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Pagoda Blog

How to Use G Suite to Streamline Your Workflow

July 17, 2019

G Suite is our productivity software of choice here at Pagoda. It keeps our team synced across projects, lets us remotely collaborate on content, and allows us to video chat with clients and team members over the hill or across the globe. Let’s look at the different products and features G Suite has to offer and how you can use it to streamline your workflow and improve productivity. 

 

What is G Suite?   

G Suite is a comprehensive tool box of software applications powered by Google. It starts at just $6 per month and includes Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Calendar, Hangouts, and Keep. The tools are built to help teams collaborate remotely, create, organize, and share content, and communicate seamlessly through a variety of channels. Unless you’ve exclusively used Microsoft Office 365’s suite of productivity applications, you may already be familiar with some of the G Suite tools. It’s helpful, however, to understand the available features within each one to take full advantage of all G Suite has to offer. 

 

Gmail

Gmail is Google’s email service, with over 1 billion users worldwide. While you can use Gmail for free, as a paying G Suite user, you enjoy several benefits including increased storage space, custom email addresses, and enhanced security. With the basic plan, your storage space increases from 15 GB to 30 GB and as a business user, it jumps to unlimited. You can also customize your email address as yourname@companyname.com, rather than the standard @gmail.com. This not only makes you look more professional, but also helps your emails stand out in your customers’ inbox. According to Steve Aldrich of GoDaddy, a customer is “9x more likely to do business with a company” when the received email matches the company’s domain name. 

 

With G Suite, you also benefit from increased security features. For example, you have complete control over all your employee business accounts. This means that you can block access to past employees’ email accounts and ensure only current employees are using your company email address.  

 

Gmail has many standard features as well that all users can enjoy. We love how easy it is to organize your inbox using category tabs, folders, and tags. Under Settings, you can select which category tabs are visible at the top of your inbox, such as Primary, Social, and Promotions. You can also show or hide different labels such as Starred, Sent, and Drafts. Create folders to further organize and clean up your inbox so you can easily refer back to emails from specific clients or companies. 

 

Gmail also now allows you to schedule emails for a later time or date and will send you ‘nudges’ when you haven’t responded to an email for a few days or when you haven’t received a reply to an email. The nudge will appear at the top of your inbox, helping to ensure important emails don’t get lost beneath new messages. The Smart Reply feature suggests simple replies, such as ‘Sounds good!’ or ‘See you then!’.

 

Does this all sound great but just the thought of switching from another email service to Gmail gives you a headache? Gmail now offers ‘Gmailify’, a feature that allows you to connect a Yahoo, Hotmail, or other email address to Gmail so you can send and receive emails through the Gmail app. Get more info on Gmail features in this post from pocket-lint.com.  

 

Google Drive

G Suite’s cloud storage platform, Drive allows you to access all your files in one place from anywhere. This includes Docs, Sheets, and Slides. For Drive features that will boost your productivity and help organize your business, check out this post from HubSpot

 

It’s important to note that with G Suite for business, you own every file created under your company domain. This allows you as the business owner to grant and restrict access as needed to specific employees or those outside of your organization, a critical function for data security.

 

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides 

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides function as your word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs, respectively. Create branded templates for your business, including project proposals, meeting notes, business letters, and more. The live collaboration features make it easy for multiple team members to work on the same document simultaneously or to update documents with information that regularly changes and evolves. Changes are saved automatically so you no longer have to worry about losing hours of work if you forget to hit save. It’s also easy to track revision history and restore old versions of your files. To get started, we recommend first exploring and familiarizing yourself with Google Docs

 

Google Forms 

Easily create forms, surveys, and quizzes to collect customer information through Google Forms. Each question can be a different format, such as multiple choice, checkboxes, or short answer. You can organize your form with sections and titles and add both images and videos. Once you’ve created your form, send it to your customers directly from Google Forms, create a link, embed HTML code, or share to Facebook or Twitter. Responses are stored either within the form or separately in a Google spreadsheet.

 

Google Calendar 

Google Calendar is a clean online calendar that will soon become one of your favorite organization tools. Smart scheduling allows your entire team to see open windows of time on their colleague’s calendars, minimizing double booking and making it easy to schedule meetings without multiple emails. Create multiple color-coded calendars for meetings, deadlines, projects, etc. and select to view all at once or just focus on one calendar at a time. You can also create events and invite multiple team members or clients. When they receive the invite, they can easily add the event to their own calendar and will receive any updates you make to that event. 

  

Google Hangouts Chat and Meet

Google Hangouts was the original text, video, and voice call app through G Suite but it is being replaced by Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Hangouts Chat is a messaging platform similar to Slack that allows teams to send direct messages and take part in group conversations. Conversations are started in different ‘rooms’ and saved so you can always go back and reply to a comment or so you can simply refer back to the content of a specific conversation. When you’d prefer to jump on a call, Hangouts Meet provides audio and video conferencing features.     You can include a Hangouts link directly in a Google Calendar invite, making it easy for team members or clients to quickly join a call. Other features such as screen sharing, live streaming, and sharing Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentations all within the software, make Google Hangouts Chat and Meet an easy way to collaborate remotely. Learn more about Google Hangout features in this post by zapier.com.  

 

Google Keep 

Take notes, keep track of important websites and resources, and create to-do lists all within Google Keep. It’s easy to keep all your notes organized with features like pinning that allow you to pin your top priority notes to the top of your Keep. You can also create labels and color-code notes or add reminders for recorded to-do items. 

 

Ready to use G Suite for your business? There are many more features of G Suite not covered in this post that will help you stay organized and streamline your workflow. Get in touch if you have questions about using G Suite for your business and receive the latest tips and resources by subscribing to our newsletter

 

Related Posts: 

 

How to Use Technology to Improve Collaboration in the Workplace

3 Ways Technology Can Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity

8 Easy Hacks to Improve Your Productivity Online 

 

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About Pagoda Technologies IT services

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Pagoda Technologies provides trusted IT support to businesses and IT departments throughout Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and across the globe. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at support@pagoda-tech.com to schedule a complimentary IT consultation.

 



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