7 Google Teamwork Tools for Online Collaboration
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Google has one of the most enviable company cultures of any business in the world. Aside from its tricked-out office spaces, Google is famous for its many perks and employee-driven creativity. But what makes Google a truly great place to work is its spirit of collaboration and drive for teamwork.

Over the last couple of years, Google studied the habits of 180 teams. It also carried out hundreds of interviews. The company wants to understand what makes a perfect team. It offers numerous tools to help people work better with others, so that goal isn’t surprising.

Let’s look at some of the most teamwork-inspiring Google tools and examine how they could improve your online team collaboration.

1. Gmail

Gmail is a user-friendly email provider that offers 15 GB of storage space per account. What you might not know is it also allows for collaboration through a delegation option How to Grant Gmail Access to Someone Without Sharing Your Password How to Grant Gmail Access to Someone Without Sharing Your Password With Gmail's delegates feature, you can grant someone access to your account without revealing your password. Read More . Delegates can read and send email on your behalf while accessing the account.

Check out this feature by going to Settings. Then, look for the Accounts section at the top.

google teamwork tools and features

Find the section that says Grant access to your account. Radio buttons let you choose to show conversations as read or unread once delegates click into them.

Enter a person’s email after clicking the Add another account link. That action sends your delegate an activation link. Make sure to tell the individual to get set up within seven days.

Free Download: Gmail for Android | iOS

2. Google Calendar

Thanks to its color-coding abilities, Google Calendar is a great way to visually organize your busy life How to Block Time on Google Calendar for a Productive Workday How to Block Time on Google Calendar for a Productive Workday Do you struggle with time management? We show you how to block time on your Google Calendar to increase focus, reduce stress, and enhance productivity. Read More . You might use red to designate work obligations and reserve blue for fun stuff.

The tool also supports sharing How to Share Your Google Calendar With Anyone How to Share Your Google Calendar With Anyone We show you three options for sharing your Google Calendar. Using iCal, even Apple Calendar and Outlook users can view your schedule. We also explain how to revoke access to your Google Calendar. Read More . Make some or all of your calendars public, so people can see when you’re free.

Want to share a calendar with just one person? Click the down arrow to the right of the relevant calendar in the main list. Then choose Share this Calendar.

google teamwork tools and features

On the next page, look for the Share with specific people area. Then, enter the person’s email address.

You can also share calendars with any internet user. Go back to the down-arrow menu and choose Calendar Settings.

google teamwork tools and features

Scroll down to the Calendar Address section, then click the small green iCal button.

google teamwork tools and features

Copy the generated URL and send it to colleagues, friends, or other people you know. Be aware, anyone who gets the link can access the calendar.

The sharing capability of Google Calendar is fantastic for planning meetings, study sessions, or other collaborative activities. It also saves you from repeatedly telling people you’re busy. They can just look at a calendar you’ve shared with them instead.

Free Download: Google Calendar for Android | iOS

3. Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet app you can use with others simultaneously.

Advantages like conditional formatting and built-in formulas 4 Google Scripts That Make Google Sheets Much More Powerful 4 Google Scripts That Make Google Sheets Much More Powerful Google Sheets is great out of the box, but it can be even more powerful if you use Google Scripts to enhance its capabilities. Read More save time for you and collaborators. You can even see other people make edits in real time.

Want to send a notification to a collaborator in the sheet? Just right-click and select Insert comment, then type a plus sign to send a notification to the collaborator using their email address.

google teamwork tools and features

Because Google Sheets saves changes automatically, you won’t worry about losing work. If you need to see a list of changes and the people responsible, you can refer to the revision history.

To view the revisions history quickly, just click the note at the top of the sheet that says when the last edit was made.

google teamwork tools and features

Before sharing your spreadsheet, make sure every collaborator has a Google account. Then, click the Share button in the upper right.

google teamwork tools and features

Add the email addresses of the people you want to access the spreadsheet. Then click the pencil icon. Your last action allows for specifying whether people can view the sheet, edit it, or do both. Alternatively, you can just create a shareable link.

google teamwork tools and features

Choose the viewing/editing permissions when doing so and you can group message or email the link to your team.

Free Download: Google Sheets for Android | iOS

4. Google Docs

Google Docs works perfectly for putting your head together with teammates.

Use it while writing to-do lists, brainstorming for projects or anything else that’s better with input from others.

While looking at the document, pay attention to the colorful, flag-like icons with people’s names. They tell you who’s responsible for making changes.

A collaborator can also make notes to clarify the reasons behind edits or ask questions. How do you do this?

You guessed it — follow the same steps mentioned in the Google Sheets section above. The only difference is you’ll need to highlight some text in order to place your comment in the doc.

google teamwork tools and features

Share a document with people via the same process used for Google Sheets. You can also use the shareable link option in the corner of the sharing box.

Free Download: Google Docs for Android | iOS

5. Google Keep

Think of Google Keep as a beautifully basic project management tool How to Use Google Keep for Simple Project Management How to Use Google Keep for Simple Project Management Are you looking for a basic, intuitive, and cross-platform project management tool? We show you how to use Google Keep for simple projects. Read More .

It works on Android and iOS gadgets, plus your favorite web browser. Depend on Google Keep as a place for notes, drawings, lists, pictures, and audio clips. You can even share your Keep notes How to Share Google Keep Notes With Other Apps on Your Phone How to Share Google Keep Notes With Other Apps on Your Phone Did you know that Google Keep on your phone also allows you to share notes with other apps? Read More with other apps on your phone.

You can also pin important notes to the top of your Keep page, set reminders for important notes, and easily export notes to Google Docs.

google teamwork tools and features

Start sharing by finding the Collaborator icon. It looks like a person’s head and shoulders with a plus sign to the left. From there, you can share with someone by name or type in an email.

google teamwork tools and features

To share notes with multiple people at once, you can create a Google Family Group for up to six Google Keep users.

To make use of this feature, however, you have to also create a Google Families account. As the Family Group creator, you can assume the Family Manager role. You can then share Google Keep material with your family group, easy peasy.

Free Download: Google Keep for Android | iOS | Chrome

6. Google Slides

Getting ready for a group presentation? Avoid endless phone calls and emails about how to proceed, and collaborate with Google Slides instead. Select an appealing template 7 Places Where You Can Find Beautiful Presentation Templates Fast 7 Places Where You Can Find Beautiful Presentation Templates Fast Your search for last minute presentation templates comes to an end with these online resources. These template websites cover both PowerPoint and Google Slides. Read More to save design time. Make your words pop with hundreds of font possibilities.

Like Google Docs and Sheets, this collaboration facilitator allows in-the-moment editing by any authorized individual. Simply follow the now-familiar process for granting privileges and look for the blue Share button. It’s on the upper right of your screen.

google teamwork tools and features

Google Slides also plays nicely with Microsoft PowerPoint. You can import and edit PowerPoint slides with Google’s slide maker. It converts PowerPoint files into Google Slides, too.

google teamwork tools and features

Free Download: Google Slides for Android | iOS

7. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a messaging app. Try it to talk to one person at a time through text or up to 150 individuals.

You can also launch a video chat with as many as 10 people. Start a new conversation by clicking the plus sign. Then, add people by name, email address, or phone number. Finally, choose whether you want a message-based conversation or a video call.

google teamwork tools and features

Let more people join by clicking the person icon and selecting Add People. Then, follow the same process you initially did when creating the chat.

You might also want to name the conversation, so there are no doubts about the discussion topics. Do that by selecting the gear icon at the top of the chat box to open Hangout’s settings. Then, find Hangout Name and enter something descriptive.

There are lots of other tricks you can implement 10 Awesome Google Hangouts Tricks You Should Definitely Check Out 10 Awesome Google Hangouts Tricks You Should Definitely Check Out Google Hangouts has several useful hidden features that promise to make chatting and video calling smoother and more fun for you. We'll show you what you can do with them. Read More to make Hangouts more usable, too.

Free Download: Google Hangouts for Android | iOS

Bonus: G Suite

You can get all the tools above to enhance all your team efforts at no cost via Google Drive. However, if you’re collaborating for business reasons, paying for G Suite may be a better idea.

G Suite is Google’s packaged solution for organizations of all types. It offers all the tools above, plus several others. Essentially, it lets you access every tool we’ve discussed in this post from one location.

The G Suite version of Google Drive has a central administration panel with data loss prevention features. It also boasts a machine-learning-powered search feature that helps people find files faster.

You can also create a Team Drive. Unlike content in a normal Drive account, the team owns the materials, rather than individuals.

google teamwork tools and features

That means if someone leaves, the files stay where they are so your team can continue working. Right-click on a file and go to Add Star to flag it as important, so people can find it later.

After finishing a two-week free trial, you’ll pay a monthly amount per user based on tier level. The most basic package does not include unlimited storage. The version of G Suite for teams costs $10 per month per user.

Purchase G Suite: $5-$25 per month per user based on chosen package after a two-week free trial.

What Google Tools Will You Start Using More?

Getting acquainted with these tools is simple. That’s because the process for carrying out certain tasks (such as sharing documents) is identical across apps. Also, although you now have the necessary mobile app links, all the tools work in web browsers. Most even allow you to keep working alone or with others, even without an internet connection.

With so many professional tools available (for free!), there’s no excuse not to be an awesome team The 6 Best Free Online Meeting Tools to Collaborate with Your Team The 6 Best Free Online Meeting Tools to Collaborate with Your Team Small teams don't need expensive enterprise apps for collaboration. Here are six fantastic tools that you can use to manage your team's data, communication, and more. For free. Read More .

What collaborative tools do you wish your team used more? Tell us in the comments section below.

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  1. ReadandShare
    October 26, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Each to his or her own, of course, but...

    I would hate to use that many products coming from a single company whose revenues come overwhelmingly from knowing its users and then selling that information to others!

    In my opinion, that's bad and intrusive enough for an individual user -- and potentially much worse for business users! I, for one, would NOT allow my employees to use Google Docs or Sheets for business -- where critical company information is all readable (and are indeed all scanned and read) by Google -- and kept from everyone else only by individual employees' email passwords!