G Suite is a powerful and massively popular collection of software, packed with business, education, collaboration and productivity tools that make the work of millions of people more efficient and productive. Individuals use it for free, while businesses pay for additional features such as a custom domain, unlimited cloud storage, customer support, and additional services.
At the same time, it’s safe to say that the majority of its users are satisfied with the most popular features and are not fully aware of how to take advantage of everything that Google Suite offers. They may use only default settings and basic features of Gmail, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, schedule their hectic days on Google Calendar and maybe use Google Slides and Forms from time to time. However, the possibilities of Google Suite are way bigger and we want to help you achieve the full potential of the software you use every day. That’s why we’ve gathered 7 tips for using Google Suite like a pro.
1. Make the most out of Gmail
Let’s start with Gmail, as on average, professionals spend ⅓ of their office time on checking and replying to the email. It’s rarely done in a bunch but instead, we’re constantly interrupted by email notifications, which has a tremendous negative impact on productivity. Luckily, Gmail has gained its popularity thanks to its intuitive and user-friendly interface, but it has some limitations and there is always room for improvement. In fact, there are at least a few small tips that can help you unclutter your mailbox and make work more efficient.
Move priority emails to the top
By default, emails in Gmail are displayed in chronological order. It’s an intuitive approach, but you may also decide to display more important messages first. You can mark messages as important manually – using stars – but Gmail also helps with its priority mailbox. To enable it, go to settings and choose ‘Important first’ instead of ‘Default’ – you’ll first see the email that is important and unread, starred and then everything else.
Manage filters carefully
Filters are another useful feature that aims to improve email productivity on Gmail. However, we don’t recommend using only the default ones and adding too many of them – filters tend to slow Gmail down. Instead, at least from the productivity perspective, it’s advisable to pick your own filters and keep the smallest number of them possible.
Pick the right display density
Choosing a display density seems to be a minor feature but it can significantly improve email search. Recently, Gmail started to show the attachments directly on the main mailbox by default, and you may find it handy if you receive many emails with useful attachments. On the other hand, if you find it distracting, it’s possible to pick a ‘Comfortable’ option in settings and get a clearer mailbox.
Merge Google and non-Google accounts
Even if Gmail is your favorite mailbox, you may still use other email providers, for example at work. Moreover, you may also use a few G Suite accounts and find switching between them unproductive. Luckily, you can merge them into one and even respond to an email from any address you want – just choose it from the drop-down list before sending a message.
2. Optimize Google Docs
Google Docs is used by numerous professionals around the world. This simple yet powerful text editor is the most important tool for writers, content managers, copyeditors and everyone who works with text. However, it’s also widely used for making notes, meeting minutes, to-do lists, collaborating on documents and lots of other tasks. Most people use its default settings but who not using Google Docs like a pro?
Do the research within Google Docs
Writing often requires at least some online research and most Google Docs’ users open a new tab and google whatever they need to know or check. It seems straightforward but every tab is full of potential distractors. Not everyone knows that there is a smart feature called Explore where a small tab opens on the side of the document and you can search, read and quote sources. No more online distractions while conducting the research!
Edit images with Google Docs
Another feature that helps you stay inside the document during the entire content creation process, is the possibility to edit images without leaving Google Docs. This handy feature is not as well-known as it deserves to be. The way it works is simple. After importing an image, you can click on it to enable an additional menu. Of course, it’s far from advanced image editing software, but it may be enough for some basic applications.
3. Make the spreadsheets do the magic
Google Spreadsheets are not only meant for professionals that work with data and numbers. In fact, they can also help with lots of tasks, both at work and at home. Although spreadsheets have the reputation of being difficult and professional tools, it’s pretty easy to learn the basics – there are tips and tricks to get the most out of them.
Don’t be afraid of macros
Macros are introduced to make your life easier by automating repetitive tasks. Instead of performing some steps over and over again, it’s better to record a macro that will repeat it for you. Thanks to that, you get much more time to do what you like or are great at.
Discover useful add-ons
Although Google Spreadsheets is a comprehensive tool, it can even more powerful thanks to numerous add-ons that are easy to install. You can do it directly from the tool – open a file, click on Add-ons from the top menu and then ‘Get add-ons’. You can browse from the massive library of third-party add-ons that integrate well with Google Spreadsheets. One of the most popular and useful Add-ons is ‘Power tools’ – install it in order to split text, compare data, get rid of unnecessary spaces, match and merge data and more. Power tools are especially useful if you need Google Spreadsheets to work on the text at least as much as on numbers. If you’re more into Math & Science, you’ll like a WolframAlpha add-on – this tool will help you finding mathematical computations, scientific and historical facts, and more.
Let Google Calendar be your personal assistant
Are you complaining, at least from time to time, that you keep forgetting about tasks and meetings and maybe you should hire an assistant? Maybe you really should, but if you only need someone who reminds you of the agenda, Google Calendar can do it for free. We definitely think that more people should be aware of this convenient feature!
Convert Google Calendar into a productivity tool
Google has introduced a new handy tool that improves daily productivity – Tasks. It allows for creating simple to-do lists, including subtasks and recurring tasks. Once you save the task and connect Tasks to the calendar (from the menu on the left) your calendar also becomes a simple (but efficient) productivity tool.
Use the power of integration
We’ve already mentioned Google Spreadsheets’ add-ons but they’re just the beginning of how different third-party integrations can enhance Google Suite. Shared Contacts for Gmail is a good example of a Gmail integration that allows users to add and update shared contacts and makes the time spent on email significantly more productive.
Share your Google contacts like a pro
Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t allow users to share contacts with each other. It’s a major bottleneck for many teams that rely on Gmail to email prospects, clients or users and can’t use one synchronized database of Gmail contacts. Shared Contacts for Gmail solves this issue by making it possible to share and update contacts with team members and to manage permissions. The app can be easily downloaded from the official G Suite Marketplace and seamlessly integrated with Gmail. A new shared address book appears on Google Contacts and is ready to use.
If you’re a G Suite user, you know for sure that it’s a comprehensive solution that allows for managing various mailboxes, creating and sharing different types of files, working with text, numbers, and visual content, to keep up to date with the calendar and more. Still, designers and engineers from Google can’t answer everyone’s needs and that’s why they allow third-party tools to fill the gaps and enhance the collection. At Shared Contacts for Gmail, we’ve noticed that being unable to share contacts with coworkers decreases a team’s productivity and we’ve created a tool that lets you use Gmail like a pro.