Here is a little-known fact about me: I am a Google Certified Educator.
Next weekend, Google is coming to Guernsey and they are holding a summit. As you can imagine, this is a big deal for little old Guernsey.
Because I am a Google gal, I will be hanging out at the summit all weekend. What can I say? I know how to have fun…! Check out my Instagram Stories if you want to see what’s happening there.
Anyway, because I currently have Google on the brain, it seemed apt that I give you the lowdown on how Google, more specifically G Suite, can be an incredible tool for creative business owners.
What is G Suite?
To use Google’s words, G Suite is:
“A set of intelligent apps including Gmail, Docs, Drive and Calendar to connect the people in your company, no matter where in the world they are.”
This doesn’t really explain things well enough, in my opinion. Let me break it down in non-techie, non-marketing speak.
What is G Suite, Like, Really?
G Suite used to be called Google Apps (which really did a better job of explaining what it is, but hey, Google never asked my opinion so...)
It encompasses all of the Google tools/apps which help you run your business, blog and life. These tools include:
- Google Drive (cloud storage - more on that in a moment)
- Google Docs, Sheets, Slides etc (Google’s equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc)
- Google Hangouts
- Google Calendar
- Google Chrome…
… all that good stuff.
All you need is a (free) Google account and you can access these goodies.
Because it’s free, there are limits though. For example, you only get 15GB of free Google Drive storage, and your email account has to be @gmail.com. But that’s ok when you are getting started.
Is G Suite Worth Paying For?
I’ve chosen to upgrade to the G Suite Basic (G Suite for Work) plan which costs $5 a month.
On top of the basics, I get to ‘brand’ my Gmail account with my own domain, so it's email@example.com.
I’ve also got double the storage space in my Google Drive and access to 24/7 support.
So How Do I Use G Suite?
Aside from the obvious use of email, Google Chrome and all that stuff, Google Drive is the administrative hub of my business.
And before you ask… to colour code folder, just right click on the folder and select change colour!
Here are just a few of the things I do in Google Drive:
- Draft my blog posts (Google Docs)
- Record my weekly business statistics (Google Sheets)
- Draft new freelance client contracts (Google Docs)
- Write articles (Google Docs)
- Create learning resources (Google Docs)
- Draft podcast outlines (Google Docs)
- Create presentations (Google Slides)
One of the best things about G Suite (specifically Google Drive) is how easy it is to share and collaborate on documents.
For example, I write a monthly column for a national magazine.
I have a folder set up for that client and sub-folders for each month of the year. Every time I have finished an article (written in Google Docs) I share the month’s subfolder with my editor (including my invoice).
She gets an automatically generated email letting her know the article and invoice are there.
What Are the Downsides?
Much like Apple, if you commit to operating within the Google ecosystem, things will work more smoothly if you “go totally Google”.
For example, you can upload a Microsoft Word document to your Google Drive, but if you want to edit it, you need to open it as a Google Doc.
This is easy enough to do and documents convert from Microsoft to Google fairly well. But if you aren’t careful, you can end up with duplicated documents.
Here’s a quick fix for that though:
[In Google Drive, go to the settings cog (top right), select settings, then tick the convert uploads check box. Click done.]
What About You?
Are you a Google guy or gal? Perhaps you are an Office365 convert? Does "The Cloud" just freak you out a little bit? Would you like to know more about all this stuff?
Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.