Monday, December 7, 2015

How to turn off sync to prevent Google from storing student data

Many Google Apps for Education users are surprised and concerned about their student users data may be utilized by Google b
ecause of the recent news that Google stores children's personal data, accused by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Google officially stated that, for Google Apps for Education services, they do not collect or use student data for advertising purposes or create advertising profiles. For additional information, check this Help Center article:

If you are using Chrome, you can create a profile and sync it so your data can be stored and synchronized on any device when you login with your account. So, you can find your extensions, settings, bookmarks and all other data when you are signed in. 

According to Google, here's what Chrome Sync does

"Chrome Sync enables Google Account holders to log into any Chromebook or Chrome browser and find all their apps, extensions, bookmarks, and frequently visited web pages. For students, this means that they can get to work, right away. That's one of the reasons Chromebooks have become so popular in classrooms, especially for schools that can't afford a device for every child. With Chromebooks and Chrome Sync, students can have a personalized experience on any device they share with their classmates. "

Nevertheless, if you still concerned about your users' data, there are workaround that you can prevent your or your user's data from monitored or gathered by Google by turning off the sync option within Google Apps Admin console.

In your Google Admin Console (, go to Apps > Additional Google Services > Google Chrome Sync. Click three dot icon and choose:

- Off or On for some organizations

And then, when you go to Chrome, you can find that sync is now turned off. You can further disconnect your Google Account, so the data will only remain within your computer.  With Chrome Management disabled, the students, will be able to create local Chrome profiles and save data only on that station, but what they do or save on that session will not follow them to other stations, it happens the opposite with Chrome management enabled.

You still can login to your google account via chrome browser or through Chromebooks but, your data won't be stored within google server, instead it will remain local on each Chromebook. 

Also, an alternative way is that you can have your users to use a different browser such as Chrome, Safari, or IE instead of Chrome as these browsers does not synchronize your google account data.

The bottom line is that there are some options available and you can also consult with your service provider about your environments and what choices are available, based on your needs, until things are sorted out by the Federal Trade Commission.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bulk add users in Hangouts Chat list

Currently, there is no way in Hangouts interface to see all of your google apps domain users in my Hangouts/ Chat list.  Each time you create a Hangouts chat you have to manually add the users as of now.

However, there is a workaround. You can achieve the goal by bulk adding of hangout users.

Here are the steps:

1. In your Google Contacts, download an email list by csv file. For example, ff you want to download your google apps domain users. You can go to 'Directory' and add users to my contacts and export as a csv file.

2. Revert back to the old Google chat user interface. Go to your Hangouts and then click on 'Revert old chat'.

For more information on that, please refer to our Google Help Center article at

* Note: If your google apps super admin has turned on Hangouts and prevent users to switch back to old chat, admin has to allow by checking on "Hangouts chat or Google Talk" For more info,

3. After that, you can bulk add your users by clicking on the drop-down arrow on your status and then 'Add contact'. There you can add all your users separated by commas.

Note: Invitation will be sent to your google apps users. However, you can prevent this by ticking on "Automatically accept invitations between users within YOURCOMPANY" within the Google Apps admin console. (Go to Apps > Google Apps > Google Talk/Hangouts > Advanced Settings)

4. After you do that, you can revert back to Hangouts and all these users will appear in your Hangouts list.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Must Have Tools for Google Apps

Google Apps offers cloud-based office suite that includes tools for better collaboration and communications. Whether you are a small business who recently switched to Google Apps or a large organization that wants to get the most of the cloud solution, consider that there are many plugins that can leverage your Google Apps experience.

Google Apps Backup

Google’s data center is one of the most secure environments in the world, but they can’t protect your data from human error. If you accidentally delete a file or record, it may be lost forever since Google is obligated to carry out your requests and can’t tell if the request was accidental or malicious. It is your responsibility to minimize the risk of user-driven data loss.
[Spanning: Backup for Google Apps]

Spanning ensures your organization's Google Apps data is protected from costly, and sometimes catastrophicdata loss – allowing you to get data back exactly the way it was in just a few clicks. Spanning Backup for Google Apps is the top-rated backup and recovery solution on the Google Apps Marketplace. It provides automatic, daily backup and recovery for Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Contacts and Sites - and, it comes with the industry’s only 100% Restore Guarantee.

Google Apps Training

If you recently switched to Google Apps or new staff has joined, training is always required for an efficient use of Google Apps. Boost eLearning’s Google Apps Training helps your employees develop the skills needed to communicate, collaborate and create additional value with Google Apps. It provides video tutorials for various Google Apps services in 11 different languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin Simplified), Chinese (Mandarin Traditional), English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, and Spanish Latin American.

[Boost eLearning: Google Apps Training]

Document Approval

When it comes to the collaboration with Google Docs in your Google drive, obtaining approval from a group of people for a project, a proposal, a contract, or some other important document can be very difficult and frustrated experience. Also, it would be hard to record their approval if you send people in e-mail or share the documents to  request responses.

Collavate, a Collaborative Document Workflow Suite for Google Drive can enable you to avoid these hassles. In Collavate, you can design approval processes in parallel or sequential order. Simply add team member’s Email addresses, and save a list of reviewers as a favorite that you frequently co-work with them.  

It’s available on Google Apps Marketplace, as well as Add-ons for Google Docs and Google Sheets.

[Collavate: Document Workflow Suite]

[Collavate Add-ons for Google Docs and Google Sheets]

Project Management

Need to handle multiple projects and coordinate teams to collaborate and manage schedule via Gantt-chart like dashboard? Smartsheet is an online work and project management app that works seamlessly with Google Apps. Organize projects, track due dates, and collaborate in real-time with Smartsheet’s familiar spreadsheet interface, interactive Gantt charts, attachments, and more. Spend less time tracking people down and more time working with built-in task management features such as alerts, reminders, and status symbols.

Smartsheet makes it easy for Google users to get up and running with the option to import Google Sheets, attach files from Google Drive, and update tasks from within Gmail. The flexible nature of Smartsheet makes it an excellent tool for project management and so much more.

[SmartSheet: Project Management For Google Apps]

Invoice and Expense Management

Your accounting can also be simplified by taking advantage of cloud-based applications. FreshBooks is one of the most popular choices by small business owners because it’s incredibly easy-to-use and does not require you to learn accounting to get started. You can send invoices, track your time, capture expenses, accept credit cards, and run reports. FreshBooks is available for both iOS and for Android.

[Freshbooks: Accounting Management For Google Apps]

Your Choice

Depending on the industry that you are in, your organization’s required tools will be varied. Also, you may be required to develop in-house cloud based applications instead of buying packaged SaaS tools.  

The bottom line is, with these tools based on Google Apps, you have more options to better fulfill your needs of IT solution.

Monday, July 6, 2015

How to simply manage multiple user profiles in Chrome

If you have multiple Google accounts, Chrome's profile management feature is really useful.

Chrome’s multiple profile feature provides an easy way for multiple people or accounts to use the same browser without worrying about accounts conflicts or having to constantly sign in and out of Google profiles.

For example, if you own a personal Gmail account as well as Google Apps Gmail for your business, you can add multiple accounts within a user profile window. When you click one of a profile, it will open a new window.

However, current profile management feature is cumbersome as you need to click a profile on the upper right position of the bar and click Switch person link.  And then, in a user profile management pop-up window, you need to select a user profile to create a new window.

Did you know that there is a way to avoid multiple clicks and further make it easier to access to your profiles in two clicks?

As you see below screenshot, if you click a photo icon, it will expand to show all google accounts within a comprehensive way.  And you can simply tick one of profile to open a new window. Simple and comprehensive, isn't it?

In order to enable this, open a new tab in your chrome browser. Enter chrome://flags in your address bar.

And then, you will visit Chrome’s Experimental feature page to find 'hidden advanced settings of your chrome browser.  You can get all new features which didn't officially release and further adjust chrome configurations.  Please note that this is advanced menu so be cautious before you establish any changes as it will affect your entire chrome environment.

Press Ctrl-F and Search for "Enable new profile management system" and change setting to Disabled.

Now, click 'Relaunch Now' button at the bottom of the screen.  It will close your chrome browser and reopen and you can see your profile photo on the left side.

About the Author: Harry is a certified Google for Work sales, change management mastery and Google for Education trainer. Harry is also a Google Site experts and a creator of Google Street ViewTM Movie maker service.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

5 Ways to Backup Google Apps for World Backup Day

Today, March 31st is the World Backup Day which is to encourage global internet users to safely save all your digital assets. When it comes to data recovery, your cloud backup data really matters.

No matter how secured online storage you are using, an unexpected thing can be always happening, mark this date to back up your cloud data.

If you use google cloud storage, especially if you use Google Apps for Work or Google Drive for Work for your professional life, there are five best cloud backup assistant tools available.

1. Google Drive Software

- To back up Google Drive files

The Google Drive Software can be used to copy your cloud file storage into your local computer end. Visit the Google Drive website and download the software. It supports both PC and Mac platforms. Then, install the software and login with your Google account. 

When the program is playing, the entire files and folders on your google drive automatically synchronize with the computer. Select the files and folders that you want to copy and backup your entire files into a local folder on your computer. 

-  Google Drive software homepage -

2.  Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook

- To back up Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks.

Gmail backup easily can be done in Outlook. You can backup your mail, calendar, contacts, and more using Outlook. To do so, download Google Apps Sync tool for Outlook (GASMO) and make a new profile during the setup process.  And then your online google apps data is synchronized and saved in an outlook PST file.  You may make a copy of the PST file into a backup folder on your computer.

- GASMO how it works video -

3. Google Apps Vault

- To centrally back up and archive Gmail

Google Apps Vault is one of the Google applications which can be added on top of Google Apps. With Vault, you can be prepared to assess a legal matter or compliance issue in a timely, cost-effective way, with minimal disruption to your business. Google Apps Vault has no quota. Gmail’s 25GB quota does not affect back-end Vault storage, so users can delete an email, and Vault will still retain it. Once you activate Google Apps Vault, the users’ historical data will be archived as well as new in and outbound emails. 

-  Search page in Vault's eDiscovery -

Your google apps admin can access Vault's discovery and search email contents. The Admin can insert the user's email address, time frame. And then it can be exported as mbox files.

4. Google Take Out

- To back up the entire Google Apps and other Google services

Google Take Out is an ultimate cloud backup tool to archive your entire google services. It works not only Google apps but also other google services such as Blogger, Orkut, Panoramio. Once you select the google services to back up, you may select a compressed file type like a ZIP, TGZ and upload into your google drive or get a download link via email.

- Google Take Out service; choose a backup file type and delivery method -

5. Third Party Backup Storage

-  To back up the entire google apps services (Email, Drive, Contact, Calendar, Sites and etc)

Real-time online backup storage service for entire Google Apps service is possible with a third party tool such as Netkiller Spanning backup for Google Apps. Through this tool, you can backup at a certain time daily by default, but it also able to perform real-time backup if needed. The data is stored within a non google cloud environment, which is Amazon Web Service (AWS).


Whether due to an unexpected system error, interruption, hacking attacks, or a simply by mistake, the bottom line is your critical digital assets has to be protected and regularly backed up to a different place. Now is the good time to utilize backup software and construct a backup policy to safely hold and liberate the Google Apps data out of google cloud.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Make a Mobile Friendly Site with Google Sites and Get a Higher Rank

Google has released a very important news which will greatly impact on Google's search engine result page (aka SERP).

That is, Google will rank mobile friendly websites higher on the SERP.  Google announced a major change in an official blog

It will impacts everyone, anywhere from individuals, small businesses, non-profits to large organizations who has the websites.  If you have a website and want to show your website on a higher rank, it is a mandate that optimizes your website as a mobile friendly.

Because nowadays people spend more time on mobile rather than on computers people search and visit the website through mobile more than computers.

The analysis by comScore also supports the trend. On Jan 2014, Mobile exceeds PC internet usages for the first time in history.

Google has announced that starting April 21st it will be expanding its use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal.  This change will affect in all languages worldwide.

In order to help you to build the mobile friendly website, Google offered a tool called Mobile-Friendly Test website.  To get you started, simply enter your website address and you can find the test result.

There's a good news for Google Sites lovers since Google Sites, which is developed by Google has advantages.  You can make a mobile friendly website in one click.  For example, find the test result to see 'Google Sites for Mobile'.

<Before Mobile Friendly>

<After Mobile Friendly>

The secret of 'Google Sites for Mobile' is simple.  I have just checked on 'mobile option' as below screenshot to get the mobile friendly site. For more information, please refer to the previous article here.

However, please note that even if you have designed a website with Google Sites and checked on mobile it may not look perfect on mobile.  In that case, you would need to fine tune it to make more mobile friendly websites.  Also, you can think of developing an optimum Google Sites for mobile phone resolution.

After all, this change could motivate people that currently don't have a mobile-friendly site to create one.

Monday, February 9, 2015

5 Essential Outlook Tips for Google Apps users

Google Apps is a 100% web-based application so user can run the app without installing any software. Just login with your credentials to check your email, write a document, schedule an event or many others.

However, there are still many users who want to keep using Microsoft Outlook since it provides familiar and more functions in advanced user interface than the web gmail.  Here are five tips for Outlook Fans who want to make the most of Google Apps.

1. Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook; GASMO

Instead of follow steps to configure IMAP/POP3 settings for your email, GASMO enables you to create a new google apps profile and sync the Google Apps data such as Gmail, Calendar, Contacts.

Please note that GASMO supports only Windows platform and compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2003 or above.

Reference: GASMO website

2. Hangout Plugin for Microsoft Outlook

With Google's Hangouts plugin, you can easily start a Hangout with just a few clicks in Outlook, or you can set up a schedule.  Once plugin installed, You can find Hangout menus in Home.  The tool also can be installed on Outlook 2007 or later version in Windows environment.

Reference: Google Hangout Plugin for Microsoft Outlook website

3. Undo Send

If you use the 'Undo Send' function in Gmail, sending email can be cancelled within 30 seconds.  If you wish to use such feature in Outlook, You can just use the 'Rules and Alerts' feature in Outlook (Home > Rule > Rules and Alerts). Canceling an e-mail sent through the delay settings for sending messages like this screenshot can be done. :)

* SIDE NOTE: Did you know that you can also set up automatic CC/BCC on all emails that you send? See below screenshot as an example.

4. Send Email As

If you use multiple email aliases in addition to the email address you use in Gmail, you can also 'Send Email as' in Outlook.  When you compose an email, you may find From and choose email address from a drop-down.

5. Canned response

If you enable 'Canned Response' feature in Gmail Labs, you can easily  frequently bring used email scripts and send.  With the 'Text Box Gallery' of Outlook, you can implement the same 'Canned Response' feature of Gmail.  On a new email, Highlight portion of your email phrase. Go to Insert and click 'Save Selection to Text Box Gallery' under Text Box.

The five tips above represent just a sample of amazing tricks you can customize your Outlook experience.  If you have any comments or questions regarding this post, please notify me via the 'Contact Form'.