand side of the Google doc, and you will see the option to Publish to Blog.

I just used this to publish to edtechlife – and might use it from time to time for rich posts in the future.

Developer’s Guide – Google Chart API – Google Code
The Google Chart API lets you dynamically generate charts.

You enter values and labels directly into the url and Google Chart creates the visual. Very cool and easily embedable in blog posts.

Associate Multiple eMails w/Your Google Account

Friday, August 1st, 2008

I posted this in the Google Certified Teachers Group and apparently a lot of folks found it useful for solving problems they were experiencing, so I thought I’d repost it here:

Hi, all. For those of you having trouble accessing Google services or Google Docs because some use one email address and others use another – and sometimes folks invite you to be a collaborator using your work email or your personal email… or whatever… this might help.

You can associate multiple email addresses with a single Google account, so that if any one of them are invited, Google understands that it’s you and gives you access using your primary account. Try this:

  • Log in to your Google Account anywhere.
  • Visit
  • Click on “Edit” next to “Personal Information” in the left hand column
  • Under “Associate email addresses with your account” type a new address next to “Add an additional email address:”
  • Press “Save” and repeat for each address you want associated with the account.
  • Enjoy your new found unity. :)

    I hope this helps.

  • Kevin Jarret then expressed this very succinctly in less than 140 characters:

    Associating multiple email addresses w/my primary Google Account thanks to @markwagner!, Edit Personal Info, done!

    Let us know in the comments if you found this useful, or if you know any other similarly simple and helpful tips.

    UPDATE: If you already use seperate Google accounts, you’ll need to delete one in order to associate it’s address with another account. You’ll want to give some thought to what you’ll do with the documents etc. associated with that account. Also, if you have a separate account with Google Apps for Your Domain or Google Apps for Education, that will have to remain separate to remain meaningful.