Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easily Send Email to Everyone Working on a Google Apps Document

There are many times while working on a document that I want to send an email out to everyone who's working on it (example: upcoming deadline). The Comments function ( is great when want to ask a question about a piece of text, but it's really not the right tool for general messages.

I used to spend time trying to remember who I shared the document with or actually went looking under the Shared settings, but there's a better way. From within the document, select Email Collaborators from under the File menu. Google will display an email window with all the collaborators of the document listed. Now it's just a matter of updating the subject line, the message, and select who I want receive the email.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Automatically Create Certificates and Collect Feedback Through Google Forms

At the end of my sessions, the last thing I have participants do is fill out a Google Form to demonstrate the power of Add-ons. Recently, I wanted to start collecting feedback on my sessions, but I knew that I would more than likely forget to send the email out. So, using 2 Google Forms and some add-ons (Autocrat, CopyDown and formMule) I created a process that is totally automated.

For this tutorial, I assume you're already familiar with these tools.

Here are steps:
  1. Provide a link to a pre-filled Google Form. While they'll submit to me their names and email addresses, I'll make sure the form includes the name of the session and the date already filled out (ensures consistency).
  2. Upon submission, Autocrat will create a certificate of attendance with each individuals' name, along with the session and date. Autocrat will send out an email with a link to that individual's customized certificate along with instructions on how to download it as a PDF.
  3. Later in the day, formMule will be triggered to send a message to participants asking them to provide feedback through a different Google Form. Using the already supplied session name and date, a link to an existing Google Form will be generated. The link will automatically pre-fill out the form with the session name and date.
  4. Participants will then be able to submit anonymous feedback through the form with the session name and date already filled out.

For more detailed information on the process, check out the video below:

Many thanks to +Andre Stillman and the New Visions Cloud Lab for these amazing tools!