Google Apps



GOOGLE POSTS AN ARTICLE TO EXPLAIN THE BENEFITS OF CLOUD COMPUTING TO THE ENTERPRISE

 

 

Posted by Eric Zeman, Jun 18, 2008 05:05

 

Ever been in this situation? Your writer needs to send you a document. They e-mail it to you but it is too big for your in-box. She revises it and sends it again. This time, it is small enough to get through but gets eaten up by your spam filter since it considers any document or spreadsheet attachment malicious.

You make a few changes to your computer settings and ask them to send again. Finally! You receive it but it won’t open because they used a newer version of the software. You get it all straightened out, both of you start working together on the document, you revise the content, send it back and forth. Next time you look, you have multiple copies of this document, each one a little different than the other. You have no way to track who has revised which part and a lot of time wasted in between trying to clarify things with each other.

If you answered yes, stop! Use Google Docs instead.

Raise your hands if you haven’t gone through a similar hassle. C’mon, you know you have. Chandler lays out six different use cases that explain why Google will help avoid some of the issues mentioned in her intro. Let’s look at the most important ones.

Collaboration: You can share Google Docs with others at the click of a button. It’s that simple. Multiple people can access the same document, with revisions saved with annotations so you know who said what.

Chat While Working: Users of spreadsheets have probably noticed this. Because spreadsheets are often involved, Google’s Spreadsheet program gives multiple authors the opportunity to chat while editing the spreadsheet together.

Teleseminar: One of my biggest gripes with online meetings is what happens when it comes time to share PowerPoint presentations. Half the time, the systems that host such services are incompatible with Apple computers and Apple browsers. This really bugs me. If a Presentation needs to be shared between Docs users, many people can join in a group chat, or jump onto a conference call with the presentation open, negating the need for specific browser (or platform) tools.

Database: Because Google hosts all the documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on its servers, you can use them as a database for your enterprise. Simply grant users access to see the documents, and you’re all set. Any time documents are updated, everyone will have access to the most recent version at the same time.

Chandler also discusses several other points in detail that echo some of what she’s already said.

As I am sure many of you know, I’m a regular user of Google Docs, and this post (like everything I write) was created in Google Docs. I share documents with others often, and can say that the ability for two (or more) people to have access to files so easily is a boon to my work flow.

 

 

 

 

Efficiency at work with Google Docs

Monday, June 16, 2008 at 1:50 PM

The Google Docs Team just shared a user-written guide (published using Google Docs in fact) with examples of how businesses can start working together more efficiently with online documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Like hosting a remote training presentation, sharing a draft document without spawning multiple versions of the same email attachment, and tracking team member work hours.

 

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6 Ways Google Docs Can Improve Your Team’s Efficiency

 

Author of this report, Lynette Chandler is a marketer with a knack for helping entrepreneurs interpret and apply technology in their business – even if they are technophobes. Always willing to assist, you’ll find her at her website and blog.

 

Ever been in this situation? Your writer needs to send you a document. They email it to you but it is too big for your inbox. She revises it and sends it again. This time, it is small enough to get through but gets eaten up by your spam filter since it considers any document or spreadsheet attachment malicious.

 

You make a few changes to your computer settings and ask them to send again. Finally! You receive it but it wont open because they used a newer version of the software. You get it all straightened out, both of you start working together on the document, you revise the content, send it back and forth. Next time you look, you have multiple copies of this document, each one a little different than the other. You have no way to track who has revised which part and a lot of time wasted in between trying to clarify things with each other.

 

If you answered yes. Stop! Use Google Docs instead. I’ll show you how Google Docs will save you from all those hassles, cut the time spent working together on any document and much more.

What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a web based office suite. It includes a document writer/editor, spreadsheet and presentation software. You can create documents from Google Docs or you can upload one you already have.

What Can I Do With It?

Plenty. But the best way to explain it is to show you. So here are six ways you can use this fantastic free application in your business.

pic-2Case 1 – Collaborate On A Document or Spreadsheet

I recently hired a new writer and needed her to re-work and polish up a report sitting on my hard drive for months. When we sealed the contract I simply uploaded the file into Google Docs. In places where I had a few comments I simply added one. It shows up in a small note with my name, and date and time the comment was left.

 

When she sent it back to me, I could see exactly where she modified the document since Google keeps a copy of each revision. Just go to Tools, Revision history to see the changes. You can also compare them and revert back to an earlier one. Very handy for accidental overwrites.

Case 2 – Crunch Numbers Together

When two or more people are editing or viewing a spreadsheet, you will see the option to discuss the spreadsheet. You’ll see the names of who’s viewing or editing the document. Simply type into the chat area and you can conduct a real time discussion with them. What is nice: Whenever the spreadsheet is saved, you’ll see the changes appear on your screen as well. Perfect for talking budget with your partner(s), accountant, sales or affiliate managers.

Case 3 – Train Your Team or Hold A Teleseminar

pic_3The discussion or chat feature is also available for Presentations. When you are in View Presentation mode – this chat option automatically opens. Everyone who is viewing the presentation can chat with each other. Or, you can get on the phone and do a small group presentation to train your staff.

 

If you have a teleseminar, you can also invite people to view the presentation with you while on the phone. When you advance the slides it’ll be updated on other people’s browser as well. The best thing is, nobody has to download or install anything special. Just their browser. Pretty sweet.

Case 4 – Create Check Lists And Training Materials

Google Docs is excellent for creating and storing training materials for your team. Now you can have a central repository for all your check lists, training material and company documentation. It’s also a good way to share passwords and logins privately with your team. No more emailing passwords!

 

Any documentation you create is updated live so if you have new policy or procedures, everyone gets the same copy immediately. You can also allow key team members the privilege to edit and maintain these documents while everyone else only has viewing access. This means you can control your information and still distribute it efficiently.

 

But what happens when a team member leaves? It is super easy. You just remove them. When they log into their Google Docs account, they will no longer see that file. What I really like about using Google Docs for internal documents is, you don’t have to scour your computer for all the information. No more uploading to your website either. When you hire a new team member, just add them. So easy.

 

Case 5 – Budgeting & Simple Accounting

Are you a spreadsheet type of person? Me too. No fancy accounting/budgeting software makes more sense to me than a plain old spreadsheet. Using Google Docs spreadsheet, I have logged income , expenses and profit reports on some Joint Venture products. By doing this, all members of the partnership can review what’s going on with the money in real time. They can also update the log when they spend some of the money. You know exactly what is going on and it reduces a lot of partnership friction. You can also invite your book keeper. I bet he/she will be really happy not to be the only one entering transactions into the book.

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If you have things to hash out, just invite everyone to log in at the same time. Click Discuss and you’re ready to chat with each other.

Case 6 – Track Your Team’s Work Hours

Having multiple team members can get a little crazy sometimes. One challenge is, you don’t quite know how many hours someone has clocked until you get the bill at the end of the month. Yikes! At other times, you get different bills in different formats. To do your own accounting, you or your book keeper have to spend time re-entering everything. Outsourcing should simplify your life not create more administrative work.

 

So, make your team log the hours worked in a spreadsheet you create. Show them how to use it and let them know you’ll only pay for hours recorded in that spreadsheet. With some simple mathematical formulas, you can make this spreadsheet calculate time & amount owed to them automatically. All they need to enter is time in/time out or how much time was spent working on your project. At the end of the month, you don’t even need to tally it up. The totals are already there.

 

Best thing is, you know exactly up to the minute how much you are spending on outsourced labor. This way, you can take action to slow down or speed up the project based on your finances.

How Do You Get Started & How Much Does It Cost?

It is free. All you need is a Google Account. You can sign up by visiting http://docs.google.com. If you already have one then it’s really easy since you only need to sign on with your existing Google Account logins.

 

Happy outsourcing!

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