Google Calendar is a staple app helping millions of people keep their lives in order. For some, it’s used irregularly, and only for important events. For others, they’d be lost without it (if an event isn’t on the calendar, it doesn’t exist!).
Are you using your calendar to its full potential? Google Calendar contains a number of hidden tools and features that can help you more easily schedule meetings, and automate parts of your calendar. The most useful of these are listed below. Combined with some select Chrome extensions, you’ll be a Google Calendar power-user in no time.
1. Create an Appointment Page
2. Countdown to Your Next Event
3. Get a Daily Agenda to Your Inbox
4. Layer Your Calendars
5. Easy Video Calls
6. Email All of Your Attendees
7. Set Up a World Clock
8. Keep Track of Your Finances
9. Simplify Your Morning Routine
A More Efficient Calendar
Calendars have come a long way in the last 20 years, but it can be difficult for us to know which new features are worth adopting.
These nine underused Google Calendar features are those I would recommend trying out. They’ll make organizing events easier, will reduce the time you spend managing your calendar, and help you to schedule your most productive days.
To explore these nine features further, view Rob Nightingale’s full article here.
When it comes to cloud-based productivity tools and software, businesses have a wide array of options. But depending on the size and scale of your company, you may have very few viable ones. Among them, Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work. Which subscription-based suite of cloud tools is right for your workforce? Here we’ll examine a few key differences and compare basic features.
Cost and commitment
Google Apps for Work keeps their service simple with 2 distinct plans — entry-level for $5 per user per month or one with more bells and whistles for $10 per user per month. Microsoft can be a bit more confusing. They offer 6 different options (3 for small- to medium-sized businesses and 3 for large businesses) that range from $5 to $20 per user per month. Granted, for $5 a month, Office 365 gives users 1TB of online storage, while Google gives users just 30GB.
But that abundance of storage comes at a cost from Microsoft; Office 365 requires a year-long commitment, while Google Apps for Work is available on a month-to-month basis. (With Google, you can also pay for a full year in advance and receive a discounted rate.) And if storage is a deciding factor, keep in mind: on the $10 a month (or $120 a year) plan, Google gives users unlimited storage.
Word Online vs. Google Docs
Google has the newfangled, intuitive Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, and Docs. Microsoft has the tried-and-true, familiar Outlook, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. As with most things, your comfort level may be somewhere between Microsoft and Google — a little of column A, a little of column B. The following video from The Wall Street Journal showcases core differences in the real-time collaboration capabilities provided by Word 2016 and Google Docs:
Office 365 is Microsoft’s first deep dive into all things cloud, whereas Google Docs was born and bred in the cloud, a history prized by millennial workers and distrusted by senior executives (many of whom have used Microsoft for years). While that doesn’t mean you need to give Office 365 the boot in order to attract and retain new talent, it’s worth considering some of the subtle differences between Microsoft and Google.
For instance, Google Docs and Word Online slightly vary the way users perform the same tasks. While Office 365 now boasts real-time co-authoring to compete with Google Drive, Word maintains the traditional “track changes” language and method; Google Docs allows users to make permanent edits or merely propose changes in “suggesting” mode, allowing other users to approve final changes.
Which should you choose?
In Microsoft’s case, you can choose from different services and different application features in Office 365, Office 2016, and Office Online — offerings just similar enough to merit confusion when choosing between them. Google has a history of aligning their work productivity tools and software with consumer tools and software, which may explain the 900 million-plus users around the world (more than 3-quarters of whom log on from mobile devices). Meanwhile, Outlook.com has just over 400 million users. Since 2012, it’s allowed Microsoft users to access their existing Microsoft email from their web browser (and more recently, through its own mobile app)… something Google’s been doing with Gmail for over 10 years.
Companies across the globe face increasing pressure to stay competitive and meet their customers’ needs. Tools that allow teams to share ideas instantly, attend meetings remotely, collaborate from anywhere in real time and work on the go are helping companies innovate and engage customers in this new competitive landscape. These types of outcomes are possible only by “pure” cloud-based architectures that overcome the inefficiencies of legacy desktop-centric computing.
Google commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study examining the value that Google customers achieve by implementing Google Apps for Work. Forrester measured the total economic impact over three years for organizations moving from legacy on-premise infrastructure to Google’s web-based solution. To quantify the complete value of Google Apps for Work, including collaboration and productivity benefits, they interviewed six current Google customers. They then aggregated each piece of customer feedback to create a representative composite organization on which to base the development of a Total Economic Impact model.
Here are a few highlights from the report:
304% return on investment (ROI)
Over three years, Google Apps for Work generated a risk-adjusted $17.1 million in benefits, outweighing the total costs of $4.2 million and resulting in a risk-adjusted ROI of 304 percent.
$8 million in collaboration efficiencies
Employees can streamline business processes by working together in real time using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, creating project collaboration spaces in Google Sites, and accessing and sharing files with Google Drive. These collaboration efficiencies save employees up to two hours per week — which, over three years, adds up to more than $8 million in savings.
$9 million in mobility benefits and legacy IT cost savings
Google Apps for Work creates an environment where employees can work together, share ideas, innovate, evaluate decisions and improve business performance — all without having to be in a physical office. The ability to work from anywhere and join meetings remotely saves the composite organization more than $5 million in 3 years, while decommissioning legacy servers, software and phone systems saves another $4 million. And $9 million can go a long way.
Google is well known for providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with a variety of useful tools to help them improve productivity and efficiency in their daily tasks. From Google Drive to Google Docs and everything in between, the complete suite of Google apps is definitely at the top of the list of useful business tools and resources.
Google Hangout is no exception, and while many still aren’t aware of what exactly Google Hangout is and how it can help your business, its popularity is quickly growing as more and more business owners realize its potential and see the benefits of using it.
Google Hangout: What can you use it for?
This new addition to the Google suite of apps is essentially a limited social network, but designed with intentions towards businesses, (though anyone can use it if they so desire.) Its main focus is for video chats with friends, colleagues, and clients.
The potential for new methods of online marketing created by Google Hangouts is large. It is also easy to use, and meetings can be set up within seconds on any mobile devices.
I’ve recently written how Microsoft is using Microsoft Office as a means of hooking customers and getting them embroiled in its cloud services. I also said that Microsoft Office is better than Google Docs and at the moment it is; I didn’t write that for most people, most of the time, Google Docs is all the word processor that we need. And now it’s time to write about Google’s assault on Microsoft Office, because ten years ago when Google released Google Apps, many people thought Google was trying something new “just because it was there to be tried.” Now the Google Apps team is talking about grabbing 80% of Microsoft Office users and after their successful 2014, this seems perfectly reasonable.
What was different about 2014? That’s because Google has persuaded more and more large companies to use its own email, word processing, presentation, spreadsheet and cloud services (encompassing computing and storage). Amit Singh, Google for Work’s president, has shared the plan to steal one of Microsoft’s core markets and it starts with the applications, which need to have between 85% to 90% of the functionality of the Microsoft Office equivalents. As part of this, the team need to not worry about the missing features – especially Excel. Excel can handle more data than Google Sheets and with every new version, finance and accountancy departments all over the world pour over the new technical specifications with glee. Google isn’t unduly bothered by this: Excel’s more advanced functionality is only needed by around 10% of the workforce.
Google Inc looks set battle Microsoft Corporation in the sector that it has dominated for so long with its Microsoft’s Office enterprise. A decade ago, when Google Docs was released, most of people doubted its success. However, now people have caught on to it’s computing, spreadsheets, and word services. In an interview with Business Insider, Amit Singh, the head of Google for Work, stated that Google Docs is now big enough to take on Microsoft Office and could possibly capture over 80% of Microsoft’s business in the sector. Microsoft Office Enterprise has been the company’s main sources of revenue for a quite a long time now.
Mr. Singh has come up with a very clever plan to takeover Microsoft’s grip on office work apps. Firstly, he looks to feature about 90% of all the functions that Microsoft Office has to offer. The remaining 10% according to statistical data are not of significant use, as many people normally carry out light editing on documents and the app does not really need to offer in-depth services like Microsoft Excel does. Most people who license MS Office use its Excel extension quite rarely. He believes that if he get 90% Microsoft office’s functionalities on Google’s program, most users would switch to it anyway.
According to Amit Singh, president of Google’s enterprise unit, Google At Work, Google actually has a long list of products for the enterprise. Notice that all of them compete with products from its rival Microsoft. They are:
1. Google Search for Work is also called the Google Search Appliance. Companies install can install the appliance,
or use a Google search service to add search to their internal systems or websites. This was Google’s first enterprise product.
2. Gmail for Work is only offered as part the Google Apps suit, but it is one of the major reasons companies buy Apps and companies can customise it.
3. Drive for Work is Google’s unlimited cloud storage product, that competes with Microsoft OneDrive as well as Box and Dropbox.
4. Docs is a word processor, also part of Google Apps, that’s known for its collaboration features.
Explore the entire article and list of products here.
With the quarterly numbers now in from smartphone leaders Samsung and Apple, the analysts at Strategy Analytics have published their latest figures on how the overall market performed for the last quarter of the year and 2014 overall. In short, it has been a milestone year. Globally we have now passed the 1 billion mark for annual smartphone shipments, with 1.28 billion devices in total passing from OEMs to retailers and carriers for sale, and of that, Android-based smartphones continued their collective domination, alone accounting for more than 1 billion handsets.
This makes Android the first platform to have barrelled through the 1 billion mark for shipments, working out to 81% of the whole market. Meanwhile, Apple accounted for 15% of the market in 2014 on total shipments of 193 million units.
Google has been working hard on Android for Work. The idea behind it is to allow enterprise users to use apps they are familiar with, at work, and on their work devices. While their work devices are still secure. And that’s gotta be much better than using a Blackberry, right? We’ve seen a number of other apps already hit the Play Store, and now we’ve got Work Chrome. Which will likely get a better name later on, or maybe all the apps will be “Work <insert app name here>”. With Android Work, work data will remain secure and IT admins are able to use restrictions and controls for what can be done with the data. While personal data will remain separate and accessible whenever you want to use it. An IT admin at your job can deploy and administer the apps in bulk, including internal apps, through the Play Store. Which is a great alternative to just sideloading them.
Today, Work Chrome launched in the Play Store. And we can’t really find any differences between this and the regular Chrome in the Play Store. But we’re guessing it’s there to keep work data separate and secure from your personal data. Also to allow IT admins to deploy it on devices and such. It’ll likely be more secure than the Google Chrome that we all use everyday, and catered more for the Enterprise and BYOD users. We should find out more soon though. So we’ll keep our eyes out for that.
Additionally, we’ll likely see even more Android Work apps hitting the Play Store. Like Gmail, Calendar and many others. I wonder if we’ll see Google Play Music for Work land as well? That’d be interesting to see.
“The first thing any startup has to do is setup their domain, and choose their email provider. No one wants to build their own mail server infrastructure anymore, it simply doesn’t make sense. Being a Microsoft fan I was initially all about choosing Office 365, but this would prove to be a difficult decision.
I really see the value in Office 365 – it’s pretty awesome – we tried both Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 – giving both 2 weeks of dedicated (forced) use. Both are super easy to setup and administer, you can buy your domain and get your email up and running within minutes. After everyone had a chance to use both we came back with the same conclusion, Google Apps is the best solution for our company.
Our decision had nothing to do with cost because the fact is both work out to about the same price at the end of the day. The decision all boiled down to one thing: Gmail.”