Why I am using Google Drive….. More & More?
In my humble opinion Google Drive requires consideration if you are not using it already.
i am writing this post on my friends laptop ( with her blessing of course) in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in beautiful northwest Ireland…..using Google Drive. My assistant in Dublin working on my website will access the draft document tomorrow morning, will suggest his amendments in red and we will get it online after collaboration.
Google Drive is like my flash drive in the cloud – how many times have we carried important stuff around with us using flash drives-to share or access documents – only to lose them or mislay them or leave them behind us somewhere.
I have become a convert to Google Drive having used it very seriously for the last month. I confess that previously I had used it just to store some documents and photographs that if I am honest were not that terribly important to me……. But times change folks.
Don’t get me wrong – I have used Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office for so long I cannot even remember when I first started using those programs. Indeed I joined Dropbox not long after it launched on a recommendation from a business colleague in the US and I would be lying if I did not say I have used it extensively and successfully both for my business and private life online ever since.
What got me thinking, was a recent exercise in decluttering my PC to be honest folks I had so many programs that I have tested and tried that my important ones were getting hidden – firstly I did a list of all the programs installed on my PC – which i saved to Google Docs. I then decided what I could live with losing and what I could not live without. Programs that quite simply were not that terribly good got deleted. Programs that served useful purposes even though only occasionally used got labelled.
In any event I then began to ponder shock horror – Microsoft Office – no I did not delete it , because of the fact that many people still use it and email documents in that format. However when I dwelt upon Office in the context of productivity and just getting something done quickly, it struck me that Word for example has so many features that we do not really need in the real world ( or indeed often use). Yes it can be argued that you paid for it and that you have them and that’s great and yes it is to a point but on the other hand I don’t know about you but if I have a document namely a text document to prepare i like to simply get it done and get it where it’s meant to be going be it a blog an email to a colleague, or on paper. We all have a lots to do and so little time to do it – and I am suggesting folks that if you use Google, and have a Gmail address – you should really concentrate on giving to Google productivity tools and lash! Believe me when I say you will actually be surprised! I go back to my comment about not needing bells and whistles in the real world times and Google drive is a classic example.
Why move to Google Drive for business use
Think about it you probably all use Gmail and if you combine Google Drive you can have a central point for your business.. Yes I know that we all used Microsoft office in the past and yes there are some conversion issues to the Google drive format on occasion but believe me it is much easier to use Google drive as the main centre for all of your business documentation in conjunction with Google drive.
Think about it Google are not going to disappear yesterday – they are here to stay – they own You Tube – they are a search engine of choice – and if you think about it they are hellbent on making a lot of us integrate all of their services perhaps whether we like it or not. They want to have you and me connected to all of their services so that all of their services work better together, give a better customer experience and allow Google obviously to sell
all of your files email etc are all in one place giving you peace of mind, security and you have one place where you can access all of your work anytime without needing to carry around a flash drive without leaving needing to take your laptop with you because you can access your office and your docs from your granny’s house. If your laptop is robbed – it’s not a tragedy anymore. Collaboration – revision history – see what every change that has been made is -work in real time with colleagues-your solr acct will love you saving them time. Work on the same document at the same time and believe me you will be amazed at how quickly you and your colleagues business partner or the employee will get the document right far more quickly than playing around with dropbox or sending emails with the hassle of attaching documents to them and then figuring out what was the last bloody email that matters etc
love them or hate them Google are secure – Google are a data driven organisation who have spent millions on data and encryption and security, not because they love you and me but because they have to! Their core competency is data and all things data and the chances that either Google will go bust or that all of their servers will die is far-fetched
Challenges – file formats
occasionally you will encounter difficulties converting Microsoft documents into their Google format but it is not as big a problem as you might think. But I have done is that my colleagues both business and private I have encouraged to install Google drive, most of them already have Gmail accounts anyway and I have begun to do some short tutorial videos etc etc but the bottom line is that my business colleagues in particular can deal with me in real time
Google as storage
remember in your Google drive account you can store anything and indeed it should be stressed in any format – Microsoft office OpenOffice et cetera you can store your videos and pictures there
this saves a huge amount of time. Let’s say you hire a new employee and need to give him all of the legal stuff such as terms and working, confidential agree agreements, working times act etc etc maybe there are 20 such files – its so easy in Google drive to simply share that folder with that new employee. Not only – when you share a folder or indeed document in Google drive you can attach permissions – in other words are do simply allowed to view the document, or are they allowed to view it and edit it? Both are easily done in Google drive. I have found this feature to be highly effective productivity wise.
I fundamentally truly believe that all productivity systems out there have their limitations be they OpenOffice, Microsoft or indeed to be transparent Google. I often ponder about Microsoft office and the huge list of features that I personally find burdensome. With Google drive and Google Docs the only real challenge lies in file conversion for non techie people. The challenge lies in the fact that not all conversions are 100% accurate. However there is a very simple handy tip – save your document if it is really important in Google drive as a Word document, make a copy of it and create a Google Doc out of it
Handy tip remember that if you convert most of your words documents into Google Docs this does not count against your free allowance – whereas saving your documents in Google drive as Word documents does
yes in Google drive there can be problems with conversion of Word and Excel files but believe me when I say that if a lot of your Word documents consist of plain and simple text conversion really causes a problem. The only problems I have encountered lie in converting Word documents that had images embedded tables embedded but apart from this practically no problem. Remember just like everything else it gets very easy with time patience and practice.
Use Google drive to create documents
it would be alive from me to suggest that drive has all of the features of Microsoft office program but I repeat my point do you need all of those features?
You would be surprised at how good Google drive is in the context of its own features.
Using docs is much more simple process in Google drive
Find your documents easily on Google drive
it is so easy to find your documents and Google drive – yes you can news the search facility on a Windows PC easily enough to but believe me it takes time – remember Google’s search word driven by its very nature and even remembering harsher words and documents will find them very quickly
Google drive advantages
it is so easy to share important stuff with business colleagues and employees
is so easy to find documents – where did I put that file I need now?
Google drive solves two huge problems – sharing and collaborating in real time
Google drive serves four main functions for me and well :
- Word processing
- Files storage
- Collaboration with my assistant
- No need to worry about flash drives
Google drive brings all of these three very important productivity matters together in one place for me anyway
Google drive benefits- for me anyway
Forget about carrying around flash drives and memory cards to carry important documents from here to there – you don’t even need a laptop – you can access your account from anywhere – you can access youyr documents and files and run your business from your granny’s house if you got a notion – You don’t have to worry about your laptop getting robbed or lost with your precious files either