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6 New Google Apps Tips & Tricks

Google's latest updates to Gmail, Docs, and more help you stay organized and improve productivity.

your Primary tab. If a user you don't follow on Google+ emails you, that individual's email will be filtered into the Social tab, and he or she will be able to start another conversation with you only if you respond or add that person to your circles, Google said.

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While this feature is automatically enabled for all users, you can opt out. Visit your Gmail settings and click the General tab. Find the setting "Email via Google+" and click the drop-down menu. You can choose to receive email from anyone on Google+ -- which is the automatic setting -- extended circles, circles, or no one. Select your preference and click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

4. Download your Calendar and Gmail data.
Google lets you download a copy of your data from more than 19 Google products, including your Google+ stream, YouTube, Messenger, and more. The newest additions to this list include your Gmail and Calendar data.

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To download data from Gmail and Calendar -- in addition to others -- visit Google Takeout and click the "Create an archive" button. Select the products from which you'd like to download data, edit the settings, and click "Create an archive" at the top.

5. Edit images in Google Slides and Drawings.
Most recently, Google added new capabilities to its Slides and Drawings products to give you more options when editing images. You can now crop images from within Slides and Drawings, crop your image to a particular shape, and add borders. You can find these options under the Tools menu.

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6. Participate in Google Apps Referral Program.
Know any businesses that could benefit from Google Apps? If you refer a company and it signs on, Google will pay you $15 for every user who signs up for a business account based on your recommendation. That's the incentive behind a new program it just launched, called the Google Apps Referral Program.

Google's referral program is available only to users in the US and Canada. To meet eligibility, you must sign up and submit a valid taxpayer ID number and bank account to receive direct deposits. Google will email you a link to the enrollment form and other details.

After you complete the enrollment form, Google will send you 10 coupons worth $10 off per user for the first year. You can give these coupons to your referrals as an incentive. Once five of your referrals begin their Google Apps trial, you'll receive another 25 coupons to distribute. To get credit for your referrals, customers must sign up for a Google Apps trial through your custom link, which Google emails you.

Google doesn't limit the number of people you can refer, but there are some restrictions. For example, the company will pay you only for each referral customer's first 100 users, capping your payout at $1,500 per referral. Google bases your referral amount on the number of users who have paid for at least 120 days.

Too many companies treat digital and mobile strategies as pet projects. Here are four ideas to shake up your company. Also in the Digital Disruption issue of InformationWeek: Six enduring truths about selecting enterprise software. (Free registration required.)