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Think Big Tech, and I bet Google comes to mind. They control our inboxes, calendars, document storage, cloud storage, routes, and more. Most of their products are free to use, which means you are the product they are selling.
We accept Google tracking because these services are free and incredibly easy to use. Hey, if you’re in the Google ecosystem, you might as well make the most of it. Here are five ways to do it.
5 WAYS TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU FEEL SAFER AT HOME
1. A solution for your cluttered inbox
One of the best privacy features built into Gmail is spam protection. I’m not talking about a junk folder. This tip is even better.
You can create a new email address, called an alias, without any special setup. All you have to do is add a plus sign and a word after your username to your email address, like so: “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
A useful use is to link your recurring subscription services to an alias, like this: “email@example.com.” You can use this trick for email newsletters, correspondence with friends, information from neighborhood associations, or anything else you can think of.
Pro tip: This is also a great way to see if a business is selling or renting your email address. If you see a message that you didn’t sign up to receive, see which of your email addresses it went to.
Go further: For aliases to be truly useful, you need to filter them into their own designated places in your inbox. Touch or click here and scroll to number 2 for instructions.
2. Share your emails without revealing the password
Do not share your email password with anyone. Period. But you can share a inbox with someone. In certain situations, it works very well.
Let’s say you’re a small business and you want multiple people to have access to your customer service email. Or maybe someone in your family is sick or just getting older and needs help managing their emails. They can share their inbox with you.
To add a delegate:
Open gmail on your computer and click Settings > See all configurations > Accounts and Import either Bill > Add another account.
Enter your delegate’s email address and press Next step > Send email to grant access.
When you give someone access to your Gmail account, you can classify emails with filters, archive emails, and use labels to organize emails. They can also send, read, and delete email messages.
Pro tip: Another good use for sharing an inbox is if you have an email address at home where you send all your bills. Share that with your spouse. Tap or click the reason why each household should have their own email address.
Go further: Checking multiple different email accounts can be a hassle. Tap or click here for steps to forward all your mail to one place.
3. This Google shortcut saves a lot of time
Creating a new Google Calendar invitation takes time. You have to open your calendar, then click on some buttons. There is a much easier way: “new lime.” Seriously, try typing that into your browser’s URL bar without the quotes. Just make sure you’re signed in to your Google account.
Like magic, a new calendar invitation will appear, ready for you to complete.
This also works with many other Google services. You can open a Google document by typing “doc.new” or a Google Keep reminder by typing “note.new.”
You can use any of the following shortcuts for each app:
Google Docs: document.new, docs.new, doc.new
Google Sheets: spreadsheet.new, sheets.new, sheet.new
Google Slides: presentation.new, slides.new, slide.new
Google forms: forms.new, form.new
Google Keep: keep.new, notes.new, note.new
Google Calendar: meeting.new, cal.new
Google Meetup: meet.new
Pro tip: One of the easiest ways to organize your Google Drive folders is to color code them, which is surprisingly simple. Open your Google Drive and right click on the folder you want to change. Click Change Color and choose the color you want to use. Done.
Go further: Keyboard shortcuts are a great time saver. Tap or click seven of my favorites, including Ctrl + shift + V.
4. See all the places you’ve been with Google Maps
Google Maps makes it easier to get around, but you may not like the stark reality of seeing every place you’ve been on a map. Here’s how to check your location history:
When you sign in to your Google account on a computer, open maps.google.com.
Click on the hamburger menu in the top left-hand corner.
When the full side menu is open, click your timeline. This will bring up a full map of where you’ve been.
The data of the places you visited can also be retrieved by opening the side menu, clicking on your placesand then clicking Visited.
Pro tip: You can keep certain trips out of your search history by turning on incognito mode. Google Maps will not retain your search history or update your location history to include this location. Tap or click here to see the simple steps to enable it.
Go further: You can disable location history entirely if you don’t like it. Tap or click here to do so. Only takes a minute.
5. Work offline (but you need to set this up in advance)
There’s nothing like settling in to do some work on the road and then realizing you don’t have internet. The good news is that you can read, reply to, and search your Gmail inbox even when you’re offline.
Note: The emails will not actually be send until you’re back online, and you won’t receive new emails until you’re connected to the Internet. Think of this as queuing all of your responses.
Open gmailthen click on the configuration gear. To choose See all configurations.
Click on the tab that says DisconnectedY check the box to enable offline mail.
Pro tip: You can schedule emails to be sent exactly when you want. Touch or click here and scroll to number 8 for steps on how to program. It is easy. I use this all the time.
Go further: You can also work on Google Drive offline. Get the steps here. Make sure you set this prior to you need it.
ARE THERE HACKERS IN YOUR PHONE? HERE’S HOW TO KNOW
Keep your tech savvy on the go
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PODCAST SELECTION: GPS Survival Tip, Digital Document Signing, Google Photos Update
In this episode, Google updates Photos with redesigned Memories and a new collage editor, uses your photos for a virtual clothing fitting at Walmart, Keurig’s new smart coffee maker makes an incredible amount of coffee, and how to get your real signature on digital documents. . Also, a rescue helicopter nearly abandoned a stranded man by mistaking his distress call.
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