Internet Productivity

The 8 Best Google Teamwork Tools for Online Collaboration

Sandy Writtenhouse Updated 07-05-2020

Google has one of the most enviable company cultures of any business in the world. But what makes Google a truly great place to work is its spirit of collaboration and drive for teamwork. That same culture is reflected in its roster of cloud tools built for team productivity.

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Let’s look at several of those Google collaboration tools.

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. Delegates can read and send email on your behalf while accessing the account.

To set this up, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click the Settings button (gear icon) and choose
  2. Select the Accounts and Import tab at the top.
  3. Scroll down to Grant access to your account.
  4. Make your selections for the Mark as read and Sender information
  5. Click Add another account, enter the Gmail address for the person you are delegating to, and click Next Step.
  6. Confirm the email address and click Send email to grant access.

You’ll be directed back to your Gmail settings where you’ll see the person’s email address in that section. It will display as Pending until they accept the invitation and will then change to reflect that.

Gmail Grant AccessT o Delegate

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Your delegate has seven days to accept your invitation. Once they do, they will see your account listed beneath theirs with the word Delegated. They simply click that to manage your inbox.

Google Switch Account Delegated

Download: Gmail for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a great way to visually organize your busy life. The tool also supports sharing. Make some or all of your calendars public, so people can see when you’re free.

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Want to share a calendar with just one person? It’s easy!

  1. Click the options button (three dots) to the right of the relevant calendar in the main list and select Settings and Sharing.
  2. On the next page, scroll down to the Share with specific people
  3. Click Add people and then enter the person’s email address.
  4. Choose the Permissions dropdown box and pick the privilege you want to allow. You can also change this afterward in the same section of the settings.
  5. Click Send.

Google Calendar ShareWith Specific People

You can also share your using a link. On the same calendar Settings page, scroll down to Integrate calendar.

You’ll see different URL options for your calendar as a public URL, public URL in iCal format, and secret URL in iCal format.

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Google Calendar Integrate Links

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.

Download: Google Calendar for Android | iOS (Free)

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3. Google Sheets

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

To share your spreadsheet, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Share button on the upper right.
  2. Add the email addresses of the people you want to access the spreadsheet.
  3. Click the pencil icon and specify whether people can view the sheet, edit it, or comment on it.
  4. Alternatively, you can use the Get a shareable link option and send the link manually. Choose the viewing and editing permissions when doing so and you can group message or email the link to your team.
  5. Click Done when you finish.

Google Sheets Share Options

Want to send a notification to a collaborator in the sheet? Just right-click the cell in your sheet and pick Comment. Then type a plus sign followed by the collaborator to send a notification to their email address.

Google Sheets Comment Mention

Download: Google Sheets for Android | iOS (Free)

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.

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

Another option you have when sharing Google Docs or Google Sheets are some advanced settings.

  1. Click the Share button on the top right.
  2. In the popup window, click Advanced.
  3. Here you’ll see the link to share, those who have access, and an option to invite more people.
  4. Under Owner settings, you can check the boxes for those additional options. So you can prevent editors from changing access or adding others and disable options for commenters and viewers to download, print, or copy it.

Google Docs Advanced Sharing Options

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.

Download: Google Docs for Android | iOS (Free)

5. 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 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 and 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 with the Share button on the upper right of the window.

google slides presentation

Download: Google Slides for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Google Keep

Think of Google Keep as a beautifully basic project management tool 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 . You can depend on it as a place for notes, drawings, lists, pictures, and audio clips.

  1. Start sharing by clicking the Collaborator icon at the bottom of the note.
  2. Enter the person’s name or type in their email address.
  3. Click Save.

Google Keep Note Collaborator Button

When you open Google Keep, you’ll see the last person who edited the note along with when.

Download: Google Keep for Android | iOS | Chrome (Free)

7. Google Hangouts (Chat)

Google Hangouts, to be renamed Google Chat, is a messaging app. Use 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, phone call, or video call.

Google Hangouts Main

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

Download: Google Hangouts for Android | iOS (Free)

8. Google Meet

Google Meet is very similar to Google Hangouts as both offer a video call service. However, Google Meet is intended for professionals and is a paid service, although currently free due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Google Hangouts, on the other hand, is more for consumers.

It can accommodate up to 250 participants per call for G Suite users (see below) and 100 with a personal Google account. Plus, you can check out the live streaming and recording features.

Google Meet Meeting Ready

Starting or joining a meeting with Google Meet is simple. Just head to the website, hit Start a meeting or Enter meeting code, and you’re on your way.

Download: Google Meet for Android | iOS (Free)

Bonus: G Suite

If you’re collaborating for business reasons, checking out for G Suite may be a good 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 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.

After finishing a two-week free trial, you’ll pay a monthly amount per user based on tier level.

Purchase G Suite: $6 to $25 per month per user based on chosen package after a two-week free trial.

Take Advantage of Google Collaboration Tools

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. And, 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. For more, take a look at these additional online collaboration tools The 6 Best Free Online Meeting Tools to Collaborate With Your Team Here are some great free online meeting tools that let you collaborate and chat with your colleagues, no matter where they are. Read More .

Explore more about: Collaboration Tools, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Google Keep, Google Sheets, Remote Work.

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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!