google extension

Fluco Toolbox: Power Thesaurus Extension

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever been browsing online and needed access to a thesaurus without all the bells and whistles, and without needing to go to a new webpage?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Power Thesaurus

First, the basics:

Name: Power Thesaurus
URL: Link
Cost: FREE
Problem this tool solves: Quickly look at antonyms and synonyms while browsing online by simply selecting a word

Power Thesaurus is a very simple tool, but very handy. This particular website has created an extension for Google Chrome that allows the user to view synonyms and antonyms for a word while browsing online.

First, install the extension from the Chrome web store. Provide any necessary permissions for it to run. Once installed, it will appear as a blue P icon among the other installed extensions.

To use Power Thesaurus, simply select (or double click) a word. A sampling of synonyms and antonyms will appear. The user can change the settings by clicking the gear icon on the lower left of the pop-up. This small preview will not show every antonym and synonym, but it will tell how many of each there are. Click on the blue “View All” link to be taken to the website to see all of the results.

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This tool doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but it is handy to have installed as an extension for research and browsing purposes.

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: Sir Links-A-Lot Extension

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you needed to change the URL of a G Suite app file to make it force copies or show in template mode? What about auto shorten the link, or download as a PDF? Today’s tool can do that and then some!

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Sir Links-A-Lot

First, the basics:

Name: Sir Links-A-Lot extension
URL: Link
Cost: Free
Problem this tool solves: Use this extension to automatically create URLs for Google Suite apps – template, force a copy, download PDF, and preview. Turn any G Suite app file into a shortened URL.

I recently discovered this gem, thanks to some research and a post from ShakeUpLearning. I had no idea this extension even existed, and as I waited for it to install, I hoped it would do exactly what it promised.

Spoiler: It does!

The Sir Links-A-Lot extension is handy to have when a file needs to be force copied, a template, or even automatically download as a PDF. No more do you have to remember the text to add to the end of a G Suite app URL to make the file do one of these options. Nope, all you need is the click of a button! G Suite apps include Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings.

First, navigate to the Chrome web store using the link above and add the extension to Chrome. Give any necessary permissions as prompted. A white icon with gold links for eyes and a black hat will be added to the other extensions already installed.

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Any time a Google app file is open, this extension can be executed. Simply click it and the following options appear:

  • Force copy – page loads without preview and button that makes users create a copy first
  • Preview – view file without menus and toolbars
  • Template – preview file & easily create a copy
  • PDF – when entered, URL will automatically download the file as a PDF

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Sir Links-A-Lot also provides a few more handy buttons. These buttons quickly copy the new URL to the clipboard, shorten it with goo.gl, or open a link to the new URL in a new tab

Hopefully, this extension will make things a lot easier when sharing G Suite files, especially if sharing them for trainings or conference resources. No more having to remember ways to fix URLs. Just click a button! Sir Links-a-Lot has your back.

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: AwesomeDrive and UFO

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based around your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever wished that you could easily open Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) directly from your Drive, and have any changes sync back to your Drive? Have you hated having to download and then reupload changed files?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: AwesomeDrive and Universal File Opener

First, the basics:

Name: AwesomeDrive / Universal File Opener
URL: AwesomeDrive / UFO
Cost: FREE
Problem this tool solves: Use both of these extensions hand in hand, and you’ll be able to create new Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files from within your Drive. You’ll also be able to edit the files on your computer’s version of Office, and then sync changes back to your Google Drive.

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There’s a wedding set, and you’re invited! Well, it’s like a wedding, in a weird, techy way. I’ve always had people ask if there was a way to get Drive to play well with Office, and thanks to these two extensions by AODocs, there is most definitely a way! I do caution that these extensions are not meant to be used on a Chromebook. However, these extensions will up your PC game, especially if you find yourself working with both Google and Microsoft files on a regular basis.

First, visit the Chrome web store by using the links provided above. Add both Awesome Drive and Universal File Opener to your Chrome browser. Make sure you provide all permissions. Once Universal File Opener is added, you’ll find an alert that says you need to install a sync client to your computer. Don’t worry. This program will allow your Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file to sync changes to your Drive once the file has been saved. It’s a quick install, and once you’ve done that, you’re set.

Now that everything is added and installed, let’s see what kinds of cool tricks we can now do with Drive and Office!

First go to your Drive. With AwesomeDrive, you now have some new features. Try clicking the blue “New” button to create a new file. Before, you were only able to create new Docs, Forms, Sheets, etc. Now, you’ll also see options for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. When you select one of these, you must name the file, and then it will open with the version of Office installed on your computer.

 

Once you’ve finished editing the document, simply save it and it will automatically sync to your Drive. No more downloading and uploading Office files for you!

Another cool feature you now have, thanks to Universal File Opener, is the ability to open any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file from Drive. First, locate the file in your Drive. Instead of double-clicking on the file name, move your cursor to the right. You’ll see an icon of a computer with a pencil over it. Hovering over this shows the “Open File” text. Clicking it opens the file in your computer’s version of Office. Make any changes to the file and click Save. A small pop-up will notify you that the file is being synced to Drive. Make sure to save often!

 

After the file has been synced, another notification will pop up on the lower right corner of your screen notifying you that your file has been saved to Drive.

Using both AwesomeDrive and Universal File Opener should definitely make managing your files a lot easier. Give them a try!

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: Right Inbox for Gmail

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based around your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever wanted to schedule emails that need to be sent? What about make notes about an email or set reminders for followup involving a received email?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Right Inbox for Gmail

First, the basics:

Name: Right Inbox for Gmail
URL: Link here
Cost: FREE OR 5.95 per month for a yearly plan OR 7.95 per month for a monthly plan
Problem this tool solves: A Google extension that allows the user to schedule emails, set reminders, make private notes, and set recurring emails (paid option only).

I stumbled on this Google extension when I found myself wishing I could schedule emails. I thought Surely there’s some kind of extension for that! I went to the Chrome Web Store, and viola! I found Right Inbox for Gmail.

Once the extension is installed, refresh your inbox. When you compose an email, you’ll now see something like this:

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These are the new options added with the Right Inbox extension. We now have Send Later, Remind Me, Add Note, and Recurring (paid only).

Let’s start with “Send Later”. You’ll notice there’s still a “Send Now” option. First, compose the email that you wish to send. The drop down arrow beside “Send Later” provides the option to label the email as scheduled until it is delivered. This will show up in the Drafts section of the inbox.

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Click on “Send Later”. A box will pop up with some generic send later times. Don’t like those times? No problem. Click on “Customize this menu”, and you can remove the options you don’t like, and add in new ones. For example, if you know you often need to send a certain email on Monday at 9AM, you can add an option for “Monday at 9AM”. If you wish to send at a specific time, you’ll want to choose “At a specific time”. Then you can select the date and type in a time.

 

The email will be sent at at the specified time, and you’ll be relieved from having to remember to send it! If you later decide not to send the reply, simply go to your Drafts and delete the draft.

Guess what? You can also schedule a reply to a received message as well. Once Reply or Reply All has been selected, clicking “Send Later” will allow you to select the time to send a reply. The message will appear as a draft until the reply is sent. If you later decide not to send the reply, simply go to your Drafts and delete the draft.

Next, let’s look at “Remind Me”. When sending an email, this is a good way to leave a nudge to yourself to follow up, or to do something at a particular time. If I were to send an email, I might want to be reminded if no one responded so that I could get in touch again.

Once again, compose the email like before. Before clicking on “Send Now” or “Send Later”, check the box beside “Remind Me”, and set a time to be reminded. Clicking the drop down arrow will provide options. “Only if Nobody Responds” is a great one to use when requesting information from someone. Just as with scheduling, “Remind Me can be used for both composing and when reading messages.

 

Our next handy feature is “Add Note”. Add Note is useful when you want to write down some private ideas or notes that should be hidden from others as you compose the message. When reading email, “Add Note” is also available, perfect for jotting down ideas to track the conversation!

First, compose or read the email as usual. If composing, “Add Note” will be at the bottom of the screen with the other tools. Click the button, and a box will appear to type in the note. Make sure to save the note when finished. Clicking the drop down arrow will show more handy options, such as “Show Note Automatically”. This means the note will always appear when the message is opened. Once the email is sent, the note can be accessed by opening the email in the Sent folder. Notes are never visible to recipients.

 

When reading or replying to an email, the “Add Note” will be at the top of the screen. This time, use it to jot down ideas or thoughts from large threads of replies, or to compose your ideas before writing out an email response. The note will be visible any time the email is opened. The label “Note” will be applied, as seen in the email below:

 

The final option is “Recurring Email”. Since this is a paid feature, we won’t go into it in depth here. However, it functions just like the “Send Later” option, and adds in similar features to Google Calendar for recurring emails.

Hopefully, you find Right Inbox as handy as I do! It’s amazing the difference that one little extension can make!

Resources