Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 2: Beware the Hangout Hit-and-Run

(recorded June 27, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Alison, and Danny talk about new WebEx Audio options and a very important tip to avoid strangers in your Google Hangouts.

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How do you keep track of the things you need to do? Paper? Memory? Calendar? App? Whatever system you are using, Google Keep is worth exploring. Even if you use a robust app like Evernote or OneNote you may decide Google Keep has a place in your workflow.

Google Keep has been around for awhile but I didn’t take a close look at it until Google Reminders were enabled for our UMN accounts. The two work well together and having the Google Keep app on my phone is what really makes the difference for me. Let me highlight some features of Google Keep and you can decide for yourself.

Install the Google Keep Chrome add-on

Without the Google Keep Chrome add-on, you can always go to the Google Keep website to manage your notes. But by adding the Chrome add-on, you can save a URL, an image, or selected text to Google Keep without having to open Google Keep itself. To install the add-on to your Chrome toolbar:
  1. Open Chrome
  2. Go to the Google Keep Chrome Extension page
  3. Click on the ADD TO CHROME button
  4. When prompted, click Add app
  5. Allow the installation to complete
Tips for creating notes from Chrome:
  • If you are on a website and you want to add a URL to Google Keep, click the Keep icon and enter a note
  • To save an image to Keep, right click on an image and choose Save Image to Keep
  • To save a block of text, highlight the text, right click and choose Save selection to Keep

Create lists, single tasks, include photos or add notes with your voice (mobile)

To create a note, open Google Keep.   

  • Add a Single Note: type in the box to add a note and more options will appear 
  • Create a List: click on List to format your note with checkboxes 
  • Add an Image: click Image to add a photo from your computer
  • Use your Voice (mobile): select the microphone icon to add a note by voice

Add a Reminder or Recurring Reminder

When you add a reminder to your note, it will appear on your Google Calendar. Reminders stay on your Google Calendar until you mark them as done.


You can share your notes with others. This is great for sharing a to-do list and check them off as you go!

Organize your notes with color, labels, archive and delete

Color is a great way to visually organize your notes. Click the Change Color button on any note:

Labels can be used to organize and view your notes. The default labels are Inspiration, Personal and Work but of course you can add more or change the labels. Click the More button to add a Label. Tip: You will find Delete and Copy here too.

To manage your Labels in Google Keep, click Edit:

Archive allows you to save notes that you no longer want displayed on your screen but you don't want to delete. Click Archive to save a note:

I've been using Google Keep for about two months and the more I use it the more I really like it. I have since stopped using Google Tasks and I've transferred everything from my Notes app on my iPhone to Google Keep. I am still working on the best way to organize my notes and also exploring creative ways to use Google Keep. Give it a try and add a comment to share what you think about Keep!

To our UMN Colleagues:

We want you to be aware of a change that went into effect last weekend for University WebEx.

Starting June 11, 2016,  WebEx meetings now allow participants to join via phone. Yay! 

What does this mean for you?

When you enable it for a meeting, "WebEx Audio" offers attendees joining your WebEx the choice to use their computer microphone or the telephone.

Here is what it looks like to a participant in WebEx Meeting Center:

It looks slightly different in WebEx Training Center, but the options are the same:


WebEx Audio is funded by the University of Minnesota and your department will not be charged for telephone calls using WebEx Audio. This is a change from the previous billing method of per-minute.
Note: Due to cost control efforts, WebEx Audio is intended for meetings under 25 attendees. If you have meetings where you expect more than 25, please use computer microphone options (“VoIP”) only, or contact UMN Video Services for additional options.

How to select WebEx Audio 

Your WebEx account already has the WebEx Audio option available as of June 11. No additional account setup is required.
When scheduling a WebEx Meeting, Training or Event, the default audio option is VoIP (meaning users can ONLY call-in using their computer microphone). If you need to offer participants a telephone connection option (and your meeting is less than 25 attendees, see above), select WebEx Audio when setting up your meeting, located in a dropdown under Audio Options.

*InterCall (previously used for this functionality) will remain the University's preferred option for conference calls outside of WebEx.

Participant Information

Your participants will be prompted to join via phone or computer, if you have allowed for the WebEx Audio option. See the screenshots above for a participant view.

Questions or Comments?

For questions or comments, please contact the University Video Services Team, or Karen Matthes or Amy Baker.

Happy WebExing!

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 1: And that's how you start a podcast. 

(recorded June 10, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Alison, and Danny "The Hype Man" record the inaugural Quick Bytes Live! podcast. We talk about microphones, Google Reminders, UMU.com, and our new Tech group T.E.C.C.

Tech used:

We experimented with two different mics, the Blue Snowflake and the Jabra 410. They both sound good--we tell you when we switch so you can see what you think. I liked the Jabra just slightly better, and also it's the one we own* so that's a point in its favor (we borrowed the Snowflake from the library on campus). Alison joined us remotely and her mic was just her Apple earbuds. She sounded the best of all of us!
*and by "own" I mean I stole it from the Video Services team

We recorded using Skype and the free MP3 Skype Recorder. I "edited" it in Audacity. I just download free software off the internet and install it in my work machine. It's what I do.

Lessons learned
We need to be less enthusiastic with our table thumping. Also I plan to download some decent bumper music from AudioBlocks for the next episode (free if using a UMN internet connection!). Also, we only had a few topics and it took longer than I thought it would. Maybe just one topic per show?

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Google Calendar helps me keep track of what’s next and to-do lists help me keep track of what’s important. Having them together in one place helps me stay organized. Google Reminders is a great way to keep my to-do list on my calendar instead of in a separate app. This feature was added to our UMN Google Calendar in April.

To create a reminder, click in your calendar and select Reminder in the pop up window. If you don't see Reminder, you can enable Reminders through the Tasks calendar settings (see section below about Tasks). Type your reminder and select a specific date and time to be reminded. If your reminder does not have a specific time, select All day. You can even set reminders to repeat. Reminders are private and are not viewable even if your calendar is shared with others.

Reminders will carry forward to the next day, until you mark them done. Mark the reminder as done by clicking on the reminder and select Mark as done.

Reminders vs Tasks

Reminders are meant to be used instead of Tasks so you will have to make a choice if you use Tasks. Tasks will not transfer to Reminders by default so you will have to set that yourself by clicking on the settings of your Tasks calendar.

If you are a big Tasks user you may miss the Add to Tasks feature in Gmail but stay tuned for next week's QuickBytes post about Google Keep! Google Keep is a great to-do list app that works with Reminders!

So what will you use? Tasks, Reminders or something else? Leave your comments below!