As the way we work changes, Google is continually refining its suite of office tools to reflect the growing demand for more flexible workflows.
Last year, the software giant launched Smart Canvas to help teams collaborate more effectively in the office, at home, or on the road. Hybrid workplaces warmly received the product, accommodating more than six million users every week. Google is going further - upgrading the Smart Canvas toolkit even more efficiently.
1. Time-saving summaries
You have a 20-page document to read before your meeting, and the meeting starts in 5 minutes. What do you do? You open up Google Docs, navigate to the left-side menu and click the page icon labeled ‘show document outline’ to view an AI-generated summary.
This new feature is an innovative, time-saving hack. Instead of pouring through reams of content to find the relevant points, they’re presented to you instantly in an easy-to-read format. Summaries in Docs are compiled automatically, but you can also edit them manually if needed - giving you the ability to craft customized summaries for future reference.
2. Pageless formatting
Page breaks and margins may look neat, providing structure to your document and tidying up the format, but they can seriously hinder collaborative working.
The new pageless formatting option in Google Docs lets users remove those boundaries and expand the page they’re working on to fit their screen. Ideal for multimedia documents that contain graphics, charts, or tables, this feature makes it easier for colleagues to edit documents or share feedback without worrying about spacing issues. And the minute the document is finalized, you can easily switch back to the paginated mode for printing or emailing.
To switch back and forth between pageless mode, click the File tab, scroll down the drop-down menu to ‘page set-up’ and adjust your settings in the pop-up window.
3. Collaborative emails
Building on the success of People Chips (also known as Smart Chips), Google is now making it easier for teams to work together on emails rather than just documents.
Previously, suppose a department wanted to collaborate on drafting an email. In that case, they’d have to open up a new document, work within it, and manually copy it to someone’s inbox. Now they instantly export it using the ‘draft email template’ under the ‘Building Blocks’ smart chips menu in Docs. Write your message, then click to send it to Gmail, where it’s automatically inserted into a draft email, keeping the original @formatting intact.
4. Easy meeting admin
Creating a post-meeting agenda from Google Meet? The new Meeting Notes Template in Docs, accessible from the @ key drop-down menu, makes this formerly complicated procedure a breeze.
The template automatically ports over attendee details, complete with People Chips, so you can see their contact information and other details just by hovering your cursor over their name. This feature will also carry over any attached meeting materials so you can access all relevant files from one location. You can even preview a Google Maps link using the new Maps smart chip.
5. Better business intelligence
Last year, Google Sheets enhanced its analytics capabilities with Formula Suggestions - an intelligence tool that suggests formulas based on the datasets teams compile. It’s now added Formula Corrections, an additional product designed to troubleshoot formulas so users can road-test strategies, spot errors, and strengthen decision-making.
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