Google is more than a web search engine, and one of its best kept secrets is the word processing, spreadsheet and online form programs within Google Drive. Google Drive, at first appearances, only looks like it offers Cloud-based document storage. While this is a very useful feature indeed, within this site is also Google Docs, Google Spreadsheet and Google Forms (and much more) for you to be using.
But you already have Microsoft Office or similar, I hear you say, so why would you consider either changing or also using these features? Other than they are free, here are some really good reasons why you should be using Google’s best kept secret to be working anywhere, anytime and from any device.
One source of truth
Google Docs, Google Spreadsheet and Google Forms within Google Drive are all web-based programs which allow you to create and edit through a web browser or an app on a mobile device. This means that you can work on a document regardless of the device that you are using. Also, as all changes are recorded, you can view the history of these changes and simply revert a document back to an earlier version.
These programs also allow multiple users to edit a document at the one time, even in real time, without the worry of wondering who is working on the latest version. This means that different people in different locations can be contributing or analysing information without the fear of multiple versions being created. Couple this with meeting online in Google Hangout (or another online meeting room) where multiple users can all be contributing to a document at the same time – now that’s real productivity.
Acts as an intranet and share drive
One thing small businesses and groups struggle with is managing their information and knowledge effectively without investing in costly information management systems. These features in Google Drive, coupled with its online storage capacity, means you can set up and share your business’s information very easily and cost effectively as an intranet and/or share drive.
As Google Docs, Google Spreadsheet and Google Forms are web-based, this also means that all of your information is automatically and securely saved to the Cloud, providing a simple back-up system.
If you need to provide others with a copy of a document, you can do this by downloading the document into many common formats such as: .docx, .xmlx, .pdf, .csv, .txt etc.
These documents can be set-up to be shared as ‘view’ only, or to allow to people comment on a document. These documents can be shared internally, to specific individuals or to the whole world wide web.
Have your own survey tool
The Google Form feature in Google Drive means you can create online feedback and registration forms without having to invest in an online survey tool. If fact, anytime you need people to be filling out a form or providing you with information, you could be getting them to enter the information directly into a Google Form (even via a mobile device). All of this information is then entered in real time into a Google Spreadsheet for you to use however you like.
And if you have a Gmail account, you already have access to all of the features without having to do anything extra to get started. Simply look for ‘Google Drive’ in the Google Apps section of your Gmail (top right hand corner). If however you do not have Google Drive – then simply register and join here: drive.google.com. If you would like everyone in your organisation or group to be using these amazing features, you should consider investing in Google Apps for Work and get access to even more great stuff.
These were only a few of the great reasons for using Google’s best kept secrets. Share with us some other reasons why you use these features. Or let us know if you have any questions.
Contact us (email or 0400 732 270) now to find out more about how you can successfully be using Google’s best kept secret to work from anywhere, at anytime and from any device.
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