Learning from TED On The Go

No doubt you are aware of the myriad of wonderful TEDTalks available online. Did you know that you can download them straight to your iPad and watch them at your leisure whether or not you are connected to the Internet? It’s so useful for those times when you do not have an Internet connection and you have some time to spare (e.g. flying, waiting in a doctor’s office).

Here’s a quick video on how to download a TED talk for offline viewing (3:11 min). It’s such a great way to stay abreast of emerging technologies, trends, and innovations!


1. Go to the app store, search for TED (it’s free), download and install it to your iPad.

2. When your iPad is connected to a strong wifi connection, open the TED app and search for talks that you would like to watch.

3. Click on the talk that you would like to save. Read the description and check the posting date. Then if you decide to watch it later, click the last icon on the right hand side underneath the video and tap on “Save for offline viewing”. Notice a new number in a red circle appears above the “My Talks” icon at the bottom of your app screen.

4. Tap “My Talks” and make sure that the selected video has downloaded in its entirety before disconnecting from the Internet.

5. To watch the video later, open the TED app. Tap on “My Talks”. Tap on the video you previously downloaded and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by, Susan

Productivity Tip: Remembering Passwords

Getting yourself organized electronically also means that you will need a system to manage your passwords. And by that I don’t mean writing down your passwords on paper or in a book (sorry).

Do your research and find a password management program that suits your needs. There are many password management programs available, so think about the type of data you want to keep track of and where you feel comfortable storing it (on your computer vs on the cloud).

For the last 3 yrs I’ve used 1Password produced by AgileBits, available on all platforms (disclaimer: I have no affiliation with AgileBits other than I am a very satisfied customer to date).  It’s a Canadian product, reliable, and easy to use. At the time of this posting, 1Password is available on a trial basis for 30 days. The full version costs $49.99 Cdn.

I decided to buy a password management program that installed on my computer and one that allowed me to synchronize the encrypted data file via the cloud. That way I don’t need to be online to access my account information AND I can have my various devices plugged into the same information. I needed to store usernames, passwords, and general notes about a respective account.

Here’s how 1Password works for me. 1Password stores my account information in an encrypted vault. All I have to remember is literally one password to open the vault and then voila, all of my usernames and passwords are alphabetically accessible. The account information is stored in a data file, known as a keychain. I asked 1Password to store the keychain in my Dropbox folder so that only one version of the encrypted keychain is maintained.

1Password does not fill in the login information for you when you visit a site. Rather you have to click on a toolbar from your browser to log in. I love that. 1Password also creates super strong passwords for me on the go. I love that too.

Here’s a video to explain what I mean (6:29).

Let me know what you use to manage your passwords and other account information.

Cheers, Susan

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): .


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