Nov 17

I’ve been a long time user of Apple Calendar but I’ve switched to Google calendar for 2 main reasons:

  • It’s easier to access on different devices
  • You can set colors for events.

I’m now using a Pixel phone and the Google calendar works flawlessly on the Pixel phone, and iPhone, as well as an OS X computer.

As you can see above, I color code my event according to different areas I’m working on to help plan my week. You can set the color of a calendar in Apple Calendar, but not the color of an event.

It’s super easy to sync Google calendars between all MAc devices and Google devices. You just add the Google account to your OSX computer, and the calendar appears in the Apple Calendar app. But if you want to see different colors for events, you’ll need to open the Calendar in a browser (Safari or Chrome) by going to calendar.google.com

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Jun 07

Google Keep is Google’s equivalent of Apple Notes, but a bit better. It’s a place to keep snippets and other stuff. Now that our family has moved to Android phones we need a simple way that we can synchronise notes across Android and Apple devices. Google Keep seems to be the best solution. There is a Google Keep app for Android and a Google Keep app for iOS. The last piece of the puzzle is getting Google Keep on your Apple desktop computer. Here’s how.

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Mar 25

I use a spark as my OS X email client but my mail is hosted by Google. After about seven years I found that I reached Google’s free 15 GB email limit and I could not receive any more emails. I could have started all over again with a new Gmail account but I wanted to keep my existing Gmail address. I could have deleted some old emails but I wanted to keep a record of them all. What I did is I created a new gmail account to keep a record of my old emails before I deleted them. I copied all my emails to this account. Then I could delete all my emails and get some more room on my everyday Gmail account. Here’s how to do that.

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Oct 06

I recently received a warning from Google Play Music that they are closing their Music service and migrating it across to YouTube Music. I wrote an article 4 years ago about the advantages of Google Play Music over iTunes. Unfortunately this has come back to bite me as I’ll now need to import all my songs back into iTunes again!

Google offered to transfer all my music for free from Google Play over to YouTube Music. I took them up on this offer, only to discover that ‘Youtube Music’ has ads unless you take up their paid subscription. So I paid Google to purchase these songs, and now I am required to pay a further subscription if I want to listen to them ad free through YouTube Music.

I have a lot of songs in Google Play Music – nearly 2000. Some of these are from CD. Some were purchased though iTunes, some were purchased through Google Play Music. At 0.99c a song that’s $2000 worth of music that I own. I don’t want to have to pay a subscription to listen to it!

Thankfully Google also has the option to download all of your songs. To do this you need to go to a website called Google Takeout.

When you are selecting what you want to export, it looks as if it won’t download the actual audio files (see this screenshot below.) But don’t worry, even though it says ‘list of tracks….in your library’ it will do more than just a list of tracks – it will send you the actual audio files.

You can then choose the compression type (zip) and maximum file size (I choose 50MB).

That’s how to export all your music files from Google Play Music.

A few hours later I received a link in an email to download all my music files:

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Apr 01

When Wunderlist closed down we’ve been left without a good task manager that easily syncs across Google and MacOS. AnyDo doesn’t have a MacOS app. I can’t get my Google assistant to add a new todo into to ‘Todoist’. Google Tasks isn’t great but it does have the advantage that it is built right in to gMail. So it’s what I’m running with at the moment. Google tasks is available on MacOS but the App is called ‘Tasksboard’. Here’s the convoluted way to get it up and running!

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Sep 20

I have four different Google accounts and quite often I find myself in a browser in the wrong account. For example I might be trying to edit my church calendar, which resides in my work Google account, but because I have just been reading my personal mail in Gmail, I am logged into that Google account. In the Chrome browser you can switch accounts by going to the top right and selecting a different account but it’s clunky.

This article below describes how to automatically login to a certain account when you open a URL in a browser. To automate this with a script see here.

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Feb 07

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Oct 02

I’ve been trying out the world of Android Phones recently with a Google Pixel phone. Overall I have been surprised at how simple and effortless it has been to use my Google pixel phone alongside my Macintosh OS X.  I was expecting it to be a lot harder to synchronise the Google phone to my Macintosh computer but if anything I have found it easier than my old iPhone.

Each individual  application syncs its own data across the internet between the Google phone and OS X. Everything else gets synchronised by Google. I have found this approach surprising simple. It’s just a matter of finding the best application for each job.

Here’s a list of applications  that  I have found that will nicely share data between OSX, iOS and Android.

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