- Google Workspace is a collection of productivity and collaboration tools that previously existed under the umbrella of Google Apps and G Suite.
- Familiar Google Workspace elements include Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Chat and Google Docs.
- Advanced Google Workspace features include a digital interactive whiteboard, a business insights dashboard and various integrations.
- This article is for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to explore the collaboration and productivity tools in Google Workspace.
Over the last 16 years, Google Workspace has evolved from a pre-smartphone collection of desktop utilities to a multi-platform productivity suite. Harnessing Google’s global array of data centers, Google Workspace provides rapid and reliable communication and business tools.
Having been rebranded from its former G Suite incarnation in 2020, today’s Workspace includes everything from word processing and spreadsheets to cloud storage and form creation tools. Individual users and market leaders like PwC, Colgate-Palmolive and Nielsen all use Google Workspace.
Even if you’re using Google Workspace daily, you may be unaware of some of its apps and features. We’ve rounded up six of the best Google Workspace tips for beginners and advanced users alike so you can maximize this powerful tool.
1. Try the Google Workspace business dashboard.
The Google Workspace Work Insights dashboard provides real-time analysis of working patterns, collaboration and deployment. For anyone managing a group of people, Work Insights offers a wealth of information about team members’ Google Workspace usage.
Work Insights charts can show how often people use Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Slides and other apps. Check to see how often everyone is using the entire suite and how efficiently they’re utilizing Google Workspace’s tools. [Related content: Best New Gmail Features for Business]
2. Check activity in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Most seasoned Google Workspace users already know you can easily collaborate within Google’s productivity tools, including Docs, Sheets and Slides. Make comments, type text in files with editing privileges and chat with team members in real time.
It’s also possible to see when people last checked a document to make further edits or approve content in Docs, Sheets and Slides. This is useful in determining whether requested edits have been completed, what’s been changed and who made the last round of modifications.
3. Combine data from one Google Sheet into another.
For people who know how to make calculations in Google Sheets and run their spreadsheets like a guru, you know it’s possible to pull data from a range of cells in another Google Sheet using the =IMPORTRANGE feature. This feature can pull data from other documents or different tabs in the same file.
=IMPORTRANGE might report a #REF error when you first run it if the linked spreadsheet doesn’t have sharing privileges. Once permission is granted, it should work without issue.
4. Use Google Workspace’s Jamboard for brainstorming.
Jamboard is a digital whiteboard app you can write on while discussing ideas, and it’s available to anyone who uses Google Workspace. Under the Google Apps menu, look for the Jamboard option. Create a Jam and then share it with other people or edit it from any device with the appropriate login credentials. You can even present your Jam in a Google Meet video call.
Each board supports virtual sticky notes, different colored pens, photos and stickers, Drive files, and even object highlighting.
Despite Google’s best efforts, the Microsoft Office suite of business apps still has the more popular video conferencing and meeting platform.
5. Smart Compose works in Google Workspace.
Google often experiments with new features and apps in the consumer space that eventually make their way to Google Workspace. One example of this is Smart Compose. Smart Compose first appeared in the now-defunct Google Inbox app and then migrated to Gmail. Smart Compose now works in Docs, Slides, Sheets and Drawings.
When you start writing and type a phrase like “Do you want to meet next week?” a suggested phrase will be displayed. If you type “Do you want to meet next…” Gmail will suggest “week” automatically.
To use the suggestion, press the Tab key. Machine learning increases the predictive text’s accuracy and relevance as you use it more frequently.
Machine learning also underpins Google Analytics – arguably the best way to monitor website traffic and its origins.
6. Use live captioning and translation in Google Slides.
Another feature that can help during a business presentation with Google Meet is enabling live English or translated captions. As you present to a group, speak into a microphone and have Meet type out your words so the text appears on the slide.
Captions can be in English or one of four European languages, including Spanish and German, for multilingual or multinational conferencing.
While closed captioning has been present in various Google Workspace apps for some time, the live translation service debuted in January 2022.
If you use Google Calendar, read our article outlining 10 Google Calendar tips and tricks to use this powerful scheduling tool to its full potential.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace encompasses all of Google’s productivity apps – Calendar, Sheets, Docs, Google Chat, Gmail, Calendar, Drive and more – and adds a deeper layer of business collaboration and communication. Workspace is similar to Microsoft 365 in that it’s an integrated application suite.
Gmail is the centerpiece of Google Workspace, while Google Chat is its communication medium. From the Gmail screen, it’s easy to access the other apps via tabs and windows. For example, open a Google Doc from Gmail and create a Google Chat room so multiple contributors can discuss changes and next steps.
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Who can use Google Workspace?
Anyone with a Gmail account can use Workspace, but to gain access to business-level Workspace functionality – such as custom email domains, more storage and marketing tools – you’ll need a paid Workspace subscription.
How much is Google Workspace?
Use Google Workspace’s basic functionality for free. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner who would like to take advantage of some Google Workspace business-level features, consider a Google Workspace Individual plan for $9.99 per month. A Workspace Individual plan brings enhanced Google Meet features, video meetings, smart booking services, branded emails and email marketing benefits.
For other organizations, consider one of the Google Workspace business plans, ranging from $6 to $18 per month. There’s also custom enterprise pricing for extensive needs.
John Brandon contributed to the writing and research in this article.