Google Drive is an excellent cloud based SaaS for keeping back-ups of your documents, sharing with people across the globe, and managing your tasks effectively.

Most of us use Google Drive at some point in our professional lives, and it is really simple to understand and operate the system. However, I bet there are many things you did not know your drive can do.

Voice typing

Google has introduced voice typing as part of its new features on Google Drive. This is an extremely cool and advanced development. How to use this feature? Simply open any document on Google Docs and go to the Tools option. Click on the Voice Typing option to make the microphone appear. Then click on the microphone to activate it. Next, simply dictate your sentences and the system will type them down.

You can say “Period” to make a full stop and “New Line” to make the cursor go to the next line. You need to connect your PC/Laptop etc with a microphone for maximum effectiveness. This is a really helpful feature for those who multitask, as it keeps your hands free while working.

Templates

Producing formats for resume, survey, application etc can get a real headache. Google drive makes it easier for you by providing a number of ready-made templates for Resume, Report, Letter etc.

The Resume section comes with a number of templates in Coral, Serif, Spearmint and other formats, letting you build the perfect CV in a matter of minutes. To access this option, just go to the Google Docs icon on your Drive Homepage and select the number of templates that automatically appear.

Google Forms

Alongside docs, sheets and slides, Google’s newest Drive feature is Google forms. This is an amazing innovation if you want to make surveys, analyze results and so on. Go to the forms section (Open drive homepage and then click to open the My Drive drop down menu) Go to the “More…” option and open Forms).

Using forms, you can send your surveys automatically by e-mail to as many people as you want. Their responses will be sent automatically to you as they click the Submit option below the questionnaire. You can analyze all the responses by directly sending all the data to the Google Spreadsheets options with their numerous algorithmic analyzers. You can also invite a number of other people to contribute in making the form. In short, there’s no end to all you can achieve with Google Forms.

Cloud sharing & collaboration

We all know the essential features of cloud sharing on Google Drive, like inviting people to view, edit, contribute and so on. The most recent feature is to add someone in comment, that is, when you edit the doc and comment on a certain sentence, you can use the plus button and enter a person’s e-mail address to tell him or her that the comment has been directed at them.

This is really useful when a lot of people are editing a document, and you, as moderator, need to ensure that the right comments get to the right people. Another great sharing feature is the Find Someone in a document option, which allows you to locate where another person’s cursor is moving just by clicking on their profile picture on the side panel. Apart from these, the usual share options (which can be accessed by clicking the blue Share button on the upper right side) has gone advanced, leading you to create view-only, edit-only, comment-only etc options.

Shortcuts and other awesome features

Google Drive comes with a range of time-saving shortcuts, which can all be seen at a glance by clicking the three keys ‘Ctrl+/’ together on your keyboard. This will open a palette of all keyboard shortcuts for you, and you can search any shortcut by typing it in the Search Bar.

Check out Chrome’s awesome ‘Save to Google Drive’ extension, which you can just right click on any web page or image and add it to your Google Drive for reading or accessing later. Enable access to public templates available on Google Drive, or create generic templates for reuse, and create all kinds of letters, memorandums, invoices, and what not, in a jiffy.

Final thoughts

Do you have any valuable tips for using Google Drive? Let us know what they are in the comments!

Author: Mauricio Prinzlau is the Cloud Expert over at Cloudwards.net.


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