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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Google For Productivity: TalkFloor Social Media Marketing Series

Google For Productitivity: TalkFloor Social Media Marketing Series
As valuable as Google is for digital visibility and for search & discovery, it's also an amazing productivity enhancer as I discussed recently with TalkFloor's Dave Foster.

Dave described the interview as follows:

Christine Whittemore Google as a Productivity Enhancer

Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now in an ongoing series on online tools and social networking discusses Google as a productivity enhancer in areas of communications, collaboration, organizational, analysis, and advanced publishing. Whittemore talks about topics from chat opportunities and voice mail to working on community documents to Webmaster tools.

You can access all three parts of the interview by clicking on Christine Whittemore: Google as Productivity Enhancer. The segments range from 14 minutes to 18 minutes.

I consider to topic of Google the productivity enhancer particularly relevant for small to medium sized businesses – such as floor covering retailers, tile & stone contractors and others in the flooring business - which now have access to tools that used to only be available to large organizations with significant resources!

NOTE: To access most of these tools, you need a gmail account.

For the conversation with Dave Foster, I detailed several productivity categories:
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Organization
  • Analysis
  • Advanced - Publishing

You may consider others, but these struck me as the major ones.

Google for Communication
Via gmail, you not only access email, but also chat, voice mail and video calls {my other solution for video calls is Skype}. Email is searchable and features a new priority mailbox feature. Have you checked out Google voice? It offers one number for all phones. [Note: this video describes Google voice features.]

Google for Collaboration
Google docs are a terrific way to collaborate regardless of location! My favorite example is the master Twitter chat document which details all of the Twitter Chats taking place. The document is public and crowd sourced so it is always up to date. It's also very easily accessible. I've just recently used Google docs to create a lengthy survey. The results automatically pre-populate a spreadsheet for easy analysis.

Calendars, as Daryl Ciokiewicz from Floorcrafters in Wisconsin does, can be used to schedule installers.

Google Groups allow you to organize people and explore already existing groups.

Sites allow you to create a wiki for your work group to exchange information and collaborate.

Google Sketchup – I learned about this from Paul Anater, Kitchen & Residential Design. He uses it to create 3d models of spaces he is designing.

Google for Organizing
If you haven't yet, do try Picasa to help organize, edit and share photos. Install it on your desktop and it will find all the photos you have on your computer and organize them so you can actually find them when you need them!

I like to use Google Calendar as a content calendar. I find it more user friendly than Outlook Calendar for that purpose. I also use the to do list functionality.

Don't forget Google Reader to organize your different feeds and alerts.

Google for Analysis
You have two powerful tools available here: Google analytics for websites and Webmaster tools.

Advanced: Google for Publishing
Google offers many valuable tools for publishing: Blogger, YouTube, Feedburner, Picasa online, and Picnik for easy online photo editing [~ photoshop].

This conversation only scratched the surface of what's available from Google to help with productivity. You may be looking for a checkout solution for your website or a means for translating your content into another language. Google even offers Google apps for Business instead of using Microsoft Office, for example.

Assignment
Go create a gmail account, experiment with communicating, collaborating or organizing.

Explore Google/options and let me know in the  comments which Google tool you find most interesting. How has it improved your productivity?
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