Today’s post is by a guest contributor from Mariana McCready of Cloud Sherpas, one of CloudLock’s technology partners.
I don’t know about you, but there aren’t many days where I am just sitting at a desk all day pounding away on my keyboard. However, running around an office or an airport does not stop me from being productive and it shouldn’t stop you either!
Having easy access to all of my files and documents anywhere, anytime has been a game changer for my productivity and, honestly speaking, job satisfaction. I spend less time looking and more time doing. Regardless of my location and device, I can review a presentation or spreadsheet or even put some final edits into a document. So here are some tips I’ve compiled that can help you get the most out of Drive for Work, no matter where you happen to be.
#1: Set Up Drive Offline For Your PC
We all know how hard life can be without WiFi. Using Drive Offline from your laptop can help reduce that offline anxiety we all get and make it possible to do what you need to even when a connection simply isn’t available. Using Drive Offline, you can search for and view files and even edit Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations and Drawings. When your computer is back online, all of your offline changes are synced up. This feature is a great way to maximize that time on your flight, in the woods or wherever else you may be without Internet access.
To enable Drive Offline, just go to your Drive settings (the little gray gear) and make sure you’ve checked the box for offline sync.
Here are some instructions for setting this up whether you are using the new Google Drive or the Classic.
To use it, just open Chrome, go to drive.google.com/#offline and keep on editing.
#2: Get the Drive Mobile Apps
Mobility is key, so make sure you can work from your mobile device by downloading the apps for Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides for your iOS or Android device. Each of the apps gives you the ability to find and view files as well as leave comments (within the comment, use “+” along with an email address to send a notification to a colleague) and edit in real time. You can also create, share and see who else is in the doc. Is it a Microsoft Office file? Yeah, you can edit that too!
Having these apps handy is a huge help when you are running from place to place and need to quickly prepare for a meeting!
#3: Just Search For It
I hear people say all the time that they can’t find documents or files and spend most of their time fruitlessly searching for things on file shares or disparate internal portals. Those days are over with Google Drive. The search capability is so strong, all you have to do is type a few keywords and you can find what you need within seconds. Now, you no longer have to navigate through folder hierarchies, you can just search. This capability is a massive time saver!
To get started, it’s helpful to have a few search tips up your sleeve. The Drive search will crawl through the titles and body of any file that is text readable, so you can type just about any word that’s in the document for which you’re looking. To supplement that, you can use the advanced search features to filter results by file type and ownership. And, on top of that, there are some helpful search operators you can use to narrow it down even further.
One last tip is that you can always tag your files and documents in the description field of the document. Look for the icon and then click on “Details” to add specific phrases or keywords to the document’s description. These tags become instantly indexed and searchable.
#4: Edit Your Word Docs in Drive
Every now and then, a Word document creeps into my Google Drive, and now I don’t have to freak out because I don’t have MS Office. In order edit MS Office docs from Drive, you’ll need to install the Chrome plugin called Office editing for Docs, Sheets and Slides.
With this plugin, you can simply open the Word doc in Drive, begin to type and everything is saved as you go. Also, if you followed tip #2, the latest versions of all the mobile apps (Android and iOS) come equipped with Office editing features.
(Note that you don’t get the full editing toolbar or real-time collaboration with this plugin. To enable those capabilities, convert the Word doc into a Google doc.)
#5: Convert Your Office Docs to Google Docs and Vice Versa
Sometimes you get an Office doc that you want to convert into a Google Doc (for example, to gain real-time collaboration as noted above), and sometimes you create a Google doc that you need to convert into a Word doc. Two features will help you easily convert docs either way.
Convert uploads is feature that you can turn on for all files that you upload to Drive (found in Settings).
This feature converts any MS Office doc to its equivalent in Drive. When you convert the documents, you get the advantage of being able to collaborate in real-time and use all the other great collaboration features (inserting comments, suggesting edits, sharing with others). You’ll also get the full editing tool bar.
On the flip side, you can always convert your Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Presentations to their MS Office equivalents using File>Download as or File>Email as attachment.
These tips have kept me productive while on the go, so I now have more time to sit back and relax at the end of the day. I hope you can use them too!
About the Author
Mariana McCready is a guest blogger from Cloud Sherpas, where she is a Business Transformation Consultant at Cloud Sherpas and has 10 years of experience helping organizations transform business processes using cloud technology. She specializes in analyzing organizational and departmental processes and delivering solutions focused on improving how people share information and collaborate on the Google for Work platform. Mariana holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management with a specialization in consulting.