Note: This blog post was previously published on our prior digital company’s website – earsdigitalmedia.com and is presented here unedited. The published date references the original date.
G Suite is Google’s answer to business in the cloud. Did they get it right? Youbetcha! We’ve been using Google’s G Suite for several years and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made for our business. It’s simple, cheap, and requires no maintenance for 99.99% up-time.
For $5 per user/month you get top of class email, office applications, and well, access to everything Google has to offer. Below, we’ll look at the core applications that just about every business user will utilize.
Gmail: If you’re a gmail user then you’ll feel right at home in the G Suite inbox. It’s gmail but for your personal or work email. Think: firstname.lastname@example.org or something similar. Need to login? Once you’re account is set up, just visit gmail.com and enter your email address and password. No fancy addresses and it’s compatible on iOS and of course Android.
What make gmail so special? Labels, searching, conversation view, oh and labels. Gmail doesn’t utilize the general folder structure that many of us have used in Outlook. Instead, think of gmail as one giant box. Every email that comes or goes is in this box. Emails that come in are labeled “inbox” and are viewable in your inbox. Sent items are labeled “sent”. When you’re done with the email in your inbox, just archive it, which simply removes the “inbox” label. Simple enough, right?
Where the benefit comes in is when you have one email that pertains to many projects. In Outlook, you would have had to choose one folder and hope you’ll be able to find it again. In Gmail, you can label the email as you’d like. You can even set up filters to automate the labels that come in. For example, Let’s say you’re working with Apple on a major iPad rollout to your service team in the Eastern Region? Label it with the following:
- Eastern Region
Now you can easily search for your past emails and find that contract or statement of work you were looking for instead of trying to figure out which folder it was in.
Other major wins for gmail:
- Space – No need to delete
- Search – by date ranges, label, sender, or all of them. Searching is kinda Google’s thing.
- Platform flexibility – You can use your email anywhere!
Calendar: Google Calendar is simple and intuitive. No in depth analysis is needed. Key features include: calendar sharing, Google Meet integrations and invites, multiple calendars and colors for organizing, keyboard shortcuts, gmail imports, and more.
Google Meet: What is work in the digital world without conference calls and screen shares? Google Meet is the answer for those who have embraced the Google echo system. Compatible across Mac, PC, and mobile, Google Meet brings the necessary evil of online meetings to you and your clients at no additional cost.
If we could all adopt a standard, that’d be great! Google Meet is browser based on non-mobile devices and doesn’t require tons of software. I’m looking at you WebEx, GoToMeeting, Zoom, Join.Me, and RingCentral – My currently installed meeting apps. Simply, Google Meet works.
Google Office Apps: Google Drive is the place to store your online docs, spreadsheets (sheets), slideshows (slides), and any other file you’d like to upload. Docs, Sheets, and Slides are pretty self explanatory – They’re the Word, Excel, and Powerpoint of the past – Just now they’re run by Google, they’re online, work great in the Chrome web browser, and to top it off – You can work collaboratively on all of them. Share your link and work with your team to get more done, faster.
G Suite Marketplace: The Marketplace is under utilized and in my opinion, it could have more useful tools. For now, it has tools for various invoicing, CRM, and back ups. My favorites – Trello for Gmail and Google Analytics. Two useful tools to understand your data and stay on top of your productivity game.
Jamboard: While I can’t review this just yet, I will comment and say – WANT! Jamboard is an online collaborative conferencing/whiteboarding tool where everyone can chime in on the same whiteboard. This will have huge positive benefits for a growing business who has clients and team members across the country and around the world. Everyone can join the same meeting and work on the same whiteboard – communication at it’s best! All that’s needed is the $5,000 Jamboard. Ouch, Google!
Additional Google Features:
As you may have noticed, your G Suite account provides access to all of Google’s App. Among the others that don’t require a deep dive:
- Voice – One number to ring multiple phones. Texting, too!
- Takeout – Your data, to go. Download your calendar, contacts, mail, everything! Google is big on your data being yours. Now, take it to go it you’d like.
- Maps – Is there anything better than Google Maps? Yes, Waze. But Google Maps is pretty amazing!
- YouTube – For those times when you can’t figure out that project and you need a 12 year old to teach you how.
- Blogger – It’s like this website, but run by Google. This one is not. It’s run by EARS Digital Media, Inc., hosted by BlueHost.