Customization hacks to boost your productivity with Google Workspace

“Do more with less” is often a guiding principle when deciding what tools to use to manage customers, employees, and the necessary workflows to make it all happen.
Google Workspace for enterprises
Google Workspace products provide tools for businesses to do what they do best – serve their customers. These tools work well on their own but shine when integrated and customized to bring together a holistic solution that meets unique business needs.

Customizing Google Workspace for Your Needs

Google describes the Workspace suite as “helpful tools, thoughtfully connected”. Users can create workflows between applications with no knowledge lost. AppSheet and Apps Script enable Workspace users to build the apps they need.

With AppSheet, you can create custom apps with little to no coding. Apps Script is a platform that uses JavaScript to create custom applications.

There are some quick tips and tricks that need little effort to set up and use.

  • Compose emails when it’s convenient and use Scheduled Send to send them later.
  • Set up an email template instead of typing the same email.
  • Set up a form to collect customer information and store it in Sheets. 
  • Use the information in the Sheets document for mail merges.
  • Set up a shared drive for documents for your teams. 

A customized Google Workspace allows you to streamline tasks, automate notifications, and create dashboards to view and analyze data.

Utilizing Third-Party Integrations

The Google Workspace suite of tools provides a solid foundation on which to build. Yet, each business is unique. Third-party integrations take those tools and give the flexibility to meet business-specific needs. 

  • Use a Google form to collect information from a prospective client and store it in a Google sheet. 
  • Use Zapier, ZOHO, or another CRM to extract client data from the Google sheet and send a follow-up email.
  • Use an email signature manager for Google Workspace to ensure all email signatures are consistent and share the company’s message.

Creating Custom Shortcuts and Macros

Shortcuts are plentiful in Google Workspace. 

A handy way to create a new Sheets or Docs document when logged into Google Workspace is to type ‘sheets.new’ or ‘docs.new’ in a browser tab. Workspace creates the document and you are ready to go.

Other quick hacks:

  • Repeat your last action by using the F4 key.
  • Insert current date using Ctrl + ; and current time using Ctrl + Shift + ;
  • Show all formulas using Ctrl + ~
  • Use text shortcuts that expand into longer sentences.

Macros are the real power of automation. Do you create the same chart every week for new datasets? The next time you do it, turn on the macro recording, create your chart, then save the macro. Now all you’ll need to do is update your data set and run the macro to produce your chart.

Apps Script allows you to extend the abilities of macros further and it works in Docs as well.

Taking Advantage of Mobile Features

Most of the core services offered by Google Workspace are available for mobile devices and have much of the same functionality as the desktop versions.

Here are a few tips to make the most of Google Workspace on your mobile device:

  • Get email notifications. Answer the important ones and snooze the others for later.
  • View your upcoming calendar appointments to ensure you leave plenty of time to get to the next meeting.
  • Schedule appointments or respond to calendar invites.
  • Set Google Drive files offline, allowing you to continue to work without internet access.
  • Scan files to PDF and store them in Drive.

Using Google products on your mobile device allows you to work anywhere and at any time. 

Collaborating with Teams

Google Workspace is designed around collaboration, providing a suite of products designed to enhance secure-by-design teamwork.

Team shares create a space for real-time collaboration in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This ensures that your data is always up-to-date.

The Google suite also makes it easy to see who is working on a document by showing icons in the upper right-hand corner of the document.

You can share folders/documents with people based on their needs:

  • View
  • Comment
  • Editor

By toggling it on in Google Workspace, you can allow collaboration outside of the organization as well. 

Using Advanced Search and Filters

Email and Drive can get crowded, making finding the exact email or document difficult.

Google already provides powerful search features within its products. Going forward, they’ll enhance search results further by incorporating generative AI technologies.

Search

When you start typing in the Gmail search bar, it will automatically start filling in what it thinks you’re looking for. 

It offers the option to filter for attachments, the last 7 days, and “from me”. Clicking on the Show Search Options button will expand the filter options.

Sheets has a search function too. ‘Ctrl+F’ allows you to find specific data by entering the keyword(s) into the dialog box that appears.

Filters

Saved filters operate like advanced search with the added benefit that they take actions based on emails matching the search criteria. Filters are used to apply labels, assign categories, or forward emails.

In Sheets, you can use sorting and filtering to create custom views on ranges of data within the document.