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For years, Microsoft enjoyed an inimitable lead in the productivity domain. Whether it was its complacent belief or a blurry vision to see the future, Microsoft is facing a tough competition from Google’s Drive. With an aggressive update cycle and cross-platform availability, Google Drive is all set to surpass the ever-so-popular Office in the upcoming months.
What started as a word-editing tool (Google Doc), Google Drive today lets you create and edit documents, as well as provides storage space where you can add plenty of your files. Google is now targeting Microsoft’s productivity suite, Office, as well as cloud storage rivals such as OneDrive and Dropbox. In the last couple of months, Drive has added several new features, and is now an even more useful tool for entrepreneurs and designers.
Drive recently added support for Add-ons. As a refresher, add-ons (also referred to as extensions) help bring several new functionalities to the application.
In all fairness, most of the productivity suites, even the free ones offer support for extensions. However, Drive has already driven past all of them. From digital signatures to letting you easily cite articles and journals to your document using Google, Drive offers a plethora of extensions that will come handy to you.
UberConference allows all the viewers and editors of a document to participate in a conference call. In addition, participants can check who else is on the call, and have the call recording saved. Another add-on Messenger allows you to do group conversation.
HelloFax is an highly popular service that allows you to fax your document to any number of people you desire. The service extends its support to over 70 nations, and gives 5 free trials. Sign-in with your credentials once, and from thereon, one click is all what it will take to send your faxes. You can check the pricing here.
With a vast majority of our work shifting to the cyberspace, it saves so much of time signing and completing agreements through the web. PandaDoc lets you easily attest your digital signature to the documents. HelloSign offers similar features.
Many experts, including Guy Kawasaki have repeatedly advised users to stop using bullet points in presentations. So what do we do instead? MindMeister turns your bullet points into visually appealing mind maps. It automatically arranges different level topics and maps them accordingly.
If you’re writing a research paper, or just want to back up all the claims you’ve made in an article, you can use this add-on which automatically cites documents, URLs and wikipedia entries at the right places.
Using Gliffy Diagrams, you can easily add flow diagrams and other pictorial elements to your Google Documents that you can’t otherwise. Lucidchart Diagrams offers similar features.
Styles helps you make your spreadsheet cells look better. Once you select any cell, you will be offered over 40 presets to choose from. The pro version will let you create your own custom presets.
Table of Content automatically creates a content table and places it at the sidebar to help viewers go to any particular section quite easily.
It is very common to do a few grammatical and styling slip-ups once in a while. This add-on will check your grammar for such mistakes and fix them for you.
WebSequenceDiagrams enables users to create diagrams very quickly. What it does is, it allows you to write the sequences and turns them into professionally formatted UML sequence diagrams. Draw.io offers similar features.
Google Translate: If you use this feature a lot on the web or other editing applications, Google Translate can also be added on Google Drive.
Calculator: Again a feature which is pretty obvious, yet can help save a lot of time.
Where is Google heading with this? They are replacing Microsoft Office on the cloud. Microsoft has took time to enter the market (they launched the iPad apps just few weeks back) and while Microsoft struggles to get downloads and adoption, Google is now making the drive more useful and sticky.