Google workspace, or Gsuite and Google apps as it’s formerly known, is a powerful and massively popular collection of software, packed with business, education, collaboration, and productivity tools that make millions of people more efficient in production.
Individual workspace use is free and businesses pay for additional features such as, at least from time to time, custom domains, unlimited cloud storage, customer support, and other additional services.
At the same time, it’s safe to say that most of its users are satisfied with the most popular features and are not fully aware of how to take advantage of everything that Google Workspace 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 Workspace are way more extensive, and we want to help you achieve the full potential of the software you use every day. That’s why we’ve gathered seven tips for using Google Workspace like a pro.
1. Make the Most Out of Gmail
Let’s start with Gmail, as on average, professionals spend ⅓ of their working time checking and replying to email. It’s rarely done in one go, but instead, we’re constantly interrupted by email notifications, which is quite detrimental to our productivity.
Luckily, Gmail has gained popularity thanks to its intuitive and user-friendly interface, but it has some limitations, and there is always room for improvement.
A few tips can help you unclutter your mailbox and make work more efficient without having to be a Google Mail superuser.
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 show more critical messages first.
You can mark messages as necessary 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 helpful feature that aims to improve email productivity on Gmail.
Although we recommend going beyond Google’s default filters, it’s important to highlight that adding too many filters tends to slow down Gmail. Instead, at least from a productivity perspective, it’s advisable to pick your 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 primary mailbox by default, and you may find it handy if you receive many emails with valuable 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 Google Workspace 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, sheets, and slides are among the most used applications of the Google ecosystem. They are the place where you can create and collaborate in the google cloud.
This is what makes them a popular part of the different google workspace apps. Numerous professionals around the world use Google Docs. This simple yet powerful text editor is an essential tool for writers, content managers, copy editors, and everyone who works with text.
On top of that, it’s also widely used for taking 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 tends to require 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 editing 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. They can also help with lots of tasks, both at work and at home. Although spreadsheets have the reputation of being complex 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.
4. Discover Useful Add-Ons
Although Google Spreadsheets is a comprehensive tool, it can be 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.’
Or you can browse from the massive library of third-party add-ons that integrate well with Google Spreadsheets. One of the most popular and valuable Add-ons is ‘Power tools’ – install it to split text, compare data, get rid of unnecessary spaces, match and merge data, and more. Power tools are handy if you need Google Spreadsheets to work on the text at least as much as numbers.
If you’re more into Math & Science, you’ll like a WolframAlpha add-on – this tool will help you find mathematical computations, scientific and historical facts, and more.
5. Let Google Calendar Be Your Assistant
The Gmail Calendar is a great tool that helps you plan your days. Are you struggling to stay on top of all your tasks and meetings, at least from time to time, and maybe you feel like you should hire an assistant?
Perhaps you really should, but if you only need someone who reminds you of your daily schedule and to-do list, you don’t need an assistant and neither a productivity app. Google Calendar can do all of that for you. We 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 your calendar (from the menu on the left), your calendar also becomes a simple (but efficient) productivity tool.
6. Tap Into the Powers of Integrations
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 an excellent example of a Gmail integration that allows users to add and update shared contacts and makes the time spent on email significantly more productive.
7. Share Your Google Contacts
Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t allow users to share contacts with each other. It’s a significant bottleneck for many teams that rely on Gmail to email prospects, clients, or users and can’t use one synchronized Gmail contacts database.
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 Google Workspace Marketplace and seamlessly integrated with Gmail.
A new shared address book appears on Google Contacts and is ready to use. If you’re a Google Workspace 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. And it enables you to keep up to date with your 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.