TLDR: What it means and why I use it

TLDR, or TL;DR stands for Too Long, Didn’t Read.

Some people like reading long posts with background info, analysis, anecdotes, etc. Others don’t like long posts, or don’t have the time to read them. I’ll be using TLDR occasionally to indicate a summary of a longer article and sometimes suggest an action to take. It may help you decide whether you want to read the whole post.

You will get Windows 10 this Tuesday whether you want it or not *

If you don’t want Windows 10 installed automatically on Tuesday 9th February (or shortly after) then you need to take action now. I have this from two very reliable sources.Windows 10 enforced upgrade
*This applies to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. If you have these versions then Microsoft will “upgrade” you to Windows 10 as part of Windows Automatic Updates starting this Tuesday 9th February.
Some software (programs and apps) and hardware (printers and other things you plug in to your computer) will not work with Windows 10.
I can block this unwanted upgrade and turn off all the annoying popups about the upgrade.
I expect to be busy with this fix. I may not be able to reply to emails until after the deadline.
So, if you don’t want Windows 10 then phone me as soon as possible and leave a message if I am not available so I can get back to you.

Projects in Google Keep and Google Drive

I use Google Keep to keep track of thoughts, tasks and to-do lists, and reminders. If, like me, your Google Keep is becoming hard to manage then I have some ideas that you might like to try to keep more organised and efficient.

To give this some context, let me explain that I have adapted some methods from the Getting Things Done (GTD) productivity system to suit my needs. In GTD there is a concept of Projects and Next Actions. A Project is the thing you want to achieve (like “organise Emma’s birthday party”) and the “Next Action”, or “NA”, is the very next thing that can be done towards the project. There may be lots of things to be done on the project, like “send out invitations”, but the only thing that should be on your to-do list is the very next thing you need to do, such as “Call the play centre to check availability of dates”.

So, generally there are two types of projects, big projects and small projects. If you keep all these projects in Google Keep, you will find that you have a mass of Notes which are hard to organise and go through even if you’re using colours and labels. We need to keep Keep clean. So, here is my suggestion…

If a project has only a few steps then use a List with check-boxes and keep everything for that project in that list. Use colours and labels to organise as you would normally, but keep everything about that project in one Keep note.

Drive docKeeping a big or complicated project in Google Keep makes it hard to manage, especially if there is more than one thing that you could describe as a Next Action like “Call the play centre to check availability of dates” and “draw up a list of attendees”. Use a Google Docs (word processing) document in Google Drive to organise your project with notes and lists of things to do (use bullet-points). When you know what your Next Actions are, put each Next Action in its own Note in Google Keep and refer to the main project, such as “Draw up a list of attendees – see Google Drive ‘Birthday’ project”. And here’s the best bit…

You can add a link in the Google Keep note which will take you to the Google Drive Project. When you open the Google Keep note, you can click the link within it and it will open up the related project document in Google Drive, allowing you to note down your progress, review the project, or set a new Next Action. This link works on computers, tablets and phones; wherever you’re signed in to your Google Account.

Drive linkTo insert the link, go to the Google Drive document, highlight the entire URL link (the website address) and select Copy. Then open up the Google Keep note, and Paste the link into it.

It sounds more complicated than it is in practice. Once you’ve done it a few times it will seem easy. Your Google Keep will be less cluttered and you will be more efficient.

If you need any help with Google services, with computers and IT generally, or even entire organisational systems, please contact me using “Contact” at the top-right of this page or phone me on the numbers just below “Contact”.

How to backup Google Keep notes

UPDATE 2/5/2017: The method below doesn’t backup notes in Archive. In addition to the main notes section as described below, you have to also backup the Archive notes by going to the Archive section (at the bottom of the left slide-out menu), then follow the same process as below for the regular notes section.

Update 20/9/17: This is my site’s most popular page. If you find it helpful, please consider a small donation (see below) to encourage me to keep updating. Thanks.

I use Google Keep a lot. Notes are stored on Google’s servers. No doubt Google has backups, but what if something happens or I just permanently delete a note by mistake? It’s not easy to ask Google to recover it for me. Here’s a quick and simple way to backup all your Google Keep notes.

  1. On your PC, to to Google Keep and Select All notes by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-A
  2. In the grey bar above the notes, click the three dots
  3. Select “Copy to Google Doc” and all the notes will be copied to a Google Drive/Docs file.

If you want to download a copy to keep locally (which I recommend), open the Google Doc, click File, Download As, and select your format of choice.

If you find any of my posts useful, please Like them or make a comment, link to them on social media, or make a donation below. Thanks for the support.

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Quick Tip – get all my new posts delivered straight to your inbox

Follow me to get get posts sent to your inbox If you can’t bear the thought of missing any of my extremely interesting posts, then you can easily subscribe to email updates. Just click on the Follow button at the bottom right of any page and input your email address. One confirmation email later, and you’ll get an email every time I post the this website.

Quick tip to make copied text match the format of the rest of the text

Do you ever copy and paste text from one place to another and find the formatting doesn’t match? Here’s a quick keyboard shortcut to make the copied text match the format of the rest of the document.

Highlight the text with the incorrect format, hit Ctrl-space. Done! Your copied text should now match the formatting of the rest of the document.

It works in email, word processing, websites, and almost all other software and applications.

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For other tips, click the IT Tips on the menu bar at the top of this page. For all IT posts, click All IT on the menu bar. To view the services I offer, click Services on the menu bar. Contact me if you you need IT support or services.


Tip for fast account switching in Chrome now the user icons gone (again)

Old User IconI wrote in January 2015 here about Google removing the user avatar icons from the top-left of Chrome which allowed fast switching between Google (Gmail) accounts (and having multiple accounts open at once). Included in my post was a way to switch back to the old icons. Unfortunately, I’ve just noticed that Google has changed it again and I can’t figure out a way to change it back. However, I have a tip to make it easier to switch between the accounts.

New User TabLook for the new user tab at the top right of Chrome, right-click it, and then select the account you want to open. This should open a new instance of Chrome signed in with the other user.

If you have come here looking for a way to be signed in to two or more Google accounts at once, please let me know and I will reply with a tutorial to set it up (if I get round to it). Alternatively, if you’re in a rush, contact me and we can set up a remote support session and I can do it for you.

What to do when you get visual and audio alerts that you computer is infected

I have heard of several people in the last couple of weeks whose computer has shown fake warnings of viruses or system problems, often with audio warnings. The computer is locked and you can’t close the windows or get rid of the warnings. The warnings say you must phone a number to repair the computer. DO NOT PHONE THAT COMPANY, they are scam tech support companies. See here for examples

Some of these warnings take the form of pornographic images in order to shock and scare the user into calling the fake tech support company and pay for their “services”. See here for more info.

Don’t fall for these scams, they’re expensive with the scammers and expensive to sort out afterwards. Instead, go to a trusted tech support company (like me) for professional help.

Here’s what you should do if the computer is locked by fake warnings, maybe with loud audio alerts:

  1. Put your finger on the power button and hold it down until the computer shuts itself off
  2. Restart the computer and run a full virus scan and malware scan (contact me for my recommended security software)
  3. If the results of the scans show infections, or you can’t complete the two steps above, or you feel that you want the computer looked at professionally, contact me.
  4. Be aware that a website you visited recently or software you installed or files you opened recently may be the cause of the problem.

Contact me for help and advice, virus and malware removal, or for my recommendations and tuition to keep safe online.

Pay by credit card, debit card, PayPal, bank transfer, cheque or cash

No need to wait until pay day!

I am now able to accept credit cards, debit cards and PayPal payments. I can also accept bank transfers (in advance), and cash and cheques for face-to-face support.

Call now for fast, convenient tech support, or download the remote support app for Windows and Mac and install/run it, then click “Start Session” for immediate support if I’m online. If I’m not online, you can leave me a message to connect  or contact you.