Throughout this series we’ve given you a very brief look at our favourite customer relationship, time tracking and task management tools. Today, we’re looking at bringing the collaborative effort of the team’s work itself online.
Email, Document Sharing, Video Conference: Google Apps
The key to almost everyone’s productivity can be traced down to their email and no email is more flexible as far as supported devices than Gmail by Google. But Google takes email to the next level. More than just email for your business, Google provides a series of apps and tools that will make collaborative work so much easier. Gmail includes such great tools as Google Drive for creating, editing and sharing spreadsheets, documents, and presentations on the go or at your computer. It also allows you to store any type of file you want to share with others later. Think of it like Dropbox on a mission. It allows you to do something with the files you store, not just access them.
We’ve been using Google Apps for over 6 years and it keeps getting better. With the recent additions of Hangouts (video chatting) and Google+ (social networking), Google Apps has become the best business communications tool you can buy. You can now video conference, screen share and integrate them into their already stellar apps like Calendar, making scheduling and managing video conference calls a breeze.
If you’ve been reading along through the series you’ve probably noticed a theme by now. Each of the items that have become our favourite seem to work alongside some of the others and for good reason. Nothing stinks more than having to do duplicate data entry and double the management work.
Our favourite part of Google Apps has to be the Google Apps Marketplace, which provides integrations to work with almost any tool out there from the Harvest Time Tracking app to Nimble widgets. There are also other various upgrades that let you do things like schedule emails, see and track read receipts and generally make Google Apps into the swiss army knife of business.
Perhaps the best thing about Gmail is that once you’ve set it up you can add a contact to your phone, see that contact move over to Google Apps and have it import at Nimble where Nimble fills in the blanks, and re-syncs to Google. I guess it’s true work smarter not harder!
In the final chapter of this series we’re letting the cat out of the bag as we’ll show you our secret weapon when it comes to inbound marketing.