Enhancing your GSuite experience

New updates continue to come to the GSuite product line. Recently, Google Keep became one of GSuite’s core services. With that came more incentive to use Google Keep, a great service for things you haven’t even thought of! Google Keep was also integrated into Google Docs. While I am still hoping for the ability to insert some of the “Google Keep Typepad” into Google Docs comments, I am excited by the possibliities the new updates offer! In the past, you could go to Google Keep and choose to “copy to a Google Doc.” However, what if you didn’t want to create a new doc; you wanted to insert the note into an existing doc? Welcome to Google Keep Typepad!


Check out the updates to Google Docs as well as some handy new uses for Google Keep in Google Docs.


Check out all of the GSuite service products and their guides at fennovation.org!


GSuite Hacked! New updates!

I have delayed writing these updates for some time, but now, they are here! Today’s updates include DriveSlides (also mentioned in my Let’s Get Chromified and Slides presentations) and using Google Slides as a video editor.

Check out the Google Apps Hacked presentation (Yes, I need to change it to “GSuite Hacked!”) for more “things you didn’t know you didn’t know you could do” with GSuite. Check out Fennovation.org for all things Google!

Making your GSuite experience even better

Recently, I realized I had been using some of GSuite’s latest updates, but I had not shared them out. So, today, I’m sharing out a few of my favorite “recent” updates.


Assigning work through the comments feature is great. As an English teacher, I use this every time I give feedback to students. While I used to use the directed commentary, now I can assign it to them as a task. They receive a noticed and must complete it. Wonderful.


I love being able to link to a range of cells within my spreadsheets. I can now set up a table of contents of sorts in my sheets.


I’ve saved the best for last. Google Slides have always been a cleaner alternative to PowerPoint. The minute I started using them, I never went back…8 years or so later. So, when they stepped up their game with the Q&A feature, I wasn’t surprised. However, when they added in the ability to insert  YouTube videos and choose the stop and start points, that blew my mind. Plus, you can now insert videos from Google Drive! I used Screencastify to make many screencasts. Those go into my Google Drive (though, they can go into YouTube). Now, I can immediately put them in my presentations! Plus, you can also now automatically put images into a slideshow!


Check out Fennovation.org for more Google Tips!

GSuite Hacked!

I have delayed writing these updates for some time, but now, they are here! My favorite updates to come to the GSuite products include the ability to assign work and to explore across GSuite products. Admittedly, I really miss the research tool, but I do like the ability to link across tools with the  Explore tool.

Check out the Google Apps Hacked presentation (Yes, I need to change it to “GSuite Hacked!”) for more “things you didn’t know you didn’t know you could do” with GSuite. Check out Fennovation.org for all things Google!

Updates to favorite Google Apps

It’s been a while since I’ve added some of my favorite updates to the Google Apps suite so, in case you have not heard about these features in the past few months, check them out!

  • Google Docs Outline – it’s been around for a while now, but it still impresses me. I can keep a running document easily by simply making titles or headings. This creates a search/tag menu on the left-hand side for easy access.
  • Google Slides templates – freegoogleslidestemplates.com & slidescarnival.com are my two favorites
  • Embed charts from Google Sheets in Google Slides
  • When copying a file, immediately place it in a new folder.
Click below for updates to the Google Apps presentations:
Check out fennovation.org for all things Google. Enjoy!

Tips & tricks of a #gafe user

More updates will follow, but for now, check out some of my favorite hacks or tips & tricks for becoming a GAFE power user.

Check out fennovation.org for more things Google. And, check out Google Apps Hacked!

Google Apps Hacked: More updates for your summer! Scan & convert files with your phone!!

I love finding new uses for my favorite Google Apps. Recently, I discovered a few things I did not know that you could do:

  • Provide links for direct download (instead of linking to a file in your Drive that someone will have to download, link to the download link so it automatically downloads)
  • Scan documents with your phone and convert them to editable text in a Google Doc – yes, this is a real thing!
  • Save YouTube videos to your Google Drive!

(My favorite is #2)

Check out fennovation.org for more Googleness as well as the Google Apps Hacked presentation where you can find many “hacks” on your favorite apps. I challenge you to try at least one in your daily use!

Happy Monday!

I was still using old Forms…but why?

Recently, I was helping a teacher create a superlatives voting Form. Previously, I had used the new Google Forms, but found some of the question types weren’t there or it was missing some functionality. So, I told her to just switch to the old Forms for now.

After speaking with her though, I decided to actually compare/contrast the two. And, I’m ashamed to admit that I had not realized the new Forms has caught up with the old Forms. Though I use it several times a week, I had decided to stay in the old Forms (in my school account) and in the new Forms (in my personal). But, after reviewing the two, the only substantial difference is in the view.

Here’s the breakdown of the new vs. old:

The interface:

The new Google Forms certainly has a cleaner interface. It looks more friendly. However, it lacks some of the functionality of the old Forms.

Old Forms is on left; new Forms is on right

The settings are located in different locations in the versions. In the old version, the settings appear at the top and at the very bottom. In the new, you must click the gear (a consistent tool throughout Google products) to view the settings. While this helps keep the interface cleaner, it is another click for users.

In the old Forms, you have the following options.

In the new Forms, you will see the same options, but in a different layout.

In the old Forms, users can change fonts, font sizes, colors and, backgrounds. In the new Forms, users can add an image of their own to the header (same as old). However, it will automatically pair a solid color with it. It also does not allow for font selection and font sizing.

The old Forms offers the following questions types.

And, the new Forms offers the following question types.

For a while, when you selected Date or Time as question types in the old Forms, you could choose to do both. For instance, if you selected Date, you could add Time to that question as well. In the new Forms, this was not an option. It is now, but it is disguised…

Otherwise, the question types are the same – only in different locations.

This feature is definitely improved in the new Forms. Now, you can view a summary of responses (previously only accessible through the corresponding sheet) and the individual responses. Before, it only showed the responses in a spreadsheet. Now, you can see them in their Form view and print/save as PDF in that view as well. This is a huge improvement.

Individual response view:

Summary response view:

This feature is the same in new and old. However, I find it a bit confusing. there is a button that says “add-ons” when you hover over it. These are the add-ons YOU have installed. To get more, you have to click on the three vertical dots in the far right and choose “Add-ons.”

Sharing Form:
The sharing feature is nearly the exact same. The only difference is in the appearance and location. The only real difference is in viewing the live Form. In the old version, you could click on “View Live Form.” This is now called “Preview.”

I have finally moved both of my views to the new Google Forms. Though, I miss the editing features of the fonts in the old…

You can check out some of my favorite Forms features and uses in Fabulous-ize Your Forms presentation. You can also check out fennovation.org for all things Drive.


Hack #gafe with these tips & tricks!

I’ve been keeping a running list of these “hacks” to make GAFE products even better for a couple of years. During that time, however, many of these “hacks” have become embedded features within GAFE products. Today’s post features several of those one-time “hacks” that are now staple features.

So keep on, hacking on! And, let’s see what features are added!

Check out fennovation.org for all other things Google. Enjoy!