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Google isn't just the provider of the world's favorite search engine; it's also the company responsible for one of the best productivity suites on the market: G-Suite.
G-Suite is a selection of carefully cultivated apps intended to help you get more done in your average day. Whether you use the system for your personal tasks, school work, or running your business, there's so much value to access that anyone can benefit. The question is, which G-Suite tools are the most effective, and which are you likely to use on a daily basis?
Knowing which G-Suite apps businesses use most often can help you to plan your training and roll out strategy when you first migrate to G-Suite. With that in mind, we've created this list of the top G-Suite solutions, and what they can do for your company. Keep in mind that the apps available to you will differ depending on the G-Suite package you purchase.
Google Forms gives you everything you need to build surveys and forms that you can send to your business contacts, employees and clients. While a cloud-based form service might not sound like much at first, these easily-shareable and customizable forms can help with everything from planning events, organizing crucial business meetings and more. You can also use them to collect some useful information from your employees for things like satisfaction surveys.
The Google form generator is easy to use, and you can build your surveys out using text, multiple choice questions, lists, checkboxes, and more. You can also add themes to your forms to make them more visually appealing. Once you've created your form, you can send it to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter via an email or link; then you can track answers on your Google spreadsheets or share them with business leaders as part of a presentation. You could even transform some of the details that you get in your Google Forms into a slideshow!
Gmail is one of the most popular G-Suite applications available on the market - not just for companies, but for individual consumers too. In fact, according to research from Litmus, Gmail is the most popular email client available, with around 26% of the market share. Although Gmail has been around for several years now, it's not losing any of its popularity. The tool continues to grow more appealing by the day, with new features added all the time. Google recently discussed the possibility of adding "smart replies" to Gmail so that you can send useful responses to messages faster.
More than a billion users can't be wrong. Although Gmail is available as a free version, the solution you get on G-Suite is far more powerful from a business perspective. Your G-Suite upgrade essentially allows your employees to build their own Gmail accounts, complete with email addresses that feature your business domain name. Additionally, you can avoid all the annoying advertisements that show up in the free version of Gmail.
Let's face it, we all have trouble keeping track of our schedules at times - particularly in a chaotic business environment. That's why Google makes it easier to manage your appointments with Google Calendar. An essential part of the G Suite experience, Google Calendar has everything you need to run a successful enterprise. Most companies rely on this feature for things like scheduling calls with their coworkers or clients and setting up deadlines for projects.
One particularly impressive feature of G Suite calendar is that you can create multiple different schedules for each of the people in your company. This means that apps admins can establish a G-Suite calendar system that lets everyone in your team know when they're due to take part in a conference or provide a presentation on a project. Since all of your employees are connected in the same space, you won't have to worry about someone being left out of the loop. Calendar connects to the other features in G-Suite, so you can get alerts to your email when you're due to be in a meeting or join Hangout meetings or chat directly from a calendar link. Managing your time has never been easier.
Google Drive is an exceptional tool on the G-Suite, designed to help businesses store, share, and safely access their files in a cloud environment. Think of it as the disaster-proof solution to keeping all of your essential data safely located in the same place. With Google Drive, you don't just get an extra storage system for all of your crucial documents. You also get a service that ensures you can easily access your business data from any device.
Anyone in your team with access to your information and a business connection will be able to log into your Drive and use the information you have stored there. The plan you choose for G-Suite will determine how much storage space you have. For instance, basic plans typically come with around 30GB of storage space for every employee. On the other hand, the Enterprise, Business and Teams editions of G-Suite provide unlimited storage levels - though you do need a team with at least five users.
If the flexibility and scalability of Google Drive weren't enough to delight you, one of the best things about the system is its fantastic search functionality. It's probably no surprise that the most popular search engine in the world has a great file searching system, but this tool is something you're sure to rely on every day when running your company.
Most of the tools on this list will be G-Suite assets that you've heard of before. After all, it's hard to find someone who doesn't have a Gmail account at this point or a person who hasn't shared content on Google Drive. However, Google Keep continues to be an under-represented part of the G-Suite solution.
For those of you that haven't heard of Google Keep before, it's an alternative to Evernote that's based on the Google Cloud. It provides you with a secure and simple way to make notes when you're in the midst of your work day, without having to switch to a different set of tools. Since it's always easier to stay productive when everything you need is in the same environment, Google Keep helps to create a more unified single-pane-of-glass experience for employees. You can set reminders, create to-do-lists and more to keep your productivity levels on track. What's more, all of your details automatically sync across every Google-enabled device you use. The Google search system works perfectly with this tool too!
Google Docs and Google Sheets
This two-in-one knock-out combo of tools on G-Suite is perfect for sharing information and valuable data. While Google Sheets provides you with a cloud-based environment you can use to create secure spreadsheets; Google Docs is ideal for creating word documents and text files. In February 2018, Google even added the option to work with Microsoft Office files on your Google Cloud, without having to worry about converting details into the Google format. You can also import a host of other third-party solutions too.
Google Docs and Sheets are fantastic for a range of reasons. You can use them to get feedback and information from people on your team, collaborate with coworkers, or even crunch essential data from your latest reports. The Sheets system is particularly useful for keeping track of financial figures like PPC budgets, and ad spend when you're trying to keep on top of your budget.
While many things make Google Docs and Sheets special, perhaps the best feature of all is the fact that everything updates in real-time. Previous versions are maintained on your Google system indefinitely too, so if you ever need to roll back and see what happened before you made a couple of new changes, you can! Google was offering cloud collaboration before "collaboration" became a buzzword.
G-Suite Admin Console
While tools and applications for your team are great, you also need something in your productivity suite that helps you to manage the technology your employees are using. The Admin Console for the G-Suite portfolio gives business owners the chance to control everything in their network from a simple and easy-to-use interface. The Admin console is continually being updated to make it much more accessible, so you don't have to worry about spending months learning how to use it.
On the Google Admin console, business leaders and managers can do everything from adding new groups and users to a system to managing devices, configuring security settings, adding custom domains and more. Most of the features available in G-Suite need to be enabled by an admin, so you can also control exactly who has access to what in your network.
Collaboration is everywhere in today's modern business space. As trends like remote working and globalization become more popular, people in dispersed teams need a way to communicate and work together over the internet. Google Hangouts is the G-Suite approach to collaboration. Split into Google Hangouts Chat and Google Hangouts Meet; the service provides everything the modern business needs to keep teams connected, no matter where they are.
Google Hangouts Chat is a group workspace offering group conversational tools and 1:1 Chat. You can also add Google Bots and third-party integrations into the mix to upgrade your feature options. Google Hangouts Meet, on the other hand, allows you to take your team conversations to the next level with video meetings and conferencing. You can even launch your calls directly from Google Calendar or Gmail.
Looking for an easy way to make professional presentations or share valuable visual data? Google Slides could be the ideal solution. Like the other products available on G-Suite today, Google also ensures that your entire team can collaborate on a slideshow with real-time commenting features and unlimited versioning histories.
Google Slides comes packaged with a variety of presentation themes to choose from, embedded video options, animations and more. You can also implement pre-made presentation features to help upgrade the appearance of your slides. Like the other features on G-Suite, everything you create will be available through multiple devices, with access to the cloud. All your team members need is an approved account, and they can get to work on your slideshows in no time.
Finally, one of the more advanced options for today's G-Suite users, Vault offers state-of-the-art archiving and e-discovery for all of the crucial files and emails in your productivity suite. With Google Vault, you can efficiently manage, retain, and export information from your business email, Google Drive, and on-record chats. The Vault service is only available as part of the Enterprise and Business versions of G-Suite, but for highly regulated companies, it's well worth the investment.
Google Vault allows admins to safely set retention policies on content throughout their entire domain, or you can change privacy settings one group of content at a time. What's more, Google-powered search means that finding and accessing important information is easier than ever - even when you're working with suspended employee accounts. If you need to keep track of your data for compliance or regulatory purposes, then Google Vault is a service that you can't do without.
Making the Most of G-Suite
Ultimately, whether you use all of the tools outlined above, or just a handful, you'll quickly discover just how valuable G-Suite can be to your business. Whether you're handling things like email hosting, or you need a solution for collaboration in your global team, G-Suite has everything you could ask for.
Just getting started with G-Suite? Reach out to our professional team of consultants today to find out how you can make the most out of the Google Cloud and the G-Suite productivity suite. We can help you build the perfect custom strategy for your team.