For those who started working way before computers were a big thing, you might remember the trouble involved in managing various aspects of your work.
That rolodex for your contacts, daily planners and journals, folder cabinets, fax machines etc.
If you’re lucky to have skipped that era, staying on top of your tasks was still a bit tricky since you had to deal with a calendar app, an email account, word documents and spreadsheets, and several folders in different locations on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
As it became more evident that we need to have greater synergy amongst these tools, big tech players like Google responded with products like Google Apps, which evolved into G Suite, and is now known as Google Workspace.
Think of Google Workspace as a collection of digital tools that enhance collaboration and productivity, harnessing technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
You’re probably wondering how any of this helps you and whether you’ll no longer have to lose your mind trying to keep track of the days designated for specific tasks, or which person is supposed to receive a particular document.
What does Google Workspace offer?
Google Workspace comes with a custom email as part of its foundation (we all know how brands are always trying to set themselves apart from the rest).
Organizations using Google Workspace also have access to Gmail, Chat, Calendar, Meet, Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and many more tools.
Things get a little more interesting knowing that you have support features that not only help you keep your data secure and manage the permissions and activities of various devices, but also give you insight into an organization’s work patterns, especially where to improve.
And if you’re still not moved, don’t worry, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Google Workspace is built with the understanding that various organizations have a multitude of custom tools in their bag that properly cater to their unique operational needs.
The Google workspace marketplace is the response.
This is basically a one-stop shop for Google Workspace add-ons, the customized applications that integrate with your native Google Workspace tools.
Just like you can take a stroll through your favorite retail store and let the section labels guide you to the shelf with the exact product you’re looking for.
The Google Workspace marketplace neatly categorizes all these add-ons based on functionality and other criteria like popularity and user ratings.
What makes Google Workspace add-ons so special?
Whether it’s Doctopus for assessing student projects, or Screencastify for editing videos within your browser, there’s an add-on for just about every use case.
There’s even powerful add-ons like Portant Data Source, a Google Docs add-on which will take your report creation to the next level, providing smart forms, document automation, scheduling and reminders to save you time and eliminate errors in reporting.
These add-ons enable functionality delivery through a separate software dedicated to a specific purpose, and allows applying it from within a Google Workspace application. Instead of creating structured forms in a separate application, you can create them within Google Docs.
You can download a free add-on for just that here. Rather than manage video meetings in a stand-alone software, you can schedule one with a contact from within your Google Calendar. The list goes on and on.
Yes. Google Workspace add-ons are the savior you didn’t know you needed, and it’s not even that hard to get them to work for you.
Installing Google Workspace add-ons
To install a Google Marketplace add-on, open the application that it extends, say Gmail or Google Calendar. Within the application’s interface, head to the add-on column on the right and click the + icon at the bottom.
A dialogue box will pop-up displaying the add-ons available for that particular host application in the marketplace. Review the one you desire and click “Install”.
You can also install add-ons directly from the marketplace by going to the relevant category.
These usually read like “Works with Drive” or “Works with Gmail”. Once you find one that you’d like to use, check through the details of the listing and click “Install”.
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.