Familiar to the entire world as the free search engine we all know and love, Google has entered the English vernacular as a term synonymous with the phrase “to search online.” But in recent years, the company has become known for more than it search engine. Some of the products they have developed can be used for free on a daily basis, whether it’s for personal or business purposes. In this post, I will discuss two free Google products that save you time, paper, and worries.
First of all, Google drive offers a free 15 Go space to stock all your personal files online. Those files can be accessed directly with your browser, via an application on your smartphones but also by installing a software on your computer which will create a folder that will always be synchronized with your account. You just have to drop any file you want in it to keep it online. With the 15 Go, you will be able to stock much more documents than with its main concurrent such as DropBox (2Go). To access Google drive, the user just sets up a Gmail account.
Google Drive also strongly resembles Microsoft Office. For example, users can create a document— a Google Doc—that allows them to type anything they want similar to Microsoft Word. Google Drive also contains a spreadsheet (Google Spreadsheet) and presentation (Google Presentation) that resembles Excel and Powerpoint, respectively. These Google documents can be organized into folders. Additional programs on Google Drive include Google Form and Google Drawing.
Furthermore, Google Drive allows users to share and edit their work very easily. In the past, someone would have to taking the time attaching a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or Powerpoint presentation to an email, writing the text of an email, and sending the email. However with Google Drive, the writer can just click the appropriate icon and type in the email address of the people he/she would like to share a document with. An automated email is sent to the invited members, and the capabilities they have depend on the permissions they receive from the original user. The collaborators are either allowed to “view,” “edit,” or “own” the document (or an entire folder). This saves a large chunk of time because people no longer need to use “track changes” on a document and then re-send it to the first writer as an email attachment.
But wait. What if the users forget to save their work? It’s not an issue with Google Drive because it automatically saves changes without the click of the mouse. In addition, everyone with permission can see when the last edit was made and what exactly those edits were. An older version of the document can even be restored if the collaborators want to go back to a previous draft.
One of the components of Google Drive, Google Form allows users to create customized forms for any purpose. For example, it can be used to survey participants, collect feedback, and gather RSVP’s. This application reduces the need to use paper ballots or paper surveys to retrieve responses. There are three main sections: form setting, questions, and confirmation page.
The first section sets up the basics. If users only want certain people to gain access to the form, they can require an email and password to login. Responses can be limited to one per person, and the question order can be randomized.
The next section contains the questions that are asked to the respondents. After inputting the question title, the answer can be set up in any of the following formats: text, paragraph text, multiple choice, checkboxes, choose from a list, scale, grid, date, or time. The first five options are the most logical for surveys and feedback responses. “Yes” or “no” multiple choice questions, date, and time would be effective for collecting RSVP’s to an event.
The last section can be managed to allow respondents the option to submit another form, edit their answers, or publicly share a link to their answers.