What are we speaking about?
Our topic this time around will be the Google Suite. I’m sure there are many people who don’t use it’s offered programs as the popularity is vastly overshadowed by other applications (Microsoft Word, Excel, various other things) At best it’s really a shame, with all that is available in the suite are really useful and are Google’s answer to said programs. As you will soon find out as you read, they manage to hold their own pretty well. Let me clarify we are speaking in the sense of personal use, not for a business although it can be easily and effectively used in that manner. Do note, that this is in no particular order and this is what I often use as a freelancer so I may skip over a few.
- My favourite out of the group, is Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is a voice and text application that can be used as an alternative phone number with many handy features when paired with Google Voice. It offers voicemail to text, and answering machine messages varying on the person (or group) currently calling. It is very useful and best of all can be used on any platform given it runs in web browsers and applications alike.
- Google Docs, It is a word processor which is obviously Google’s counter to Word. While limited in what it can do out of the box when compared to Word. It has many benefits once you begin to look at it. With add-ons you can add customization to your work, and add features that you like that were not originally shipped with the program. You can collaborate and share work very easily, for example having multiple people work on one document at once. The awesome thing about this is, you can see every letter typed and changed as soon as it has been written. Not to mention that it auto saves your work as you go. (assuming you have an internet connection) No more lost documents!
- One of the most obvious additions to this list would be Gmail. I won’t go into too much depth, because Gmail is one of the most basic and universally used E-mail services. It’s pretty much self-explanatory but it has the passive benefit of being tied into the Google Suite. Therefore, it is automatically backed up. You have the wondrous auto-backup feature to the rescue, how nice and dandy is that?
- Next up, Google Drive. Google Drive is a cloud storage service that is also shared with your Docs, Gmail, along with whatever else Google service you use (excluding Youtube). You can upload any folders/files and use them to back up work documents or whatever else you may want to store. Not to mention the various applications they have to automatically backup files to your desktop as well as the drive for offline access if need ever arise. The standard amount is 15 gigs but you can purchase more, for reasonable prices, if you ever exceed that.
- Google Photos is well, pretty self-explanatory, although it is automatically tied into other services and you can set up any smartphone (Android or iPhone) to auto sync to the cloud, making any pictures you take easily available on your computer within seconds at even 4k resolution. The Google Photos app is available over the web, in the Play store, and in the App Store. It also incorporates auto sharing features.
- Google Sheets, which is similar to Excel in many ways, is also there and reliable. It is more or less excel, but cross platform and tied into Google services. It offers basic spreadsheet functionality as well as making it easy to collaborate on with fellow colleagues. It offers many helpful tools which are auto synced to the cloud. It’s nice, it’s simple, and handy.
The beauty in all of this is, it’s free.
There are many other programs Google offers. Go take a look as you might be surprised at what you find! Best of all they are all cross-platform, and ready to go on nearly any piece of hardware given you have Chromium (Chrome’s open source counterpart) or something along those lines installed. So go give it a little love, as I’m sure you’ll find that like me, you can’t help but see a place in your life where at least one of these programs can help you out. It boils down to preference as usual and one can’t say that it’s not nice that Google offers all this software for the wonderful price of free.