3 clever new tricks to turn Google Docs into a collaboration superhub


Google’s annual I/O builders’ convention kicks off on Wednesday, and we’re certain to see all kinds of intriguing new stuff throughout all the suite of Google providers.

Here is just a little secret, although: You do not have to attend ’til then to search out one thing new and helpful. Google rolls out game-changing additions to its apps and merchandise virtually consistently, all 12 months lengthy. A lot of the goodies simply present up with surprisingly little fanfare and find yourself getting misplaced within the shuffle.

That is why in the present day, as we sit patiently and twiddle our collective thumbs forward of Google’s massive ol’ honkin’ announcement extravaganza, I need to draw your consideration to a sequence of spectacular additions within the oft-dusty Google Docs area. These new options quietly crept into the software program over the previous a number of weeks, however most mere mortals would haven’t any means of even figuring out.

And my goodness, lemme inform ya: Should you work with different people and/or platypi, these choices will ship a critical dose of added effectivity into your workflow. They will flip your simple-seeming doc editor into an clever canvas for collaboration. They usually’re all already there in your present Docs setup and simply ready to be found.

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(One fast notice: All of this stuff can at present be initiated solely by way of the Docs desktop web site — however as soon as you have set ’em up as soon as and added ’em into any doc, they will be seen and purposeful from the Docs app on Android or every other platform as nicely.)

1. The Docs-Calendar collaboration connection

Should you depend on Google Workspace to your office thought-base, you most likely know the enjoyment of juggling conferences in your calendar with disconnected notes and checklists. Does the phrase “Hold on, let me discover my notes on this” ring a bell?

Properly, take notice, you comely little creature: Sooner or later within the not-too-distant previous, Google Docs obtained an clever new software that may make your Calendar-connected conferences extra organized than ever. It is a built-in assembly notes system that lives inside Docs and will get related to a selected occasion in your Google Calendar so it is all the time in a logical place and super-simple to entry.

To attempt it for your self, simply hearth up a brand new Google Docs doc and kind the @ image wherever within the doc’s physique. That’ll pull up Docs’ useful new shortcut system, and you may most likely see the “Assembly notes” possibility as one of many high strategies beneath the “Constructing Blocks” part. Should you do not, simply begin typing the phrase notes, and it will pop up very quickly.

Google Docs meeting notes JR

Subsequent, Docs will immediate you to choose an occasion out of your calendar to affiliate your fancy new notes with. It’s going to present you upcoming occasions as one-click strategies, or you may search by way of your agenda proper then and there to search out the occasion you need as nicely.

Google Docs Calendar search JR

As soon as you have chosen your occasion, you will get a snazzy little preformatted notes template inserted into your doc and able to be crammed out:

Google Docs meeting notes in document JR

You’ll be able to hover your mouse over any of the gray-highlighted textual content inside that template to see extra details about the date, occasion, or contact in query. And you’ll want to search for the immediate over on the precise facet of the display screen that gives to connect your notes onto the occasion itself, too. That’ll join your present doc with the precise occasion in Google Calendar and make it in order that anybody who’s invited (and with whom the doc has been shared) can click on over and look at the notes proper from the calendar entry.

Not unhealthy, proper? And as an added bonus, bear in mind you can additionally now provoke Google Meet conferences proper from Docs on the desktop: Simply click on the brand new camera-shaped icon within the upper-right nook of the doc modifying display screen — on to the left of the blue Share button. Your name will then kick off in a snazzy new Docs sidebar so you may see your notes and optionally even collaborate on ’em with other people within the name as you go.

2. The Docs-Gmail e mail drafting system

Gmail certain would not make it simple to work on an e mail with a teammate, does it?

I’ve obtained excellent news for you, although: Google won’t be including any form of easy collaboration system into Gmail itself simply but, nevertheless it has given us a helpful method to hammer out messages with other people’ enter. It is simply as much as you to search out it.

And the reply, as you could have surmised, is correct inside good ol’ Google Docs — the place it is now attainable to create a shared e mail draft, work on it with different folks and/or sea creatures out of your group, after which beam it over to your inbox for immediate sending.

The trick, as soon as extra, is to faucet into that new Docs @-menu. Simply sort @ wherever in a doc inside Docs in your desktop, and this time, choose “E mail draft” from the menu that exhibits up.

That’ll deliver an interactive Gmail composing software proper into your doc so that you can work on no matter e mail your suspiciously aromatic fingies really feel like typing. And if you need anybody else to weigh in and work on it with you, all you have gotta do is share the doc with ’em — identical to you usually would (with that massive blue Share button within the upper-right nook of the display screen).

Google Docs Gmail draft JR

When your e mail’s able to roll, all that is left is to click on the blue Gmail icon within the nook of that space to ship the e-mail into Gmail as a draft — the place you may look over it as soon as extra after which ship it with only one extra click on.

And you do not have to cease there, both…

3. The Docs standing tracker

Should you actually need to get wild along with your Google Docs collaboration crafting, the just lately added prompt desk possibility is the proper remaining ingredient to your productiveness pie.

It’s going to allow you to insert interactive standing monitoring toggles into any doc — supplying you with a straightforward as, nicely, pie method to to maintain tabs on progress along with your assembly notice objects or Docs-dwelling Gmail drafts. (Anybody else having a sudden hankering for flaky pastry?)

So as to add it into any doc you have obtained cookin’, simply hit that helpful @ command from wherever within the doc as soon as extra — and this time, sort dropdown after which choose “New dropdown” adopted by both “Mission standing” or “Overview standing.”

That’ll offer you a nifty little standing monitoring indicator you may place wherever it is smart — above a selected merchandise in your assembly agenda, as an illustration, or atop that good Gmail draft you have been dreamin’ up in Docs. Anybody with modifying entry to the doc will then be capable of click on the toggle to alter its standing and preserve everybody else in control on their progress.

Google Docs status tracker JR

If you wish to take issues up a notch from there, Docs additionally has much more superior monitoring templates out there inside that very same @-menu — together with a multiperson “Overview tracker” that permits you to enable a number of co-workers to look over some method of content material and preserve monitor of their reviewing standing.

Google Docs review tracker JR

You should still need to depend on Notion and different superior note-taking apps for extra intricate group, however with these recent ‘n’ zesty options within the combine, Docs will develop into a extra modern and linked a part of your productiveness toolkit — and when you depend on the Google Workspace suite o’ providers as intently as I do, that would make a world of distinction in your skill to get stuff completed.

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