Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is an exciting new update to Google’s productivity platform. Whether you’re only curious or are looking to get Workspace, this article can help. In the following sections, we’d listed the service’s features, usage, a few considerations, and tips about getting the most out of it on a Mac.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace, Google’s productivity platform for organizations and businesses, is an update from the former G Suite. Aside from the name, there are also several changes regarding design, interfaces, and functionalities. In detail, the following are some differentiation:
Icons: Before the update, most of Google’s work tools have different color schemes. However, in Workspace, all icons revolve around the colors red, yellow, green, and blue. Also, the company removed most of the icons’ details in favor of minimal designs.
Interface: Google refreshed the interface of its services with an updated Material Design. Users will see more line-based design elements, softer and pastel colors, and unique floating buttons.
Functionalities: Google pushed significant functions like better services integration, customer-to clients features, and new remote work capabilities.
Yes, it’s possible to create a Google account and use many of the company’s services for free. However, by getting Workspace, a team can access advanced features, more cloud storage, paid products, and an ad-free
experience. In other words, Google Workspace is a subscription-based platform that businesses and organizations can rely on to work, communicate, transfer files, and delegate tasks effectively.
Google Workspace Products and Their Features
Inside Google Workspace, there are many products that subscribers can use. Accordingly, below are the services and features that the platform offers.
While anyone can use Gmail, getting Google Workspace enables advanced features. Below are some of its advantages:
Custom Email Domain: In a company, users can have a custom domain in their email. Instead of “@gmail.com,” members can use something like joe@companyname or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Better Google Services Integration: In Workspace, users can access Google services without leaving Gmail. Apart from the right sidebar, it’s also possible to pin charts, projects, tasks, and even track file submissions.
Email Protection: Like the free version, users will also get Google’s excellent spam and harmful email protection.
Smart Reply and Email Compose Suggestions: Gmail will suggest words and phrases (autocomplete) when writing an email. Also, it can highlight and correct grammatical errors; excellent for a professional setting.
Also Read: How to create a Gmail Account
Meet and Chat
Meet, Google’s take on the video conferencing space is an excellent product to use inside Workspace. Here’s why:
Meetings are Fast, Private, and Secure: Since Google has robust servers, video calls on Meet are highly reliable, real-time, and display quality pictures. Besides, using better privacy methods, call bombing and hacking should be a lesser concern.
Lightweight and Easy-to-use: Unlike the competition, Meet only requires visiting its web app and sharing meeting links to work. Without any complex tasks, it’s easy to jump in on a call or create one.
Live Captions and Noise Cancellation: If there is background noise, Meet will do its best to silence it. Also, it can display live captions when someone is talking for better accessibility.
Picture-in-picture Mode: In a meeting, a user can access other Google services and continue working from there. Additionally, the Meet window will still appear in front of the screen, so missing something is not a problem.
Schedule Meetings: Users can schedule a call without a designated time by generating and sharing a meeting link. However, should one want to set a schedule, it’s quick and easy to do inside Google Calendar.
External Video Conferencing Platform Compatibility: When communicating with another business or team, Meet can connect to other video call services using compatible standards like Skype for Business.
Unified Chats and Dedicated Rooms: Members can join or create designated channels or rooms to chat about projects or tasks. Also, it’s possible to share files, collaborate, and track projects.
Using Workspace, a company can benefit from the following Google Calendar features:
Shared Calendars: In a Workspace account, members can share calendars in the organization. As a result, it’s easy to decide the best time for an event by viewing member calendars and peeking around available times.
Publish Calendars Online: Admins can publish their company’s calendar online to inform clients and other members about particular schedules, promotions, and other related things.
Migrate or Import Calendars: Companies can transfer calendars from other platforms into Google Calendar easily. Also, it’s possible to import calendars using .csv or .ics files.
Schedule Meeting Rooms: Team members or leaders can schedule or view vacant or filled rooms using shared calendars in a company.
Drive, Google’s cloud storage solution, already offers multiple features to free users. However, by purchasing Workspace, a team can benefit from several things like:
More Storage: While Google only provides 15Gb for free users, a member or team can have 30 GB, 2
TB, 5 TB, or unlimited storage in a Workspace plan.
Excellent File Search and Suggestions: Using AI, Drive can suggest files based on one’s tasks or recent actions across other Google services. Also, it’s easier to find files given the company’s search capabilities.
Access Shared Drives and Stage Files: In an organization, members can access and upload files into shared drives. By doing so, files are always up-to-date without overcomplicating things. Moreover, it’s possible to hide files from other members’ views or provide them a copy to avoid version collisions.
Access Google Drive on Computers: When using a device, integrating the Drive folders into File Explorer or Finder would be beneficial. Without switching windows or tabs, files are easy to access and can act as if they’re present locally.
Support For 3rd Party Apps and Plugins: Drive can work with countless apps from the Google Workspace Marketplace and plugins for MS Office and many more.
Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms
Unlike previous items, four of Google’s most popular services: Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms, work the same in the free versions and Workspace. Regardless, the following are some of the four services’ features:
Docs: Users can easily create documents without installing any app on computers. Also, Docs saves changes in real-time, works with other files, and provides unlimited version history.
Sheets: In Sheets, anyone can compose spreadsheets from simple to complex ones. Aside from the standard features, professionals can analyze large data sets, build custom solutions, and get AI-powered insights.
Slides: Slides make it easier to compose well-designed presentations with little effort. By using templates, users can focus on the content instead of designing slides. Above all, the service enables communication and collaboration on a single file.
Forms: Teams can use Forms to capture opinions and answers within or outside the organization quickly. Moreover, results are viewable in summary, real-time, and support Google Sheets import.
Sites is another powerful yet lesser popular product from the company; its features are:
No-code Site Creator: Using a drag-and-drop method, admins can create sites for teams or the company even without coding experience. Besides, components will arrange automatically for the best results.
Access and Use Files From Google Services: Attach files from Drive to a website quickly. Also, displaying events from the Calendar will only take a few clicks.
Responsive Websites: Sites ensure that a website can respond to different screen sizes. Consequently, the content will adjust to the best layout and most readable form.
Collaboration-ready: Google Sites enables website development collaboration with real-time editing and sharing controls.
Website Access Protection: With only a few clicks and settings, admins can designate site ownership for better security and management.
Google Currents, a relatively new service, is exclusive to Workspace subscribers and has the following features:
Post Ideas and Receive Feedback: Members can submit ideas and suggestions into a bulletin board-like space. Likewise, other users can respond by comments and discussion.
Content Suggestions: Currents detect content and conversations that might be interesting or related to a specific user. A user can then follow or view a suggested content by choice.
Powerful Search and View: Quickly find content, conversation, or other information using keywords, tags, and relevance ranking. Moreover, admins can effectively view and manage content to generate insight on engagements and learn valuable data.
By using Google Keep, individuals can benefit from the following features:
Create and Sync Notes: Anyone can create notes easily using text, images, and recording with color coding and labels. Besides, Keep sync notes with no hiccups across devices.
Collaborate: A user only needs to type someone’s email to collaborate on a note. After that, both can review and make changes concurrently.
Integrate with Google Docs: Inside Docs, one can attach notes from Keep and vice versa.
Scan Documents: Keep has a built-in OCR feature that makes it possible to convert images into editable text.
Create Reminders and Checklists: In a note, Keep allows for setting reminders and creating checklists, perfect for quick schedules and tasks.
Since 2009, Google Apps Script has been serving countless companies to make work efficient. In Workspace, it offers features like the following:
Integration with Other Google Services: Apps Script has an easy-to-use API for integrating solutions to other Google Services.
Fast Building and Deployment: With only a short amount of time, admins can create solutions and deploy them to their businesses, making it faster to solve issues and enhance experiences.
Robust Automation: Users can automate tasks and connect to countless applications to make work efficient and get more things done.
In a company, there could be countless files, documents, and other essential things. Since managing and searching data from a massive database is challenging, a team can benefit from Cloud Search’s features:
Search across Google Services: As it’s integrated into Workspace, members can quickly search across Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and other services.
Set Privacy Measures: Admins can set security controls that limit what users can view depending on their access permissions.
Company Directory: In a company, users can look up other members’ contact details, schedules, and mutual files.
Admin, Endpoint, Vault, and Work Insights
Apart from the consumer level services, there are also admin-designed ones, namely Admin, Endpoint, Vault, and Work Insights, with the following features:
Admin: Using Google Admins, it’s possible to manage users, devices, organization security, limit user location, and view advanced reports.
Endpoint: Prevent data leaks from lost or stolen user devices using password requirements and data deletion. Besides, using Endpoint, admins can provide employees with the apps they need.
Vault: Google Vault helps protect a company’s data with data retention tools like export, recovery,
and valuable information retrieval.
Work Insights: Track and understand a company’s Google Workspace usage. Make Workspace services adoption faster among members and view legacy product usage. Lastly, analyze team collaboration trends, share executive-level reports, and view work progress insights.
Google Workspace For Business
After learning how powerful the bundled products in Workspace are, you’re likely more interested in the platform than before. If it’s the scenario, then the following Workspace/G Suite user guide would help.
Google Workspace has three business plans: Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus:
Business Starter – $4.20 per user/month. It includes custom email, 100 Meet participants, 30 GB of Drive space, security and management controls, and standard support.
Business Standard – $9.60 per user/month. It includes custom email, 150 Meet participants (with recording), 2 TB Drive storage, security and management controls, and standard support.
Business Plus – $18 per user/month. It includes custom email (eDiscovery & retention), 250 Meet participants (recording & attendance), 5 TB Drive space, security and management controls (Vault and Endpoint), and standard support.
Setting Up Account
Below, we’ve listed a how to set up a G Suite account (Google Workspace) guide.
1. Visit workspace.google.com and click Get Started.
2. Fill up the necessary information and click the “NEXT” buttons.
3. If you don’t have a website domain, click the “NO, I NEED ONE” button; otherwise, press the “YES, I HAVE ONE THAT I CAN USE” button.
4. If you don’t have a domain, type the desired name and click the magnifying glass icon. Select one from the results.
5. If you have a domain, type the name in the input area and click the “NEXT” buttons.
6. Type your desired username and password. Check the reCAPTCHA form and hit the “AGREE AND CONTINUE” button.
7. Press the “GO TO SETUP” and “NEXT” buttons to continue.
8. Click the “VERIFY” text to prove domain ownership. Follow Workspace’s instructions from there to complete the process.
Suppose you want to have an idea about the platform’s basic operations. In that case, this brief Workplace or G Suite admin guide is enough starter.
1. Click the “Users” icon in the dashboard.
2. Press the “Add new user” text. Fill up the details in the form, and hit the “ADD NEW USER” text to proceed.
3. Click the “DONE” text to close the form or the “EMAIL USER SIGN-IN INFO” to send the user’s username and password.
4. Type the user’s existing email and hit the “SEND” text.
5. Select and click a user to reveal actions. Choose an action like “Reset password,” “Delete user,” and many more.
Manage Organizational Units
1. Click and open the “Organizational units” icon.
2. Press the yellow circle plus button. Fill up the form with details and hit the “CREATE” text to proceed.
3. Select and click an organization to reveal actions. Choose from options like add an organization under it, edit, or delete.
1. Press the “Security” icon on the dashboard.
2. Click the downward pointers of each item to enable settings.
3. Open “Alert center” to view alerts inside the organization.
4. Open “Password management,” enable password settings, and hit the “SAVE” button to proceed.
5. Open “2-Step Verification,” toggle settings, and press the “SAVE” button to complete.
Manage Organization Account
1. In the dashboard, click the “Account settings” icon.
2. Click the downward pointers of each item to enable settings.
3. Open “Profile,” hover your mouse over any item and click the pencil icon to edit information.
4. Open “Personalization.” Select the “Custom logo” option, hit the “SELECT FILE TO UPLOAD,” and pick an image file from your computer. Press “SAVE.”
Import Data from an External Platform
1. Press the “Data migration” in the dashboard.
2. Click the “SET DATA MIGRATION UP” text to proceed.
3. Select choices in the fields. Click the “AUTHORIZE” button and sign in to the other platform account. Hit the “START” button and follow the instructions to complete the process.
Google Workspace Vs. Office 365
Outside the Google business domain, Office or Microsoft 365 is also a popular productivity platform. If you’re considering what to choose from the two, the below comparison can assist.
Microsoft 365 offers a cheaper starter plan for as low as $2.50 a month compared to Workspace’s $4.20. However, Workspace has a more affordable $18 plan on the highest tier than the former’s $20 fee. Moreover, while Microsoft 365 offers 1 TB to all levels, users can get up to 5 TB in the highest plan.
Microsoft 365 only includes 12 apps compared to Workspace’s 18 services. Workspace has more robust company management tools, while the former primarily focuses on content management and creation.
Google Workspace has better service integration where apps can work with other products, and files, functions, and shortcuts are accessible almost everywhere. On the other hand, Microsoft 365 has more limitations on integration and relies heavily on OneDrive to share data and files.
Accessibility and Ease of use
Workspace’s services are highly accessible on browsers and can work offline. Moreover, their interface and design are easy to understand and use due to similar elements and processes across services. On the other
hand, Microsoft 365 provides native apps (with standard design) on different platforms but falls short in its web apps.
After consideration, Google Workspace provides more apps, features, storage capabilities, and ease of use. However, that doesn’t mean Microsoft 365 is terrible; in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s just that Workspace offers more value at the moment for both small to large businesses.
Benefits Of Using Google Workspace
If you’re still undecided, then finding out the benefits of using and choosing Google Workspace might seal the deal. Regardless, the following are reasons to go with the platform.
Modern Design and Interface
Unlike the competition, services in the Workspace have modern and beautiful designs. Using what the company calls Material Design, buttons, actions, and layouts feel more natural and intuitive. As a result, the interface makes using the services more fun, engaging, and manageable.
Even if a user’s plan expires, it’s still possible to use primary services like Drive, Office Suite, Calendar, and Keep. Unlike others that lock entirely out users, Google still offers adequate controls, features, and functionalities essential for work.
Excellent Services Integration
It’s quite repetitive, but integration is one of the Workplace’s key strengths. In detail, users can access and send files and data from and to different Google services. Accordingly, apps can work with other apps, whether in picture-in-picture, sidebar access, and many other ways.
Reliable Servers and Performance
While Google’s services are mostly web apps, it’s surprising how reliable and fast they are. As such, files load quickly, messages send and arrive on time, and data will remain intact in its place even for a long time.
Robust AI and Intelligent Features
Google probably has the best consumer AI capabilities in the current industry; a clear representation would be its search engine and voice assistant. Accordingly, users can benefit from intelligent suggestions, advanced search, automation, and many other AI-driven features across the Workplace services.
Integrate Workspace with Google Services using Boxysuite
When using a Mac, Boxysuite offers features that make it easier to transfer data to Workspace from Google’s popular products like Gmail, Calendar, Notes, and Contacts.
Using Boxysuite, users can receive notifications from Google services without using a web browser. As such, you can view popup alerts and notification counters over app icons. Accordingly, it’s easier to remember schedules, tasks, and invites within a company using Workspace.
Shortcuts and Dedicated Window
In Boxysuite, you can access Gmail folders and a few Google service actions right in the macOS menu bar. Also, when composing an email, it’s easier to write long-form messages using a dedicated window. In a Workspace account, these features would translate to faster task completion and more efficient working.
Another benefit of choosing the Workplace is that its services share similar design and input functions, making it easier to learn and master using them. Accordingly, when using Boxysuite, you’ll use familiar interfaces with Gmail, Calendar, Keep, and Contacts.
Easier Access to Local Files
Since Boxysuite is a native macOS app, you can easily drag and drop files from Finder into Gmail and other services. As a result, there’s no need to open or reach different Chrome tabs only to attach local files.