Google Drive File Stream

For all centres who are yet to move to Google Drive, specially those who are still using a iSG Rental Server, this may be the post you have been waiting for, so please read on...

We find ourselves in a very difficult situation with Centre Servers.  Due to their age, both software and hardware , they are a big risk to the organisation  as Microsoft have announced that at some point in the near future , they will be pushing out a patch that will break Windows PC's from accessing them. From a technical and security perspective, this is a wise (very wise) thing to do.  For this reason, Centre Servers will not be upgraded or replaced.

So for now, we are going to push ahead with migrating data to Google Drive for storage only.  However, we are aware that this has posed a significant change for some centres with the fact that access to files needed to be via a browser.  Google have recently implemented a new app called Google Drive File Stream (GDFS).

GDFS is a piece of software that allows access to your Google Drive files from Windows Explorer.  This means for users the only difference you would see when searching for files is that the Drive will simply have 'Google Drive File Stream (G:)' listed in the windows explorer window as per the screenshot below.

This means users don't have to use Chrome to get access or use Google Apps for your files.

The best part is that you DO NOT have to convert your files to Google Apps. Microsoft format documents will open using the copy of Office installed on your PC. PDF files will open using Adobe Reader\Foxit installed on your PC. You will be able to create and save directly into Drive from Word and Excel. You will be able to copy and paste files from your PC, USB drive or network drive straight in to Google Drive.

Any files left in Google format, for example to leverage collaboration features, will open in your default browser as normal.

The only thing you cannot do through Windows Explorer is change permissions. This still has to be done through the Chrome browser, but generally speaking most users only want access to files, and not the collaboration aspect of this, which is still available to Administrators and Manager should they want to use it.

Feedback from pilot sites and users is 100% positive and an overwhelming thumbs up so this software will go mainstream in the next few months.  If however, you are keen to protect yourself and the data at your centre, and would like to get GDFS installed for your machines, simply log a ticket with us, and one of the team will assist you in getting a Google Drive library set up, files transferred from your server, and the app installed for the individual users at your Corps/Centre.

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Phishing attacks - Google Drive

Last week, Google identified a phishing scheme that could affect your google drive. The official Google statement says that this has been rectified and has been taken of care.

We are here to give the best and up to date information about the issue and a way to prevent this from happening. Here, we are going to provide what exactly happened and how important it is to keep an eye on the emails that you receive which helps you not to be a victim of phishing.

What happened: There was an massive phishing campaign which has started aiming at Google users last week. The hack was carried out by sending an email that posed as an invitation to join a Google Doc by someone in your contact list.

When users clicked on the Google Doc link, they were sent to a page that actually goes to It then requests permission for the app that the attacker wrote to access your Gmail account.

This would allow the attacker to read your emails contacts and other actions such sending email behalf, deletes emails from your inbox, etc..

Actions by Google: In an attempt to fix this threat. Google has successful in blocking this phishing campaign and updated all its security features. Below was an official statement by Google.

“We have taken action to protect users against an email impersonating Google Docs, and have disabled offending accounts. We’ve removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again. We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail.”

Aftermath: Although Google has managed to fix the issue. There is always a chance for this to repeat again using third party apps which could deceive you.

I always remember this old saying “Prevention is better than cure”. There are ways that you can get away from this phishing emails Below are a few things that you can check before tempted to click on any emails.

  • Think before you click - Have a second before you click on anything in your email.
  • Keep an eye on shared documents - Always check who has access to your shared documents.
  • Know your URLs - Get familiarise your URLs how they are typically.
  • Report anything that is Phishy - Always report if you found anything dodge. Let the experts handle them. It is okay to ask for help, that’s why we are here for.

Another recommended way is to set up a two factor authentication. If you want to know more about it, please follow the link below. Please be aware that this process would include your smart phone. Caution must be taken if you are setting this up.

Under any circumstance you feel that you received a dodge email or attachment. Please Do NOT try to open and attempt to fix it by yourself.

Please log a ticket with ISG by logging into the ISG Supportal.  We are here to help you.

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Google Sheets

Google Sheets is an app that lets you create and manage spreadsheets, even those created in Microsoft Excel. It is available with your account and with Google Drive PLUS there is an app for your phone (or tablet) making it possible to work wherever you are (which *may* be a good thing).

Google Sheets is very similar to Microsoft Excel, but may appear to be missing some features. Most of the time they just are in a different place or have a different name. Sometimes there are features missing because Google Sheets is a lot younger than Microsoft Office.

Google are committed to Google Sheets (and the entire G-Suite platform - a competitor to Microsoft Office) and are constantly updating all of the apps. Google Sheets is no different and not that long ago they added number of features. We think the most helpful of these new features is rotate text.

Check out the updates and all about rotate text here: GoogleSheets/Updates 

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Opening an *.rtf in a chromebook

With the increase of chromebook use within The Salvation Army, there are a number of queries about how to do different things within this new environment. 

If you have such queries, feel free to log a ticket with iSG in Supportal.

One question we have received is with regard opening *.rtf files. An *.rtf file is a Rich Text Format file. It is commonly used for files that have text, and it is compatible on most text viewing/editing programs.

To open an *.rtf attachment from your webmail follow the following steps:

  1. Click on the file that you would like to view. The file will download when you click on it. It should appear on the downloads bar at the bottom of your browser. If it doesn’t appear, it will be in your Downloads folder when you click on the Files icon. Please do not open the file after it has downloaded. You will receive an error.
  2. Next you will want to move the file into your Google Drive. To do this, you can open Google Drive and upload the file, or you can click­ and ­drag on the file to move it into Google Drive.
  3. To Upload:
    1. Go to your Google Drive and look for the upload icon.
    2. When you click on it,
    3. choose Files…
    4. Select the .rtf file
    5. and click Open.
  4. Once the file is in your Google Drive:
    1. Check the box next to it.
    2. Click on the button titled, More.
    3. Click on Open with.
    4. Select Google Docs. Your file should open in a new Google Doc.
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Google Docs - there's more

At various times when talking to you, our users, about the features of Google Apps, we have mentioned that there are some features found in the Microsoft Office equivalent that may not be available in Google Apps.

We have also mentioned that the way Google works is that, because its based on the web, updates can happen without you even noticing, and so although today what one asks for may not be available, tomorrow it may.

One of the features people have asked particularly with regards Google Docs is the ability to create Columns, and we are thrilled to let you all know that this now exists!!  You can now easily split your document into multiple columns in Docs. Just choose “Columns” in the “Format” drop-down menu when you need more formatting options to get your point across.

Of course, if there is a feature you can't find within the app, search the "Add-Ons" menu to see if you can find what you need.  Google work with a number of other companies who may have created just what you are looking for and through the Add-Ons menu its there waiting for you to install it.  You don't even need ISG for this!!  Just find the Add-On, add it, and get on with using it.

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Dictate that Document

Sometimes it is easier to talk than to type. Don't you wish you could do this? Well, Google Docs lets you do that and it is incredibly accurate. How? Login to Google Apps with your account then select Google Docs.

Now click on Tools / Voice Typing.


You may be prompted to allow Google to use your microphone and you will have to agree to this (this only needs to happen once). Then you're ready to tap on the microphone, and dictate that document!


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Talk to Me!

You probably already know you can talk to your phone. You may think this is a little bit of a gimmick, but it is a powerful feature that can the extremely helpful in certain situations.  The place I use it most often is in the car. There is a cradle that holds my phone, and I tell my phone to send someone a message, or call someone. I even have been known to dictate emails.  

Perhaps you don't know what you can do with your voice. So here is a link that gives you some great tips:

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Corps/Centre Calendar using Google Calendars

With the introduction of Google apps to TSA, one of the apps that may be very useful to Corps and centres is the Google Calendar.

Did you know that within the Calendar you are able to create a publically shared calendar.  This could be useful to Corps who wish to share the upcoming events to their congregation, but also really useful to set up for a team you may manage to share overall events that the team need to be aware of (eg. staff on leave).

To create this "shared" Calendar, simply:

  1. login to Google with your TSA account (ie. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) ;
  2. then in Google Drive, select the b2ap3_thumbnail_GApps1.JPGicon on top right corner of window;
  3. select Google Calendar b2ap3_thumbnail_GApps2.JPG and your calendar will appear;
  4. On the left hand side column you can select the drop down arrow next to "My calendars", then "Create a new calendar".  b2ap3_thumbnail_GApps3.JPG
  5. Fill in the necessary information on screen and then "Create Calendar".  If you are creating this to share with external emails (i.e. not TSA emails) then ensure when you select "Share this calendar with others" that the box marked "Make this calendar public" is ticked and that the selection is to "See all event details".  This allows you to share it withb2ap3_thumbnail_GApps4.JPG
  6. Under "Share with specific people", you can then select who you wish to share the calendar with by typing their email address and selecting the appropriate permission settings.

You can always go back to share the calendar with more people if you wish to, or to manage any required removals etc. 

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Mobile Access to Google Drive

So you're out of the office and you need to see a file but you don't have your laptop and you're not going to be back at the office today. Or maybe something urgent has come up and somebody has shared a file with you but you're travelling and only have your mobile phone.

You CAN access your Google Drive (including the AODocs based centre folder) from your mobile phone (or a tablet)! You don't even need to have set it up before you leave the office, you can install the app anywhere you have an internet connection (so anywhere that your mobile phone has reception)! We do recommend you install apps (and application updates) when connected to WiFi to preserve your mobile data. 

Start by installing the Google Drive app: then sign in with your Salvation Army Google account and see your Google Drive folders.

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2 Important Google Drive Tips

We've spent a lot of time discussing Google Drive recently so we wanted to remind you of 2 really important tips today. These are all about making it easier for you (and your data), protecting you (and your data), and respecting the privacy of the people who we're working with. 

Tip 1: Only use your account. This is really important as it places your data into a Salvation Army managed area. That means that little things like type ahead on names, group shares, centre folders, are easily implemented and standardised around the territory. It also means that we here at Team iSG can help you find/recover/share/etc your information.

Tip 2: Have Team iSG setup your centre folder. We talked yesterday about AODocs for centre folders. That is vital as it ensures that information stays in the place it should and won't follow an officer to a different appointment or disappear when a colleague moves on.

Hopefully you're starting to see just how helpful Google Drive and AODocs can be for you, your data, and your centre. Next week we will start to look at the mobile apps that make accessing your data from a mobile device really easy.

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Creating a Centre Folder

Chances are that if you're enjoying Google Drive then you may want to use it within your centre. Team iSG thinks that is a fantastic idea and can help. The reason we want to help is because change of appointments and/or staff leaving can result in a loss of information if not approached carefully.

We're obviously keen that centres be able to work without interruption caused by technology so ask that if you want to have a shared centre folder in Google Drive you talk to us. We will set it up using a 3rd party add-on called AODocs. This eliminates the potential for data to be lost should their be a change of appointment or staff departure.

Well actually what AODocs does is make it really fast us to help put information where it should be and not have it go with someone to a new appointment! It also leaves a centre able to share their information with others as they need to in order to better care for people.

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Google Sheets #3

Today we're sharing another tip related to Google Sheets. We see lots of people using spreadsheets to stay organised and track various items and tasks related to the mission of The Salvation Army.

As with all things Google Drive and Google Apps related you can share your information with another user. This removes the need to send email attachments and then juggle multiple versions as people edit and update files. 

Sometimes spreadsheets contain more information than someone actually needs. Which is why it would be great if you could share just one tab of a Google Sheet with a person. Well you can! Watch this short video to learn how:

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Using Google Drive

Increasingly we're moving to Google Drive for storage of TSA information. In addition to the accessibility it provides, we are able to have a lot more confidence in the security of information. It also makes it easier for you to access your information for anywhere on whatever device you have (and is particularly great from a mobile device)!

Today we're sharing a tip about using Google Drive in the form of a 2 minute video. Google Drive makes sharing information really easy and stops the need to rely on email attachments which can be problematic. 

UPDATE: The original video was taken down for some reason unknown to us. Here is another that is reasonably helpful and just over 5 mins.

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Google Accounts

It is possible that you will have multiple Google accounts. You DO have an account which is the one that you SHOULD be using for all work related information. However it is possible that you will also have a personal account (most likely an address).

When logging into your Google Drive you may be prompted with the following screen:


If you're about to do some work then you should use the Organizational Google Apps link. This ensures that all of your work related information will stay within an environment that is managed by The Salvation Army (a computer code of conduct requirement).

Tip: If you want to access work and personal information, open an incognito tab in Chrome. This will let you login with a different account and access different data! Alternatively use Chrome for work and a different browser for your personal login.

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154 Google Tips

154 Google Tips

We already do a lot everyday with Google. Whether it is just a web search, creation of Docs and Sheets, sharing information with Drive, looking up maps, or for personal email and calendar we increasingly use Google services in our everyday lives. Want to do more with Google?

Check out for a huge number of tips to make it easier to do the everyday tasks you already do.

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How to Google

Here is a link to some videos that show you how to Google. There is a lot you can do (even more than just a normal Google)! Check out

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Google Keep

Google Keep is a note taking application developed by Google.

Google Keep is also available as a mobile app for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems and as a web application.

Easy to use for note taking or for making check lists, it's a useful tool which can be used for making that quick mental note about something you don't want to forget, or for creating your daily To Do list.  You can set reminders for specific times, and you can even "share" your individual notes with someone else so they can see what needs to be done!


If you haven't used it before I would highly recommend this app.  

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Google Account on your Mobile

If you have signed into your mobile with your Salvation Army Google account (and you should), then you may be have a notification advising Account Action Required. Depending on a number of matters Google does this from time to time. Completing the required action is simple. 

From the notification (see below screenshot), tap on account action required


You will then see a screen similar to the one below. All you need to do is click on NEXT and this resolves the issue (no prompting for password, no anything else). It is simply a security check. 


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Sharing Docs?

Did you know that with information you have stored in Google Drive you can share it directly from Google Drive? There are lots of advantages to sharing information this way. One is not having to attach it to an email. This means you don't have to worry about file size.

Another advantage is you can not only say WHO can access the file, but also how much access they have to the file(s) you're sharing. Start at (using your This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. address to logon), then select the file you want to share. Once selected click on the sharing button (circled below):


You will then have the ability to type in the names of people you want to share the file(s) with. As you type names the system will lookup people who have a account. BUT you can also add people who DON'T have a Salvation Army account.

WARNING: Think before sharing externally ... You probably have access to personal information that is sensitive and shouldn't be seen by others. 


By clicking on the Can Edit button you get a dropdown of other permissions. Select what access you want them to have before clicking DONE. This will automatically fire an email off to the person (or people) you've shared with a link so they can get the file. 

This is a much easier way to share information AND leaves you in control of the file(s). At anytime you can revoke someone access meaning they no longer get to look at your files. This is impossible to achieve if you have emailed a file to someone.

Oh and bonus tip, you can do this from your smartphone with the Google Drive app too!


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Keep Talking

Following on from yesterday there is a lot more talking you can do with your smartphone. The Google keyboard allows you to talk instead of typing whenever you need to enter information. This makes it possible for you to dictate emails, documents, almost anything.

Again it is simple to get underway. In the screenshots below I'm creating a Google Doc as a draft blog entry for the Team iSG blog. This first screenshot shows the keyboard with the microphone circled:


Tapping on the microphone changes your phone from expecting the keyboard to be used to listening for you to talk (and hanging on every word you say)!


When the microphone in the middle of the keyboard is teal then you can talk. Your phone will listen and transcribe everything you say into text in the app you're working in. 

TIP: If you have any difficulties try speaking a little more slowly. Personally I've found that I don't need to speak any slower than normal, just that I need to ensure I'm clear in my pronunciations and don't run words together (which I'm prone to).

Oh and just one other thing with voice typing ... You can do this in Google Docs from your desktop or laptop! That is right! When you're at your desk you can talk instead of typing with a really high accuracy rate. Try it in Google Docs by clicking on Tools / Voice Typing then tapping on the microphone when you're ready to start.

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Mission Opportunities

Check out our latest job vacancies (we also refer to these as 'mission opportunities') and see if there's a possible place for you.

Digital Connect Update

Please see the "Notification Bar" on the Support portal for any updates related to connection issues Digital Connect are aware of and working on.

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