Should You Use Google Drive at Work? 5


Guest Post by Courtney Gordner

When looking for ways to increase your productivity while keeping operations costs to a minimum, having the right tool set is essential for positive, measurable results. Like any business activity, finding a way to securely store information, documents and projects in a location that’s accessible to all members of your team or staff is critical. Finding the right cloud storage options has never been so important.

During product research to meet these needs, many business owners and professionals come across Google Drive, a cloud storage solution that allows users to access, store and edit documents from any location.

For individuals in the construction industry or any other industry, finding the right products at the right price point is usually a top priority. It makes sense; you want the best of the best so you can provide your clients with the same. If you’re looking for the best estimation software, you’ve probably become familiar with Maxwell Systems estimating software. For the right tools, you’ve probably looked into heavy-duty options that are meant to withstand anything. Following this trend, would Google Drive work in your working environment?

Pros

Collaboration

In many professional settings, being able to collaborate instantly without sending multiple versions of the same file back and forth can save time and frustration. With Google Drive, anyone granted access to a particular document or folder can access and make automatically saved changes to a document in real time.

Low Cost

At the time of the writing of this post, you can start with 5 GB of free storage and an additional 25 GB for $2.49 per month, 100 GB for $4.99 per month and up to 16 TB additional storage space for $799 a month. This virtually unlimited storage capacity at a low price point makes it an excellent addition to any office environment.

Web-Related Apps

To put it simply, Google Drive is known for its suite of apps that cater to professionals. These apps include Docs, Spreadsheets, PicMonkey – free photo editing software, DocuSign – to collect and share signatures, search tools and more.

With these tools, employees are able to search through presentations, documents, private files and even images to make finding the right information a breeze.

File Type Support

Unlike other cloud storage and editing options, Google Drive supports 30 different file types – including Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and AutoDesk files – which can all be opened and edited within the user’s web browser without having the programs downloaded on the computer. This saves time and money.

Cons

Lack of Mobile Support

If smartphones are the preferred access tool for your employees, Drive falls short. The only available app is designed for Android users with no change in sight for the near future.

Desktop Usage and Setup

Google Drive documents can only be opened and edited within Google Docs. If a user needs to work offline, the document must be downloaded while online, then opened offline, edited and re-uploaded when online the next time. This leads to duplicate files and the same confusion that accompanies e-mail file sharing which most Drive users are looking to avoid in the first place.

Conclusion

After time, Google Drive usage becomes simple. But, on the onset it’s known for confusion with where documents are saved, gaining access to specific files and more. Documents are not always stored in the same folder as they’re uploaded.

If you’re looking for a simple program to use in your workplace at a cost that fits the budget, Google Drive is probably right for you. Like any program, it has its drawbacks but the overall user experience is usually positive.


About Daniel Gold

Daniel Gold is a productivity coach, keynote speaker, author, and podcaster. He is most well known for his eBooks, Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Capturing Everything and Getting Things Done, Simplify your Life with Springpad, and Make it Happen: How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your eBook. Daniel is also the co-host of the GTD® Virtual Study Group podcast.

  • philippe99

    Do not forget the problem of the data confidentiality ! Many companies refuse do not allow that customers/company/sales data can be edited outside the company’s intranet

    • E. C. Chang

      Not only that, but if you work in a field that produces patentable inventions, most employers insist on having direct control of any proprietary information.

  • MartinHughHarvey

    Mobile support – perhaps “the glass half full” is it’s available on Android! Also isn’t it available on iOS – https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/google-drive/id507874739?mt=8? Also offline access – never tried it but see https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375012?hl=en

    There’s also Office 365 which I haven’t tried yet.

    I think collaboration is multi-user updating and tracking capability is a huge advantage of Drive (and presumably 365).

    One con is that while Drive can so 90% of what Office does 90% (or thereabouts) of the time I have hot occasions where it didn’t or just isn’t as good. But let’s face it how many of us can really give Excel a good work out?

  • Colleagues and I have used Google Docs to create highly complex reports while working on different continents and although it took a little time to get used to, it really was an important tool for us. It has come on in leaps and bounds since the last time I used it in this manner, but it still remains a major tool for blog writing, single person reports etc.

    • Courtney Gordner

      Thanks for sharing, Kevin! I agree with you and, hopefully, I can only get better!