The 5 (Unknown) Perks of Google Docs and How to Use Them Effectively
Work + Life Balance

The 5 (Unknown) Perks of Google Docs and How to Use Them Effectively

by Samantha Tollin
Photos Nicole Vaughn | August 19, 2015

GOOGLE DOCS: THE PERFECT COLLABORATIVE TOOL FOR THE HARDWORKING CAREER WOMAN. LEARN HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE, USE THIS SYSTEM EFFICIENTLY, AND IMPROVE YOUR WORKFLOW OVERALL. 

Life’s all about getting things done, right? So no one wants to spend more time on tedious tasks than they need. Fortunately, today’s technology makes it easy on us, simplifying the process to the touch of a button or a click of the ALT key. You just need to know where to look.

If you’re in the market for a writing and collaborating tool on steroids, look no further than Google Docs. Whether you’re taking simple notes, collaborating with Editorial on a press release, or starting an online store, Google Docs has some hacks to make your work simpler (and life easier). {Click to Tweet} Here are our five go-tos:  

1. WORK OFFLINE

Avoiding your looming deadline by rabbit-holing through Pinterest boards? Take control of your productivity by taking yourself offline. As an administrator, you can tweak the settings of any file to access it through Google Chrome without an internet connection.

Take control of your productivity by taking yourself offline. 

Related: How To Communicate Effectively At Work

  • If you haven’t already, download Google Chrome
  • Go to drive.google.com to access the Google Drive homepage
  • At the top right of the screen, click the Settings icon
  • Check the box next to "Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline."

We’ll miss you. Send us a Tweet when you resurface.

2. COLLABORATE IN REAL TIME

Say it with us: no more juggling drafts and attachments. No more back and forth. No more waiting for edits. With Google Docs, anyone who has editing access can go to work on a file in real time. {Click to Tweet} It’s an ideal solution when you’re on a time crunch and need feedback pronto.

  • Open your file
  • Click Share at the top right of your screen
  • Enter email addresses for anyone you’d like to have access
  • Click Done. Your collaborator(s) will get an email invitation to view your document.

Pro tip: You can give specific document permissions to each collaborator. These include, viewing only, editing or commenting.

3. USE THE RESEARCH TOOL

If you’re like us, you hate fact-checking and research and your preferred spell-checking tool is maybe called ‘autocorrect.’ Fortunately, those mundane elements are Google’s bread-and-butter.  Use the research sidebar to search for web pages, images and much more without leaving your editing screen.

  • Once you have your file open, click Tools located it the top menu
  • Click Research to open a sidebar on the right side of your screen.
  • From here, you can search for websites, videos or images or look up words in Google’s dictionary or thesaurus. Convenient, right?
Those mundane elements are Google’s bread-and-butter.

Related: How To Prepare Your Colleagues For Your Time Off

4. PUBLICLY SHARE A DOCUMENT

So you’ve finished your project and you want everyone to know it.  You’re in luck. Google Docs makes bragging easy by allowing you to instantly publish a public document to the web. {Click to Tweet}

  • Click File at the top of the document
  • Click Publish to the Web and you will be given a link to the document in its published form so you can share it with anyone, anywhere
Here’s another useful trick: you can explore and restore any past revision even when you have multiple collaborators working on the same file.

Related: Tools of the Job Trade: LinkedIn 

5. SEE REVISION HISTORY

You probably know that Google Docs automatically saves your work as you go, ensuring you never lose your work in the event of crash or pre-lunch carelessness.  But here’s another useful trick: you can explore and restore any past revision even when you have multiple collaborators working on the same file. The revision history allow you to ferret through past revisions, check their timestamps, and see who made them. You can even trace your way back to what the document looked like in its purest form before it was edited.

  • Click File > See Revision History
  • A sidebar will open on the right side of your screen with a list of past revisions.

 

Got some other go-to apps or hacks that boost your productivity? Share them with us in our comments section.