9 May 2021
A Close Look at the Google Workspace Features
Since being launched in late 2020, Google Workspace has proved to be a big success among business users. However, you might wonder whether there are enough of the Google Workspace features that you need to make using it worthwhile now.
Google Workspace us a smart, simple way of keeping all of our documents in one place while sharing them easily with our colleagues when necessary. This is the replacement for G Suite, but it also adds in a lot of new things, to help you increase productivity, rather than just do exactly the same as before but under a different name. It is packed with useful features, although we will also look in a moment at one major area where it is lacking and how to solve this issue.
The main features in Google Workspace
A look at a list of the main Google Workspace features and applications shows us how effective this tool can be in helping us to achieve higher levels of productivity. For a start, it allows us to carry out real-time collaboration with other people. Shared calendars and automatic email invites are designed to help any team work together more closely. You can also turn a meeting into a video conference with a click of a button.
Another option here is to work on documents together with other people in your company or elsewhere. In this way, you can all see the same word document or spreadsheet and chat with each other as you work on it. This means that several people can work on the same thing at once, seeing each other’s edits as they go without stepping on each other’s toes.
As you would expect, cloud file storage and sharing is also a big part of this approach. This means that you can easily share your files without attaching them to emails. Since everyone is accessing the latest version of the document from the cloud, there is no risk of anyone being left in the dark or working on an out-of-date file.
A high degree of security is also present here, meaning that your sensitive documents aren’t put at risk. The likes of 2-step verification and the ability to decide how long files should be archived help you to look after your documents in the way that best suits your needs and the specific regulations in your industry.
Everything in one workspace
What does all of this mean for your productivity? Well, some research suggests that workers tend to switch between applications up to 10 times an hour, which can add up to a massive amount of time over a year. The time spent in updating colleagues, sending emails, attaching documents and so on are other areas where you might be losing time unnecessarily just now.
The variety of Google Workspace features mean that you can do virtually anything without leaving the Google ecosystem, meaning that you save a lot of time that you probably didn’t even notice you were losing before. Yet, all of the benefits that this method brings means that any deficiencies stand out more clearly, as anyone who has tried to manage a project using Workspace may have already discovered.
What features does Google Workspace lack?
The features that we have looked at so far make Google Workspace an excellent choice for a team that needs to work together closely, regardless of whether they are in the same building or on opposite ends of the planet. However, there is one element that some users may find they need to look for elsewhere.
A dedicated project management tool
This is because the list of Google Workspace features lacks a dedicated project management tool. There is no built-in Kanban board or other feature that you might want to use to make sure that your projects are on track. Not everyone needs this kind of tool, but if you do then the lack of it could have a serious impact on your ability to work as efficiently as you had hoped to.
Because there is no built-in tool, some project teams may decide to simply use Google Tasks or Sheets as a workaround. This might work out reasonably well on modestly-sized projects, but it will almost certainly prove to be unwieldy after a while on larger pieces of work.
Another idea could be to improvise and use a third-party tool that doesn’t fit in with Workspace. This would probably mean adding in a number of manual workarounds and losing many of the benefits you want to get from using the Google service. You might even decide to use a manual Kanban board to try and fill in the gaps, putting sticky notes on a whiteboard like people used to do as far back as the mid-20th century, not long after Toyota introduced the Kanban approach into its factories.
The problem with this is that you are losing the benefits of the seamless approach given by Google Workspace in the first place. Every time you need to update the board with your progress, you will have to go outside the all-in-one approach and do something different. This brings in the risk of forgetting to tell others what you have done, which is crucial on a project where close collaboration is a key part.
The solution to better project management
Thankfully, there is a dedicated project management app with a Kanban board and smooth integration to Workspace that you can use. Kanbanchi is a solution that operates like any other Google file that you have in Drive. Therefore, it functions perfectly with all of the Google Workspace features.
In this way, you can run any size of the project and let everyone contribute to it, without losing any of the benefits of Workspace. This should make any project easier to control from start to finish. If you like the look of Workspace but can’t imagine life without a project management tool, this is likely to be the perfect solution.