YQA: RSS and Your Secret Letter

This post is part of a series called Your Questions Answered that highlights questions that readers like yourself have asked of me over the last few years. 

It was posted by a reader after reading this post here on Piano Pantry: Managing Internet Content the Easy Way.

 


Hi, Amy!

I’m trying to set up my RSS reader so I can get my email under control.

If I add Piano Pantry to my RSS reader and unsubscribe my email, will I still get the Secret Letters?  I don’t want to mess everything up!

Thanks!

-LB

 

Hey, L!

Yea for RSS! You’re going to love it. I’m also glad to hear you’re enjoying the Secret Letters and don’t want to miss them! 🙂

That being said, if you unsubscribe from my email list, you will NOT get the Secret Letters. That’s why they’re called “Secret.” 😉 They’re not available to find anywhere online and only go to those on the email list.

RSS is about feeding new blog posts into one spot so you can visit one website and see all the new content from your favorite websites at one time.

I still stay subscribed to a lot of email lists because most of them nowadays send more than just blog post updates. To keep all of those subscriptions out of my inbox I use Unroll.me which I then set up to send me a Daily Digest.

~Amy

 

It’s all so confusing!  How does one know if it’s an email list or a blog post update?  I suppose I will have to figure it out!  I’ll take a look at Unroll.me.  My inbox is out of control at the moment.  I was doing well in the email department but somehow I got behind and now it’s a MESS!

One more question for you – how do you remember where to find something later?  It might be in the RSS reader, it might be in an email, it might have been in a Facebook group.

Do you have a way to put what you glean all in one place so you aren’t trying to remember where you saw it?  No way do I have enough brainpower to remember all that!  (I’m guessing you might say Evernote, but I still thought I’d ask!)

-LB

 

Hey again!

Great question and yes, it CAN be confusing!

You can’t always know until you sign up for a list, what types of emails they will be sending. If you notice a subscription is only sending you posts to your inbox (and you’re already seeing new posts in your RSS reader), then you can unsubscribe.

RSS isn’t so much about completely getting rid of all of your newsletter subscriptions as it is giving you a place to read website content in one location rather than relying on your time in your email to be when you see and read new content.

As far as saving and retrieving your favorite articles for later, Feedly (my RSS Reader), allows you to save (and search) articles – so that’s one good option. You can also send articles from Feedly directly into Evernote.

I try to be very picky about saving too many blog articles, but if I do, you are correct – I save them into Evernote then tag that note by whatever it’s about such as “group lessons” “apps” “lesson planning” etc.

The search function of programs like Feedly and Evernote is really great so you really don’t have to get super caught up in labeling and tagging articles too much. Just type a keyword into the search box and it will usually find it.

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.

 

YQA: How to Free-Up Storage Space in Gmail

This post is part of a series called Your Questions Answered that highlights questions that readers like yourself have asked of me over the last few years. 

 


Hi, Amy! I keep getting emails from Google saying that I am close to being out of Gmail storage. Of course, they just want me to buy some. Is there a good way to free this up?

-MC

 

Great question, M,

Yes, there are some easy steps you can take to free up some space!

First, make sure it’s actually Gmail taking up your Google account space (and not Google Drive or Google Photos).

To see how your Google storage is being used, visit: https://one.google.com/storage

Once you know who the culprit is, you can decide where you need to clear space. Since your question was about how to free up space in Gmail (and we assume that’s causing the trouble) here are some steps to follow to clear out your email.

1. Permanently delete LARGE emails

  • Go to ‘All Mail” in the sidebar (which is basically your “archive”)
  • In the Search mail” box at the top type:    has:attachment larger:10MB
  • Hit “Enter
  • Select the emails you don’t need, then click “Delete”
  • Continue the process by replacing the number “10” with higher or lower numbers” subsequently.

2. Empty your trash

  • On the left, click “Trash” (You might have to select the down arrow for “More” to expand and find “Trash”.)
  • At the very top, select the checkbox so it will select all the emails on that page, then click “Delete Forever”

Please know that you cannot retrieve these emails once you delete them from the trash. However, don’t let that scare you. You deleted them initially for a reason!

3. Permanently delete emails in Spam

  • On the left, click “Spam”. (You might have to select the down arrow “More” to expand and find “Spam”)
  • At the top, select the checkbox so it will select all the emails on that page, then click “Delete Forever”.

You will likely have pages and pages of Trash and Spam items. It makes it much less tedious if you view the maximum number of emails per page as possible.

You can change this setting by clicking on the Settings gear at the top right of the page, then “See all settings”.
Under “General settings > Maximum Page Size, you can select the number of conversations per page up to 100.


If you find you still need space…..


 
4. Delete your oldest emails
  • Go to “All Mail”
  • In the top right corner, click on the gray text that shows how many emails you have (i.e. 1-100 of 9,617)

If you’re only seeing 25-50 emails at once, you can change how many you see per page by going into the Settings.

  • Select “Oldest” (This will sort your emails from oldest to newest, making the oldest emails more easily visible to you without having to scroll through pages and pages of emails.)
  • At the top, click on the empty selection box that will select all the emails on that screen at once. Once it’s selected all the emails, click “Delete”
  • You can continue this for as long as you need to make more space.

 


If you decide after all of this that you do want to purchase space…


The good news with Google is that you get more free storage space (15 GB) than with anyone else!

If you do happen to decide to buy more space with Google, luckily it’s the same cost as Apple’s iCloud Drive or Microsoft’s One Drive.

  • Google Drive (15GB Free – 100 G $2/month)
  • iCloud Drive (5GB Free – 50G $0.99/month)
  • One Drive (5GB Free – 50G $2/month or FREE with Microsoft 365 Subscription)
  • Dropbox (2GB Free – 1,000 G $10/month)

Most of us will never need more than 50GB and for $2/month with Google, you get 100GB which is a TON of space.

I hope this helps!

~Amy

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.

 

YQA: Online Music Labs and Organizing Repertoire in Tonara

Over the years I’ve gotten lots of emails with great questions from readers like yourself.

Recently, it dawned on me that instead of keeping that information between me and the person who asked, perhaps others could find it useful!

So, I’m beginning a series on Piano Pantry called Your Questions Answered, and will post approximately one per month. Enjoy!


In this time of online lessons, what does a “lab” look like? When I read your posts I feel like I’ve been teaching in the dark ages, and suddenly been thrust into the light. You inspire me to up my game!!!

I am wondering how you organize your resources on your computer too. I am struggling with this….especially videos. Are you using Tonara? I am, but struggling with saving repertoire to re-use.

I know this is a busy time for you with the new teaching year. I’m grateful for any help you can offer. I want to be better!!!!!!

-CW

 

Hi, C!

These are all great questions and am happy to help.

I’ve always promoted my lab time as a “bonus”, so when the COVID lockdown went into effect in March 2020, I didn’t worry about moving the entire lab time online. My students and I simply had our individual lessons and called it good – luckily with no complaints from parents. 🙂

One thing I did do, however, was to use the Music Theory Video lab series and assigned it through Tonara.

I pre-created a set of assignments in the “repertoire” section of Tonara for each video and titled it not only by the “set number” and “video number” in which I ordered it but also by what they were supposed to do (an “action word”).

For example:  WATCH: (S1 #15) Steps and Skips on the Staff

(Here’s a screenshot for you to see it in my Tonara repertoire database – click on the image to view it more closely if needed.)

A link to the video on YouTube video is included in the assignment.

As you stated, while the repertoire tool in Tonara is super awesome for storing frequently-used assignments like this, I know it can be a struggle to take the time to make it happen.

Last year I went through that and tried to just focus on inputting one book at a time into Tonara. I title the assignment by an acronym for the book first then the name of the piece.

For example, for my Music Moves for Piano books I might title assignment like this:

MM1 (U01) PLAY: Popcorn

MM1 (U02) SING: Triple Meter

(The “U” stands for “Unit”). 

This makes it easier when you use the search function to be able to see all of the pieces in one book together IN ORDER of the book.

Keep in mind that the longer the title gets, the student won’t be able to read the whole title on their device until they actually click on the assignment itself. That’s why I try to keep the title as descriptive and yet succinct as possible.

Here’s another screenshot:

I don’t know if that completely answers all of your questions but hopefully, it’s a start and can inspire you to find some ways that will work for you!

Best wishes!

~Amy

 


P.S.

Just a heads up that all links in this post to Tonara are affiliate links. All it means is if you sign up to use it through one of those links, I get a little back without it costing you extra. Being an affiliate for great products helps me cover the cost of running this free blog! 🙂

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.