Lots of people posted tips in the Google Helpouts Discuss community, but the tips were getting lost in the stream of messages. I decided to pull out the tips, rewrite them for clarity, and organize them by topic. I didn’t want to be the keeper of the document, though – no sense in my being a bottleneck! So I started a new document in Google Docs, fleshed it out, and shared the link.
To share a link that lets anyone with the link edit the document:
That’s all well and good, but when it comes to publishing the document to the Web, you probably don’t want just anyone editing it. Here’s how to publish a separate read-only link:
Since Google URLs are long and unwieldy, you may want to come up with custom short URLs for both the edit link and the read-only link.
Hope that helps!
The growing popularity of Google Helpouts mean that I often respond to requests from people who want to learn more about taking notes and learning more effectively. I want to make sure that people who book Helpouts with me (for the virtual equivalent of hot chocolate and a muffin!) think about specific questions, check for technical issues, and are otherwise prepared for the 15-minute conversation. That way, we can both get the most of the time.
Since I find myself sending people messages that are similar but not identical to others I’ve sent, I use text expanders instead of autoresponders to save myself time. My favourite automation program is AutoHotkey, which is rather geekily configured through plain text files. (Want a cleaner interface? Try Lifehacker’s recommendations for Windows or Mac). I’ve defined a few hotstrings that expand to welcome messages for my different Helpouts, nudges about technical issues, and so on.
If you find yourself typing or copying and pasting a lot of text frequently, consider using a text expander. Typing a pre-defined shortcut is easier than finding a specific item in your snippets file, and you might even be able to do all sorts of other things with the tool. For example, I’ve used AutoHotkey to set a keyboard shortcut for copying something from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet row, switching to another application, pasting it in, reformatting it, and then moving on to the next row. Lots of good stuff. See my Autohotkey blog posts for more examples.
Be lazy and automate! =)
Intense learning can be exhausting. Here are some tips to manage your energy and make the most of a long day of lectures. Click on the images for larger versions!
Energy is the first part of the equation. If you’re not alert, you’ll have a harder time understanding and remembering important topics.
Full disclaimer: In university, I fell asleep in many of my classes because I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of these things. (Also, I had to sign up for a 7:30 AM class once. The topic was fun, dragging myself out of bed wasn’t.) Learn from my experience and manage your energy well. =)
Okay, now that you’re in the lecture, how can you deal with common challenges? Here are some ideas.
Review is where learning really happens. That’s when you fill in any gaps and connect what you’ve learned to what you need to remember and what you’ve learned before.
Hope these tips help!