Text on Both Sides of Images in Google Docs

When you look at newspapers, magazines or newsletters, you often see centered pictures with 2 separate sets of text on either side of the image.  However, when you center an image in Google Docs and set it as Wrap, the text continues horizontally around the image.  This may be useful sometimes, but in general, doesn’t look like what we’d see in a professional publication.

Now, Columns in Google Docs can help you with this, assuming that you want only 2 or 3 columns and that you want them to be equal widths.  But, what if you want more columns?  Or widths that aren’t equal?

Well, here’s the hack for you.  Create a table, put the picture into the table and use the remaining cells to type your text.  When you’re all done, set your table borders to 0 point (a.k.a. invisible!) and you’re good to go.  Check it out:

Docs Text on Both Sides of Image Animation

Canned Response Filter

In a separate post, I shared my love of Canned Responses in Gmail.  What’s better than being able to save time by clicking on a “canned response” to send it out?  Having your gmail do it for you!  That’s right – if you always send the same response to messages containing the exact same phrase or from the exact same sender, then you can create a Filter that automatically replies with one of your canned responses.  Super cool.

Tip: you may want to also select to archive the message, if you’d like it to also disappear from your inbox after the canned response is sent.

Step-by-step instructions are after the GIF.

Canned Responses Filter Animation

Continue reading Canned Response Filter

Canned Responses in GMail

I am efficiency-obsessed.  Anytime I can make something that I do in my job more efficient without compromising quality, I am in. Involve something Google-y in that and I’m not just in, I am psyched.

Canned Responses meets that criteria.  It allows you to save certain email text (typically for replies) that you send regularly.  You can then insert those messages when needed, make minor edits for personalization if needed, and send them out.  Awesome sauce.

The only flaw is the menu – you have to be really careful to not accidentally overwrite your saved canned responses by clicking in the wrong spot (insert vs. save vs. new).  But I can live with that!

Check out a GIF of Canned Responses after these brief setup instructions.

  1. Click the gear in the top-right corner of your Gmail window.
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click Labs
  4. Navigate to Canned Responses in the list.
  5. Click Enable, then save.

Canned Responses Animation

Boomerang for Gmail

“You’ve got mail.” – America Online

Those used to be such exciting words.  The news of having email was exhilarating.  Nowadays, it’s nonstop.  It’s a constant battle to keep-up and it takes tons of tact to send emails that get read and acted on, because your recipients are overwhelmed, too.

I’ve been using Boomerang for Gmail to help me survive the Battle of the Inbox. These are the 3 main features that I love about Boomerang:

1. Send Later

If you’re like me, you end up sending some 11:45 PM emails.  And if your coworkers are like mine, most of them are not typically reading their email at 11:45 PM.  So, schedule it to send first thing in the morning.  Do lots of work on the weekend?  Schedule emails to send on Monday.  Find some spare time to send an email that actually needs to go out in two days?  Type it now, schedule it to send later.  Check it out:

Boomerang Send Later Animation

2. boomerang

This is the feature that the name came from.  We often get emails that aren’t important yet, but will be important later.  They’re not worthy of our focus at this point, but we should look at them before next Wednesday.  So, throw them away and set them to boomerang back on Tuesday.  Ah, that feels nice.  Check it out:

Boomerang Animation

3. boomerang if no response

Ever send out an email where there’s a time sensitive need for a response, but not get the response in time?  Ugh!  If I had known she wouldn’t respond in time, I would have texted her.  With this setting, you can send an email or send away a received email and set them to pop back up in your Inbox if no one else responds.  That way you know that you need to follow up with them in a different way!  It’s also helpful when you’re hoping that someone else on the chain will answer a question, but this way you can insure that the question gets answered sooner or later.  Check it out:

Note: I’m not affiliated in any way with Boomerang, nor am I being reimbursed for this endorsement.  I just like their tool.

BTW – Right Inbox is pretty rad too.  Boomerang is just my personal preference.

Inserting a Timer in Google Slides

One thing that helps a lesson or presentation run smoothly is good time management with a visual timer.  It’s a lacking tool in Google Slides.  But, of course, there’s a hack for that!

Click Insert > Video and search for a YouTube video titled “x minute timer” with the appropriate x value filled in.  Just about every time limit a teacher or presenter could ask for in available!

Timer in Google Slides Animation