As G Suite users your organization is already ahead of the curve when it comes to working remotely. We know that now, more than ever, it’s important for your business to run as close to normal as possible. That’s why we’ve put together this list of G Suite features you may not be aware of that can help make working from home as easy as working from your desk.
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Perhaps the most important app for remote work, Google Meet gives you the ability to host video conferencing (or just call conferencing) from anywhere, on any device. Meet with your team, your clients, or simply for a virtual coffee.
You can set up a Google Meet two ways:
- Directly on your calendar event — simply click on Add rooms, location, or conferencing and select Add conferencing. A Google Meet link and conference number will be automatically generated and included in the calendar invite. Your attendees can join via video using the link, or via phone using the number & dial in code.
- At meet.google.com — click Join or start a meeting to generate a link/call-in number that you can then invite attendees to.
Protip: To join or start a meeting on your mobile device, make sure you have the Google Meet app installed.
If you’re anything like me, you probably schedule your meetings 1-3 weeks in advance and now have a calendar full of meetings you’re wondering how/if you’re going to proceed with in the midst of social distancing. Luckily for us, Google Calendar makes it super easy to communicate with those on our calendar.
The easiest way to handle these meetings is to switch them to virtual meetings via Google Meet, which I’ve outlined above. You can add conferencing to an existing calendar event by following the instructions above — instead of creating a new event, just open the existing event and you can add Google Meet conferencing or change the location to conferencing.
Need to reschedule? Use the Email guests feature. Click on the envelope icon from your calendar event and you can email everyone on the event directly from the calendar.
Google Hangouts offer a way for you to communicate via chat with your team members (and even those outside of your domain if they also use Google). The easiest way to access Google Hangouts is directly from your inbox, but there is also a mobile app and a chrome extension. We use hangouts to replace emails in many instances for our internal communications. And, unlike a text message, Google Hangouts are archived and searchable from your inbox.
To start a new Hangout conversation, click on the + icon next to your name above the chat box. You can add one person or multiple people to a chat.
Protip: If you do not see Hangouts chat in your inbox, make sure you have the setting turned on. Settings > Chat
Having your files accessible from anywhere, on any device, is one of the biggest reasons many of you decided to Go Google in the first place. And now is the time for Google Drive to shine! Aside from being able to access your files without the need to remote into a server, Google Drive also offers these features perfect for a remote working situation.
Just because you’re no longer under the same roof doesn’t mean you can’t continue to collaborate on important tasks and documents. Remember that you can have multiple people working on the same Google Doc, Google Sheet, Google Slide, etc at the same time. Just remember to share your file with others who also need access.
Scan to Drive
Perhaps one of my most used features since my printer/scanner bit the dust last month, the ability to scan documents to Google Drive has been a life-saving tool for me, but most people don’t even realize it can be done.
You’ll need the Google Drive app on your phone for this one, but otherwise it’s super simple: Open the Drive App, click on the Plus button in the lower right corner, and select Scan. From there you will take photos of the document(s) you want to scan.
Use a dark background when taking a photo.
Use the crop feature to make sure you get the entire document once you’ve taken the photo.
To add multiple pages to a single document, click the white + icon in the bottom left corner of the screen after you’ve taken your first photo.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t forward your office calls to your cell phone, but don’t want to give out your personal cell phone number, you can use Google Voice to create a local phone number and the Google Voice app to make/receive calls at this number. You’ll want to use a personal Gmail account for this to avoid paying for the business version of Voice. To get started, visit voice.google.com and login with your personal account.
This list by no means fully encompasses every feature G Suite offers, but my goal was to shed some light on the features you may not already be currently using. It is also worth noting that Google is offering the Enterprise version of G Suite to all users at no additional cost until July. The biggest feature Enterprise offers is the ability to record your Google Meetings.
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