Technology is great, but it won’t help you be productive on its own.
Just like a novice can’t build furniture of the same caliber as an expert woodworker, workers who don’t know their way around the apps they rely on will be less productive than their better educated counterparts. Since that’s the case, it’s worth studying up on the collaboration tools you use in order to take your productivity to the next level.
According to Gartner, Google Apps adoption rates have increased dramatically since 2007. So if you, like many others, find yourself using Google’s tools to get the job done, consider these five tricks that are bound to increase your output.
1. Shortcuts are your friend.
Sure, you might only save a few seconds here and there by using shortcuts instead of using your mouse. But if you live and breathe in the Google Apps ecosystem, those chunks of time will undoubtedly add up over the course of a day, a month, a year.
You won’t have to memorize every single shortcut Google has to offer. Instead, give this list a read, and figure out which shortcuts you’d probably use the most. Learn them. You’ll be a keyboard virtuoso in no time.
2. Save web assets directly to Google Drive.
There’s no sense in creating more work for yourself. Instead of saving any files you come across on the web to your desktop—whether they’re pictures, documents or audio or video files—you can save them to Google Drive. All you have to down is download this free Chrome extension.
With a simple click of the mouse, you’re able to share relevant assets with your team the moment you’re ready.
3. Sync your devices.
Many of today’s workers are constantly on the go. Over the course of the day, they migrate from their laptops to their tablets to their smartphones.
If you find yourself leading a similar life, you probably want to make the most of your Google Drive account by syncing it across your devices. This functionality allows you to upload a file to your Drive folder on your laptop, for example, and access it a few minutes later from your tablet once the need arises.
It’s important to remember that Google Drive isn’t just isn’t just a place you can store files—it’s an application. Once your devices are synced, you won’t have to open a browser to access your data. Just click your Drive folder.
4. Manage your revisions.
Do you know that Google Drive manages the revisions you and your team make to documents?
We’ve all been there before, going down a tangent one night only to wake up the next day and wonder what the hell everyone was thinking. Google Drive stores your revisions for up to 30 days or 100 iterations. So the previous versions of documents you created yesterday and last week are only a few clicks away.
5. Don’t be afraid of the search box.
Nobody tells people to “search for it on the Internet.” Instead, we simply say, “Google it.”
Don’t forget that the algorithms that power the world’s most popular search engine are also integrated into your Google Apps account. Whether you’re in your mailbox or looking for something in Drive, don’t be afraid of using the surprisingly often underutilized search function.
Just remember, you won’t be able to get the most out of your productivity tools if you don’t understand exactly what they’re capable of accomplishing. So study now—you’ll enjoy the returns soon enough.