How to use Google Apps for Business
By Anthony Caruana | April 23, 2013
Google Apps are an interesting alternative for businesses and deliver online storage, productivity applications and tools for sharing information with colleagues and clients. We'll walk you through getting started and some of the benefits.
Google Apps is a service that combines several of Google's online services into a single package. The apps included are:
- Gmail: Email
- Calendar: Online calendars and scheduling
- Drive: Cloud storage
- Docs: Word processing
- Sheets: Spreadsheets
- Slides: Presentations
- Sites: Simple websites
To start using Google Apps for Business, you need to visit the Google Apps homepage and create an account. There are two options: the basic package costs $5 per month for each staff member; if you choose to go for the premium service, you also get access to Google Vault, which offers extra security but doubles the cost.
In order to use Google Apps for Business, you'll need to either set up a domain name or use Google's free mygbiz.com address. However, the sign-up process guides you through that. A domain name adds $8 per year to the costs.
Once you've set up your account and the administrator account, you can start adding users. Assuming all your staff use the online calendar, you can now see each other's free time easily when trying to schedule meetings, easily share documents using Drive and even create a website using Sites.
With the productivity apps, it's possible to have multiple people collaborate on a single document at the same time and see each other's changes in real time. This is particularly useful if your team is in multiple locations.
The thing to remember is that the apps all run within a web browser, so there's no need to install any software and there are tablet and smartphone apps. If you want to work offline, without an internet connection, you'll need to use Google's Chrome browser and enable offline access by clicking on the gear-shaped icon.
Although Google's productivity applications are functionally similar to the familiar Microsoft applications you're probably familiar with, they aren't identical. There may be a bit of a learning curve as you become accustomed to different ways of doing things.
Does Google Apps for Business look like a viable option for replacing some of the software you currently use?
Click the link below to see Optus Business Google Apps