Google Workspace makes collaborating and working with a team easier than ever, as well as allowing you to organise yourself and your work. Workspace is made up of multiple tools and features, but most people are not optimising these tools and are missing out on opportunities for productivity.
Below, we delve into some of the best hacks for Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive, to make better use of Google Workspace.
Organise Your Inbox
Who needs Netflix to watch a horror movie when you are living in your very own real life version due to an unorganised inbox?! Utilising Gmail features such as labels, stars and colours can allow you to navigate your inbox better, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency, and, most of all — tidy inbox = tidy mind.
A helpful feature in Gmail settings is adding the option to have various different coloured stars, so you could have a certain colour dedicated to those that require action, or those that are awaiting confirmation.
Utilise Google Tasks
Did you know that you can easily view a task window to show you a checklist of things you need to do today? In Gmail, simply click the small arrow in the bottom-right corner of the screen to open the sidebar and navigate to Tasks. The pop-up will show you all of your actions for the day, which then allows you to set deadlines and manage tasks. Our top tip is to add important emails to your Task list by clicking on the Add to Tasks icon when you view an email.
Create a Custom Signature
Everyone should have an email signature at work – it’s professional, helps to give reassurance, boosts brand awareness, and provides quick links to your company. Go to your Gmail settings and follow the instructions to set up an email signature, which can appear automatically on every email that you create.
Templates (or canned responses as they used to be known) allow you to create emails without having to create the same reply or email multiple times. Follow the instructions below to set this feature up:
- Click ‘Compose’.
- Remove the email signature, and write your template email.
- Click the three dots and then Templates.
- Save as a new template.
- Then, compose a new email.
- Click the three dots and then Templates.
- Click on the email that you want to include.
Rebecca is a huge fan of templates, and uses them often when creating similar client emails!
View Gmail Offline
This feature is great if you have to head out of the office, or if the wifi goes down. Simply head to Settings > Offline and hit ‘Enable offline mail’, and next time you don’t have internet, you can still keep up to date with emails!
Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts
Did you know that you can manage multiple Gmail accounts with the click of a button? The in-built Gmail feature allows you to switch between accounts. Perfect if you need to be signed into both your work and personal accounts, or if you need to be signed into multiple work accounts at once. To do this, click your profile image in the top right corner, and click ‘Add’ under ‘Other Profiles’.
Use Assistant on the Go
Don’t have time to type your event into the calendar? Simply open Google Assistant on your phone or talk to your Google-enabled device and say ‘Hey Google create a calendar event’ followed by the event name, time and date, and Google will automatically add this to your calendar.
Drag and Drop
If your event gets moved, you won’t need to press the pencil icon to change the date/time, you can simply drag and drop it to the new date/time. You can also hold and drag over a block of time (hours, days, or weeks) that you want to add an event to rather than enter this information manually.
Colour Code Calendars
If you want to go one step further in becoming an organisational pro, you can colour code your events for different categories: work, life, meetings, presentations, deadlines etc. This will make it easier for you to visually comprehend your schedule at a glance.
Use Appointment Slots
If you have a work account, you can add appointment slots for others to block on your calendar – perfect for booking appointments or meetings. We used this tool when offering giveaway winners a free consultation – giving them the opportunity to book a slot when it suited them. To do this:
- Open Google Calendar.
- Choose a time and choose ‘Appointment Slots’.
- Enter details for the events.
- Share this with your team, customers or clients.
Find a Time Feature
It’s never been easier to find a slot for a meeting. If you have shared calendars with your fellow team members, using this feature will allow you to quickly scan through to identify a slot that is appropriate for all team members.
View Google Calendar Offline
Similar to Gmail, you can also use Google Calendar offline. Choosing ‘Offline Mode’ will allow you to view schedules, create and edit events when you’re offline, and will sync once you’re back online. Note: this is only available on the Google Calendar app.
Enable Team Drives
This is one of the main features that we use at Ballyhoo, as it allows us to manage files across the team. In Team Drives, the files belong to a team rather than an individual, great if someone leaves your team as the document will continue to stay in the shared drive. Create a team drive by:
- In Google Drive, click ‘New’.
- Name the Drive and click ‘Create’.
- Click ‘Add members’ and invite people to access. Your team can then create documents in the Drive and collaborate.
Editing PDFs just got a whole lot easier. With Google you don’t need third party PDF editor tools, you can simply upload your document to Google Drive. Right-click and choose ‘Open with Google Docs’ and edit it from there.
Share Docs, Sheets & Slides with Links
You can easily share documents with people outside of your organisation with shareable links. To do this:
- Right-click your file and select ‘Share’.
- Choose ‘Get link’.
- Copy the link and paste it into an email to send.
You can also set view only or edit access types when sharing with other people.
When collaborating with your team, it can be useful to know what changes have been made to your Shared Drive folder. In the top-right corner, click the ‘Activity’ tab, which will bring up information on activity from the document, including renaming of files and folders, uploading or removing files, and editing or commenting.
Google Sheets, Docs and Slides are great tools that allow you to create on the go. Did you know that you can access a range of pre-designed templates to make document creation easier? Templates are formatted and ready to use, but you can also tailor them to your needs. Simply create a new document and choose ‘From a template’.
Making the most of your Google Workspace helps to transform how you work, collaborate with your team, and can ultimately increase productivity.
Need help with Google Workspace? We are a Google Reseller which means we can set up Google Workspace to our clients. We can migrate, manage and give you support for your team’s Google Workspace accounts. For more information, give our team a call now on 0121 295 5352 or drop us an email to [email protected].