Getting G-Started

About this site

I, Martin Vlach, created this site for the benefit of my colleagues at the nonprofits I serve: SCORE and Nuevas Sonrisas. If you stumbled here and are not part of the two organizations, you may still find much of the information useful - welcome.

I have made it my personal mission to help these organizations and my fellow volunteers make effective use of the cloud-based tools available with G Suite for Nonprofits that Google so generously offers for free to 501 (c) (3) organizations, and that both organizations chose for our IT needs.

I see many of the same problems faced by volunteers in the two groups, and so in order to leverage my time, I use this personal website to spread my knowledge.

Here are the differences between the two organizations:

  • SCORE volunteer domain name is scorevolunteer.org, and I am not the domain administrator, so I have to work within the constraints imposed by SCORE national IT.
  • Nuevas Sonrisas domain name is nuevassonrisas.org, and I am the domain administrator, so I may choose to enable certain features to make our organization's lives (and mine!) easier.

As you read these pages, substitute your organization's domain name when necessary. When I need to make a page specific for one or the other organization, I will make it clear on each such page.

Nothing in this documentation is proprietary, and there is little written here that cannot be found by searching around the web. But I do hope that I make it easier for you to find solutions to your problems. I can be specific since I am solving problems that you have encountered and asked me about. When you ask me how something works, I will refer you to this documentation that I am creating as problems arise. So if I tell you - politely, of course - to RTFM, it's not meant to be snarky, it's saving time and effort for all of us, and making our inner techies more productive.

About Devices

There are so many ways to interact with the Google Apps - computers and laptops , smartphones and tablets, different browsers, multiple mail programs. I personally use a laptop with the Microsoft Windows system most often, although I do have a Mac for the occasional experiment. I have an iPhone and iPad (with an iOS), and I do not have immediate access to an Android phone. I use Firefox most often, but I have Chrome and Edge installed for the occasional use, and Safari is on the Mac. I use Microsoft Outlook for Desktop on my laptop for email and calendars, and the built-in iOS Mail and Calendar apps on my smartphone and tablet.

Luckily, these choices seem to align well with the majority of my fellow volunteers, and there are more similarities between the devices/programs/apps than there are differences. All of my generic examples will be from using Firefox on my laptop and iOS apps on my mobile devices. When necessary, I will try to be more specific, but only in response to a specific need, and then perhaps with the help of another person. I'm not trying to drive myself nuts; I am trying to help you.

And one more things: I show many examples, and examples tend to go stale rather quickly. I ask you to use some imagination if a screenshot is not exactly what you see - do poke around on your own first, and if all else fails, drop me a note so that I can help fix whatever is not working for you, and improve this site.

What Next?

To get going, please see Contents pages. The FAQs is another way into the maze.