My first email address I used was through Netscape Navigator, and it was nested under my parents account. I was about 11 years old at the time, but it was a way to have my own little inbox for whatever the future of having an email address would hold. This was back when dial-up was the connection source and you logged in through an email address provided by your internet provider. It was the first idea of having an email address act as a username to access digital information. A small step I see in the way we all started gaining and securing access on the web.
Today, Google has taken their email application from its origin, to a secure login for its entire product line. No longer will you need to come upon any new technology and not have instant access to it, when provided by Google. From Adwords to Adsense and Google+ to Goo.gl, you will seamlessly flow as you become more familiar with each one’s function. Yes, there are many of the same capabilities with today’s Office software, but for mobile apps, Microsoft does not cut it.
The ability to edit and comment on documents, share spreadsheets, collaborate on slideshows and even doing email is better in the cloud. No one does the cloud better than Google in my opinion, and here is a guide to help you get started with some of the basics on their suite of apps for your work processes. This is just my story of why I ditched Microsoft’s stuff for Google Apps.
With Docs, no more emailing edited Word docs and tracking changes like email campaigns, marketing collateral, and sales meeting notes. I simply “share” the doc with any gmail user granted access (this does not include a secure Google Apps for Work account) and give a set parameters of access. One can read-only, comment and read, or have full editing privileges but each document only one document owner. The fact my every keystroke is saved versus having to remember to save manually is an absolute delight each time I think about how long it has been since my last save. Where was this when I was losing work in college from time to time!
With Sheets, I share reports, financials, marketing collateral, and interface with it with many of the same functionalities as Excel. I won’t lie though, it is a bit to re-learn and master spreadsheeting in Sheets. In the long-run I have been happy transitioning as I see Google Apps connecting Sheets where I need it to, like with IFTTT, Google Analytics reporting, and much more. Again, save to the cloud and forget the hard drive! Frustrating, but worth it!
Slides and PowerPoint, take your pick. I am one who is rare to use either actually, as I lean toward SlideShare since it still makes online presentation sharing, collaboration and editing super easy. It is already built to feed out to a following all it’s own and can connect easily to other social networks. All possible through PowerPoint and Slides, but done better with SlideShare.
Gmail is much better than Outlook for my taste in form and functionality. Messing with OWA files, the Outlook apps, and trying to sync Outlook to your phone always end up in an IT nightmare in the workplace.
“Is it POP3 or do we set up Microsoft Exchange?”
Even my buddy Travis had these choice words to say on Facebook recently about a switch to using Outlook. With the ability to save attachments right to your Google Drive, share with other users instantly, and do it via desktop or my mobile device – Wham, bam, thank you ma’am! You cannot do things that efficiently (at default; out of the box) with Microsoft products. Once you have a Gmail account, you have all you need to administrate, collaborate, and edit with other users. “One account to rule them all” though a parody meme, is a very spot message about the power Google is offering users today.
In working around the issue of adoption from others, you can download any Doc, Sheet, Slide as a Microsoft Word doc, Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation, respectively, to your computer, or in your Drive. This allows you to work in Google and finish it in Microsoft. Microsoft is NOT as reverse-compatible with Google though. Google does make it available to convert then read and edit with limited errors , like loss of signature formatting and custom margins. Often it defaults text to 11-pt Arial, any HTML, and holds images natively, so again, minor issues.
The amount other things Google Apps connect to in the world these days, versus Microsoft, is something to really think of as you become a 21st Century business person. Web connectivity, apps and sharing information is a part of all work these days it seems in one way or another. I myself seem to work better now inside of the nice, clean, open feel of what Google offers to a mobile or online business person.