Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks
Google Docs is a powerful tool that enables users to write from anywhere, collaborate in real time, and ensure their work is always saved and backed up.
All for free.
Most users, however, barely scrape the surface of what’s possible with Google Docs. In Get Shift Done, we’ve been revealing little-known tips & tricks for getting the most out of Docs, and in this post we’ll share the 9 stories our readers loved the most.
With its autosave and easy collaboration features, teams are increasingly writing and working in Google Docs. But when you’re on the go — perhaps driving or working out — you’re not able to read documents your team shared with you. Thankfully, it’s easy to get Google Docs (and a few other apps) to read to you.
Not only can Google Docs read to you, but it lets you talk back. The Voice Typing tool is accurate, and can save you a ton of time the next time you need to transcribe your thoughts. Oh, and it’s free, unlike other voice recognition tools out there.
The autosave feature in Google Docs is great, but it can also quickly bury any prior drafts and accidentally deleted work. Thankfully, the revision history feature makes it easy to go back in time and recover that original draft. This just might end up saving your tail…
Google Docs makes it easy to write strategy documents, collect feedback, and brainstorm as a team. But, it can be difficult to go from idea to execution by making sure everyone knows what to work on. The “action items” feature fixes that problem by enabling you to turn a comment into a task and then assign it to the right person. It’s a great way to turn a document into a list of actionable tasks.
Many of us still use Microsoft Word at work. It can be difficult, though, to go back and forth between Word and Google Drive to manage different versions. Thankfully, there’s a plug-in for Microsoft Office users on Windows that helps users get the best of both worlds.
Don’t let a faulty internet connection or malicious attack slow down your productivity. For Chrome users, it’s possible to use Google Docs offline and then re-sync whenever you re-connect to the web. Make sure you set this feature up before your connection goes down!
One little-known feature of Docs is its Web Clipboard where you can save content and re-use it in different files across your Google account. For content that you repeatedly use — like a company logo or common footer text — the Web Clipboard is a perfect time-saving tool.
If there’s one drawback to writing in Google Docs, it’s that the rest of the Internet — and all of its distraction — is just a browser tab away. With the Google Docs “Explore” button, though, you can do most of your research without having to open a new tab, reducing the level of distraction. Not only that, but this kind of contextualized research is really powerful, and will help you be more efficient in getting work done.
Images are a great addition to any story, but bad formatting turns them into an interruption. The wrap text feature is here to help, but it can be tricky to use. Here’s how to give your document an attractive, unified look.
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