30 Time-Saving G Suite Tips to Help Your Employees be More Productive (Cloud Next ’18)

30 Time-Saving G Suite Tips to Help Your Employees be More Productive (Cloud Next ’18)

name is Zeina Oweis, and I’m a product manager
on the G Suite team. During this session,
my colleagues Stacey and Mario will also
be joining me on stage. G Suite has long been
known and loved by users because it makes
them more productive. There are G Suite
apps that many of you here in the room
probably know and use. Think Gmail, Google
Docs, Drive, Calendar. All of these apps are designed
to boost your productivity at work. Some of the features
that we’re going to cover during the session
have been around for a while and are a staple for
G Suite, but others actually, have been announced
at Google Cloud Next this year so keep an eye out for these. We’re going to indicate
that on the slides. You’re probably wondering
what this illustration is. My colleague, Bradley,
helped me visualize what it feels for a lot
of people at work today. They often find themselves
in a sea of information. And they’re also always
racing for efficiency. So now looking at this
illustration, how many of you here relate to this image? I see a few hands going up. And at work, you’re
always juggling tasks. Drinking from the fire
hose of information. And your workflow is being
continuously interrupted by pings from your colleagues,
requests from clients. Let’s look at this stat up here. What it says, that each
time you’re interrupted, it takes you 23 minutes or
a little over 23 minutes to get back to the
task in hand, that’s a lot of time for each
interruption that you get. So that’s what you should tell
your coworkers each time they interrupt you, you’re wasting
23 minutes of my time. Another stat that is top of mind
for me is the average number that a knowledge worker– so
that’s someone that sits behind their desk– spends reading and
responding to emails a week and that number is 11 hours. Now some of that work
is creative work. It’s work that you
were hired to do and you want to probably,
continue doing it. But a big portion
of these 11 hours are actually just wasted time
and they can be really sped up. On the product team
that I’m on on G Suite, we actually look
at these two stats and think, how can G Suite
or the tools that we build keep you more focused so you
don’t context switch that much? And how can we speed up these 11
hours that you spend on email? On G Suite, we designed our
product to do two things. We want to help
we do more things and we want you to
do things faster. So this is one, staying focused. And two, doing more faster. Today– as I said–
we want to showcase how we actually do these two
things that we claim we do. To do that, I’m going
to introduce Irene. Irene works at a company– a great company called
Kitchen Appliances. And for the rest of
this presentation, I’m going to walk you through
a month or so of Irene’s work– Irene’s day at the office. And throughout the
presentation, we’re going to highlight features in
the apps I mentioned earlier that actually boost the
productivity of Irene on her team. So here’s the story. There’s a big review
on the calendar. Irene and her team is
preparing to launch a new line for the
Kitchen Appliances line– a new product for the
Kitchen Appliances line and it’s called the UltraStove. And the review is on the
calendar in three weeks. Now, I’m sure a lot of
you now are thinking about that big project that you
have lined up on the calendar. Maybe it’s next
week or next month. And when you think
about a task like that, you think of a few things. One is that the big
review cannot be pulled in an all-nighter
and in one step. It’s actually a game
of multiple milestones. There are deadlines and
there are dependencies. Two, the reviews like
these are not just about the final slide deck that
you present or the proposal. There is a lot of busy
work and technical work that goes behind the scenes. This information is
usually spread and stored all over the place–
multiple folders. Some of it is discussed
over email threads. Some of it is lost
over instant messaging. And three is that you’re
rarely working in a [? silo. ?] You’re working
with stakeholders. There are people who need
to approve your work. What’s worse is that these
people in this day and age are all over the world. They’re working actually,
on different time zones, in different offices. And finally, these
reviews are never linear. You don’t go from
point A, B, to C. There’s a lot of back and forth. And you have to go back to
point A after you’ve got to B and then go back to C,
just to iterate on the work that you’re doing. The product teams on G
Suite studied problems like these or user
journeys like these. We talked to customers
like you to understand, how can we get that process
a lot more efficient? And we concluded that there
are four main stages when you are trying to work
on a task like that. One. There is a project lead
or one point person who is starting the project. They’re putting
the plan together. And then they’re spreading
that plan with their teammates and stakeholders so they’re
communicating with a team. And then, they’re collaborating
on the analysis, on the slide deck, on the technical
work, other deliverables. And finally, they’re presenting
the proposal or the plan and that is where that
final stage comes in. Mario’s going to walk us
through this first stage– the getting started phase. MARIO ANIMA: So
getting started– getting started is
sometimes, the hardest part of the whole process. Irene, even from
the get go, knows that she wants to work
efficiently and effectively and she wants to stay focused. So let’s take a look at how
G Suite helps her out there. So as Zeina mentioned, a
review is scheduled for Irene and like many of us, Irene’s
checking email all the time. And the way that she’s
alerted to the review is she gets an
invitation in her inbox. Now the nice thing about
the way that G Suite works– especially Gmail and
Calendar integration– is that you have
actionable emails when you get these invites. So in this case, Irene’s
told when the meeting is. Who’s going to be
on the meeting. Where to go. But she’s also given a
button to quickly respond. I’m sure all of you are familiar
with the yes, no, maybe. But the nice thing
about the way that we’re integrating G Suite
in a more cohesive way is that Irene can even get a
little bit more information using the G Suite side panel. How many people are familiar
with this in the new Gmail? Awesome, I see a lot of hands. So in this case,
Irene can actually open up Calendar
in the side panel and take a look at
the day of the review and verify that oh,
yeah, I have no blockers. I can go ahead and
say yes to this. Or worst case scenario,
if there are blockers, the review’s pretty
important, she can go ahead and edit
those other events and move them around as
needed so that the calendar event is not blocked. In addition, Irene knows
she has a deadline she has to work towards and she
can use the mini-month view in the Calendar side panel to
take a look at how many weeks she has left to work. She’s got about
three weeks to get this whole thing ready to go and
she’s got a lot of work to do. So Irene knows that in order
to get this thing kicked off, she wants to get all the
relevant information needed together and start
organizing the team. So let’s take a look
at how she does that. Now finding the right files,
finding the right information that’s sometimes, the hardest
part of the whole process. And what’s really interesting
is we looked at a couple of different studies– one
from McKinsey, one from IDC– and we found that 20%
of the time people are actually using that time
to find the right files. That’s a lot of searching,
a lot of hunting. More shockingly, 38%
of the time people are actually looking for files,
not finding them, and then recreating the content. That’s redundant work
and it’s totally wasted. Fortunately for Irene,
she’s on G Suite and so all of the things that
her team and Irene has created are all available at her
fingertips using Cloud Search. So for example, she’s working
through the UltraStove proposal and she realizes there’s
an area of the project that I’m not super familiar
with and there’s a whole team driving the AI portion of that. A simple keyword search
for UltraStove AI, she gets a lot of files, but
she also gets indexed emails that she was CC’d
on about UltraStove AI, all in the search results. So she can go back and
review those things in Gmail or she can open up those
files and take a look to start gathering the right
information to prep her team. So now Irene’s got a bunch of
files she wants to look at. She’s poking through different
decks and different design documents. And she finds some
interesting stuff. Like, for example,
the AI team actually did a go live event
back in March. She wants to include that
in her proposal of when the timeline for the
UltraStove launch is coming around
because you don’t want to launch AI ahead of schedule. So she takes a note. And the nice thing here is
that we’re getting a sneak peek at something that’s coming
to not only Docs and Slides, but Sheets and Calendar, which
is that same G Suite side panel that you saw in Gmail. We’re going to be rolling
that out in the coming months. So Irene selects something
from the slide deck and she right clicks on it and
saves a note in Keep, right from the side panel. What’s cool about
this integration is that when she
takes that note, there’s a reference
link added to the note automatically for Irene. So she can jot down
information in Keep. There’s a reference
there for her. And later on when she accesses
that note either on Keep or in another instance
of the Keep side panel, that link is there for
her taking her back to the source where
the note was created. An even cooler thing is the
next time she comes back to this slide
deck, all the notes that she took in that
deck are now automatically pulled up in Focus,
no matter where they are in her Keep
corpus because it’s related to the deck
that she’s looking at. Irene also notices that
hey, it might be a good idea to go ahead and create a note
to herself about sharing this with her UX counterpart, Mike. He’s going to be working on some
of the UltraStove presentation and she wants to
schedule a meeting to review the deck with him. So she puts a note and again,
there’s a reference link to it so she can use it
for future reference. Irene’s gone through all
these different things. She’s pulled together
a bunch information. She’s taken a bunch of notes. Now it’s time to outline a plan. So she creates a
new blank document and she starts pulling
information together. And again, the G Suite side
panel with its Keep integration allows her to quickly drag and
drop things into her outline and add them to her
document immediately. Those reference links are
available so even when she’s in a different doc, she
can add those links to this doc and share them with her team. So let’s take a
quick look at how getting started worked for her
using some of G Suite tools. She was able to quickly
take action in Gmail when the calendar event
arrived in her inbox. Calendar in the side
panel not only let her check to see if
she was available and confirm ahead
of time, but it also allowed her to quickly move
any blockers out of the way. And take a look at
how much time she has to actually prep with her team. Cloud Search put everything
in G Suite at her fingertips. Her emails were indexed
along with her documents. And she was able to do simple
searches to find those things. And then reference
links and Keep notes helped keep all the information
that she got from the sources that she took them
from and use them again later when she’s
creating new documents to share and collaborate with the team. Next up, we need to
communicate these things with the team on a
regular basis, and Stacy, would you like to
come up and share how Irene’s going to do that? STACY SAABYE: Hi, everyone. I’d like to give you a little
bit more context on Irene. So before Irene used G
Suite, the simple task of creating a group
meeting was daunting. She had to find
where everybody was. She would often get distracted. She was always
context switching. Now that Irene uses G Suite– and as we saw her
using the side panel– things are getting a lot easier. Irene uses the side panel for
making updates to her calendar invites. She can also check her schedule. In this case, Irene
remembers that there’s something she forgot to add
to the leadership review so she wants to make a
quick update to the meeting description right
from within her Gmail. She can do this and
everybody on that invite is instantly updated. And at the same time, she hasn’t
missed any important email. And as we heard from Mario,
Irene also uses Keep notes. She’s made quite
a few Keep notes as she’s been organizing
for the big review. And today, I’m going
to share with you a special sneak peek
at a feature coming out in Keep on your mobile. So she had previously
made that note for Mike that they were going to
later on sync on a document. And what do you know? In between meetings she checks
her phone and goes into Keep and sees that Keep has
given her a nice reminder. It says, create a
meeting with Mike. So she can easily click on
that suggestion and the meeting gets set up, right
into her calendar. She doesn’t have to
pre-populate anything and her and Mike
are all set to go. That neat feature
of Keep Explore will also suggest not
only calendar meetings, but also, suggesting
writing emails, suggesting setting reminders. And there she is, setting
up the meeting with Mike. So speaking of meetings,
finding conference rooms and setting up meetings
can be a real pain point. And we know this. I’m sure many of you work
with people across the globe and setting up meetings
is not always easy. Even Mario and I work
in different offices and we meet a lot. He’s in Sunnyvale,
I’m in New York so we have to figure
out– we don’t want to waste a lot of time
setting up the meeting to make our meeting productive. Thankfully, Google
has something new that we can share with you
today called automatic room suggestions. What this does in Calendar,
once you put in your attendees, Google Calendar
automatically can see where the attendees are located. How many people are
in the meeting invite. What kind of equipment
is in the room. And all you need to do
is knowing the attendees, you don’t need to
know the buildings. It makes it really simple. So Irene is really
happy with this because she has
some weekly meetings to set up for her review and
for all the check-ins they’re having up in the coming weeks. She can use this
automatic room suggestions and once her meeting is booked,
she feels really confident that nobody will be
scrambling and they can focus on the content of the meeting. The other thing
about meetings is we want to keep them
effective and productive. So I’m sure there’s
some of you here that have walked into a meeting,
had a meeting by the time you leave the meeting,
you’re kind of not sure– did anybody take notes? Is anything happening
after this meeting? Can I see if anybody has
been in a meeting like that? I know I have. I see some hands there. So Google has
something new also, that we’re excited to
give you a sneak peek of. It’s called Quick Meeting Notes. This way, right
from Calendar, Irene is able to select this
Quick Meeting Notes template and within the template, it’s
very easily structured for her to capture just what
they need in the meeting. They can take notes. They can track action items. And have all the info that
they need in one easy document to capture what they need
for a productive meeting. So now that they’re in
their productive meeting, they’re coming up with
some things to do. There’s always a lot
to do and these things can be hard to manage. But thankfully in
Google Docs, Google Docs is giving her some
great suggestions. Google Docs can see the
content of their meeting notes and see that that’s some
of the items relate to Mike or relate to Irene. So Google Docs gives them an
option to assign these items. And Irene and team
are thrilled with this because it’s helping them
keep them more organized. As you can see
here on the screen, Irene is able to assign
an item to herself. The other thing that
Irene and her team are taking advantage
of is the templates that are in Google Sheets. They found a great
project timeline template that’s helping them keep track
of all of these action items. There’s a lot they want
to keep track of up until their big review. And there are still
many ways that they could have kept track of
it, but this is really working well for them. It’s just what
they needed so they don’t miss anything important. They were able to find this
right in the Sheets Template Gallery. So now Irene and
her team, they’ve had a bunch of meetings. They’re well underway. They have a lot
of good work done, but they’re not
always in a meeting. And they’re always
busy doing things. So a great thing
that they’ve found is chatting with each other
through Hangouts Chat. They’re able to do quick chats
when they need to just catch up on something offline,
or even group chats, Irene has set up some chat rooms
for the team to communicate, which have worked
really well for them. This way they can have
discussions in the chat room and even refer
back to them later. The chat rooms are searchable
and they are always available. So they’ve had great
success with this. So now we’ve talked
about a bunch of ways that Irene and her team
are communicating better with G Suite. I’m just going to
recap some of them. So we saw how Irene was using
the side panel inside Gmail to be able to
update her calendar and check her schedule. We also saw how the new
feature that we gave you a sneak peek in Keep of
Explore offers nice suggestions so that Irene could make notes. And then get helpful
suggestions to keep her items on the right track. We also saw in
Calendar how difficult it can be to schedule
meetings when we’re all across the
globe in different places. Automatic room suggestions
is helping us with this by with just the attendees,
the calendar system knows which size room
you need, which location is close to your desk,
and all of those things to give you the confidence
when you book a meeting, that it will actually happen. We also saw the Quick
Meeting Notes template which is helping us
keep our meetings effective and productive. And then once you’re
in the meeting and taking those good
notes, Google Docs is offering action
items so that you can assign items to each other
and make sure that you’re getting things done. The project tracking in
Sheets has been awesome for Irene and her team, as well. They found a good template
so they can keep all of their action items on track. And finally, we looked at Chat. Chat is quick and
easy and the team can all communicate, no
matter where they are. They can chat individually and
then they can chat as groups. And they love that they can
search for past conversations so they don’t lose
any information. So they’ve made a
lot of progress– Irene and her team. Now, they’re getting
really close to the review. It’s really important that
they have tight collaboration. Zeina’s going to come up and
tell you more about how they’re collaborating. ZEINA OWEIS: So
earlier in the session, I was mentioning
that it’s not just about that final slide deck. There’s a lot of
work that actually happens behind the scene. Mostly, technical work,
data analysis, et cetera. Irene’s team actually has a
spreadsheet like this one. It’s tracking sales at various
retailers for the old stove model. In the old world,
you would actually go through a big data set like
this one and type in formulas to extract data insights. And everyone probably
has a favorite formula in Sheets or their
favorite spreadsheet tool. Mine, for example,
is INDEX and MATCH. I’m sure some of you
really like VLOOKUP. But Google Sheets
actually wants you to not care about these formulas. We want to save you
the time of memorizing what the right parameter is and
typing in a multi-line formula. So we have an answers tool– as you see here in the side bar. You can actually type in
questions in natural language. What does that mean? You can type in
something like, what is the store with
the highest revenue? We figure out where
that revenue column is. We figure out, what does
it mean, the word store? And we interpret
your question that came in in natural language
and give you an answer– a number. Behind the scenes,
as we actually had to figure out a
formula like this one that’s shown in the blue
box on the side bar. And in the same
side bar, we often also suggest charts
or pivot tables that we extracted
from the big data set, without you even
typing in a question. Now a lot of this work– like for example,
spreadsheet analysis– happens at your desk. But we can’t
underestimate the time you spend commuting to
meetings or to conferences like this one. Or even, flying to
different cities. Mobile apps on both
iOS and Android help Irene and her team
work while on the go. And Irene’s team is
actually often traveling because they visit
production factories. And they often have poor Wi-Fi
or even no Wi-Fi on the plane. So when they’re
in that scenario, not only can they
view their files offline, but they
can also edit them. So for example, they’re
editing the slide deck, making changes to the
images, typing in text. All these edits are happening
offline, actually sync with the latest version
of the slide deck once they’re online again. So yes, your files
are in the Cloud, but we actually save an
offline version for you to access while you
don’t have internet. And with a busy travel
schedule, Irene’s team not only has to work on the go, but they
also have to meet on the go. Hangouts Meet makes
it easier for Irene to connect with her team because
with every calendar invite that she sends out, there’s an
easy to join video call link. So you don’t actually have
to set up a videoconferencing code. Irene’s team has a Hangouts
Meet call by default– like shown here. They also benefit from Hangouts
Meet on their mobile phone so they don’t have to pull
out their laptop at airports. You can actually take video
calls on your phone, as well. Finally, a lot of people prefer
to dial in from their phone if they don’t want to
have their picture up or they don’t want to be on
a high internet bandwidth. And these phone numbers–
the US dial-in phone numbers appear for all G Suite
customers by default, when they create
a calendar invite. And anyone can actually
dial into this number, even if they’re not on G Suite. Just like they would
dial in a regular phone number on their phone. Now like many people at
work, Irene and her team are heavy on email. With so much movement
as they’re racing against that deadline
in three weeks, sometimes things fall
through the cracks and they need a nudge
in order to remember the important emails. The new Nudge feature in Gmail
reminds Irene of outgoing email that she didn’t hear back on. That way she can resend it and
remind the recipient that they need to take an action item. Nudging also works the other
way around for incoming email. Irene could be reminded that she
received this email three days ago and she needs to reply. The Nudge feature is part
of that new Gmail experience that we rolled out to the early
adopters program back in April. And earlier this
week, we actually had announced that the new
Gmail with the Nudge feature and other new features
that I’m going to go over, is generally available
to all G Suite customers starting this week. And as you can see here,
there’s one more feature that I want to mention
is the Smart Compose. And it’s much more than
just the type ahead feature that you’re used
to on your mobile phone. It actually completes
full phrases and even full sentences. So you can tab
through to complete emails that have
common phrases that you type over and over again. Now back to Docs. A lot of the legal
contracts actually happen in Google Docs today. Irene leverages
redlining features to suggest changes
without actually changing the original content. So the original owner– in this
case, it could be a lawyer– has to approve the changes
before it actually goes in. Sorry, the video’s not working. But all of these redlining
features are used today, not just for legal contracts,
but also, documents that you’re collaborating with the team on. And this also translates well
in Google Slides, that supports synchronous collaboration. At no point does Irene have
to play version roulette. Where he she sends a
V1 of the slide deck, wait for changes to come in,
and then take the new version, edit it again, and send it back. And in the meantime, there’s
a lot of wasted idle time. What you see on the screen
here is how collaboration happens in Google Slides today. This is actually how
Mario, Stacy, and myself prepared the slide deck
today, that you see here. There are multiple people
making changes in real-time without overwriting
each other’s changes. Now so much great work went
into producing that final draft of that legal contract,
of the slide deck and there’s always
that approval process where you can get
stakeholders from PR or legal to approve your final proposal. And without G Suite. Irene and her team would
probably use a third-party tool to track that. They would export that
final product into a PDF. Upload it to some
project tracking tool and ask for approvals. And that would work just fine. However, if one of the approvals
actually ask for a change before they approve, they would
have to go edit the same file, export it again, send
it over for approvals. And version roulettes are
just really inefficient and Irene doesn’t
actually like them. So with G Suite, this
approval workflow is a lot more streamlined. We’re excited to
announce Drive’s upcoming document-centric
workflow, which will allow users to get formal
approvals on their files. With this feature, Irene
can submit her file for approval for
specific co-workers. And once that’s done,
it actually gets locked. The approver has
time to approve it. Once it’s approved,
it also stays locked and nobody else can edit it. Let’s recap all of
these tips and tricks during the collaboration phase. In Google Sheets, we offer
answers about your data. And you can type in questions
in natural language. We empower you to
work on the go and you don’t have to have access
to Wi-Fi all the time. We save you time while
working, while typing emails with Smart Compose. We also make sure that you stay
on top of your inbox and emails with the Nudge feature
in the new Gmail. Last but not least, our
real-time collaboration features that we take
for granted for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The redlining features. That organized collaboration. And the new document approval
workflow in Google Drive save you a lot of
time along the way, And all that brings us
to that final stage– the presenting phase,
where Irene and her team are ready to present the
product plan for UltraStove. So they’re back
in Hangouts Meet, but this time, people
from around the world are dialing in
because they don’t have to be there in person. The slides can be presented
on a screen in the room that they’re presenting in. They’re also on everyone’s
laptop or mobile phone. And this applies to
meetings no matter the size. At Next, we announced
that we will be increasing the
maximum participants size from 50 to 100 participants. We’ll also allow live
streaming to up 100,000 people and that number sounds
huge, but it’s actually, the size of all hands at
companies like Google. And to minimize interruptions
while presenting the UltraStove proposal, Irene actually
asked the audience to hold off on their questions
and submit questions at a URL where she can take the questions
at the end of the meeting. I’m actually going to
try out this feature right now so you can ask me and
Stacy and Mario some questions. Get the mouse over here. So you have this URL at
the top of the screen and it will stay on for the
remainder of this presentation. So go ahead, the URL at the
top and type in your questions that you have about G Suite. You can also vote on questions
that other people submit. And we’ll be up on stage to
answer the top-voted questions later. Now in some of the meeting rooms
at Kitchen Appliances, Inc, they actually have
Jamboard devices. How many of you have seen the
Jamboard device or some of them at Next? That’s awesome. So all of you know it’s
a digital white board, except that it’s
really collaborative. In fact, it supports up
to 16 touches up once. And it actually
works really well for presentations
with multiple speakers because I can put the
slides up wirelessly. And then I can also use
the hand touch input to flip through the slides. So we covered a lot of features. They’re all listed
here on the slide and it’s all about
taking your productivity to that next level. And I hope that we inspired
you to take the tips that you learned today back
to your company and share with your team the
collaboration capabilities that G Suite offers. And all of that is
in order to improve the collective
productivity at work. And as Googlers we live
and breathe G Suite. We use it every day. But we also want you to hear
from other G Suite customers. And you can do exactly that
at our Transformation Gallery or the Learning Center. Both URLs will be here
on the screen for a bit. And you can actually try a
lot of these features that we talked about today– like the
Sheets, Questions and Answers– on your mobile phone. So pull out your
phone and try it out. [MUSIC PLAYING]


6 thoughts on “30 Time-Saving G Suite Tips to Help Your Employees be More Productive (Cloud Next ’18)”

  • Woah, that's pretty great. But is the team be able to work on the currently available items like "highlight" tool? New features are great for selling but long time users do have certain issues and pain points which were created in Google Product Forums backdated to 2016. The cool thing about "highlight" is the ability to have the hex code assigned.

    Maybe is there a way to store the history of the last used hex code which applies to the button used for a shortcut? So that this can also be applied to shortcuts for text colour, highlight colour, cell fill or cell borders throughout G Suite. Ctrl-Shift-1to0, because there are 10 colours that save to history below the area where you have a button to enter a hex code for custom colours. It would be great if you could Right Click one of them to "lock" the colours and prevent switching.

    So in the future, you might also be able to define Color Schemes as well. Something Microsoft did for PPT and Google for Slides, but you can create Colour Schemes and save in Keep or a different application to be available on the right side tab. Allowing you to drag and drop the Schemes from different files and apply the same formatting to all.

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