5 Easy Tech Ideas You Didn’t Know You Needed

Patrick bday 2016 750x380As my husband, Mike, said this week: “We’re on step 3 of the 12-step plan;” that is, we’re recovering from wedding planning for our daughter. Just so you know I haven’t dropped off the planet, I looked for some easy tech tips to write up fairly quickly for this month’s post in the 2016 Byte-size Series. What I found are easy and unusual tips, but I think many of you will find at least one of these ideas useful.  All ideas are from the blog: Tammy’s Technology Tips for Teachers.

A Virtual Whiteboard

Need a whiteboard? Use AwwApp.com on your computer, tablet, or phone. Use as a whiteboard in a meeting or collaborate virtually with a group. Share your board on Facebook, Twitter, or in a widget on a website.

If my son is interested in getting an account, it might be fun to draw or practice writing together with our grandkids on our tablets, 850 miles apart. The free version of Aww doesn’t allow for any saved boards, so I took a screenshot of my whiteboard birthday greeting which I made on my Kindle Fire for Patrick today. I’ll send it via email.

If you have a favorite drawing app, it could also possibly be used as a whiteboard. AwwApp.com offers collaboration and can be used across devices.

Distribute Copies of a Google Sheet

You may need a group of people to have a spreadsheet for their own or to use as a template.  This option is good for times when you want to limit access to Google Drive through Cru.

After creating a Google Sheet, click on the blue share button in the upper right. You’ll choose either to “view” or to “edit.” The long URL you’ll copy to your clipboard has “edit” in the string. Change “edit” to “copy.” Use this new URL to notify people (they’ll need a Google account). When they click the link, they’ll see a page similar to the image below in order to obtain a copy.

Copy Sheet 750x380

If you don’t know how to change that long URL to something manageable for your email message, see the NOTES at the bottom of this post or read the original post.

Measure Distance on Google Maps

Right-click on a Google Map and you’ll be able to measure distances with a “ruler.” Maybe you forgot to wear your Fitbit and want to know how far you walked today.

Yes, Google will give you point-to-point distances and travel time for various modes of transportation, so this feature may not be what you need. I can see some usefulness if you’re planning a multiple-city driving trip and want to quickly estimate how many miles you’ll cover.

Watch this video for a brief demonstration.

Change a Google Sheet from Horizontal to Vertical Data

Do you use Google Forms, but then have trouble reading the results? I just tried this out on some Form responses by making a copy of the results as a sheet 2 in the same file. I then used the formula =Transpose(Sheet2!B:G) in a third sheet to change the data orientation to vertical. I found this easier because using the name of the first tab (“Form Responses 1!B:G”) in the second sheet didn’t work for me. The third sheet, then, had the same data, but presented vertically. Read Tammy’s article for more instructions.

Print on Sticky Notes

Why would you need this I’d like to know, but I thought the concept was interesting. Certainly if you needed a lot of the same thing on sticky notes, you’d have a print shop do the printing. If you needed a smaller amount and to personalize them, then read on.

You’ll make two different files, using a spreadsheet:

  1. Make gridlines on a template for the size of your Post-it® notes. The ones I have would fit six notes on a page.
  2. Make a copy of this template as another file, but this time, don’t use the “print gridlines” feature. Create your images and/or write your text where your notes will be placed when ready for printing.

Next, you’ll print one copy of your template. Place your sticky notes firmly on the template squares and put this sheet of paper in your printer. Print the second file of content onto this prepared sheet. Voilà! Printed sticky notes!

Did you like the ideas of this article? Please comment so I know whether to look for these kind of tips for future posts.

 The Byte-size Series

Each byte-size series post is meant to be easy for you to do.

Byte-size series icon

The Byte-size Series:

Each byte-size series post is meant to be easy for you to do.

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  4. Google Apps and search tips
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  6. 5 Easy Tech Ideas You Didn’t Know You Needed
  7. Saving Facebook Posts… for Bloggers, Too
  8. Painting a Bigger Picture for Your Ministry Partners
  9. Easy Tips for Cropping Photos with Paint.net
  10. Your eTools for Your Myers-Briggs Type
  11. Facebook Live Is an Easy Ministry Tool


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