google docs

trollocsdaleksandorcs-ohmy  asked:

Hey! I'm about to start my 2nd year teaching 8th grade LA, and I'm trying to decide how I want my students to organize their notes/writing. Everything I read recommends interactive notebooks, but I'm afraid they will be time consuming and messy. My students will have their own chrome books, and I'm wondering if I can achieve the same effect through Google drive and having them create folders for notes/free writes. What do you use? Do you know of any ways to do an online notebook? Thank you!

Hey @trollocsdaleksandorcs-ohmy​,

First of all, I owe you an apology, you sent me this ask a while ago, and I have been smack-dab in the middle of driving for Lyft, painting/setting up a new house, and prepping materials for Google-themed PD’s.

Anywho, full disclosure, anything that involves coloring or glue-sticks I don’t do. I don’t do poster presentations, I don’t do diorama or mobile assignments. Seldom do my kids use markers, or anything that’s NOT a black/blue pen. This is partially because I HATED those assignments when I was a kid, but mostly it’s because those projects only benefit those students with the time, money, and home support to complete them. If it CAN be done on a computer during class time, it is; it’s the great equalizer in my classroom. //End tangent.  

I have a few Google-y tips for you.

#1: Utilizing Google Docs Header/Outline feature

Google Docs, when headers and formatting is used appropriately, will self-organize into a document outline over to the left of the document. By sending out a Google Doc (find a very, very, very generic copy here) where each entry is formatted with a heading, it will create a document where you’ll be able to click around the document.

If you teach students that every time they add a new entry, they need for format the title as “Heading 1″, they could revisit this document and by sending it out, you would have all their journals in Google Classroom to review at any time. This document could last the entire year, and you could just click to the section you wanted to view/assess.

#2: Google Keep pad for activities

A part of interactive notebooks is sending out the activities. Due to its interconnected nature, I might suggest Google Keep. Create the activities in Google Keep and share the note with your students. Those activities will remain as a “timeline” of activities that are then drag-and-drop-able into their writing journal. 

OR conversely, you could send out prompts for Google Keep 5-minute free-writes that they could then drop into their final writing journal. You would need to determine what you wanted your students’ workflow to look like. 

#3: A Google Slide Journal 

To be fair, this is my least favorite idea, but if you edit a Google Slide deck so that the pages appear book-shaped (I’ve discussed before how to create posters.) you could then send each kid a copy of a slide deck that they would then add individual slides as “pages” when needed. 

You don’t get the Google Keep integration, and “importing” slides from decks that aren’t technically yours can get tricky. However, it is an option, and I’ve heard of it working for other teachers. 

There are other options, non-Google ones as well. However, all the advice I can give is what I would do if I were in your shoes. I hope you find these tips helpful, and feel free to send me another ask if there’s anything else I can do.


Shortcut Keys I Use the Most While Writing

In General

  • Ctrl + S = save (Don’t care if the document I’m on autosaves. I am too much in the habit of doing this and don’t plan to ever fall out of practice.)
  • Ctrl + Z = undo last action
  • Ctrl + Y = undo last undo action
  • Ctrl + End = jump to the end of the document
  • Ctrl + Home = jump to the start of the document
  • Ctrl + Left Arrow = jump text cursor one word over to the left
  • Ctrl + Right Arrow = jump text cursor one word over to the right
  • Ctrl + A = select all text in document
  • Shift + Directional Arrows = select a segment of text
  • Ctrl + Backspace = delete word to the left of the text cursor
  • Ctrl + Delete = delete word to the right of the text cursor
  • Ctrl + X = cut selected text from document and place in clipboard
  • Ctrl + C = copy selected text from document and place in clipboard
  • Ctrl + V = paste cut/copied text from clipboard into designated section of document
  • Ctrl + B = bold
  • Ctrl + I = italics
  • Ctrl + U = underline
  • Ctrl + F = find certain text

In Google Docs

  • Ctrl + Shift + Y = dictionary
  • Ctrl + Shift + C = word count
  • Alt + Shift + 5 = strikethrough

In Microsoft Word

  • F7 = spellcheck
  • Shift + F7 = thesaurus
  • Shift + F3 = cycle selected text through ALL CAPITALS, Initial Capitals, and no capitals
  • Ctrl + E = justify center (align text to the center of the line)
  • Ctrl + L = justify left (align text to the left margin)
  • Ctrl + R = justify right (align text to the right margin)

In Microsoft OneNote

  • Ctrl + Hyphen = strikethrough
  • Ctrl + Period = bulletpoint
  • Ctrl + N = new page in current tab
Google Docs/AO3 writing tip:

If you, like me, have had trouble when copying from Google Docs into AO3 and hate seeing the line spacing getting fried, try this:

- Highlight everything. CTRL + A is your friend here.

- [Optional] Change the line spacing to single I’m pretty sure you don’t need to do this step, but I’m more comfortable with how things look in single line spacing when I’m writing.

- Go back into the same menu and select ‘Add space after paragraph’. This will give the appearance of a clear line space without there actually being one, and will make it much easier for you to see where each paragraph starts and ends.

- Only hit return once when starting a new paragraph.

- Write your thing <3

Now, when you paste from Docs into AO3′s rich text editor, the line spacing will behave!

Pasting from Docs to AO3′s rich text editor also does this in html, which I find messy and distracting if I’m editing html for any reason:

But when you preview your work and go back, it will have changed to this:

Just toggle to rich text and then back to html and it will look miles better:

I’m not sure why AO3 does any of those things, but this is how I get round it. I hope this is helpful!

Google Docs Capitlization

Google Docs will soon let you edit and convert an entire block of text to:

  • all lowercase
  • all capital letters
  • proper title capitalization 

This is great for two reasons:

  1. It will allow students to feel more confident when citing books, magazines, or other printed materials.

Thanks Google!

Hey students! If you go on and click “More” on the “Start a new document” menu, there’s a template for MLA format! Everything is formatted and ready for use, all you need to do is replace their words and information with your own. The spacing, heading, page number, font, margins, etc is all MLA.

Writing Advice

Google Docs = Life Saver
Why? Because it saves everything automatically every time you change something. So it “saves” every 1 second. And all docs are saved to the Internet, can be accessed easily on your phone (even at the SAME TIME you’re on your laptop, so you can watch yourself type…oh, is that just me?), and organizes the documents by which ones you’ve edited recently rather than by name. (I have only recently learned how to properly name my documents. Lol)
I’ve lost many documents to a broken phone and a broken laptop. MANY. So I hope this helps someone.

Hey everyone! So I made two new printables (I’m still new at printables so if you have any critique or advice please message me!):

  1. A Must Read List: Being an English major (and thanks to someone’s request) I decided to make a ‘Must Read List;’ it’s a combination of books I’ve read in High School and College, including books I loved, hated, and books I still haven’t read, but really need to.
  2. A Monthly Goal Tracker: I love keeping track of goals, so I made a ‘Monthly Goal Tracker,’ that’ll keep track of up to four major goals per month, along with 5 steps to achieve each of those goals and space for your reward!


Today has been spent doing a whole load of History work and rejoicing in the fact that I now have over 800 followers. Means a lot that you guys appreciate my content.

Random tip #2

Google Docs is THE best thing to use when you’re constantly on the move. As a writer with a muse that pops out of nowhere, I’m always writing something. That’s why I keep everything (with backups on my flash drive and laptop itself) on Google Docs. I use it on my phone to write as I travel to and from work, on my lunch break, or randomly at 2am when I can’t sleep and don’t feel like grabbing my laptop. It’s a true lifesaver and your ideas never get lost!


Quick question~ Would anyone be interested in helping out as a beta reader to a finished original story I’m trying to edit? Mostly for grammar and the usual fun stuff I never seem to be able to catch when I look at my own writing.