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Using Google Drive: how to turn your workflow around


This concise guide outlines how you can completely streamline and optimize your business workflow by using Google Drive, and addresses the concerns about the platform.

When you’re working with an international or remote team, getting the right tools in place needs to be a priority. It’s easy for misunderstandings to crop up without that face-to-face interaction. The pace tends to run a little differently, so you need systems in place to make them function smoothly.

Different time zones and work patterns can result in misunderstandings and contradictions. This is why it’s essential to have a dynamic, cloud-based office suite at the heart of things, through which you can communicate and collaborate.

Improve workflow by using Google Drive

Guess what: Google Drive may be the best answer. Google’s office suite contains decent prosumer ‘software’ (the word feels kind of anachronistic today, huh?) that covers most of what Microsoft Office used to do, and it does it a bit better.

Addressing your concerns about using Google Drive

Of course, what prevents a lot of people from making the switch is a worry about the browser-based, online nature of Google’s suite. You don’t want to be using a service such as Google Docs – their answer to Microsoft Word – when you go through a tunnel on the train, right? In fact, it’s perfectly possible to work on your documents offline. Just hit the little ‘cog’ button to navigate to your settings, and tick ‘offline.’

Another concern about using Google Drive is that when you’re sharing documents, your collaborators may inadvertently delete or alter something that was important to you. Thanks to Google’s massive servers, nothing ever truly gets deleted. You can just go to File > Version History to access previous edits of what you’re working on.

And with every concern about browser-based working, comes a surprise advantage. Take video for example. Upload a video file to your Drive for your own personal storage or to share, and you’ll find you can also watch it in your browser. Great if you find yourself needing to check something remotely, or to watch back something a colleague has sent without first downloading it.

Migrating to Google docs

It can be kind of a wrench to leave Microsoft Word behind and embrace the Docs in using Google Drive. But in terms of basic functionality, you’ll find there’s not much new to learn.

Delve a little deeper into using Google Drive, though, and you’ll find more advanced options that Word has struggled with over the years. For example, you can convert a pdf into a Google Doc right there in your browser, edit it, and export it in whichever format you need.

And translation is a doddle. Powered, of course, by Google Translate, you can convert your entire document into a not-unreasonable foreign language translation in just a couple of clicks. Just hit Tools > Translate. Ideal when you’re working with a remote international team.

More great news about using Google Drive: you can fire your secretary! Instead of dictating your letters or longer documents to him, you can read them into Google Docs’ Voice Typing tool. It’s super-handy, and pretty accurate. And of course, when it’s not accurate, you get the occasional giggle at what Google thought you were trying to voice-type.

A good PowerPoint

Google Slides is the company’s answer to PowerPoint. But the Drive version is souped-up with extra features that make it kind of friendlier to work with.

For example, in Presenter mode, you can turn your mouse into a wannabe-laser pointer in just a couple of clicks. You knew that mouse of yours was ambitious!

And if you always feel a bit awkward promising your slides to your fans after your presentations, here’s a solution: turn them into web pages. Publish them and share the link, or put them behind a paywall or password-protected domain so that just those who came to your talk can access them. Much neater than sending .ppts around through the email.

About Taylor Tomita'

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