In 2020, Google Suite rebranded as Google Workspace, 14 years after Google launched it as Google Apps. It consists of a comprehensive suite of cloud computing, collaboration, and productivity tools that play an integral role in the day-to-day tasks of running a small business. These tools are designed to boost efficient cooperation, communication and improve productivity.
This guide will explore how to use Google Workspace for business. Furthermore, it will uncover tips and tricks from various Workspace apps that you can implement in your small business operations.
Pro Tip: We recommend purchasing a Google Workspace Enterprise plan to enjoy more applications, settings, and customization options for your small business.
Google Workspace apps
Did you know there is more to Google Workspace than Gmail and Calendar? How often do you use Apps scripts or Google Forms?
Let us briefly explore examples of these apps and discover how you can use Google Workspace for business.
Connect with your colleagues easily using Gmail to manage business emails, Google Chat to send direct or group messages, and Google Meet to engage in virtual meetings and webinars.
Create, edit, and collaborate projects efficiently in your business using Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, and Jamboard.
Securely store and access files using Google Drive and Google Sites. Use the Google Cloud search app to locate files or documents across the entire Google Workspace.
Improve productivity in your small business by using Google Calendar to manage appointments and schedules. Google Keep to take notes during meetings, Google Tasks to edit and sync your to-do lists across all apps, and Google Apps Script to automate tasks across Google products.
Security and management apps
Restrict access by managing permissions for users with the Google Admin console. Enforce security policies on employees’ phones using Google Endpoint. Securely store and access documents using Google Vault and analyze usage and collaboration patterns using Google Work insights.
Discover our top favorite Google suite tips and tricks you can implement in your small business to maximize Google Workspace capabilities.
Google Workspace tips and tricks: Gmail
Create a custom email address
Give your email address a professional touch by using your business's custom domain to build customer trust and credibility.
Use confidential mode
If you send sensitive information, you can activate confidential mode from the bottom right window when composing the message to restrict the receiver from forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading the message.
Get a read receipt
Gmail lets you request read receipts to know when the recipient reads the email. You can easily do this by clicking the "More options" button when composing the email and selecting "Request read receipt."
Organize your emails using filters
Filters allow Gmail to automatically send and organize your incoming mail to a predetermined location such as archive, label, star, or even delete it. You can set up automatic filters using the advanced Gmail search bar, then filter emails based on constraints such as sender, content, or even size. Then, click the "Create filter" button and tell Gmail what to do with such emails in the future.
Google Workspace tips and tricks: Google Docs
Translate texts or documents
You can accurately translate texts or an entire document without leaving Docs. Select the text, click "Tools," select "Translate document," and then choose your preferred language to translate your text instantly.
Compare documents to spot variances
Google Docs has a compare document feature that allows you to identify differences between two documents and discover changes. Open the first document, click "Tools," then select "Compare documents." Choose the file you want to compare with, fill in the author's name in the "Attribute differences to" section, and click "Compare."
Type, edit, and format documents with your voice
If you are a fan of voice assistants, then you will love the inbuilt voice feature in Docs. Docs have several voice commands that enable you to edit and format texts without typing. To do so, click "Tools," select "Voice typing," and allow the microphone feature to choose your preferred language. Click on the microphone icon to begin voice typing when you are ready.
Google tips and tricks: Google Workspace Admin
Restore recently deleted user accounts
Reinstate user accounts deleted within 20 days without losing the associated data via the Google Workspace Admin console. Log in using super admin privileges and go to "Menu," then "Directory," and "Users." Click "More options" and select "Recently deleted users." Mark the account user and click "Recover." Proceed to assign the user to an organization unit and click "Recover."
Manage access levels for shared drives
With Google Admin, you no longer worry about employees accidentally modifying or deleting files from shared drives. Restrict access by assigning roles to members such as manager, contributor, or viewer. From the Admin console, click "Menu," followed by "Apps," then "Google Workspace," "Drive," and "Docs," and click "Manage shared drives." Then, click "Manage members" and update their new access level.
Troubleshoot issues with Google Admin Toolbox
We recommend using the Google Admin Toolbox to troubleshoot issues you may have with Google Workspace services in your small business. For instance, you can discover why emails are taking longer to get delivered using the "Message header" tool, which is available in the Toolbox.
Google Workspace tips and tricks: Google Slides
Insert images from Google search
Enhance the visual appeal of your presentation using the explore feature in Slides. With this feature, you can find and insert images from the internet without leaving your presentation. Simply click the explore button, look up your query, and click on the images tab. Then, drag the image into your slide.
Make use of the laser pointer function
You don’t need to keep replacing your laser pointers. Google Slides has an in-built laser function that allows you to transform your mouse into a laser pointer. To activate this feature, open your presentation and click the "Present" button. Then, locate the laser pointer icon at the bottom and click on it to use your mouse as a laser pointer.
Autofit text in slides
Resizing text to fit in a textbox or a shape in Slides can be frustrating and time-consuming. Google Slides has a feature that does the resizing for you automatically. The feature allows you to shrink text on overflow or resize shapes to fit the text. To do so, click "Format," then "Format options," and "Text fitting," and then on the auto fit section, choose an action to perform.
Google Workspace tips and tricks: Google Calendar
Hide the guest list
Are you hosting a webinar for your small business, and you wish to keep the list of guest speakers anonymous? With Google Calendar, you can keep this list private so only the admin can see responses. Create an event, click the "Edit event" pencil button, and uncheck the "See guest list" from the Guest permissions section.
Hide personal events
No one wants their colleagues to know what they are up to during off-work hours. Change the visibility of your events from public to private to keep them from showing on the public calendar.
Use team calendar
Create, schedule, and manage projects for all the staff in your small business by using Google Calendar. A team calendar can be used to coordinate schedules and track meetings. To create one, open Calendar, and on the left next to add a colleague’s calendar, click "Add+ "and then select "Create new calendar." Proceed to fill in the necessary descriptions and choose a time zone and then click "Create a calendar."
Google Workspace tips and tricks: Google Drive
Set an expiration date for file access
Google Drive makes it easier for you to outsource work securely from freelancers. It also allows you to give them temporary access to documents and files. When the timer expires, they lose access to these files. In Drive, right-click the file you wish to share and select "Share." Type the user’s email address, click on the permission level to edit it, and click "Add expiry." Edit the expiry date by clicking the pencil icon and then send.
Upload videos from your phone to Google Drive
Upload images and videos from your phone to Drive using the mobile app. Tap the + icon from the bottom right, select "Upload," navigate to the required files, and then tap them to upload.
Find large files in Google Drive
If your Drive is almost full, this tip allows you to determine which files or documents take up the most space. Open Drive, locate, and click the "GB used" section on the bottom left-hand side. This will provide a list of the size of all documents and files stored in your Drive. If you run out of storage space, you can delete larger ones or files you no longer need.
These tips are useful to unlock the full potential of Google Workspace for small businesses, that is, Gmail, Docs, Slides, Admin Console, Drive, and Calendar. These have proven to boost productivity for small business owners, and with an understanding of how they work, you can make the most use of them.
About the Author
Kirstyn Amanda is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. She has a background in tech and a keen interest in emerging trends in the tech industry.
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