Google is a massive name in technology, so it’s no surprise that they have products for almost every task you could think of! Below are just a few of their offerings, which you can utilize by creating a Google account.
Google Drive is essentially Google’s “cloud storage”—meaning you can store your files using the service. Files saved to Drive are saved to Google’s servers around the world, and you have access to those files 24/7 on almost any device, so long as you have an internet connection. You can save most common types of files, including Microsoft Word (.docx), Microsoft Excel (.xlsx), PDF, JPG, PNG, Apple file types (MOV, PAGES, etc.), and even zipped folders.
If you would like to create your own files, Google Drive offers a few additional tools that could be extremely handy: Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. Keep reading for more information on these!
Google Docs is a basic word processing app, which allows users to create various documents, much like Microsoft Word. You can modify the basic document with unique fonts, colors, and other formatting tools. Users can also utilize templates for documents like resumes, invitations, journal entries, or newsletters. If you cannot find a template in the Docs options, specialized or specific templates can be imported from the web. Documents created in Docs are automatically saved to your Google Drive account but can also be exported using several different file types (docx, pdf, and more).
Google Sheets, like Microsoft Excel, allows users to create spreadsheets and work with that data to create tables, charts, and more. Users can modify the data with various font formatting tools as well as cell formatting tools to create a spreadsheet that is easy to follow. As you work, your progress is automatically saved to your Google Drive account. Files created using Sheets can also be exported using several different file types. If you are hoping to create a specific type of spreadsheet, like a calendar or budget, there are several templates to choose from, or you can easily import templates from the internet.
Google Slides is Google’s version of Microsoft PowerPoint and works very similarly, though it may not have all of the same features. Slides allows users to work from a template or start from scratch with a blank file. There are several themes to choose from, and new themes can be imported. Each theme has a unique set of slide layout options to choose from, and blank slides are available to create unique slides as desired. Like Docs and Sheets, Slides will automatically save your progress to your Google Drive account, but the file can be exported as several common file types.
The best feature, I think, of all of these is how easy it is to collaborate with others. All of the documents created in Docs, Sheets, or Slides can be easily shared with Google users and non-users alike. You can offer them a link or just send an invitation via email. When you choose to share a file, you can choose what kind of access those you’ve shared it with will have (the ability to view only, comment, or edit). You can also choose to turn on/off the ability of a shared document to be downloaded or printed easily from the app.
There are even more amazing tools hiding out in Google Drive, so I hope you take some time to explore! If you haven’t created a Google account, you can do so easily here. If you’d like to learn more about these Google tools and more, the Library has several resources that can help! Universal Class, Lynda.com, and Niche Academy have courses on Docs, Sheets, and more, or you can learn more about Google and their many tools from an OverDrive eBook!
Consumer Technology Specialist