Update: Google announced on September 29, 2016 that Google Apps for Work has been rebranded as Google’s G-Suite. This article has been updated on September 30, 2016 to reflect that update.
The old set-up: Our emails, set-up through our hosting company, were linked to our personal Gmail accounts, and we constantly had to make sure our email was working as expected. We rather unsuccessfully shared events across Krista’s Google Calendar and my iCalendar. We shared documents through Dropbox but always felt we were out of sync (someone tell me I’m not the only one with a general disdain for Dropbox).
Enter Google’s G-Suite. With Google’s G-Suite, we can maintain our professional email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org), share a common drive of documents, maintain shared calendars, and conduct video calls without relying on fifty different systems. And it’s affordable, too—it starts at $5/user per month!
Here’s a quick overview of what you have access to when you sign up:
We’ve always preferred Gmail for personal email addresses because it’s reliable, and Google always seems to be rolling out new products that easily work with it. The business version is all of those things.
And since it’s a popular platform, there are all sorts of plugins you can download to make your email systems more efficient. If you’re using Gmail and haven’t checked out Boomerang (affiliate link), you should do that now.
It was also important to us that we were able maintain @daveyandkrista.com email addresses.
2. Google Calendar
Having a shared Google Calendar has made our lives much easier. It’s simple to add and manage events, and see everything at a glance. There is much less back-and-forth between Krista and me trying to find common availability because we can turn on each other’s calendars when searching for times. And we can confidently schedule meetings with clients knowing when we’re both available.
3. Google Drive
Krista and I can be working on a document, spreadsheet, or slide deck in only a few clicks. And it’s a much better experience collaborating in real time on a document or slide deck in Google Drive than Dropbox.
Trying to find the most up-to-date file in Google Drive is never a guessing-game since everything is updated in real time, and life is a little easier when everything is in one place.
4. Google Hangouts
Most of our initial client meetings are via video call. With Google’s G-Suite, we can schedule Google Hangouts using our Google Calendars, and we can send our clients invitations in advance of the meeting. We never have to go back and forth with clients trying to get Skype or other online call software to work. We can invite them to our meetings and they just click a link to join the call.
Get Google’s G-Suite Set-up:
It’s easy to get set-up even if you’re not a tech-wiz.
- Go to https://apps.google.com/.
- Click Get Started in the top right corner of the page.
- Follow the prompts.
- You can set it up yourself if you have some technical know-how; otherwise, they’ll suggest you call support. Call support. They’re very helpful and will make sure you’re all set up.
Krista and I were set-up in about 30 minutes.
Using G-Suite has kept us organized, and it has eliminated the need to keep a bunch of random systems up-to-date. The mobile Google apps are icing-on-the-cake.