January 3, 2014
Collaborating With Google Apps
GMail, Calendar, Docs, Drive & Hangouts
Google Apps has become a critical collaboration tool for our team. At the office or on the go, Google Apps helps us to stay in touch and on track. Each of the apps are good stand-alone tools but it’s how they all work together as a whole that makes the Google Apps suite a great choice for teams.
Google Apps includes Google’s legendary mail service plus a whole lot more. For example, there’s no need for your business to worry about storage space with 30GB per mailbox. You can also create professional email addresses using your custom domain name and add extra aliases. These custom domain aliases were particularly useful for our recent rebrand from Pinleague to Tailwind. Unfortunately, Google Apps doesn’t currently support changing the primary domain name.
One of my favorite features of Google Calendar is the ability to see my own calendar of events and also my teammates’ - or a combination of the two. This makes it easy to keep up-to-date with events across all divisions of the company. With Google Calendar, it’s also easy to schedule a new event that fits everyone’s schedule and Gmail makes it simple to manage Calendar invitations with a single click.
Docs & Drive
Every business deals with a variety of different documents; including P&L spreadsheets, marketing pamphlets, product roadmaps, technical specs, and a whole lot more. Google Docs has made it really easy for our Engineering team to keep our technical documentation (Getting Started, Server Access, Coding Standards, Deployment Map, etc.) up-to-date. These documents can be shared across the whole team or restricted to senior-level engineers and executives. Google Drive provides effortless syncing and offline access for these docs. This combination helps us to stay organized and to quickly bring new employees up to speed as our team continues to grow.
Email, chat, SMS and voice are all great forms of communication - though nothing beats being able to see the person you’re talking to. Google Hangouts helps our Oklahoma City and New York City teams to communicate effectively during our morning scrums and other meetings. Although the video quality can be spotty at times, Google Hangouts is an invaluable tool for team discussion, one-on-one chats, easy screen-sharing and prospective hire interviewing.
What Do You Think?
Has your team or business seen similar success with Google Apps? What other collaboration suites have you worked with? I’d love to hear your thoughts @smwrxforever.