Using the New Google Apps Features to Enhance Your Business

Lucky Gmail users have been able to use these features for some time now, while us Google Apps users have been quietly waiting. Personally, I’m glad Google took the time to get the features working flawlessly before deploying for business use. After spending some time understanding the new features, I have found some great new productivity enhancements to share.

Bookmark Emails and Searches

This is by far my favorite feature. Granted, you can usually find the email you need with a well crafted search or label. However, being able to bookmark a message is much faster when combined with Now, I can attach that well crafted search or an individual email directly to an item in my todo list. Good times!

Colored Message Labels

Ever since I have been using a filter + label solution, I have accumulated a massive amount of labels. Using color coding I can now assign the key labels I need to check regularly, bright red. That helps save time when scanning through hundreds of labels.

Updated Contact Manager

If Google would create a reliable synchronization tool that works with my Pocket PC, as well as an import tool from other popular networks, I just might dump Plaxo and keep it simple.

While I appreciate the ability to add custom fields, you should really be able to change the name, rather than the label just saying “custom”.

For CRM purposes, a better interface to show the related content to that person would be great. Especially if it aggregated data from across all of Google Apps.

Chat From the Browser

This adds convenience to instant messaging. I like not having to leave my inbox to hold a chat (or chats).

Now if only you could do voice chat and share your desktop… (I will keep hope alive)

Google Sites

At first I thought this was just an update to their web builder tool. I was pleasantly surprised to find a cool intranet building tool. This will serve as a better gateway for our team, instead of the Google Apps start page (I prefer using iGoogle with my personal account because of greater flexibility).

The best feature of Google Sites for me, is the ability to share and version uploaded files.

How are you using these new features?

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