Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pro tip: How to work with Google Docs offline using Android

When you're a road warrior without a consistent, reliable connection for your device, how do you work with your Google Drive documents? Simple -- you install Google Docs and Google Sheets on your Android device and make them available offline. Of course, it's not quite that straightforward. Fear not, all of the instructions you need for this process are here. After going through this post, you should be working with documents, sans a network connection, like a champ.

What you'll need

Here are the requirements:
  • An Android device (preferably updated to the latest release available)
  • Google Docs and Google Sheets installed
  • Your Android device associated with your Google Drive account


If you don't already have Docs and Sheets installed, here are the steps:
  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
  2. Search for Google Docs
  3. Locate and tap the official Google app
  4. Tap Install
  5. Read through the permissions listing
  6. If you agree with the permissions listing, tap Accept
  7. Allow the installation to complete
Repeat the above steps for Google Sheets.
Once you have everything installed, it's time to start working with a document offline.


Because of the cloud-nature of Google Drive, all of your documents are not automatically available offline. In fact, you have to manually configure each document you want to use offline -- so, this is best done on a per-document basis. Of course, you'll want to make sure to set those documents for offline use before you need them. Should you find yourself without a connection and needing one of those documents, you'll be out of luck.
With that said, here's how you configure a document for offline usage.
  1. Open up the app to be used (either Sheets or Docs)
  2. Locate the file to be used offline in the file listing (Figure A)
    Figure A
    Figure A
  3. Tap the information icon (on the far right) associated with the file
  4. In the resulting window (Figure B), switch Keep on this device to ON by tapping the slider
    Figure B
    Figure B
The file is now available for offline usage. In order to open the file to edit offline, do the following:
  1. Tap the overflow menu in the upper left corner
  2. From the resulting sidebar (Figure C), tap On device
    Figure C
    Figure C
  3. From the listing of documents, tap the document to be edited
  4. Edit away
If you need to remove a document for offline editing, do the following:
  1. Go to the file listing in the app (either Sheets or Docs)
  2. Tap the information button associated with the file
  3. Tap the Keep on this device slider until it is in the OFF position
Naturally, you can edit any document while connected to either 4G (3G, etc) or Wi-Fi. But when you do not have that connection available, the only means to edit files is when they're stored on your device. After you've edited those offline documents, the moment the device is back online, the changes will sync with your Google Drive account (there's no need to manually re-sync).
Editing Google Documents offline is not a difficult task -- you just have to get use to making the necessary documents available for offline usage.
What do you think? Is this system a workable solution? Or does Google need to rethink how documents are managed when a device is offline?

Your Linkedin personal brand: 6 tips to build a strong one

LinkedIn is more than a place to dump your resume and split. Here are some tips to build your image on world's largest professional network. 

As a professional, people will search you.
"When someone is looking for you, there are a couple of places they go. First, they might start in LinkedIn directly... Or, they might search Google for your name -- which will likely also lead them to LinkedIn," said Hubspot founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah. "Either way, it's the de facto place people expect to find you."
That means making a little effort to make sure that your image is looking sharp on the largest social media platform for business professionals would be a wise move. Keep in mind that Linkedin is no longer about just finding a new job. It's also a place where colleagues and potential business partners and customers can look you up and connect with you.
"The most important thing to remember is that unlike other social-media sites where stupidity and silliness may be forgiven if not downright condoned, LinkedIn is all about your personal brand," said Canva's chief evangelist, and LinkedIn Influencer Guy Kawasaki.
So, save your cat pictures for Facebook, and leave the mayfair-filtered ham sandwiches on Instagram.
Here are some more tips on building and maintaining a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.

1. Have a complete profile

Each chance to fill out a piece of your professional image - where you went to school, where you've worked - offers the chance to show what you could do in the future, said Shah, who is also a LinkedIn Influencer. Completing your LinkedIn might sound obvious, but Gartner analyst Jennifer Polk said there are still plenty of professionals who haven't even uploaded a profile picture.
"Completing the LinkedIn profile is one of those things that requires one-time effort - but provides gains on an ongoing basis. There are not that many things in life like that - take advantage of them," Shah said.

2. Treat LinkedIn like more than just a resume

Though the initial step in creating a LinkedIn is to enter resume-style information, that doesn't mean users can post a CV and walk away. Polk said to treat it more like a synopsis of who you are and what you do. Also, because the platform is relationship-driven, she said it's important to remember that other professionals use it scope you out. "It's an individual one-to-one system for vetting people you're doing business with," Polk said.

3. Watch your opinions

Think about what you post on LinkedIn in terms of what would be safe and appropriate to say in a workplace, or to an employer. "Obviously, folks should avoid expressing beliefs such as women should not have equal rights--don't laugh, I've seen this done," Kawasaki said. "The general mindset that's necessary is, 'Don't say or do anything that you wouldn't do in a job interview for a job that you want.' Every post and every comment is like a job-interview question on LinkedIn." When you post, be professional.

4. Be active

"You wouldn't not answer your desk phone," Polk said. Keeping up with and responding to things like InMail, comments, or requests show that you've actively engaged with your LinkedIn profile, and well as the wider community.

5. Add value, not ridiculousness

You can now post updates on LinkedIn, similar to Twitter and Facebook, but be wise about doing it. According to Kawasaki, adding value to LinkedIn comes in three forms: information, analysis, and assistance. This is a good trio to keep in mind when deciding what to post. "If you want to act stupid, do it somewhere else. Instead, you should always be adding value to people's feeds to build a good personal brand on LinkedIn," he said.
Shah said by sharing useful content, you're making sure people understand your areas of interest and expertise. And if you're looking for a source for content to share, he suggested following LinkedIn's Influencers.

6. Don't indiscriminately amass followers

Speaking of followers, Shah thinks that one of the biggest mistakes users make on LinkedIn is trying to rack up as many connections as possible. "What it does is makes both an individual's social graph and the overall network as a whole noisy and thereby less useful," he said. Shah connects with people with whom he has worked, or at least who are in his circle of associates- they're actual intersections. "Your connections are a reflection of you," he said.