Have You Met Google Drive Yet?

Have You Met Google Drive Yet?
August 26, 2016 4 Comments Writing Advice Stephanie Ayers

googleHave you met Google Drive yet? Or Google Docs even? The correct answer would be yes, and if this is you, you probably don’t need to read this post. However, we have realized that while many people know it exists, they don’t know what it really is, how to use it, how to make it work for them, and why they should use it. I will cover all of these questions and any others you have over the course of the next few weeks. For today, let’s begin with an introduction to Google.

Let’s go with the definition to start:

Google is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, and software. -Wikipedia

Most of us know what Google is. We use it every day when we search for things. We joke “google it” frequently, but did you know that Google is much more than just a search engine? It has valuable tools for professionals, particularly writers. Let’s discuss some of the useful tools for writers:

Google Chrome

Chrome is Google’s browser. What sets it apart from other browsers like Mozilla, Edge, and so on, is the many great extensions you can add to enhance your writing time and make it easier to do research, avoid ads, and even shut down distractions. Here are some great extensions I use and highly recommend for writers:

  • The Great Suspender- No, this is not a pair of suspenders dangling across your screen, although that might be pretty cool. This extension disables your open tabs after a certain amount of time has passed. This comes in handy for social media sites, research pages you don’t want to close out, comparison tabs, and did I mention social media sites? It’s very easy to use, and it also allows you to “whitelist” those pages you want to have ready access to at all times.
  • Instapaper- This is another way to avoid all those open tabs that slow your computer down. Never lose a great research article again. Simply add the Instapaper extension to your Chrome, and save all your favorite documents for reading later. This is also handy for when you want to read your favorite blogs like this one and time is an issue. Just open the article, click Instapaper, and you can dive in later without unnecessary distraction. This is also fantastic for thesis writing as you can save the articles for footnotes later.
  • Google URL shortener– This shortens those really long titles for easier sharing. All you have to do is click this extension and it automatically shortens links for you.
  • Web Timer and Timer– Both these timers help you develop a regular writing habit. Web Timer is a great tool that charts how you spent your time during the day. This can help you increase productivity as you’ll notice those times when you tend to get distracted or spend too much time on social media. Pair this with the Timer app, which is a standard timer, to increase productivity, start and stop word sprints, and more.
  • Google Dictionary– Simply highlight a word online and click the button at the top of your browser. Viola! Now you know exactly what that word means. This extension removes the need to open yet another tab and distract you from what you’re doing.
  • StayFocused– If you’re anything like me, you spend way too much time doing other things online besides writing. You probably joke about needing an off button for these places, and that’s exactly what this extension does. You can set the timer and forget all about it. Great way to increase your productivity and set up some break time with social media while keeping a regular schedule.
  • Notable PDF– cut down the time you spend printing, signing, and scanning documents with this extension. A simple click and it’s done. Fast way to return those publishing contracts you’ll be receiving!
  • Adblock Plus– Even if you don’t write, this is a great extension to have. It prevents ALL ads from appearing on any site you visit as long as you are using Chrome. Need a popup? You can turn it off and on as needed, and even disable it for sites like your own blog as needed.

Now that you’ve download Chrome, I’m confident you’ll find many more extensions to help you focus on writing.

Google Drive

Did you know Our Write Side uses Google Drive for everything? We have found it the best way to share, store, and interact with all of our team members and business associates.

  1. Google Drive has extensive cloud storage.
  2. Google Drive syncs with your Google Calendar
  3. Google Drive saves all your photos, keeping your device space uncluttered. You can also create folders to save all your stories and writing, whatever level they may be.
  4. Google Drive makes it easier to share documents between team members.
  5. Google Drive automatically backs up and saves each thing you add to it.
  6. Google Drive is safe and secure. They go the extra length to provide users with security so they have confidence all work is safe.
  7. Google Drive is available everywhere. It syncs between devices and many times between different apps.
  8. Google Drive converts word documents to drive for easier access.
  9. Google Drive makes it possible to edit even Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from your phone.
  10. Google Drive shares with everyone even if they don’t have a google drive account, eliminating the need to send attachments.
  11. Google Drive is user-friendly.
  12. Google Drive has a search feature to help you find that document in a flash.
  13. Google Drive lets you work in Google Docs with someone else in real time, with chat options,  and view/suggest/edit options. This increases time spent fixing errors and makes collaboration much easier.
  14. Google Drive lets you stay up to date with your team and documents, showing who last edited what and the changes they made.
  15. Create slideshows and more with Google Drive. It’s everything Word offers without switching and closing out apps.

Most importantly for writers, there’s Google Docs. We use this for everything we write. We can share with each other, edit, suggest, and beta read faster. It’s compatible with WordPress (yes, there’s a plugin), ProWritingAid, and much more. You can use it on your phone, tablet, laptop, and if you add anything to it while on the go, it’s there on your desktop when you get back to your desk.

We simply love Google. We can’t tell you enough. In fact, this is the reason why I will spend a few weeks teaching you how to use it.

[bctt tweet=”#Google has lots of great tools for #writers. Do you use it to its full capacity? #lesson #advice #writing @theauthorSAM #ourwriteside” username=”OurWriteSide”]

Do you use Google Drive? What apps do you like best? Share your pros and cons in the comments below.

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Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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    Brandon

    I’ve found Our Write Side not long ago and am so excited, especially after I found your article today. I wanted to get the full aspect of google so I backtracked to this article to start at the beginning. Thanks for all the information!

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