Google provides us all with a wide array of free tools and apps. They can help you accomplish personal, professional or educational tasks more efficiently. They could also increase your digital know-how or be used to impress a colleague.
Some are familiar, like Gmail and Docs. Others are less well-known. Chances are, you’re missing out on some which could help simplify your life. Here are three you should explore.
Forms makes it easy to collect information from your contacts or website visitors. You can whip up a quick survey and email it out or embed it on your website in a couple of minutes.
Google forms can help you plan a wedding reception, create a pop quiz for your students, or get answers to important questions from peers or clients.
A new form is easy to customize. It can consist of questions with multiple choice answers, fill in the blank spaces, checkboxes, amongst other options. For more technical users, it is possible to add form validation, styling, or question-skip logic with a couple of clicks. When a form is completed, users can track their answers in a Google spreadsheet either privately or publicly.
Google Draw allows a user to create, share or edit drawings online. This free tool can be handy if you need to create infographics, charts, diagrams, memes, or stitch a picture of a colleague’s head onto a toy Sasquatch walking through the woods. One might call this a more collaborative version of paint or a minimal poor-man’s version of Photoshop Elements.
I say its a tool for collecting opinions, approvals or suggestions in real time. Send the link to your team and watch the collaboration begin.
You can see others open the document and make comments real time. This process can be faster than waiting on an email response. Adjustments can also be made in real time by anyone you have given permission to.
Finished drawings can be published, saved in standard formats, or inserted into other Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
Do you love Google search but need to weed out anything that isn’t scholarly literature? Turn to Scholar. Scholar allows you to bypass a lot of clutter on the internet (like random blog posts about Google apps). Results only display listings from scholarly databases. Using a familiar interface, users can scan articles, books, abstracts, and court opinions.
When you search, you’ll notice the results are a little different than what you’re used to. You won’t see advertisements. Many results link to books or PDFs.
If you are a student in need of citations, research material, or research/evidence-based case studies, this is a great resource. This tool could’ve saved me countless hours in the library at USD. What was that – you don’t recall seeing me in the library at USD?
Have you discovered other Google apps, tools or websites to improve your day-to-day digital life? Feel free to share them in the comments below.