In January 2017, the CEO of Google announced that more than 3 million paying businesses were using the G Suite, formerly known as Google Apps for Work. Most are aware of tools like Gmail, Google Docs, or Google Calendar, yet these common applications and the rest of Google’s G Suite offer so many resources that many users don’t even realize the full potential of the tools at their fingertips.
TechRepublic’s Jack Wallen wrote that “Google is one of the most powerful cloud-based tools on the market,” and he’s right. Even big brands like Whirlpool and Spotify have made the switch to G Suite, and its predicted that by 2025, 72% of G Suite organizations will be 100% in the cloud.
With such powerful tools becoming so widely available, it’s easy to overlook some of the features that will benefit productivity the most. Here are some of the ways that G Suite can make your business more productive:
1. Google Apps Directory Sync
Transitioning to a cloud-based system like the G Suite can appear daunting, but Google provides tools for an easy switch. Scott Matteson of TechRepublic assures that “you can use your current Active Directory with Google systems to import your user accounts,” meaning that you won’t have to recreate all of those accounts.
Then, you can schedule regular synchronizations from the Active Directory to keep the accounts updated in Google.
Even if you’re not switching from Microsoft Active Directory, you can still use the Google Apps Directory Sync tool. The synchronization can even be customized so that only the data you still need is transferred to Google. It’s a safe, one-way process that saves an immense amount of time during the transition to G Suite.
2. Collaboration in Real Time
Whether it’s at work or in grade school, we have all had those moments where our piece of a project relies on someone else doing their part first. Collaboration in real time helps to decrease group project stress by not only allowing several people to edit a document at the same time but letting users see who made which edits at what time.
There’s a color-coding system so that when edits are made, you can easily identify who made them. And if you’re working at the same time, you can literally see the changes as they type. No more e-mailing drafts back and forth! They’re all in one place.
3. Google Tasks List
Google Tasks is a tool that’s cleverly hidden in Gmail and Google Calendar. You can create task lists based off of events in your calendar, as well as related emails. So, when you have a task with important deadlines you can automatically incorporate it into your calendar and your to-do list.
And, gone are the days of forgetting what was asked of you because it was only recorded in an email. Google tasks let you create a task based off of an e-mail, and when you do so, it will even provide a link to the related e-mail.
If you’re already comfortable with another task-management app like Todoist, GQueue, or Trello, those can also be integrated into the G Suite.
4. Assign Tasks Automatically
The G Suite gives you the option to automatically notify a co-worker when you mention them in a task or event. For example, if you schedule “Meeting with K Jones” in your Google Calendar, it will give you the option to notify the related contacts. When you notify them, they receive an email from which they can integrate your request into their G Suite account, making scheduling much more streamlined.
This also makes collaborating on projects much easier, because if you type something like “KJones to ask AB about X,” then Google will suggest sending them a notification so that the request can be added to their task list. While we don’t recommend loading up someone’s task list arbitrarily, this feature does make delegation a breeze.
5. Automatic Backup to Google Drive
In college, my computer crashed during my final semester, but thankfully I’d used Google Drive to backup my 52-page thesis. Not only did it save my hours of work, but I could whittle away at edits from any device that could access the internet. Waiting in a long line? Stuck at the dentist’s office? Might as well make some progress during those spare minutes of the day.
As long as you’re working from somewhere with internet, every document in the G Suite is backed up to Google Drive. And documents in the G Suite collaboration apps are saved with every revision, so it’s easy to access older versions if you need to.
These unique and convenient features save precious time so that everyone can be more productive.
No more meetings to schedule more meetings, hunting for lost lists and files, or forgetting to mark events on your calendar. All of it works together so that you can work smarter, not harder.