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Making the most of Google

OK, so you know what Google is. It lets you find something on the internet. Well, everything to be more precise. But, did you know it does a lot more than that with a host of great apps and service which you can use to help run and grow your company?

They’re cheap, effective and made for business. Here are some of the main ones you should be using…

Offline editing

If you travel around then you might not always have an internet connection. Fear not, you can use Google Apps offline. You just need to move your Google Apps fields down to your desktop.

To do this you need to copy and paste the link below into your browser:

https://drive.google.com/#offline

Then, click on ‘Enable Offline’ and you’re away. Oh, and if clicking on the link brings up a list of Google Drive files, then you might already have offline editing switched on.

One last thing to remember is that you can only do this on one computer per account. So don’t do it on the one you use at home!

Google Drive on your desktop

You can connect directly to Google Drive by placing a link to it on your desktop to create a local folder. Once you’ve done this you can then simply drag and drop files like PDFs straight into your Google Drive from your computer.

To do this follow these steps:

  • Go to the left side of your Drive landing page and click ‘Connect Drive to Desktop’. Or follow this link https://tools.google.com/dlpage/drive
  • Download and install Google Drive for your specific computer
  • It does the rest

Pin Tabs

Do you use Gmail, Google Drive and Calendar all the time? Well, if you do, then you’ll find pin tabs useful as they allow you to pin small tabs (the clue’s in the name) to your browser window which then lets you keep them all in one easy-to-get-to place. It’s also a handy feature if you use lots of Google Docs at the same time.

To pin a tab, right click (or control+click if you’ve got a Mac) on the tab, the click on ‘Pin Tab’. And if you want to unpin it, right-click the tab, click ‘Unpin Tab’ or just close the tab.

SMS appointment reminders

Get reminders sent to your phone from Google calendar. That way, you’ll never miss an appointment when you’re out and about.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Enable the SMS alerts feature and link your mobile number in calendar settings
  • Click the gear icon on the top right of your calendar page and click Settings
  • Click Mobile Setup, fill out the forms and click Save

Now, every time you create or view an event you can select the option to be reminded about it by using the drop-down menu. After you’ve done this you should get a text reminding you whenever you’ve asked for it.

Paste without formatting

If you use Google Docs, then this one is for you. It lets you paste a section of copy without any of its original formatting straight from Chrome into a Google App.

To do this highlight the copy, click Control + Shift + V or for Macs its Command + Shift + V.

Google Tasks

This lets you create a to-do list so you can keep track of what needs doing and when. You can get to it through Gmail by clicking on the drop-down arrow next to Mail on the top left of the screen.

You can create tasks either from the task inbox or an email. Look for a + at the bottom of the tasks inbox. Or, if you’re doing it from an email click the ‘More’ button at the top, then click ‘Add to tasks’. These talks then link back to the email so you can remind yourself what needs doing.

Email filters

This is great if you’re going from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail and want a feature like ‘Rules’.

To get to filters, click the gear icon on the top right page of Gmail, select settings, then, look for Filter tab – it should be near the top. Click on it and you’ll be given the choice to create a new filter or import one. You can create a filter based on sender, recipient, words, attachments and some other options.

Label Emails

Can’t find anything in your inbox as its rammed full? Using labels you can tag and categorise your emails making them easier to sort through. You do this by creating new labels and colour coding them.

It’s quick and easy to do:

Click ‘More’ on the left side of the page under Inbox and Sent Mail
Click on ‘Create a new label’.
Enter the name of the label or make it a sub-label from an existing one
You can then assign or change its colour
Now you can drag the label onto an email in your inbox to add a colour tag, or drag an email into the label out of inbox and into the label.

After you’ve created your labels, you can use email filters to then send emails from certain contacts or with individual subjects to a label, which allows you to bypass the inbox. This in turn could save you time sorting through everything.

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