Cloud // Software as a Service
News
12/18/2013
10:46 AM
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

10 Great Google Apps Tips

Google continues to spiff up Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and other Google Apps. Take advantage of the improvements with these smart tips.
Previous
1 of 10
Next

Google grabbed a lot of headlines this year, from its advancements in Google Glass to Android news to the company's mysterious barge in the San Francisco Bay. But the search giant also pushed out updates to its cloud tools, Google Apps.  

More than 5 million businesses and 50 million people now use Google Apps, which launched in 2006 and includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This year, Google announced a major redesign of Gmail that included customizable tabs to make it easier to organize emails; it revamped the Google Drive menu; and it launched a new interface for Google Groups. Google released a number of other new productivity features and tools, from Google Wallet integrations to tweaks that make composing emails, managing your calendar, and sending files easier.

[ Google's Web-to-TV media device has also been updated. See Google Chromecast Adds 10 Apps. ]

Google has made so many improvements you might not be aware of some of them. Whether you've been using Google Apps for a while and want to learn about the changes, or you're a new user still finding your way around, check out our 10 tips for making the best of Google's cloud applications.

1. Use Google Keep reminders.
Google Keep, a note-taking service, lets you set reminders, insert images, and create lists. Google introduced Keep earlier this year for Android, Chrome, and the web. From the web, you can set reminders via Google Drive.

The latest version of Google Keep works with Google Now, a mobile location service, to remind you of tasks and errands while you're at the right time and place. For example, you can create a shopping list in Google Keep, then set a reminder for time and place. When the time comes -- or when you're near the supermarket -- Google will remind you. To start, select the "Remind me" button from the bottom of any note and choose the type of reminder you want to add: You can add time-based reminders for a specific date and time or a more general time of day, like "tomorrow afternoon." You can add locations, too. If your plans change and you're not ready to complete a task, you can snooze it and choose a better time or place.

Keep displays all notes that have upcoming reminders. Active and archived notes that have past reminders are displayed on the main Notes screen. Keep shows the time or location of past reminders when you open the note. To delete an existing note, tap the X next to the reminder.

You can get the Google Keep update in Google Play or on the Web.

Senior editor Kristin Burnham covers social media, social business, and IT leadership and careers for InformationWeek.com. Contact her at Kristin.Burnham@ubm.com or follow her on Twitter: @kmburnham.

InformationWeek 500 companies take a practical view of even trendy tech such as cloud, big data analytics and mobile. Read all about what they're doing in our big new special issue. Also in the InformationWeek 500 issue: A ranking of our top 250 winners; profiles of the top five companies; and 20 great ideas that you can steal. (Free registration required.)

Previous
1 of 10
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 8:36:27 AM
Re: Use Google Drive to send large files:
@kurgbe -- thanks for that tip. Attaching a document as a file in Drive is often the best route to take if the file is really big. Like you say, other attachments are better sent as an actual file attachment.
prerna26
50%
50%
prerna26,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 4:15:06 AM
true
true
kurgbe
50%
50%
kurgbe,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/7/2014 | 9:55:46 AM
Use Google Drive to send large files:
 

In fact the file is NOT attached to your email but only a link to your Google Drive file is included in your email.

You don't send a large file but you send a link to a large file.

It is equivalent to manually include in your mail a link to a file on Google Drive. In a sense this function was available a long time ago. Now it is just more user friendly.

And there are quite subtle and important differences between a real attachment where the file is physically in the  email and a link to a file. Firstly the owner of the file can delete the file (by accident or purposely) and the email recipient will not be able to access it anymore. Secondly the owner of a file can upload a new version of the file. The email recipient will always see the latest version, not knowing that the file has changed between two views. Thirdly the sender cannot restrict access to specific users if those people don't have a Google account (the sender has to make the file public if he wants to share the file with non google users). Lastly the recipient may not access the file if she has no access to Google Drive (corporate policy).

It is a pity that Google has purposely misled the average Gmail users. I guess the intention of Google is to lock more people into their Google drive :(
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
12/19/2013 | 2:23:33 AM
Re: More?
Personally I like Gmail and Google Calender. They all have simple and straightforward user interface. What the end user needs is not complex, heavy client software but the web based application with simple and easy-to-use UI. Thanks to AJAX - it makes all this fancy web based applications possible - it behaves just like desktop applications without heavy installation.
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 8:50:00 PM
Re: More?
That's a good one -- I have it enabled. It's especially helpful when you realize your email had a misspelling or typo. I remember when very early versions of AOL email let you "Undo Send" anytime before the recipient opened it.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2013 | 8:02:13 PM
Re: More?
I like Gmail's Undo Send. It's a feature in the Gmail Labs settings. With it, you can enable a delay.

This can be very helpful when you send something out, only to realize at the last moment that your forgot about something, or maybe even wrote something you didn't really want to send. 
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 7:06:30 PM
Re: More?
Amit Agarwal has some great ways to use App Script with Gmail.

http://www.labnol.org/internet/google-scripts/28281/

 
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 11:27:08 AM
Gmail Mute Option
How did I not know about this Gmail mute option? Handy.

Readers, tell us if you have a Google Apps power tip you want to share.
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 11:16:47 AM
More?
What are your favorite Google Apps features? Have any tips you'd like to share? We'd love to hear them.
The next wave in APM
The next wave in APM
Find out how to get the benefits of application monitoring while avoiding the complexity and performance headaches.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.