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​How to Use Google Docs for Maximizing Efficient Task and Staff Management

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Effective collaboration is the key to efficient staff and task management. Countless program developers came up with their own collaboration software with features promoting efficient task distribution across employees. While effective, collaboration programs are not the cheapest application you will around. They often come in expensive suites, making them unsuitable for smaller businesses. Luckily, entrepreneurs on a budget don’t have to search far for the best collaboration program as Google Docs is available for free and offers the same feature.

Google Docs is a set of document processors developed by Google to promote file portability. Users can access and edit their files wherever they go. This platform has changed into a useful and free collaboration tools. Use it through the following to maximize staff and task management effectively.

Use and Edit Files without Downloading and Uploading Files

Employees who are on the go can leave their files behind, especially if they won’t be access to their personal computers for some time. Google Docs allows users to create their files online. The file automatically saves changes once the file name has been renamed. Once users are done with the files, they can share the files with employers or team leaders to see their progress. Users will generate the link to the file then send them to collaborators. Also, users can directly share the files to collaborators by choosing the share button found on the document. Google Docs will dispatch email notifications to collaborators for them to know a file is available for checking and given instant access to them.

If users need to edit the file, they will open the file and edit the contents. The file will then be updated automatically, keeping users from uploading and downloading their files just to apply necessary changes.

See Changes Realtime

What makes Google Docs a good collaboration tool is its ability to show changes in realtime. Online collaborators will see other members change entries on spreadsheet and documents. This prevents people from working on the same tasks and promote efficiency.

Users can also update if a task is still being worked on or not. Updates are posted then others will decide if it’s time for another collaborator to take on the job.

Manage File Access According to Users

Google Docs lets users configure access to files. Options include viewing option for collaborators or edit for editors or team leads. Individuals granted with editing option can access the file and make changes whenever needed. Viewers are only limited to viewing.

Depending on the file, users may also set if the file is available for download for everyone or not. This prevents unauthorized people from getting a copy of the file.

Collaborate with Other Users through In-Document Chat

Collaboration is more than sharing files with others. It requires communication for work purposes, and some times, to simply know everyone accessing the files. Google created an in-document chat for collaborators to talk to each other.

The in-document is a small chat box that works like a conference chat. It lists people online or currently accessing the file. They can type messages on the chat box and discuss the tasks before collaborators begin working on them.

Aside from in-document chat, users can also use the comments feature for leaving instructions or additional notes.

Filter Spreadsheet Data According to Needed Value

Google Spreadsheet works the same as regular paid spreadsheet files. Users can filter columns according to data needed. This data can be collaborators’ names working on each task, numeric values, letters, and others. Users can set advanced filter options to show rows of tasks or data.

The advantage of filtering data is it’s considered as a change that requires higher level access. This means the only people who can filter data are the document starter and assigned editors. Doing so prevents unauthorized changes on the spreadsheet, which may affect data accuracy.

Tag Users in Comments

Users can also use comments to collaborate with others. Comments can be appended on single cell or the entire document. Cells with appended comments will have indicators that additional notes have been placed on them.

Google developers took this feature to the next level by integrating notification features with the comments. Users can tag specific people by using plus (+) or at (@) sign followed by their email address. Tagged individuals will receive an email notification regarding the comment. The notification mail contains link to the appended comment, granting the tagged individual instant access to additional details he needs to know.

Use Spreadsheet as Timesheet

Google Spreadsheet can also be used as virtual timesheet. Document creator can create a timesheet-like file on Google Docs and share the files with collaborators. Collaborators will log in and type the time when they logged in, making it easier for online team leads to track colleagues attendance. Their attendance can then be used for calculating salaries or performance.

Receive Email Notifications According to Preferred Setting

Another advantage of using Google Docs is its email notification settings. Users can get digest of changes that occurred in the file within the day or receive email notifications as changes happen on the file. With the last option, team leads can receive notifications whenever collaborators applied changes on the file. The notification contains the collaborator’s name and link showing a preview of the changes. Users will click this link to see the highlighted changes. Also, the preview has a link that directs viewers to the full spreadsheet for easy access.

Track File Changes

Google Docs also save a history changes on the file. It indicates the people who edited the file and track down the changes made. Managers will easily know whether applied changes are valid or not through the members who did them. Team leaders can also use history changes to track member’s activity, ensuring they are doing their jobs on time instead of just logging in and leaving the tasks undone within the day.

Google Docs is a powerful collaboration tool as long as users know its features. It’s available for everyone for free and users simply need to use their Google accounts to gain access to Docs.

References:

http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/blog/2014/12/22/how-we-do-checklists-in-google-docs/

https://moz.com/blog/use-google-docs-to-manage-your-digital-projects-from-freelance-to-large-agency

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