The Beginner’s Guide: Using Google Apps for your Work or Studies
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Surprising to some, there are actually many Google services in the form of web apps that can be utilised for your work and even your schooling and university studies. Many Google apps for work offer helpful tips on making your life more efficient and can be connected to both your mobile device and computer! Whether you want to use these high-quality applications for meeting notes or video calls, the main point is that your life becomes simpler, more organised and efficient.
Perhaps the most useful of all Google apps is Gmail. When someone creates a Google account, they can use an existing email or create a new one, which will have @gmail.com at the end. This allows the user to access their inbox, sent folder, spam folder and trash folder. Another useful feature that is used by many universities, schools and workplaces that use Google for their email services is the contacts. These organisations have the contact database linked with all accounts in the system, meaning you can easily search someone’s first or last name and it will come up with their email address. Also, because Gmail is an online service, no hard drive storage is taken up, as images, documents and other attachments are stored in the cloud. You can also chat directly to another person through Gmail as long as they are also using a Gmail account, which can be a quick and easy way to contact a fellow student or colleague. Gmail also sorts your emails into categories, like social, updates and promotions, so you can quickly find the email you’ve been looking for. You can ‘star’ important emails, which are then compiled into the ‘starred’ tab, which allows you to access them with just one click or tap.
Google Drive is another app that Google offer as part of signing up to a Google account. It allows you to upload, download and store files in the cloud. You can drag and drop files into folders you create and name, and you can share your files with people by using their Google email address. Google Drive is essential for university projects where many files and photos are involved, because students can just put all their work in a folder they create, and then everyone who has access to that folder can edit the files. It’s a far quicker alternative to emailing files or sending them over a direct messaging system like Facebook. Also, like Gmail, all files and folders are stored in the cloud, meaning you don’t have to dedicate large amounts of storage space to projects at university or at work. Google Drive allows for seamless collaboration due to its ability to share files and folders with multiple people.
Google Docs allows users to create and edit text documents and export them as different files. You can upload a pre-existing word document to Google Drive, then share access to that file or the folder its in, and many users can work on the doc at once. You can see what and where other users are editing in real time and can also chat with them on the right-hand side of the document. Just like a Microsoft Word document, you can change the font and formatting of the page, as well as being able to insert image files. This app is great for even just brainstorming, as people can be inspired by those they are working with by seeing their ideas come to life on the document seconds after they have finished typing. There is also even a ‘suggest edit’ mode, which allows someone to highlight text once the mode is enabled, and type what they believe should be there instead. Once you have finished working on your Google Doc, you can save it to your drive or export and download it as a Microsoft Word file, an Open Document file, a Rich Text Format file, a PDF, a text file or a web page file (.zip).
Google Sheets is Google’s app for creating, editing and sharing Spreadsheets. Like Docs, you can create a totally new spreadsheet, or upload an existing Microsoft Excel file. Sheets has all the tools you need for you or your team to effectively collaborate and produce the Spreadsheets that you require. You can add rows, columns and cells just like Excel, and you can also work with multiple Spreadsheets at once if you have too. Just like Docs, there is also a helpful chat feature so that you and your team, whether it be at university or work, can discuss and solve problems before editing your document. Once you have finished working on Google Sheets, you can save the file to your Google Drive, or export it and download it as a PDF, a Microsoft Excel file, an Open Document file, a .zip file, tab-separated values file or comma-separated values file.
Google Slides allows users to upload, create, edit and share presentations. Slides has its own set of themes that are readily available, and just like Microsoft PowerPoint, you can add images, text, speaker notes and charts and diagrams to your presentation. Slides also have the built-in chat feature like Docs and Sheets, allowing for team members to interact, share ideas and concepts over the Internet before deciding what they want on their next slide. Access to Slide files can be given through someone’s Gmail address, and they can be saved to Google Drive, just like Docs and Sheets. Finally, once you are happy with your presentation, you can export and download it as a Microsoft PowerPoint file, a text file, a PDF, a JPEG, a PNG or a Scalable Vector Graphics file.
Google Sheets is Google’s app for creating, editing and sharing spreadsheets. Like Docs, you can create a totally new spreadsheet, or upload an existing Microsoft Excel file. Sheets has all the tools you need for you or your team to effectively collaborate and produce the Spreadsheets that you require. You can add rows, columns and cells just like Excel, and you can also work with multiple spreadsheets at once if you have too. Just like Docs, there is also a helpful chat feature so that you and your team, whether it be at university or work, can discuss and solve problems before editing your document. Once you have finished working on Google Sheets, you can save the file to your Google Drive, or export it and download it as a PDF, a Microsoft Excel file, an Open Document file, a .zip file, tab-separated values file or comma-separated values file.
Google has a variety of apps and tools that you can use to complete a task, whether it be in groups or by yourself. Google has free apps, which anyone can use as long as they have a Google account, and these include Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Calendar. Whether you have Windows or a Mac, as long as you have an Internet connection, with a single click you’re ready to go!
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