Google Drive is arguably the most popular file synchronization and cloud storage solution on the market, becoming a firm favourite amongst personal users and businesses alike.
Like other cloud storage services, Drive is simple enough in concept. It allows users to store files on the cloud and access them whenever they want, provided there is an internet connection.
However, there is much more to Google Drive than its bare bones functionality. For a start, it integrates seamlessly with Google’s other services, while it also has plenty of features that appeal to enterprise users.
For businesses, Google Drive is a potent tool. Perhaps your organization is not getting the most from Drive, so sit back and read our guide on how to use Google Drive for business. We will touch on the basics before delving into some core features that can really help push productivity.
Start Using Google Drive
Like most Google services, Drive is very easy to set up and use. However, you will have to join the company’s ecosystem by having a Google account. Let’s be honest, across Gmail, YouTube, and myriad other services, most of us already have an account with Google. Drive is completely free to use, but if you want access to more than 15GB of storage there is a fee.
Google Drive is a cross-platform app, so once you sign in you can use it across Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Creating or uploading a file to the service is simple, allowing users to create word documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, drawings, and more from third-party app integrations.
Google Drive for Business
With the basics out of the way, let’s look at some of the features in Google Drive that will appeal to business users.
Offline Support: While Google Drive is a cloud service, it has an offline mode that let’s you view and edit files without a Wi-Fi connection. Business users will certainly value this tool for situations such as plane travel or for staying in an on-premises environment. For this functionality, you will need to be using the Google Chrome browser and download the Google Docs Offline web extension.
As this suggests, the offline editing and viewing is limited to Google apps in its G Suite productivity platform. Once enabled, you can access Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files without an internet connection. There are some caveats to consider, such as only being able to access files you have created yourself and have not yet shared.
Furthermore, Google Drive will need to be open in Chrome before the internet connection is lost.
Sharing to Groups: Sharing files is a big part of the Google Drive package, making it easy for users to pass documents to each other. Organizations typically need to move files to a larger pool of recipients than a single person and Drive allows them to do that. Instead of entering each person’s contact information individually, files can be shared through a Google Group.
In a similar fashion, more than one file can be shared with an individual or group. To do this, simply move the files you want to share into a single folder and share the whole folder.
App Integrations: Google Drive interacts well with third-party apps and services. For example, if you want to share a document for collaboration from another program, Drive can automatically convert the file into a Google Docs friendly format. To do this, head to the Filemenu and select Open withto see a list of recommended programs to open the file with.
Collaboration: One reason to collaborate across a single file is being able to correct mistakes someone else may have made. Google Drive makes this easy as it saves every single update made on a file up to 30 days or 100 revisions. You realize after the fact that you made a mistake, simple head back and revert to an older version of the file.
Drive is not just about storing and syncing files through the cloud, the app also makes it easy to share files. This is important for organizations as they can quickly and efficiently move files between employees through a Drive account. Employees with permission can access files from a single cloud account, making access a seamless experience.