SelfInformed

June 2015


Organizing Your Business with Google

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Let me start out by saying that I love Google. I work with their applications all day, every day for both personal and work and here’s why.

I’m rather paranoid. I know that one day my house can burn down, the critical papers could get flooded and destroyed, or a hurricane may well come and take everything away. For that reason I went paperless years ago. It wasn’t difficult. I built a simple computer and used it as a file server. I purchased an inexpensive scanner and scanned directly to the server. I then backed up the server to a portable hard drive on a recurring basis and stashed it in my office desk “just in case”. This was nice. I finally had a backup of everything and could easily send documents and such to people when needed.

I had the above solution (typical file server) in place for a few years when my laptop died. I didn’t have the funds to buy another as a replacement because what I needed would cost over $1,000. Instead, I decided to try a Chromebook which only costs about $250. This was a few years ago and I haven’t looked back. The Chromebook runs the Android operating system and has no moving parts. It boots quickly and runs today just as well as it did on day one.

Since buying the Chromebook I’ve subscribed to Google’s “Apps for Work” offering for my personal needs. I pay $10/month for each email/gmail account I have and that gets me access to all of the Google applications with unlimited storage. This allows me to drop the file server entirely. Now all my documents, music and family videos are sitting on the Google Cloud. I can control access. I determine who has access for sharing. I don’t have to pay and maintain expensive hardware. And as a bonus, my phone (Galaxy S5) will do anything my Chromebook will do.

I know that if something is accidentally deleted I can restore it using Google Vault. I can create multiple calendars and share them with others, create my own website, video conference with others and share the desktops (Hangout), make lists and notes (Keep), create all sorts of documents and more all within that same $10 package.

Imagine putting a system such as this in place for your business just as I did for the NASE. The price point is the same for the Office 365 platform we were on previously but you get so much more in terms of functionality and ease of use. Migration was a breeze. Now our users have more options to work with. Access and sharing of content is incredibly easy and efficient. We don’t need a computer domain and file server. Everything I do is on the cloud now (over the internet). I use my Chromebook for most of my office tasks now as it’s easier and faster. I don’t even need to carry a computer around anymore. I can work from any internet connected device.

Microsoft has made a lot of progress in this area lately but I don’t feel that they are on the same level as Google. Google simply offers more for less and they are making improvements all the time.

If you are curious, try the trial account.

By Cameron Brown

The “IT” Guy for the NASE

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