Category Archives: everything

Doing the Gmail Two-Step

Some friends have been asking about two-step verification for Gmail accounts. Should we do it? How does one go about it? What behavioral changes will we have to put up with afterward?

The answer to the first question is yes, Ruthie, yes. Read on for answers to the other two. First, though, if you’re imagining that this is a funky new dance step, you need a little background information. Go read Matt Honan’s story. This is what we’re preventing with this precautionary measure. I’m not a fear-monger, but it could happen to you, too. Go read it. I’ll wait.

Back? Great. Now, go watch this Google video explaining two-step verification. Don’t follow the directions yet — just watch it and come on back here, and I’ll walk you through it. Take your time.

All done? Okay.

Two-step verification, then, pairs a password with a unique numeric code that exists in another physical location (the phone or mobile device, or the printed list of codes). In order to log in to Gmail once two-step verification is enabled, you need both of these pieces of information. Banks commonly use this system to verify their customers. World of Warcraft also provides an authentication option that works the same way — you need both a password and a unique code that gets generated when you want to log in. The idea is that even if your password is hacked or guessed, someone still can’t get into your Gmail account without having that code also.

Google will ask you to enter this code every 30 days on a trusted computer (if you switch browsers on the same computer, or clear your cookies, Google will ask for the code again). You can also choose not to have a given computer be “trusted,” and Google will ask for your code every time you log in.

Note that if you are using Google apps, and not a regular Gmail account, you can’t use two-step verification until your site admin enables it for the site. If you follow the steps below and get stuck in the middle of Step 1 because you don’t see “2-step verification,” this is the case for you. Contact your site admin to see about getting it enabled.
Two Foot

Two Foot by Jack Keene. Creative Commons.

So, how does one go about it? 

Let’s get started.

1. Gather what you need.

Setting this up properly will take 15 to 30 minutes, and you don’t want to get interrupted in the middle, so make sure you have enough time before you start. Grab your mobile device(s), including phones and iPads. A printer is handy but not absolutely necessary. You’ll do most of the work on your main computer. If you use more than one computer to access your Gmail account (a laptop and a desktop, or a work computer and a home computer), you’ll need to do some of the steps on each one, but you can start with just one for now.

Ready? Let’s go through the process. First, we’ll enable 2-step verification. We’ll set up apps and devices, and then set up backup options for our account.

Start by logging in to Gmail as you normally would, on your computer (not on a mobile device).

2. Enable 2-step verification for your Gmail account.

In Gmail on the computer, click on your name and the plus sign at the upper left of the screen (for example, mine says “Rachel+”). This takes you to your Google+ profile. Click the gear icon in the top right and choose Settings from the drop down menu.

If you haven’t set up Google+, you can get to your profile by clicking your email address in the top right and then clicking “Account.”

Click Security on the left.

See where it says “2-step verification”? Click “Edit” to bring up the setup wizard.

Step through the wizard and have it send a code to your phone. Look at your phone for the text message (or voice message, if you prefer) from Google. Then enter that code on the computer screen. Ta da! Google takes you to a new screen. Stay there for the next step.

3. Enable access from mobile devices.

Here’s the tricky bit: some things that you have already set up to access Google can’t do the two-step, so you have to set up special passwords for those things. You’ll do that next (do it now, even though Google gives you the option to do it later). This includes email programs on your phone, email clients like Outlook and Thunderbird, calendar clients, chat clients, and so on. Read on.

The top of the screen you are looking at lists things that you have connected to your Google account. Take a moment to look over the list of stuff that has permission to access your Google account (or that you opted to sign in to using your Google ID), and revoke access for anything you’re not still using. You can leave the rest alone. Now, look at the lower half of the screen for the next part.

You’ll need to generate bizarre application-specific passwords for all the places that you access Google other than your computer. For instance, if you use the mail program on your iPhone or iPad to get your Gmail, you need to make a special password for those devices. Google makes this very friendly and easy, and you don’t need to make up the passwords yourself or remember them after you type them in once. Before you start, go get your iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry, iPad, or whatever other devices you want to set up, and have them handy. You’ll need them.

Got everything handy? Now, look back at the bottom half of the computer screen. (If you wandered off to collect your devices, Google may ask you to log back in when you try to do the next step. Just enter your email and password as usual and you’ll be right back on track.) In the list on the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a text box and a button.

For each device, type a descriptive name in the text box so you know what it is later (like “Gmail on my iPhone” — spaces, caps, whatever you like is OK) and then click “Generate Password.” Now leave your computer alone for a minute and pick up the device — let’s say it’s your iPhone. Open the settings app on the iPhone. Click the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” item in the settings list, and then tap the name of your Gmail account in the list of accounts. Tap again where it says “Account” with your Gmail address. On the device, erase the password that’s in there — that is still your Gmail password, but this device can no longer use it because of the two-step verification process. Now look back at your computer screen, and find the string of characters that Google has generated for you. Type them into the password field on your device. You can omit the spaces if you want. Click Done on the device. The iPhone will verify the information, and when it’s successful, you’ll see a row of checkmarks in all those fields on the iPhone. Click Done again on the device, and your device is set up. Ta da!

To set up the next one, click Done on the computer screen and you’ll get a new text box. You’ll also see that the device that you just set up is listed there now with the name you gave it.

Do the same thing for your iPad and any other physical devices you use to access your Gmail.

4. Enable access from other apps.

Next, we’ll set up other apps besides Mail. Examples of apps you might need to change are Spanning Sync, Google Notifier, Outlook, chat clients like Adium and Google Talk, and so on. These might be apps on
your computer, or they might be on your mobile phone. If you don’t use any of these, you can skip this part. If you try to access something later and it says that your Gmail password isn’t working, come on back and follow these instructions for that app.

In the same place where you set up your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or what have you, type in a name for the app you will be authorizing (“Spanning Sync,” for instance). Click “Generate Password.” Leave that screen up, and open the preferences for the app you are changing. Find where you put in the password, erase the password that’s in there, and put in the new weird one that Google has generated for you (spaces optional, again). Click “Done” or “OK” or the moral equivalent both in the app and on the Google screen, and you’re good to go.

4.5 Ack! I came back to do this part later and I can’t find the settings page with the text boxes!

In Gmail, click your name with the plus (“Rachel+” for me) in the upper left. Look on the right for the little gear and click it. Choose Settings from the drop down menu.

If you haven’t set up Google+, you can get to your profile by clicking your email address in the top right and then clicking “Account.”

Click Security in the menu on the left. Click the Edit button next to Authorizing Applications and Sites. Enter your password (your usual Gmail one) if prompted. There you are!

5. More information from your friends at Google.

Now, check your email. Gmail has sent you a helpful message full of useful details. It also contains action items:

1. Set up your backup phone. If your mobile gets lost or stolen, you can use the backup phone to receive a verification code. Click the link in the email, then click “Add a phone number” on the page it takes you to, and enter the backup phone number. If it’s a landline, be sure to select “voice call” and not “SMS/text message” as the delivery method.

2. Print a set of backup codes. Print these out, and even if you’re unable to access either phone, you can still use a verification code to get back into your account. Just carry these with you when you travel. If you don’t have a printer handy, you can save them to a text file and print them later. Follow the directions in the email to get these codes.

3. Optional: set up the Google Authenticator mobile app. If you like, you can get the Google Authenticator app for your mobile that will generate a code you can use, whether or not you have cell service. (This is great if you travel overseas.) If you want to do this, you need to get a free app from the app store and then set up your app using the online instructions. Click the link in the email for the type of mobile you have to get started, then just follow the on-screen instructions. You can configure the app to work with multiple Gmail accounts, if you have more than one.

Save the email from Google for later, just in case.

That’s it! Now your account is protected with two-step verification.

Huh. What behavioral changes will we have to put up with now?

Every 30 days, Google will ask you to log in again. After you enter your password, it will ask for a verification code. You can have that code texted to your mobile, or you can use the Authenticator app to generate one, depending on what option you selected when you set it up. If you change your mind about how to get the code, you can change that in your settings (see “4.5, Ack!” above for how to find your settings).

Something weird happened, or I have more questions.

Google has a great help system that covers 2-step verification.

This post is dedicated to my mom and my sister, with lots of love. Go do it now, guys.

Updated 8/8/12: Added instructions for folks who don’t use Google+.

 

 

Posted in everything. Tagged with , .

Quickly share those delicious iPad notes (how-to)

At the 2012 IFVP Conference last week, I took visual notes on my iPad during several sessions. Right after each session — and I mean right after — I posted the image to Flickr and tweeted the link with the conference tag. It took me about 15 seconds to post each one, and I didn’t even have to switch away from my drawing app. Here’s how I did it.

My iPad notes of MK Haley’s keynote at #IFVP2012

What You Need:

  • A Flickr account (I have a Pro account, not sure if you can do this without it, but Flickr’s awesome so you probably can)
  • A Twitter account
  • An iPad that can access the Internet and send email
  • A drawing app on the iPad (Brushes, Sketchbook Pro, whatever)
  • Something that you drew in your drawing app

What To Do:

1. Set up Flickr to do the heavy lifting.

Once you have a Flickr account, you can set it up so that you can email stuff to it and also so that it will tweet for you. To make the magic happen, log in to your Flickr account and go to Account (You menu > Account, or click on your name in the top right). You have two tasks here: To hook up your Twitter account to your Flickr account, and to get the address you will email stuff to.

To connect Twitter and Flickr, click on the Sharing & Extending tab. Click the Twitter icon or link, and then click “Authorize this App.” Follow the on-screen instructions until Flickr tells you it’s all set and you see Twitter in your Sharing list on Flickr with an “Edit” button next to it. (If you are freaked out by this, you can skip this step and do the automatic post-to-Flickr part below, and then just tweet manually.)

To find your special email address for Flickr, click the Emails & Notifications tab in your Flickr account. Scroll down to where it says “Your Flickr2Twitter upload email” and copy that address so you can paste it in a minute. (If you decided not to do the Twitter part, copy the address next to “Your Flickr upload email” instead.)

2. Create a contact with that email address.

Now go to your iPad and open the Contacts app that came with the iPad. Create a new contact (Click the plus sign at the bottom) and call it “Twitter and Flickr” or “Flickr” or something similar. Just make it something you can remember later. Then paste the email address you copied in step 1 into the email field, and save the contact.

My iPad notes of keynote by @LRDC1’s Chris Schunn at #IFVP2012

3. Find or create a drawing to share.

Open your favorite drawing app and either create a new drawing, or find one that you already did that you want to share. I use Brushes and Sketchbook Pro the most, and for both of these, you want to be in the Gallery, not in edit-image mode. When you are looking at the image you want, tap the Share button (in Sketchbook Pro, this looks like a flower with an arrow; in Brushes, it looks like a rectangle with an arrow). You might have to select the image in the gallery in some apps (like SBP) first. If you’re using a different app, look for a similar icon somewhere. Tap this icon.

4. Email the image, including the right text and tags.

When you tap the icon, you should see an option that says “Mail image” or something similar to that. Tap that, and a blank email appears with the image in it. (In some apps, you might have to choose an orientation for the image, so that it’s not upside down.) Here’s how to fill out the email:

To: Start to type the name of the “contact” you made earlier (Twitter, Flickr, etc) until that weird email address pops in.

Subject: This will become the text of your tweet AND the title of the image on Flickr. If you’re at a gathering, this is the place to include the hashtag (like #IFVP2012) so that it will show up in Twitter searches. It’s also nice to go find the Twitter handle of the speaker and include that, too. That way, the speaker sees your notes later, and sometimes retweets you. Just keep the subject short, because the tweet will also include a shortened URL to your Flickr page.

Body: The image is in the body. In addition, any text in the body (including your email signature, so delete that!) will become the photo description in Flickr. I use this space to give more detail about the speaker, the event, or anything special about the notes.

5. Send it!

When you’re satisfied with the text, hit send! Then go peek at Flickr and Twitter to see what happened. You can adjust your next subject and body based on what you see from this first experiment.

Screen Shot of Twitter Posts

That’s it! After you’ve set it up, all you need to do is draw, tap the email button, type in the contact name, add a subject and body, and off it goes! Quick as anything.

 

Posted in everything. Tagged with , , , , .

Visual Note-taking on the iPad

I did it! I spoke at Macworld|iWorld 2012! Here are my slides, available on Slideshare.net. I had a wonderful and enthusiastic audience who gamely dove in and practiced drawing little icons with me — thank you all! I had a blast.


Posted in everything. Tagged with , , , , , , .

Notes from the Creative Leadership Academy

Last week, I was privileged to attend part of the Creative Leadership Academy held at The Boulders in Carefree, Arizona. I listened to inspiring talks by “provocateurs” Chris Waugh (IDEO) and Luke Williams (Frog Design fellow and author of Disrupt), and I participated in the workshop Cultivating a Kaleidoscope Mind, presented by Laura Seargeant Richardson and Ben McAllister of Frog Design. I also delivered the closing workshop, Visual Meetings and Teams: The Key to Practical Application of Creative Leadership.

Chris Waugh spoke about experience design after the reception on Tuesday evening (tough slot). He captured our attention by providing foam missiles and inviting a few intrepid volunteers to step up on stage to experience what a design critique often feels like — we stood there while the rest of the room pelted us with the rubber band-propelled missiles. I found it strongly reminiscent of my college courses in studio art. Chris showed examples of strikingly user-friendly or innovative product design and told the story behind each one. Unfortunately I hadn’t brought my iPad to the reception, so I didn’t take notes during his excellent talk.

The workshop from Frog invited us to come up with unusual ideas about how to change the conference itself. Each attendee received a set of cards with their registration materials that prompted them to jot down observations throughout the conference, such as noticing interactions between people or what the environment was like. During the workshop, we were given a framing question that took us out of the conference mindset (“What if the conference were a dinner party? What if it were a circus?”) and asked to review our observations in light of the framing question to see what ideas would emerge. Then we dot-voted on the ideas to select the ones we liked the best, and presented the top two or three with a title, a sketch, and a brief description. I took notes during the first part of the presentation:

visual notes from Frog Design session

The reference to the chicken foot is a reminder to find one thing that is so fascinating that you could draw it over and over, from many different angles, to explore its nature. (Laura had this experience with a chicken foot.) It was illuminating to contrast thoughts about the conference with such a variety of other ideas. My favorite juxtaposition was thinking about attendee participation in terms of the conference as a game. Hmm…

Luke Williams’ talk was about disruptive design, and he spoke about the steps or stages of disruptive design. I did take notes during this session:

By the time my workshop rolled around, everyone in the group was filled to the brim with ideas about creative leadership. I gave an introduction to Visual Meetings using the presentation David Sibbet created with Prezi, and then the plan was to map out our collective learning journey describing how to implement all the wonderful ideas from the past three days. There was a gentle mutiny, though, and instead we practiced drawing seed shapes (star people and other basic icons). I think everyone was pretty tapped out by then, but they all jumped in and practiced the drawings, and the energy level in the room just shot up. We also talked about using the iPad for graphic recording, which wasn’t formally on the agenda, but somehow someone always asks about it anyway. I was assisted during the workshop by my amazing and talented sister, Sonja Stone (the author). It was a great group of folks, and we definitely achieved the session objective of having a good time!

Overall, I appreciated the practical advice given by the other speakers about how to be creative. I know that sounds a little counter-intuitive, but creativity is often sparked by thinking about old ideas in new contexts, and the Academy demonstrated lots of different ways to achieve that.

Posted in everything. Tagged with , , , .

Recorded archive: Digital Tools workshop

Friday’s Digital Tools for Graphic Recording workshop was recorded, and you can view the streaming archive here. It’s a WebEx recording, so you may need to download a client to view it.

I apologize in advance for the brief periods where my screen and I vanish (it happens twice). Don’t worry — I come back 🙂  I’m hoping to be able to edit those out eventually, but at the moment, I’m still trying to work out how to edit a WebEx recording — I can adjust the start and end times, or at least I could if I had a PC and not a Mac, but I can’t change anything in the middle! (And trust me, there’s quite a lot I could safely edit out…)

Posted in everything. Tagged with , , , .

Post-workshop Debrief

Workshop Title

Last Friday, I led a workshop at The Grove called Digital Tools for Graphic Recording. Anne Merkelson moderated the session, and Tomi Nagai-Rothe and Ed Palmer provided backup and technical support. Over 130 people attended the free online workshop, which was scheduled to go for an hour but ended up running about 90 minutes. I learned a lot — especially about giving an online workshop to that many people — and I also mentioned a bunch of tools and offered to make my Sketchbook Pro brush sets available for download. Read on for all that info.

Lessons Learned

WebEx Lessons. We had some technical issues — at least, I did. I got kicked out of the conference twice when the WebEx client quit on me. (Thanks, everyone, for hanging in there til I got back!) We’re still not sure exactly what happened.

This was a much larger workshop than I’ve run before, and I now have some pre-workshop housekeeping steps that I’ll take care of next time. My thanks go to the attendees who helped me take care of these tasks on the fly this time! Next time, pre-flight will include:

  1. Setting the conference options in advance to mute the beeps when people enter and leave.
  2. Muting everyone at once! I knew there had to be a way to do that, but I sure couldn’t find it until someone showed me where it was.
  3. Logging in as myself and also as admin, then passing presenter control to myself so the admin account isn’t required the whole time. We have a theory that the client crashes were related to the fact that I was logged in as the admin.

There are a few other things I might do differently next time:

  1. We learned afterward that some people tried to access the session from their iPads and were not able to. I don’t have information about the nature of the problems, but next time I’ll recommend that participants use computers.
  2. It appeared that some people who joined the session after I had started sharing my screen couldn’t find the chat window. I did cotton on and help them locate it eventually, but next time I would add instructions for this to the introduction of the session.

We did some things right, which means attendees probably didn’t notice them. I’ll mention those, too:

  1. In addition to the presenter (me), we had one person who was focusing only on collecting and moderating questions, and two people who were focused on helping people who had connection troubles.
  2. The session “started” 15 minutes before the official start time so that people could come in, test their connection, make sure they could see and hear, and so on.
  3. I had the right headset! If you’re on a Mac, you want a USB headset, not the kind with a pink and a green connector.
  4. I remembered to hit “record!”

Presentation Lessons. I heard some feedback that the middle section of the presentation got kind of visually confusing. I had opened all my palettes in Sketchbook Pro (SBP), just as I do when I’m recording, but it would have made more sense to open them one at a time as I was talking about them (brushes only when I was talking about brushes, layers only for the layers piece, and so on).

Another comment was that I did a lot of things in SBP without explaining or narrating what I was doing. This may well have been confusing, especially to people who aren’t familar with the software. In the future I’ll try to be more explicit about saying what my mouse is doing!

Links & Notes

Here’s a list of links to some things I talked about. If I said something you wanted to look up and it’s not listed here, post a question in the comments and I’ll add it.

Workshop Agenda

Some of the key points I made were these:

  1. There are lots of options for digital graphic recording. When choosing which to use, match the tools to your own comfort and skill level and also to the meeting’s venue and outcomes.
  2. Set up your file in advance to facilitate the kind of distribution you will want. Use a low-res (72 dpi or thereabouts) for images that will be emailed and printed small-scale, on letter-sized paper. Use higher resolution (300 dpi) and a larger canvas size for images that will need to be printed larger. Remember that Sketchbook Pro has a limit on how large you can make your file — this is a flexible combination of print dimensions and resolution.
  3. Set up a custom brush set with the brushes you will need most. Create at least two sizes of each brush, one for thick lines like titles, and one for fine lines and details.
  4. Learn to use layers; I use at least three: one for outlines and details, one under that for colors, and one under that for shading and shadows.

Brush Sets

These sets are the ones I use most when I’m using Sketchbook Pro for graphic recording. They work on the computer, but not on the iPad (whole different brush thing there), and only with Sketchbook Pro. I use SBP 5.0, and they might not work with an earlier version. I know they’ll work on a Mac but I’m not sure if they’ll work on a PC too. (Let me know if you find out.)

They’re provided here with no warranty of any kind; if they run amok and wreak havoc on your computer, you will have my deepest sympathy, but that’s about it 🙂

Rachel’s favorite Sketchbook Pro brush set for graphic recording (72 dpi): use these brushes when you’re recording at screen resolution.

Rachel’s favorite Sketchbook Pro brush set for graphic recording (300 dpi): use these brushes when you’re recording at print resolution. They’re bigger so the lines will show up properly.

To install the brush sets:

  1. Download the file(s) and save them on your computer somewhere that you will be able to find them again. They should end in .zip.
  2. Launch Sketchbook Pro.
  3. If your brush palette isn’t open, go to Window > Brush Palette to make it appear.
  4. Click and hold in the little tiny circle of circles in the top right of the brush palette (see below).
  5. Swipe your mouse straight down through the icon with three brushes and an arrow pointing down (tooltip says: Import Brush Set).
  6. Navigate to where you saved the brush sets. Click one of the .zip files and click Open. Ta da!
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 to load the other brush set, if you wanted both.

If you get the little spinny ball and the brush set doesn’t load the first time, don’t panic. Repeat steps 4-6 and it should work the second time.

circle-menu

The menu you need is here.

Unanswered Questions

There were a few questions from the workshop that we didn’t have time to address:

Q: Can you hook up an iPad to a projector through a VGA connector? Does it work if you are on WebEx? 

A: This question has a two-part answer. Yes, you can hook the iPad to a projector; however, you can’t control WebEx from it to the same extent as you can on a computer. The iPad doesn’t work like a VGA tablet. The tablet is an input device, like your mouse or keyboard; it talks to your computer, which can be connected to WebEx. The iPad is another computer, not an input device, so you can’t use it to control your computer* to run WebEx. There is an iPad app for WebEx, but it doesn’t give you all the functions you need to record a webmeeting.

* The caveat here is that technically you can use certain apps to control your computer from your iPad. They’re not yet robust or fast enough to allow the iPad to replace a tablet for real-time graphic recording in a web meeting, though.

Q: It seems there are a couple ways to look at it. (1) Facilitate a virtual digital meeting and record as you go, or (2) use a moderator, facilitator and recorder. When is that better than (3) using a video conference with the camera on the paper you are using on the wall — then you document for archiving after the meeting? 

A: In my personal opinion, (2) is better than (1) most of the time. A small meeting can be recorded and facilitated by one person, especially if everyone in the meeting knows one another and the content is not too emotional or controversial. Some graphic recorders, too, are skilled enough to handle more challenging meetings this way (I’m not one of them). Larger meetings, or meetings where the facilitator will frequently be called upon to manage the group’s energy, will benefit from having a separate graphic recorder and facilitator. Another attendee also suggested a third person, a moderator who handles the web conference itself. An excellent idea.

When choosing between (1) or (2) and (3) — recording in a web meeting versus using a webcam and paper — the factors in play are the comfort level of the facilitator/recorder and attendees with one method or the other, the equipment you have available, and what you want to do with the recording after the meeting. Personal preference is another factor. Neither method is inherently better than the other.

Q: How do you print all the different layers? Will a complete picture show up on one page of paper? 

A: All the layers that are visible will be included in the print. You can also flatten the file into one layer when you’re done, if you’re sure that you don’t need the layers any longer. I always keep one layered version and use “Save As” to make a flattened one, if I need to.

Q: What’s the maximum number of layers you use?

A: I’m a layer hog! When I forget to keep track, I can end up with a lot. I know I’ve had stacks up in the twenties before. Typically, I try to keep it to three or four, and on the iPad you can’t have more than six in SBP.

Thanks to all those who attended, and especially to those who helped me out with WebEx and made suggestions for future improvements.

Updated May 24, 2013, to fix missing images after the blog moved.

Posted in everything. Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Online Workshop on Digital Tools for Graphic Recording (from The Grove)

Media_httpnewsgroveco_cafeq

I’m at it again! Tune in for a free, one-hour workshop on digital tools for graphic recording, offered by The Grove Consultants on December 9, 2011, from 12:00-1:00 pm Pacific Time. See original news post on The Grove’s site for more details or to register.

Posted in everything. Tagged with , , , , .

Projecting from Cintiq Tablet – Diagram

Cintiq setup diagram

This is a reference diagram I drew in order to remember the setup that worked for projecting from the Cintiq tablet while I drew on it. The VGA Distribution Amplifier (DA) is the key that makes the whole thing work. Ususally the AV folks can provide one.

Also, I just realized the USB cable goes from the Cintiq’s “box” to the laptop, not from the Cintiq itself as it appears here.

Posted in everything. Tagged with , .

Playing with Doceri

You know how I’m often the one with the nifty new gadget, app, or techie thing? Well, a lot of those come to me from other people. One of the folks that I rely on to have the geekiest new stuff is John Ittelson, and he recently put me on to an iPad app that gets us one step closer to being able to draw in web meetings using our iPads. (Not quite there… but closer.)

The app is called Doceri, and has a partner desktop application (Doceri Desktop) that runs on the computer. Doceri on the iPad talks to Doceri on the computer, and turns the iPad into a remote control for the computer (like Air Display, which I need to revisit again too). You can also switch on annotation mode and draw over any screen — a web page, your email, what have you. Then you can play back your annotations in order.

Doceri1

This is a screen capture of my iPad, showing an annotation that I drew over digitalfacilitation.net. (Killer, I know!)

Doceri’s website has several videos showing some of what the app can do. It’s designed for use by teachers, so a lot of the examples are educational (cool). I’m still in the early stages of playing with it and I haven’t discovered all it can do, yet.

Naturally, one of the first things I tried to do was use it in a way it’s not intended to be used. (I’m either one of the best beta testers in the world, or one of the worst.) I noticed that Doceri had two icons for different monitors, because my laptop was hooked up to an external monitor at the time, so I tapped the icon for the other monitor. Then I opened Sketchbook Pro over there (this is the desktop version, not the iPad version) and tried drawing.

Doceri2

Let’s be clear: I was drawing with my finger, on my iPad, and it was controlling Sketchbook Pro on my Mac laptop. Imagine if I were also in a web conference, sharing my screen. Then I would be drawing in the web conference, using my iPad.

Totally cool.

Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. If you zoom in to do detail work, you lose track of the palettes, because you’re zooming the whole screen and they get cut off. Also, Doceri’s not made for this kind of work; it has a magnifier so that you can click accurately on small screen bits, and the magnifier partially obscures what you’re drawing as you draw it. I know Doceri makes a special stylus that connects to the iPad, but I don’t have one so I can’t say whether it makes it easier to draw detail work or not.

The next thing I want to try is using the annotation feature to see if it’s easier to do graphic-recording type work with that, rather than through a drawing application. There are different brushes and different colors, and you can zoom (though I don’t know if there are layers), so a lot of my basic must-have features are there.

More research is needed. But I feel that progress has been made toward my quest to graphically record a web meeting using an iPad. Hurrah!

Posted in everything. Tagged with , , , .

Mind Mapping Techniques

Media_httpfluentbrain_axalx

Matt Tanguay offers some great tips for creating mind maps using mindmapping software called MindManager.

Posted in everything. Tagged with , , .
%d bloggers like this: