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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Google+ 101: Google+ Connects to Google Drive? Vol. #6

Yes! Google+ is connected to Google Drive, 
which offers the following free tools.

You mean I get all this stuff for free?

  • Folder - Google + provides you with 15 GB of storage for free. This includes Gmail, photos, and everything you have associated with your Google+ account. You can upgrade if you need more space for 100 GB for $1.99/month and 1 TB for $9.99/month.
  • Document - I found out how wonderful this lovely tool was when my writing partner Christina was using a MAC and I was on PC. We write our books in Google Docs first now so we can both edit and follow along, as well as be in the document at the same time. Which, speaking of following along...this is when one of us reads our "work in progress" aloud, while the other reads the text. It's amazing how much we find when we do this.  I can choose to allow anyone who has the link to be able to view the Doc, or I can select specific people to have access and the ability to edit. I have been an avid MS Word user for over 20 years and I am happy to have switched. There are super cool add-ons that you can get for free that will do pretty much everything! ProwritingAid, thesaurus, translation, diagrams, maps and all other sorts of things. You can also publish to the web with an easy click of a button. It will give you the URL to the document, the code to embed and also automatic links to Gmail, Google+, FB and Twitter.
  • Presentation - This is similar to MS Power Point where you can create nice proposals or presentations, or media kits. It will allow you to download as a MS Powerpoint, PDF, Scalable Vector Graphic, PNG, Jpeg or text file. You can also publish directly to the web as with the Docs. We've been using this to create mini-presentations for our new website, making web development easy-even for those like me that aren't saavy. Click here for an example of how we use it at Author's Cave.
  • Spreadsheets - I have also been an avid user of MS Excel for over 20 years and I love Google Spreadsheets. The most fantastic part that will come, which I have to be honest I have not fully explored yet, is that it is able to work with Google Analytics (which will probably be the last lesson for my Google+ 101 series). It also links to the Forms, which we will talk about next. As with Google Docs, there are numerous amazing add-ons that you can grab for free! Schedule generator, mail merge, twitter curator and super metrics. Click here for an example of how we use it at Author's Cave. 
  • Forms - Forms is absolutely beautiful! As Christina and I were trying to figure out how to create a database for our website, Google added Forms to the platform. We can create a form and it will automatically create a spreadsheet to track what is entered into the form via our website and in turn will also connect to Google Analytics. So now, if a new member wants to join Author's Cave, or a vendor would like to receive our marketing kit, they can enter their information via the form and everything will be tracked. You can also use Forms to have a voting poll on your site, provide a checklist, virtually anything. You may insert a video or image directly into your Form as well for a customized look. The one thing you can't do yet that we would love to ask Google to add, is the ability to upload a file to the form. Click here for an example of how we use Forms at Author's Cave.
  • Drawing - This one I don't use, but it is similar to Paint.You can create an original Jpeg, PDF, PNG or Scalable Vector Graphic and also publish directly to the web.

With Google Drive and the above resources it offers, you can connect everything in one place. Additionally, there are so many more apps you can add: photo editing, AutoCAD, Google Scripts, music, name it.

So, just another great tool in the Google+ toolbox!


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  1. Thanks for helping to educate us!

  2. Thxs Ginger. I just started with google+ on your recommendations and these are areas I will have to try out.

    1. Yay! I think you will love it once you get in there. I'm still learning, but I can't imagine not using it now that I am engaged. It does so many things.