I’m a big fan of the Google suite of products. As a long time Outlook lover it took me a while to jump on board, but once I realized that Google had so much more than just email (Hangouts, Calendar, Surveys, Google docs, etc.), I was hooked. So many applications in one location? Sign me up! (See my past posts on Hangouts and Gmail.)

Google Docs somewhat mirrors Microsoft Office, with some major differences included the following awesome features that you should definitely be taking advantage of! Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

Live in COLOR | When creating a folder simply click on the drop-down menu next to each folder to edit the color. I use color as another way to organize my folders.

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

There is no “I” in “Team” | Gone are the days when each person has to wait their turn to edit a document. You can not only share your Google doc with others, you can actively collaborate on the same document at the SAME time with others. Select the ‘Share’ button in the top right corner, type in the email address of the collaborator and select which type of access they should have! Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!Go back in the past | You can easily find past revisions of your document by going to File -> See Revision History. This will take you to all the times that you (or others) have made a change on a document. Another nice feature is that it shows WHO made the revisions for documents that you’re collaborating on.

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

Recently? | One of the nifty ways to overcome searching through folders and folders to find that one document is to select the ‘Recent’ tab on the left hand side. This will sort your documents & folders based on when the last edits were made. TIME SAVER.

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

Distraction Free | To really get ‘in the zone’ on a document, get rid of the top bar. To do this click the two arrows on the top right hand side of the screen.  This will push up the menus and leave you with the bare minimum to allow you to focus that attention on the document at hand.

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

Research it! | A rather hidden feature in Google docs is the ‘Research’ tab, but once you find it, you’ll realize how amazing it is. Simply go to “Tools” and hit “Research” to ‘research’ (aka search) any topic you choose straight from your document. No more toggling between webpages! You can also pull images and links straight over to your document.

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

Style Me | Fonts are another feature that’s pretty well hidden, but really should be front and center. At the very bottom of the ‘Font’ drop down select ‘More Fonts’. Say goodbye to Arial!Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

Typing is SO 2015 | Start ‘typing’ with your voice! Simply go to “Tools” and “Voice Typing” to get started. Google will type what you speak. You’ll need to open your document using the Chrome browser & have a microphone on your computer. Then you can write an entire document without even typing!

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

May all your organizational needs be fulfilled with Google docs!

 

 

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

 

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

 

 

 

Make sure you're utilizing Google Docs to the fullest with these amazing tips and tricks that you probably didn't realize existed!

 

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Those crazy little Gmail hacks that make life oh so much easier!

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

I’m a huge Google fan. I love that it has a suite of products (email, calendar, docs, surveys, hangout) all built in to one account to make life easier. Added perk is only one password to remember! But admittedly I wasn’t always a Gmail fan. I’m loyal and stick to what I know … which is Outlook. Yet my more tech savvy husband, Joe, convinced me of the Gmail appeal. Over the years, I’ve reluctantly admitted he was right.

Last week I shared the step by step to using Hangouts effectively, so today I want to share with you the top 7 Gmail hacks I’ve learned along the way. And some of these may or may not have been taught to me by Joe 🙂 .

1 Canned Responses

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!If you commonly compose and reply with the same message over and over, you could benefit from the “canned response” feature. This lets you create automatic responses that you can insert in to your email and tweak as needed without having to manually type out the whole thing. Call it the lazy girl tip to sending emails. In order to enable this feature, click the gear in the top right corner. Select “Settings” and go to the “Labs” tab. Then enable “Canned Responses” and save.Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

Now when you open up an email you can create and/or add an existing canned massage. Brilliant.Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

2 Unsend Emails

Ever accidently hit send mid email? Or ever send a hasty email that you wish you could take back? (Yep, I’ve done this one too.) The good news is that you CAN take those emails back up to 30 seconds after you hit “send”. In order to enable this feature, go back to Settings, scroll down to “Undo Send”. Check the button and select the cancelation period. Then save.

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

When you send a future email, you’ll see this bar below up top. Life. Saver.

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

3 Multiple Email Accounts

I have a couple different gmail accounts, one for my blog and one for personal. Some of you may have multiple gmail accounts too (for example, if you set up a new email address when changing your last name after getting married). You can add up to 5 Gmail accounts under one. This is super convenient if you don’t want to manually log in and out of each of your accounts. To set this up simple go back to your Settings, click on the “Accounts” tab, then click “Add another email address.”

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

Then when you send an email you’ll see the “from” line which you can change to any of your gmail addresses.Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!4 Folders

In general Gmail isn’t a huge fan of folders, but I am. It’s the one feature that I love more than anything. I like my email organized just like I like my life organized. To set these up, go back to “Settings”, then select the “Labels” tab. Scroll down to the bottom and create any new Labels that you want. Google may call them “Labels”, but I use them as “Folders”. Sorry Google.

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

Now when you look over to your left side bar, you’ll see the Folders.  You can easily move your emails in to the folders by clicking on the email and dragging in to the folder. OR clicking on the email and selecting the Labels drop down at the top.

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

5 Send Email Later

I’m one of those people who works late at night and on the weekends. But to all my coworkers, I’m likely rather frustrating because no one wants to get emails when they’re not working. Enter Boomerang. The magical ability to send your emails at a future date. Gmail does not have this feature directly, BUT the Gmail extension, Boomerang, will do the trick. First, simply download the Boomerang extension. Log in to Gmail. Start composing a new email. Now you’ll see a red “Send Later” button. Select WHEN you want the email to send and hit “Confirm”.

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

6 See which emails are sent JUST to You

When you log in to check your email it’s easy to see which emails are sent JUST to you vs you & other recipients. To activate, go back in to Settings, scroll to the bottom to “Personal Level Indicators”, select “Show Indicators”.

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

Now when you log in to your email, you’ll be able to see which emails were sent just to you vs you & others.

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!7 Archiving Emails

Archiving Emails is a great way to keep your inbox clean without forever deleting emails. You never know when you might need one of those old emails again. If you need the later on, you can simply search for it to retrieve it!

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

Hope you found these helpful. I’ve grown to love Google products, as they’ve definitely helped me stay organized over the years. Now that you’ve got these tricks up your sleeve, you can ruthlessly organize your email!

 

 

 

 

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

 

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

 

 

Check out these 7 top Gmail hacks to make your email more efficient and effective! Who knew Gmail had all these hidden features!

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Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

My girlfriends in college and I thought we’d always live in the same city. After college (Miami University in Ohio) most of us moved to Chicago and saw each other daily. Sure enough, spouses, kids, and jobs started to change things. Some moved out to the suburbs and others, like me, moved across the country.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a sad story. We still all get together regularly (weddings and baby showers will keep trips lined up for years to come 🙂 ). But there’s also a lot more phone calls. I think of my group of friends as smart, savvy, intelligent and any other adjectives that describes brilliant. Yet, every time the group tries to get on Google Hangouts, at least one of us has problems connecting. We spend half the call like this: “can you see me”, “I can’t see you, but I can hear you”, “is your sound on”.  So … taking matters in to my own hands, I put together this guide for my friends so that there was no more Google Hangout chaos.

What is Google Hangout?

It’s Google’s free video-conferencing tool that allows up to 10 participants to join at a time.

Who can use Google Hangout?

In order to use this free feature all you need is a Google Plus account. If you already have a Gmail account, then you automatically have a Google Plus account! So just make sure everyone who will be participating on the hangout has Gmail.

Ensure that your laptop/desktop has both a webcam and a speaker (or headphones that you can speak in to). These are essential. If it doesn’t, opt for an ipad or smart phone. You can download the Google Hangouts app for free.

Now let’s get started.

The following is a story of two Lindsay’s connecting via Google Hangout. Lindsay Crazy is calling Lindsay Organized.

Lindsay Crazy initiates the call by logging in to her Gmail so she can get to Google+:
Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

Then she selects the ‘Hangouts’ icon, which has two locations to choose from:Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

She’s then directed to a new page (and ensures that her pop up blockers are down). She select ‘Video Call’.Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

Now she invites her friend, Lindsay Organized, by typing in her email address. (She could have typed in just Lindsay Organized if she had added Lindsay Organized as one of her Gmail contacts.) If she wanted to, she could have invited more friends to the call in this same section. She then selects ‘Invite’.Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.Now Lindsay Crazy just has to sit back and wait for Lindsay Organized to answer. This is Lindsay Crazy waiting patiently :).Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.Lindsay Organized now needs to answer. She’ll do this by logging in to her Google+ account and selecting the gray ‘Hangout’ button. Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.Now she’s able to see that Lindsay crazy is calling her. (Yep, none of the Lindsays think this is very intuitive either.) She clicks on the Hangout icon.Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.OR …. she could have gone back in to her Gmail. If the person calling her was previously programmed in to her Gmail contacts, then the screen below will appear. She could then just click on the Hangouts icon from her email view. Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.TADA!

Lindsay Crazy & Lindsay Organized are connected! (This is Lindsay Organized’s screen view) You’ll always see your friend in the big screen and a tiny version of what you look like in the small screen on the bottom right. Notice there’s a dark gray icon bar on the top. This has options such as muting, removing the video, inviting more people and hanging up the call. Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

Now that you know HOW to use Google Hangouts, here’s some great uses:

  • Chat with your girlfriends accross the country
  • Let grandparents see their grandkids in action!
  • For phone calls where you want to SHOW the other person something
  • Work conference calls

 

May you all be able to have fun conversations with your girlfriends, wherever you’re located!

 

 

Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

 

Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

 

 

 

Get the full tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts with step by step photos! Video conferencing guide from a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.

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