Watch the video below to find out more about using Google Drive to enable better collaboration on documents. Or you can follow the tutorial steps listed.
It works best with a gmail email address and in Google Chrome, but if you have an enterprise email address in the Google platform, it will work also. So the very most basic step is to log into your gmail account. Then follow these steps:
Hover over the 9 little squares.
Find the Drive triangle and click.
Drive will open to a new browser window. Navigate to that.
On the left side, you will see a menu of items that includes your documents, items that have been shared with you by others, photos, recent documents, starred (favorites) and trash. Use these area and create folders within as you would with the document manager in your version of Windows.
Once you have your selection open, just pick the document upon which you want to work.
The document will open in a new tab. Browse to that tab.
There is a WYSIWYG editor that you can use. Some of the items are not as robust as the original “Office” software in which the original document may have been created, but you have almost every capability. If the document is created in Drive, there is no differentiation.
Multiple people can be in the document at one time. You would see a box with an initial in it of who the other people are. This is great for collaboration.
Check comments or share the document from the next area.
When sharing a document, make sure you know the google email that the person uses to access their drive and/or calendar. OR you can share a link with them to access the file.
You can also allow them to be able to edit, make comments only, or just view.
In the continuing discussion about the better platforms for B2B vs B2C – Google+ is next up. Google+ has seen more than a 58% increase in users over the past 9 months. Anarticle from October indicates there are over 300 million users with 1/3 of them in active mode. One of the things about creating a Gmail account is that you automatically get a G+ account. When you have a Gmail account, you connect with all of the other Google services, +, YouTube, Hangouts, Drive, Picasa, and on, and on. Google was a bit late to the game creating a “posting” platform, but with the power of a search engine behind it, Google+ gives you a huge opportunity if you choose to optimize a platform here.
Create your company profile and verify your “official” page. Share photos with links back to your website. Recommend links to your blog posts. Use analytics to look at traffic and leads. Use the Hangout function to hold long distance training or brainstorm with colleagues in out of town offices or clients.
One of the benefits of Google+ and a brick and mortar location is the map functionality. While G+ is not quite as robust to the consumer as Facebook, the ability to post photos, have images related to your business and reviews about your business may help drive business through your doors. If you have a G+ local business page, you get much more real estate on a search results page. Verify your address to have that show up.
No matter which business type you have, you may want to consider establishing a G+ account and putting up a few posts. Engage with others as you can by sharing posts and +1ing posts from others.
Almost everyone I know uses the phrase “Google it” when referencing an internet search. But other than searching for something are you making the most out of a Google account for your business? Let’s review a few of my most favorite tools.
Google Maps – if you haven’t optimized your Maps presence, jump on board. There is a new interface that Google announced that is going to help your business look even better. Notice the pictures of the selected location. You can even hire Google Certified photographers to record a 360 degree view of the inside of your establishment.
Google Place Pages – are merging with your Google+ business page. So make sure that your information, categories, contact info and links are all up to date. If you have a page out there, claim it so that you don’t have reviews that are going unnoticed. Link here to see my page.
G+ posts and images – are now being indexed in search results. If you aren’t using your G+ profile at least occasionally, your likelyhood of ranking very high in search results diminishes. Also, if you have a blog, add a Google Authorship plug-in that will provide a headshot and minimal information about you in the search results.
Google Hangouts – jump on before they raise the price! Right now you can have a video conference with up to 10 people, screen share, chat and do silly things with your screen image. This is a great way to have a face-to-face meeting without having to leave your desk.
Google Drive – share documents that are editable with other users. Have a spreadsheet that needs to be filled in and you are tired of having to make corrections? Share it on Drive and let the other people take responsibility for filling in their own information.
YouTube – is the 2nd largest search platform and it isn’t even a search engine. It is a Google property as well. You can link to it from within Google Chrome. Talk about search engine results – put a video on YouTube and Google loves it. Check out my channel with how-to videos here.
Google Chrome – for all of you IE users out there, jump on board. There are so many plug-in tools available for Google Chrome that I would run out of space and my fingers would grow tired from typing. Need I say more?
In the early days of the internet and word processing there was an adage used “Save early and often”. Before the days of autosave, I fell victim several times to forgetting to save. I would get to the bottom of a lengthy document only to hit a button accidentally and lose, sometimes, hours of work. That taught me to hit save regularly.
For accounting, I use Quickbooks. I have learned to save regularly, because I did not want to pull out all of the paper documents to recreate the digital file.
Recently, my hard-drive crashed unexpectedly. Guess what? I had not performed a backup for a rather lengthy period of time. Fortunately, my IT angel Trish, was able to retrieve the documents so I will not have to begin from scratch.
What this brought to mind is:
Security – how secure is your system? When was the last time you backed up your files? How often do you back-up? Where do you keep your back-up? Do you have redundant back-up?
Options – While writing this article, I performed a search for on-line back-up and got a link to a review of 26 systems. I will be implementing one of these back-up systems. The next question becomes if you store data in GoogleDrive, or SkyDrive (who came up with the Drive name first?) or Adobe’s Creative Cloud Connection, how secure are the files in those cloud drives? Small business can be devastated if they haven’t secured their file servers and something crashes. Even if you are saving things with services like Box or Drive you could run into a breach of some sort. Look at the recent hack into Evernote. Today the options are varied and numerous. You may employ one or more currently and you may not, but I urge each of you to think about your schedule and how frequently you are backing up your data, and whether it is automatic or manual.
What is your favorite method to protect your data?