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How teachers can save time using Google Workspace

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In this video, you will learn how to schedule meetings with people faster using Google calendar or Calendly. You will also discover how to organise your Gmail inbox, filter emails, and use templates. I will walk you through how to use Google Drive efficiently and show you a bunch of cool little tricks to make your browsing life and tab life much easier.

Time Stamps

  • 0:00 - Organising Meetings
  • 3:18 - Email Efficiency
  • 10:44 - Templates in Docs, Sheets & Slides
  • 13:13 - Efficiency in Google Drive
  • 16:38 - Voice Typing
  • 17:53 - Webpage Navigation Tricks
  • 19:17 - Easy Drive Search
  • 20:00 - Better Tabs
  • 23:06 - Mote

Automated Transcript

Dan: (00:00)
Okay. So I'm just gonna show you a few Google tools that you can use to help you save some time as a teacher. So one of the tools that I'm gonna show you is just using Google calendar. So if your school uses Google calendar, which I hope it does, you can, when you create a new event, right? Whatever the title is, just put test in here. When you add a guest. So let's say, I want to meet with an assistant here. I can view suggested times. Now this will then load times when we are both free. So all participants can attend. You see? And so I can then select, okay, let's meet as tomorrow at 12 o'clock and that's now the time, the other thing that I like to do, so we're gonna send an invite and stuff, but I like to also let them modify the event, which means that they, if they decide, actually that's not a great time, they can actually click that and changed the time.

Dan: (01:02)
Or you can just leave that off. They can then send you an email and you can just find a new suggested time and go, actually let's change it to the third at 2:00 PM. And then that gets changed there. So, so nice, quick, easy way to find a time when you can both meet. And then of course using this, if you're gonna meet online is nice and easy, just to make sure that this is there. You can choose to make it a zoom meeting, but you know, Google, meet's pretty good and it's free and stuff for anyone who's using Google. So that's one quick way to really save you a bit of time when you're trying to find a time to meet up with someone. Now that generally works in your organization. So if you need to organize a time where people outside your organization, there are ways of doing that in Google.

Dan: (01:48)
I find them a little bit clunky. I mean, it is improving, but if you go to, you can create a free account here where you get to go and create meeting schedules. And so in, he, I can decide when people are gonna book the event, how far ahead they can book, how long the meeting's for, and then here, what times they're available or I'm available to be booked. He decide how long before after event, that is for your break. So maybe you, like, if you're not putting in your calendar, your travel time, that will adjust for your travel time. So that's pretty cool in candidly. And then all you've gotta do with Calendarly to organize, I think is you send someone this link and when they land on the link, they'll get a page like this. They can go, okay, today's the first I wanna meet with Daniel on the fourth.

Dan: (02:40)
And these are the times I'm available. And so it will check against my calendar in Google to see if I'm available during the times that I've said I'm available. And it means someone can't necessarily book me at times where I don't want to be available. And so if I go to Friday, here's the times on Friday when I'm free, or here's the times on Thursday when I'm free. And it's just checking against my calendar. And the times when I've said I'm available. So that's a really cool, simple tool that can save you a lot of time when you're going back and forth with other people to set up your meetings.

Dan: (03:17)
Okay, well, let's jump out of there. Let's turn over to email. Now email is something that I think consumes a lot of time as a teacher. So I'm gonna show you just a couple things to help you save a bit of time here as we do this. So number one, let's create some templates. Okay. So when you find that you have to send the same email, lots of times, or at least a really similar email, what I do is I create a template for it. And then whenever I get asked from, you know, a parent or a student, or what were the details for this event does much try have to be here or whatever. I can just get the template and use it over and over again. So to make a template or to put, insert a template here, go to the three dots.

Dan: (04:03)
You're up here, templates. Now I can save draft as template. And so here I'm might save a new one or I might be updating one of my other ones that I've had previously. And so I can update that or I can insert the template. And so here we go, free online PD, and then it puts in, you know, hi, John is great to catch up with you, blah, blah, blah. Right? And it's just a short little template that I've used, and I can just change John to something else, right? That's the code that used to be work, doesn't work anymore. that works here and I just automatically pasting that out. The thing that you be careful of is this signature thing. So if you save a template, you might want to delete the signature before you save it as a template or delete the signature afterwards, but just be careful that, you know, your template might duplicate itself throughout and you might want to make sure that doesn't happen.

Dan: (05:07)
Okay. So that's how you save templates, how to use templates, just delete that. I don't need to send that. The other thing we need to be able to do is use our settings really well. I'm gonna go to all our settings. Guess what I wanna do is talk about filters. So in filters, you can set up rules. That mean that whenever you get an email, let's say you subscribe to a particular email or your part of a group email that goes out all the time. You can actually set up a rule that automatically takes that out of your inbox. Okay. And so, yeah, if you're constantly having to, you know archive or put it into a folder or something, you can just automatically have that work. And so you just need to create a new filter and you decide it might be by who it's from.

Dan: (06:00)
It might be by the subject. It might be some of the words that's gonna include. And then you then search for it, right? So let's say it's from it's my wife, right? So it's from her. So what emails from my wife and let's create a filter. So when you click create a filter, you then get to choose what it does so I can make it, skip the inbox and archive it. I can mark it as red. I could star it. If it's something that's gonna be important. So if you're waiting for an email or something you could star it and then it will be low as important, or you can forward it to, you can forward it to someone else's email address. If you want to or you can delete it, never send it to spam. That's a good one to use.

Dan: (06:46)
If you're constantly getting an email that is getting sent into your jump box or something, click that you could send a template so you can choose to automatically send a templated reply to the person who sends you an email, if it's about a particular thing. So rather than having to even click the template reply, you can actually go, oh, whenever someone asks about the workshop, this is they get the HSC workshop invoice sent to them or workshop detail sent to them. And so they're always gonna get that. Or you can move it into a category. You can add a label, right? So you can choose what label you wanna put into it until you create that. And when you create that filter, then whenever those emails come in, these actions will happen to it. And that's really cool. I don't wanna do this to my wife's emails, but that's something that I could do if I wanted to is I could actually set up these kinds of filters that are automat automatic.

Dan: (07:45)
And then it means that when they happen, I can actually just go straight to where they are. They might be under my labels here or something like that. They might be starred here. And that's really cool too. So the other thing I wanna talk you about is this system for my inbox. So you'll notice in settings here, we have these kind of basic inbox types. And so you might have the default, which is kind of nothing you might have important first. So ones that get marked as important, you might have the unread first, you might have the Stard coming up first. You can see here, I've got a priority inbox and I've customized it. Okay. So if I click customize here and then tells me number one is my unread, right? And number two is Stard number three is empty, right? Nothing in there. And number four is everything else.

Dan: (08:41)
And so this is just a ordering system for my emails. So the first ones I see in my unread ones. Okay. Now I can completely change this. So reset priority inbox to default, if I want to, or I can go here and go see, I can change it from unread to important or starred. There's more options. How many items do you want it to show at any one time in that section? So I have my unread first. Then I have the emails that I've starred checks in three. You know, I could have that as my important and unread or important ones. And then everything else I've got here in number four is my last one. So that then means that when I go to my inbox, I have my unread here. I have Stard and then I've got everything else. And so I don't tend to have just a whole big, massive chunk of email.

Dan: (09:32)
I could even, for example, put my unread emails down here so I can focus on my more important or start emails. First. I'd like to keep my inbox fairly clean generally. And so I actually clean it out all the time, whenever I, whenever I get it. And I unsubscribe from stuff, which save you a lot of time as well. And so I never actually have a massive amount of unread emails, which is super important for me and my management of my time. And I think it's good for you if you've got, if you subscribe to anything, click here, right. Search for unsubscribe. Okay. And you'll find all these emails that you can then unsubscribe from and say, you can then click on those and click the unsubscribe. So this is emails from me. I'm not gonna unsubscribe for my own emails, but you could click that and that's it that email's done.

Dan: (10:21)
I'm never gonna get it again. And I can go to any of the emails that are coming into me and just unsubscribe unsubscribe. It's a quick, easy way to then mean that you're not getting emails from people who don't actually want to get emails from. So that's a quick thing for you to do there as well. Now, while we're talking about templates, let's go to docs and I love the docs template gallery. So in here you can create and submit your own templates. Now, if you don't have this button, just contact the person who's in charge of your Google admin normally that someone at your school, and then they can allow you to submit stuff. And then just click here. You select a document. So any document that you've got, that's a template, Kate. And then, so I'll just go whatever recent, okay.

Dan: (11:12)
I could make this a template. I'll just click open and then I can submit a copy of this file instead of the original. So if I submit a copy, it means that if I change the original, it doesn't change the template. Now I leave this off so that when I change the original, it does change the template. It means that I don't have to keep resubmitting the template. And then you just select your category for where it's gonna go into and you click submit and it will then be up on your screen there. And then it saves it a lot of time. You can come here and go, I'm designing a unit, click this button, and then I can actually create the unit of work. And it just brings everything in from that template. And there are also a bunch of general templates, right? That you might choose to use at any time as you're creating things.

Dan: (11:58)
So just have a look through and see which ones you like. And this is the same for lots of places over you get the slides. Okay. Slides has templates as well. Okay. So you click your template. Gallery create, submit them same for sheets. Okay. Sheets will have a template gallery here as well. Things get grade book there, for example, invoices. And so you can submit new templates into here and then use them over and over again each year or every time you need to create you know, there's invoices and stuff just saves you a bunch of time having to lay it out and find the basics and get the basics done. So, for example, when you do your programming, right, if you've got all of your year seven science syllabus into a template already for programming, or you have a section of it, right, for a particular topic, you can just use that template again. When you wanna redo that program, if you don't wanna edit last, year's one, you wanna completely start AF fresh. You can just do that and bring it in as a template and edit away. And it's, so it just saves you a ton of time using templates. Okay, let's go to drive.

Dan: (13:15)
Now in Google drive, we actually have this cool system called priority. So your priority inbox or your priority, well, it's not only an inbox, it's a, it's your drive section, but basically what's coming up here. You're gonna create workspaces. These are spaces, workspaces, where you might bring together a whole bunch of your documents that aren't necessarily in the same folder in your, my drive, but that you're using at the moment and you're collaborating and working on between things. And so you can see, I have a bunch here for podcasting. It's got my image, it's got a couple of my episodes or whatever in there that I'm was working on at that time. You can see here, this is my agency workshop stuff. So I've got my sales video presentation. I've got my registration form. So form the sheet and the actual workshop slides.

Dan: (14:10)
And so I can put everything here together that I'm working on that relates to it, even if it's not in the same folder within my drive. And that can become really helpful. Particularly if you're looking at something that's in like a shared drive, something else that's in your drive. And you're looking at a mark book somewhere as well. You could actually bring that all together. For example, like, as you write your reports, you might want three or four different things and say, you can just create a space, give it a title to that report, writing, click create, and then you can add files and just search for any files that are coming out in your drive. So my drive shared drives. And so you can put in here, like the template or the the rules for report writing from your school, you could grab your class mark books that has all the stuff that you're gonna use to go into your reports or maybe even some examples of stuff from your students, whatever you like can go into that space.

Dan: (15:07)
And it's quite easy to add stuff. And when you just click done and it's created, right, and this will come up and it'll be empty, but that's a really cool way of saving you a bit of time as well. If you're constantly flicking through stuff. I also like to use things like Stard. So if there's one document that you need to go back to, or a folder that you use all the time, I star it and it means I can come here and find the stuff I'm looking, working on faster. This tends to rotate a bit more. So I'll unstar things as well. Another quick thing to use in your drive is to color code things. Now, this isn't massively color coded, right? Actually here is blue. There should be a green one down here too. Cause I saw it green, oh, that's a test one, but this is simple, right?

Dan: (15:52)
You just, whatever it is, select it. And then you go here and you can change the color and you can completely color code all of your folders to make it easier for you to find them. And so particularly what, the ones, I tend to color code more other ones I use more often. So you can see here that these are the ones that are gonna get coded so I can find them faster cuz I know what color it is. I know this one, for example is green. This one I'm not using as much anymore. I can probably unstar it and and change the color of it and stuff. But this is and there's some quick ways that save you some time in Google drive.

Dan: (16:36)
So if I just open up a blank one, I get tools, go to voice typing, make sure this is Australian English. And then I click here and it's gonna type what I say as I talk. And so this is a good way. If you have a student maybe that needs to read stuff while you're giving a presentation, you can get this to work when you can set up closed captions on a lot of things these days as well, but it'll save your time, right? In a meeting rather than writing down notes, you could just record it and it will type all of the notes for the entire meeting. You can choose to use this instead of typing. If you, I, I really slow typer. You could talk and Google will just write it down. So you could use it for your comments for reports, for example.

Dan: (17:21)
And if you need to add specific things, you might be able to say something like full stop and it might add a full stop or you might be able to say paragraph and it should give you a new paragraph. Maybe you need to say, yep, there we go. New paragraph. And so that's really cool. As you're typing, you can just say that's it for now full stop. I really want to keep going, but I need a new paragraph. See, great little tool saves you you a lot of time. All right. The next thing I wanna show you is if you go to a page and I teach my students this too often, we are just looking for one or two things on a webpage. Like this is a long one. I don't wanna read this whole thing to try and find what I'm after. Thankfully, this one's got some headings on it, which make it a bit more navigational.

Dan: (18:09)
But if I'm just looking for a single thing, I pers command or control F and now I'm just finding this is control. Find I'm finding something on my page. So here I want to find the word let's just go ATY cuz I know it comes up lots in this page, right? Said 26 times. And I can just jump through and look at, is that actually the bit I'm wanting, I can keep going. No, I could put in maybe burden. So now we're finding all the burdens of disease. There's only two of those. And so that saves me having to read through cuz it highlights it and takes me there really quickly. The other really cool thing too, is that if you wanna send students to a specific play spot in something, you can highlight it, right? Click copy, link to the highlight. That'll save them some time.

Dan: (18:58)
Right? And then you just paste that. And because you've got highlighted that section, when it fully loads, it takes you down to that section of the page and it's highlighted. How cool is that really good time-saving tip in Google. You might normally go to right. And search in here. But you actually don't need to on any place you can just drive in drive and then search your drive by just pressing space bar. And now I'm searching in my drive for unit of work. Right? And so straight to Google drive and it searches it. How that just saves you a lot of time. I don't have to constantly go, you know,, wait for that to load and then type in my search. I can just search straight away. Okay. Next thing I wanna do is show you a few tips about how to save you time with your tabs.

Dan: (19:58)
Right? So often my tabs end up looking like this cause I have so many of them open. So what you can do is you can actually say, well, this tab and this tab and this tab are all actually related. So let's, so what you wanna do is add the tab to a new group. And so I can then name this group. This is my approach in Australia group. Okay. And so it's gonna get put in there to the group. So new tab in group, right? So let's people are gonna open up that then means I can add this one, right. Add to a group. Well, let's add it to that one. And then this one can get added to this one as well. And this, so that means is when I'm in it, it's open. And I, if I want to, I can shrink it down and it doesn't take up the space.

Dan: (20:49)
See, it's just here as a little group. And so I know, oh, I need to go back. And I'm working in this one, they all open up and it's great. The other thing that's really cool about that too, is that if I then decide, I don't like all this, I can drag that out and there we go. I have another whole window that's cleaner for this group. Or if I wanna put it back, I can drag them and Chuck them all back in here and put 'em at the end and they all move as a group. So they're always ordered for me, which I think is really good. Do you wanna get even more complicated than that? You can use Toby. And if I go to my collections in Toby, you are organizing your tabs into groups and categories. And so I can say, well, this group here that I've got, I now am going to save as a new collection.

Dan: (21:37)
So I can go here to a new collection, curl and health pros in Australia. Right? Save it's empty. So I need to put ones in here so that this is gonna go in there. This just goes in there. This goes in there and that goes in there and you see, they all closed here, but they're right here in my collection. And so now if I wanted to open them, I just click on them and they open straight back up. It would be really good if I could just click and open all of them, I probably can but I didn't try that. So that's Toby that organizes your tabs. So you can, as you're closing your computer, you could organize all your tabs into categories before you do it. Another cool tool is this tool just got one tab and one tab is going to close all my tabs when I click it.

Dan: (22:25)
So, boom, they're all gone. And I get this list of tabs instead of what was open. And so once again, I can just click these and they will open up for me and I've got my whole session open still and I can close one tab. If you wanna go there again, just go to one tab here, which is an extension. Alright. And you display one tab and it will give you your list of your most recent things. And now you'll notice once I open them, they get taken off the list. And so that's one thing that might affect you if you want it to be stored there for longer than just one day. Like if you go to the next day. So that's where Toby comes in handy. Now, while we're talking about extensions, let's talk about mote. So mote can save you a lot of time too.

Dan: (23:13)
Mote is like an audio file thing. And I just wanna basically go somewhere where I can view it. So now what you do with mote is on a form. If you want to, you click the mote, you start talking and it records it for you. You then just click complete. It'll put a link in there. There's audio here, that'll play. And it works nicely for the person who then receives it and they can then listen to it as they go through the link. It also comes up, in docs and all those types of things as well. So if I go to a doc, you can use mote in here for various things. You can use mote in your so you use mote in like your comments. You see hyper mote. So you talk and it links it in there, which is really cool. You can do it in slides as well. And you can record remote onto your slides for presentations. Really cool. Little extension saves you lots of time. So hopefully there, some things are gonna save you some time as a teacher, just reducing that workload a little bit and helping you to become more efficient. I think the biggest impact is, you know, the calendar and cleaning up of your email. They are definitely the best tools for saving you some time.


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