Syncing Your Electronic Calendar(s) Across Devices

A popular question from my contacts is how to have one electronic calendar that syncs across their laptop, iPad, and smart phone easily.

Google Calendar works like a charm for those needing to manage multiple projects and commitments, online or offline. Make Google Calendar your source calendar and then synchronize events to and from that account. Even better, create multiple sub calendars to coordinate various scheduling needs and projects.

What do I mean? Here’s a video (9:40 min) to demonstrate the possibilities. And it WORKS with a mobile device that is set up to sync to your Google Calendar account.

Have fun with it! Susan

Syncing Your Gmail Contacts Onto Your iPad

If you’re like me, you only want to use and maintain one set of contacts. I’ve decided to use my Gmail account and contact list stored therein as my source, so I needed to figure out how to sync my Gmail contacts easily to my Contacts application on my iPad.

Here’s how to do this (3:40): .

Steps:

1. On your iPad, click on your Settings icon.

2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, and Calendars from the left hand pane.

3. Tap on “Add Account…

4. Tap on “Other

5. Under the Contacts options, tap on “Add CardDAV Account

6. Fill in the four fields. For the server name, enter: google.com . Fill in the other fields with your personal account information. Under Description, enter whatever you would like (e.g. “Google Contacts”). Tap the Next button at the top right.

7. The software will authenticate this account. Look for a green checkmark beside each of the four fields.

8. Tap the new account (in my example, I tapped “Google Contacts”) and verify that the account is on. If not, slide the Off slider to On. Click Done.

9. Voilà! Your Gmail contacts are now being synced to your iPad Contacts application. Go to your email and compose a new email to one of your contacts to see that these steps worked.

Thanks for stopping by, Susan

Three Productivity Tips for your iPad

At work you may use your iPad for managing email (and various email accounts), taking notes, managing tasks, and doing research. The more I use my iPad, the more I find I want to do things faster with it so I thought you might be in the same situation. Here’s a video with 3 quick tips to help you use your iPad more productively (4:37 min) .

Tip #1: Quickly access special characters on your keyboard

Tap and hold certain characters to reveal other characters underneath.

For example:

Tap and hold Character underneath
, (comma) ‘ (apostrophe)
. (full stop or period) “ (quotation marks)
any vowel, for example “e” variations of that vowel in other languages, for example “é”

If you double tap one of the SHIFT keys (has the outline of a blue arrow on it, on both the left and right sides of the last row of letters on the first keyboard screen), the SHIFT keys turn dark blue. That means anything you subsequently type will be in all capital letters until you turn that off.

Tip #2: In one tap, get to the top of your browser window

Double tap the status bar at the top of your browser window. That will immediately bring you back to the top of that web page.

Tip #3: Lock screen orientation when reading

1. View your open applications (using 4 fingers, swipe from the bottom of your screen upwards, or double tap the home button).

2. Swipe from left to right once to view your Control menu.

3. Turn your iPad to the screen orientation you want, either portrait or landscape mode.

4. Tap the screen lock icon to lock the screen orientation, the last button on the far left, see:

Screen Lock Button on Control Panel

5. Go back to reading (using 4 fingers, swipe from the top of your screen downwards, or double tap the home button).

6. Check that the screen lock icon is now visible at the top right of your iPad screen, see:

Icon To Show Screen Orientation Lock

To unlock screen orientation, do steps 1 to 5 and double-check that the screen lock icon is not visible at the top of your iPad.

Have fun exploring this wonderful device, Susan

Displaying content from your iPad to another Mac friendly device

One of the things I love about my job is discovering a new way to do things that is smart, practical, and intuitive to the end user. If you are an educator or presenter looking for a way to include group interaction in a workshop, or if you want to capture content from your iPad to teach others, then read on. You’ll want to check out an app called Reflection. I’m not affiliated with it in any way other than I am another happy customer!

Reflection mirrors the content on your iPad to another Mac friendly device – your Mac laptop, a projector, or even multiple devices. And it does it pretty seamlessly IF you have an iPad 2 or newer, or an iPhone 4S or newer. The only requirement is that all the devices must be connected on the same wifi network. That means you will also want a decent Internet connection speed to avoid any lag times in displaying content.

How could this be beneficial? You could be working with a large audience or class and use this concept to engage and stimulate group discussion. Individuals could share the iPad and the rest of the group can watch real-time on a big monitor. Incredible! I use this app in conjunction with SnagIt to record content from my iPad as the basis for my video lessons for you on this blog.

You can try out the app for free – you are given up to 10 min to mirror content for free. Or you can register for a nominal fee (at the time of writing, the purchase cost for a single user is $14.99 USD).

Here’s a video on how to turn on content mirroring from an iPad 3 to an older MacBook Pro, with OS 10.6.8 (3:03 min):

Or, here are the steps:

1. On your laptop, launch Reflection. No need to change any of the default settings for now.

2. On your iPad, go to your taskbar (double click the Home button).

3. Swipe to the left to display the volume and music options.

4. Select the Reflection button (it appears between the fast forward button and the volume slider). The AirPlay Menu will appear.

5. From the AirPlay menu, choose the device you want to display the content on to (e.g. in this case it was the MacBook Pro).

6. Turn on Mirroring.

7. Click elsewhere on your screen to hide the AirPlay menu.

8. Now, everything you do on your iPad will be displayed on your other device. Cool, hey? When you don’t need to mirror content any more, just exit out of Reflection from your laptop.

Until next time, Susan

Turning your iPad into a Digital Picture Frame

There’s a great feature built into the operating system of your iPad that displays your photos to you as if your iPad was a digital picture frame.

Here’s a quick video on how to set this up (1:54 min):

Or, here are the steps:

1. On your iPad, go to Settings>Picture Frame.

2. From the Picture Frame options, select which pictures to show, how long to show them, and the type of transition that you prefer.

3. Lock your iPad (put it to sleep and then wake it up) and click the icon that looks like a flower to start the digital picture frame.

4. To stop the photos from displaying, click your Home button and unlock your screen.

Enjoy!

Keeping search results at hand while evaluating promising leads

Have you run into this situation before? You search Google to find an answer to something. A few promising leads catch your eye from the many results that you are presented with.

You click on one lead to read more about it and you find yourself clicking deeper into a new web site. Then you decide – nope, this information is not what I need or want at this time. So you hit the back button, thinking it will take you back to that original list of search results.

Hitting the back button takes you back one step only. Oh. You may have gotten sidetracked in that second web site and clicked on a number of links from that site. Either you have to click the back button many times or you give up. Or you redo the search, thinking that would be faster. Your second searching attempt may yield slightly different results and now you have to remember which leads you had already evaluated from your first search. You may not even see the few promising leads that had originally caught your eye. Ugh! Don’t give up, there is an easier way –take advantage of “tabbed browsing” when you do a search.

Tabbed browsing lets you view multiple web pages in one browser window. You can have as many tabs open as you want or as many that can easily fit across the width of your screen (although too many open tabs may mean that you cannot easily read the tab titles). Then you can close one or more tabs as you choose without losing the original information that you had found.

Here’s a demonstration on how to use tabbed browsing on either a laptop or iPad3 (steps are outlined below):

1) 3:32 min video, on my laptop using Chrome as my browser 

2) 3:20 min video, on my iPad3 using Safari as my browser

Steps:

1. Open a browser and do a Google search on a topic that you need an answer to.

2. Determine which lead you want to read more about.

3. On a laptop, right-click the link to that search result. On an iPad, tap and hold the link.

4. A small menu of options will pop up. On a laptop, left-click on “Open Link in New Tab”. On an iPad, tap the “Open in New Tab” option.

5. Now look near the top of your browser window and you’ll see that a new tab has opened up behind the tab that you are currently viewing. The title of that tab will be the name of the search result that you clicked on. Left-click or tap on the tab title to read more about the search result.

6. When you are done reviewing this new information, close the tab by left-clicking or tapping the small “x” in one of the top corners and you are back to your Google search results.

Happy tabbed browsing! Until next time, Susan