Teamwork and collaboration skills aren’t just about getting along. It’s about having the right tools at your disposal. Yes, there are many collaboration tools out there, but no platform has as much to offer as Google, IMO. Once you see the possibilities, you will likely feel the same way.
Apart from the tools you get when you create a gmail account, there are Google Apps for Business/Education/Government (a premium service – not supported by ads).
Less Stress & More Control with Cloud Communication and Collaboration
Change isn’t easy. In general, things worth doing aren’t usually a walk in the park. However, if you follow me here, you will see that change can be quick and painless, and ultimately very rewarding.
Large businesses and individuals alike tend to get stuck in ruts. You and your organization are likely comfortable with your thoughtfully carved out routine. If you aren’t regularly looking for new solutions, you might have missed them. As a result, many have fallen behind in the knowledge of available technology. I hope to help you here.
Here are some ways to modernize your office communications, workflows, and overall day to day, as well as bump up your personal use of technology.
Still using Microsoft Office?
Have you ever put time into creating something in Microsoft Office only to lose it due to a failure of auto recovery or just forgetting to save? Or maybe your computer froze with the ever so frustrating “not responding” message. Have no fear because Google Drive is here.
Google Drive allows you to say goodbye to saving because it saves in real-time, all the time. Open a Google Document, type a word, and even if the electric grid shuts down around you, when you come back to that document, your words will still be there.
Some people are still dealing with avoidable tech frustrations on a daily basis; now you don’t have to be one of them.
Not using the Chrome browser?
Syncing bookmarks makes web browsing convenient!
First, if you use bookmarks and ‘bookmark folders’ already, congrats to you. If not, you should, because why not have your favorite sites a click away? Why not organize sites into folders for easy retrieval and access?
If you frequent a wide variety of sites and spend a lot of time online, bookmarks can save you time.
By using your Chrome browser, you can add your Google account so that your bookmarks will sync across devices.
Now if I bookmark something at home, I expect to see it where I left it when I get to work. This sync feature provides an excellent sense of continuity from home to work or on the go.
What Google Apps do you use regularly? None! WHY?
Google Apps, they are very useful and there are so many!
You can install the Chrome App Launcher and have it sit in your taskbar. Then you can arrange your preferred apps there for quick and easy access.
I hope that I have already won you over to at least try the Chrome browser. Mainly because syncing bookmarks and the convenience of the Chrome App Launcher were enough to get me switched over from Mozilla.
If you are ready to modernize your business with Google Apps, you can start here to try out Google Apps for Work.
Working Offline in the Cloud?
Isn't that an oxymoron? Like hot ice or Healthy McDonald's food.
Feeling tied to your desk, well no more! Take your documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and so on with you.
Google Apps for Work now enables you to edit your documents offline and then automatically update when you reconnect.
You need to be signed in to Chrome for this to work. This offline sync can be enabled or disabled by clicking the gear symbol in the top right of your Google Drive.
If you install Google Drive on your device, you can open your files offline. You can do this with a smartphone as well, but this will require you to download the following apps: Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides.
Working with Clients Who Insist on Using Microsoft Office?
You are in luck because Google Drive enables you to drag in a Microsoft file and edit it inside of Google Docs and then again export it to Microsoft Word. If you aren’t using a Chromebook, there are a couple of considerations.
First ensure that you have the most recent version of Chrome. To do this go to Chrome Help or:
First open Settings > About > And It Will Auto-Scan to Check For Updates to Google Chrome.
After updating you’ll want to download the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides Extension. Now you will be able to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in Google Drive as well as export it in its native format.
You can share a draft with your client just by clicking share and typing in their email address. You need a Google account to share but not to access a shared file.
Seems a little easier than saving a file, opening an email, attaching that file, and potentially hitting the dreaded file size ceiling.
Side-note: Google Apps for Work allows you to upload files of any size, and there are no storage limits on Google Drive.
Are you using Gmail for your Corporate Email?
If not, your business could be wasting resources and money on maintaining a server, and they are likely not doing as good of a job as Google is. Email servers can get hacked, they could let emails with malware links through, as well as emails with virus attachments.
If your business has these crucial areas as core competencies, then by all means I owe you an apology. However, most of you are part of an organization that isn’t utilizing resources that can make you more efficient and profitable. One fifth of the world uses Gmail and if that’s not a vote of confidence, I’m not sure what is.
Don’t miss out on world-class spam protection, calendars that integrate with your email, a search bar for your various in-boxes and many additional business features. Not to mention that Google promises 99.9% uptime. Go and try to get that promise from your IT department.
Consolidate Many Business Needs Into One Solution | Google Hangouts
Usings different solutions for Screen Sharing, VoIP, Instant Messaging, Presenting Slide Shows, Hosting Webinars, Remote Training Sessions, Teleconferencing?
Google Hangouts has all of the above and more so why use anything else? Over 5 million businesses have gone this route. Maybe it’s time for you to do so as well.
Are you a Project Manager or a Business Owner?
Calendars, Projects, Emails, for a 20 person team? How do you stay sane? The answer involves the intelligent use of tools.
Google Keep, Calendar, Gmail are the tools that can help you keep your sanity.
Google Calendar can manage all your meetings, time-sensitive obligations and so on.
Distracting thoughts during the work day?
Pull out your phone or launch Google Keep from your Chrome App Launcher and put that thought down so you can get back on track. That way you can get back to it when time allows, without forgetting or getting sidetracked.
You Can’t Go Wrong with Google Drive For Collaboration
Do you know what a living document is? The constitution is an example but in this sense it is a digital document. You can share it with anyone you want and they can always see the most current version. Then you can work on it together.
It’s easy to share instantly with your teammates. Forget about email attachments, size limits, and different versions of files. No more confusing mess about which file is the right one and where to find it.
Now, for other hidden gems in google drive. The first one is real time collaboration. When someone you are sharing a file with makes a change, you will see it, right away! There is also chat functionality so you can discuss the changes being made.
Additionally, when you share a document with people, you can grant certain access rights, such as:
Can view – Allows for viewing, downloading, or copying
Can Comment – Allows for all the above, plus create comments and edit suggestions in the file.
Can Edit – Appart from the obvious editing capability, this also enables them to share/unshare files with others, add/remove files from a folder, and upload/delete files. Be careful who you grant this access to since it is the highest access apart from owning the source file (original file creator).
Owner – As an owner of a shared file, you can transfer ownership to someone else as well.
What if you invited someone to edit and they got fired the next day? And, did I mention that you forgot to unshare him from the big proposal document? Uh-oh… With all the added convenience of sharing, it is important to be cognizant of new security considerations. Best to give people the right to comment/view, and only offer editing privileges to those you can trust.
If you wanna be super-savvy, start a Google Hangouts with the team. This will enable your team to communicate at a higher level. Google Hangouts allows for screen sharing and group Web Cam chats. Additionally, you can grant someone access to your computer remotely. This is very useful when helping someone with a computer issue.
So You Are An Artist, I Get It.
Maybe you don’t regularly use slideshows or spreadsheets. Do you draw? Well, you don’t need to be an artist to make use of Google Drive’s Drawings app.
It allows you to get visually creative and export your art in a variety of formats: PNG, SVG, PDF, JPG
But I Own a Business, I don’t Sit Around Drawing!
Okay, okay, but did you think about diagrams, charts? Have you needed to lay out anything visually using an alignment grid?
Maybe you don’t have the patience or time to learn complicated software platforms such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, but you still want to add some flair to your meeting handouts.
Some additional uses of Google Drawings:
- Visualize your Business Model
- Company Hierarchy
- Process Flow Chart
- Visual Brainstorming
- Visual SWOT Analysis
The Future of Google Apps
The available enhancements to Google Drive are continually growing. If you have a developer on your team, they can use App Scripts to customize a feature to your needs. You can also extend this functionality to clients as a revenue model. If you aren’t familiar with add-ons to Google drive, take the time to open a Docs, Sheets, or Slides file and select the Add-Ons menu item to explore additional tools. Some are free, and some come with a limited time free trial.
The reduced barrier to entry opens many possible avenues. By utilizing Google’s complex physical infrastructure, you can in essence stand on the shoulders of giants.
A major benefit of this platform is that updates are available instantly. You can benefit from tools created by anyone, not just Google. You don’t have to go through a lengthy sales process, and you don’t have to install CD’s. Believe it or not, some people still haven’t gotten past this paradigm.
Having these tools at your disposal empowers you and your team to focus on the task at hand. Delays due to tech-based obstacles can be minimized with continual process improvement.
50% Off Opportunity
Send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – with the subject Google Apps for Work Discount and I’ll send you a promo code for 50% off. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.