Through continuous improvement, Google regularly adds new productivity features and functionality to G Suite.
Unless noted, all of the functionality below is included with G Suite at no extra cost. Google packs a lot of business value into G Suite beyond email, documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Here are 25 ways your business can use G Suite to increase productivity.
Create a complete website
New Google Sites has evolved to the point that a small business can base its entire website on Sites. Using web address mapping, www.yourdomain.com can be pointed to a Google Sites URL. For a simple website, Google Sites is an alternative to paid drag and drop site builders such as Wix, Weebly and Squarespace.
Collaborate on a document with several others
Selectively share a document with several others. A document can be shared with anyone within a G Suite organization and with anyone outside who has a Gmail account or even a Google account without Gmail. This popular YouTube video explains how real time collaboration works:
Create comparative Google Analytics charts
The Google Analytics For Sheets add-on can be used to automatically pull information into Google Sheets once a day. From there, Google Sheets formulas and charts can be used to visualize and compare data. For example, actual website traffic can be compared to an ascending month over month goal:
Back up data from employee computers to the cloud
Google Drive works in a similar way to Dropbox for backing up local files. The Backup and Sync app can be installed on a PC or Mac. Any time a new file is created or an existing file is edited (within specified folders) on a local drive, the change is automatically upload to Google Drive. G Suite Basic comes with 30GB of storage for each user. G Suite Business has unlimited storage.
Set up an online meeting with several others
With Hangouts Meet, a G Suite user can set up an online meeting with up to 25 others by going to https://meet.google.com. Anyone inside or outside the company can attend by clicking on the unique URL that is created for each meeting.
Meetings can be initiated and attended from a desktop, tablet or mobile phone. Hangouts Meet includes audio, video and screen sharing. Dialing in to a meeting from a phone, which used to only be available for G Suite Enterprise, was added to G Basic and G Suite Business in April 2018.
Hangouts Meet offers a lot of the functionality of a paid meeting app.
Collaborate on a topic with team members (and bots) in a chat room
Google’s Hangouts Chat is included with G Suite. Users can create chat rooms and invite others within the organization to collaborate on specific topics. https://chat.google.com.
Spruce up a slide deck with free images
In Google Slides, the menu option Insert > Images > Search the Web is filtered on free image sites, including Wikimedia. With proper attribution, these images can be used in public presentations.
Create a microsite
Organizations that already have a website that uses the www domain. can create microsites and map a subdomain such as go.yourdomain.com to the microsite.
Host audio files
Google recently added embed code for audio files that are uploaded to Google Drive. While the audio player is very basic, this is an alternative to audio hosting sites such as SoundCloud. Here is the player for a podcast episode. It’s an interview with the co-founder of a company that makes a sales productivity suite for Gmail.
Publish a living document for the world to read
Instead of publishing long form content such as a whitepaper as a static PDF, the document can be authored in Google Docs and then shared with the world. Any updates made to the document are automatically seen by readers the next time they open the document via the link.
Create images for business uses
In business, Google Drawings can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Social media headers
- Images for social media posts
- Flow diagrams
- Business process representations
The content of Google Drawings is portable (copy/paste) to Google Slides and visa versa. Drawings content is also portable to diagrams within Google Docs and Google Sheets.
A non-business use of Google Drawings by artist Joshua Pomeroy, portraits, shows just how detailed Drawings can be.
Determine what website content should be reoptimized
Connect Google Search Console to a Google Sheet using this add-on. Each month, check to see what pages are ranking from 5 – 12. Based on the queries reported by Google Search analytics, re-optimize those pages to try to move them up into one of the top four positions in the Google search results.
Make G Suite the access point for other business applications
G Suite users can have a single sign-on across many different cloud applications. This means that with their G Suite password, users get immediate access to a variety of different applications.
Over 150 applications are pre-integrated with G Suite. Connecting to these requires a simple set of steps by a G Suite administrator. Among the pre-integrated apps are:
Create a map of customer locations
Use Google My Maps to create a map for internal use or to share and embed on your website.
A spreadsheet of customer addresses can be exported from a CRM or accounting system and then imported into a Google My Map.
Another popular use of Google My Maps is to display a company’s service area by adding a polygon.
Embed a slide deck in a website page
A Google Slides deck can be embedded in a website and then optionally set to autoplay. Autoplay options include the ability to set the delay time and to continuously loop the presentation.
Add live charts to a presentation
In order to present financial results or marketing data to a group, live Google Sheets charts can be embedded in a Google Slides presentation. By “live”, we mean that if the underlying data changes, the charts can be updated in a presentation with the click of a an Update button. The charts in the embedded slide deck above are live.
Travel light with a Chromebook
For G Suite users whose other apps are mostly cloud-based, a heavyweight operating system such as Windows or MacOS may not be needed when they are are on the road (or in the office, for that matter).
Chromebooks are great for travel, as they are lightweight and have a long battery life. If a Chromebook is lost or stolen, it’s not as big a financial loss as the loss of a Windows laptop or MacBook. A decent Chromebook can be purchased for under $225. Also, there is no concept of “rebuilding” a new Chromebook as there is with traditional laptops. A user can just log into a new Chromebook and start working.
Route inbound marketing emails to a separate inbox tab
Most emails from marketing system servers are automatically routed to the Gmail Promotions tab. Marketing emails that land in the Primary tab can be dragged to Promotions. After dragging, an option is presented to automatically route all future emails from the same sender to go to the Promotions tab. It’s faster than unsubscribing.
Report on CRM data in Google Sheets
As with Google Analytics data, CRM data can be pulled into Google Sheets an add-on. G-Connector for Salesforce is a freemium add-on for Salesforce. Copper, the CRM built for G Suite, has a free add-on for Sheets called CRM Custom Report Builder.
Embed a live spreadsheet in a document
In G Suite, a range of cells can be copied from a spreadsheet and pasted into a document. One use case for this is a sales proposal with an embedded pricing table.
Set up an intranet
Another application for Google Sites is a simple intranet. For example, marketing collateral, brand guidelines and a campaign calendar could all be published on an internal Sites page for employees to view information and download files.
Better manage access to other Google properties
People often set up accounts for other Google properties (YouTube, Google+, Google My Business) using a consumer Gmail account.
Sometimes, this Gmail account leaves with an employee or the account is lost track of. A missing Gmail account can orphan the Google properties and make them inaccessible. By using a G Suite account such as email@example.com for access to other Google properties, re-establishing lost access is a password reset away.
Selectively share video content
Videos uploaded to YouTube can be either private, unlisted or public. Videos uploaded to Google Drive can be selectively shared with certain people.
There are a number of use cases for uploading a video to Google Drive rather than to YouTube. Here’s what an embedded Google Drive video looks like:
Create a digital marketing dashboard
A Google Sites page can be a shared internal digital marketing dashboard.
Charts from Sheets with above-mentioned connections to Google Analytics and Google Search Console can be added to Google Sites.
This give management a scrollable view of important marketing data and trends.
Create a survey or a poll
Using Google Forms, a poll or a survey can be created.
A link to a Form can be emailed, or a form can be embedded in a website. Results collect in a Google Sheet. Pivot charts can be created from the results and then shared internally or published externally. Charts such as this automatically update as new responses are collected.