It’s no secret I am a raving fan of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) – I’m a reseller, almost all of my clients use Google Workspace in their businesses and since I started my business in August 2016 I have implemented and used Google Workspace in my own business.
Hand on heart, without Google Workspace, I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as cool, calm and collected (? ok, that’s debatable at times) as I am with my own back of house business systems and processes. So I wanted to share with you my top 5 apps that are a part of the Google Workspace subscription that keep this small business ticking along lean and efficiently every day of the week.
Top App # 1 – Gmail
Email: the absolute lifeblood of online business (and really most small businesses these days). And Gmail is the tool I use to keep the flow of emails under control. I particularly love the filters and labels functionality that is in Gmail (so I have rules set up so emails that come in from clients to be tagged with labels automatically – and because I’m a visual person they’re all colours of the rainbow) and most recently the scheduled sending option. The scheduled sending option allows me to draft emails and send them at a later time and date (for the times that I’m working late of an evening after the kids have gone to bed or outside of my designated office hours – which I try to keep to a minimum).
Top App # 2 – Google Calendar
This app tells me where I need to be and when (and my family too – hubby and I share a family calendar which syncs onto our phones). I still have my paper based diary that I have with me (and I regularly cross check the two against each other) but Google Calendar is my go to for scheduling my weeks. What is also fantastic is the huge number of apps out there that integrate with Google Calendar – so I have Calendly that I use for my clients to schedule in appointments to catch up with me via a web link and it saves a huge amount of backward and forward emails. The other plus is that it also pulls in details from emails that I receive in Gmail for anything that looks to have an event within it – so it makes adding new appointments into the schedule very easy. Additionally I have connected up my Facebook events to my calendar so that if I accept to attend an event in Facebook it shows up within my Google Calendar too as a tentative and I can easily copy the event into my calendar too.
Top App # 3 – Google Sheets
I love love love love Google Sheets (and I’m not generally a huge spreadsheets fan). Despite what you would think, I actually have built a number of key items in my business as a Google Sheet rather than spending money on subscriptions that I don’t actually need for the moment. I have my Customer Management System (CMS) as a Google Sheet (yes yes, it doesn’t do the bells and whistles or automations) but for me it’s a central point for me to track the enquiries I receive, the contacts I meet at networking events and I can access it easily on my mobile phone with the Google Sheets app if I need to get contact details for someone while I’m out and about. Again, being visual I’ve got dropdown menus and colour coding all through it so I can see at a glance where things are at. Naturally I have my budgeting and forecasting in Google Sheets, again, very easy to access via mobile if I’m not sitting in front of my laptop or desktop and it works seamlessly when I need it to.
Top App # 4 – Google Forms
Onboarding, questionnaires, feedback forms – Google Forms are a fantastic app for me as an administration consultant because I am able to create a simple and seamless process with my clients by having them input their information into a smoothly running form that populates all of the data into a spot on my Google Drive either within Google Forms or as a Google Sheet. Then the extension of this is using Zapier to then automate next steps when someone fills in the forms and streamline my admin processes.
Top App # 5 – Google Drive
Google Drive (in conjunction with Google File Stream) is by and far the central intelligence of my business. I do have Dropbox for my clients and their desktop app has improved recently, but it still doesn’t work as seamlessly as what Google Drive has for me for the last 3 years. Google Drive allows me to access it via my desktop (with Google File Stream) and via the web browser, and the iPhone and Android apps for Google Drive make it even simpler to access files when I need them when I’m away from the office. Again, being visual, I can colour code files, create shortcuts across folders where I need to easily access the same items within different filing sections of my business and keep my files and documents organised and sorted. Not to mention the search capabilities within Google Drive are super simple to use and quite intuitive.
So there you have it – my top 5 Google Workspace Apps I Use in my business – there are many many more – I’d love to hear if you use others for specific functions within your business.