The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
When I was in college, I had been using my USB drive for everything. I would write a paper on the computer in the library until the library closed, saved any work I did on to the USB drive, unplugged my USB drive, then return home to my Macbook, plugged the USB drive back in, and continued writing the paper after I transferred the document from USB to computer. I did this because I did not trust that the USB would always remain stable inside the USB port, and a little jiggle could cause the USB drive to disconnect and all data to be lost.
This seemed to work well and I had probably used this method for several years during my early years of college. Occasionally, I would forget the USB stick and have to run home to find it and get to a computer in order to print out what I needed, rushing to get to class in time. This method seemed to take up so much time and I eventually just started emailing myself all the documents. Then came a powerful awesome Internet tool called Google Docs, now known as Google Drive.
With Google Drive, I was able to start typing a document on the library in the computer, go home, and continue typing it without ever having touched a USB drive or an email. All I needed was an Internet connection. How awesome was this!?
This saved me so much time! In terms of time, the problem with the old way of doing things was: If I worked in Microsoft Word on a Windows computer at the library, then returned home to my Macbook computer — regardless if I had Microsoft Word for Mac OS X or not, I always had to do extra formatting to get the document to look right on a Macbook or a Windows computer. It seemed the two just were not compatible at all with passing back and forth a Word document.
Google Drive eliminated the need for any extra formatting, as the framework remained the same regardless of what computer I was on. In addition, if I was working on an assignment with someone, I could easily give them access to the document and they could resume working on it as well. If I was at home working on my computer and my lab partner was also at home working on the document, I could see what changes they were making and even chat with them inside of the document. The changes were seen almost instantly!
After I graduated college, Google Drive remained and currently remains my primary form of document writing. There are always those privacy issues that people worry about, but if that were the case, Google would be violating privacy, losing the trust of their customers and fans, and have to look through a few billion to trillion documents in order to find yours. I honestly do not think Google has any access to such information, as they probably encrypt it and wish to remain a respectful company of web authority.
When it came to work, Spreadsheets became very important for me. Programmers could easily write down what they were working on, what they were doing throughout the day, and what they had done by the end of the day, and the head programmer could read what everyone did, and everyone could pick up where they left off the next day.
Before everyone started their day, another document could be assigned to everyone to read before starting their assignments. An email could be sent, but emails get lost, while Google Drive documents are slightly easier to find and can be put into specific category folders labeled IMPORTANT or READ ME. Google Drive also offers forms that can gather data for those wishing to gather statistics in a Spreadsheet to be used for anything.
Google Drive also allows for users to upload any type of files which can be shared with everyone. While most email platforms can do this, email accounts max out quickly when it comes to file size, especially when large files are being shared, whereas Google can handle mega-uploads and about a dozen gigabytes for FREE.
Google Drive is a powerful underrated tool that can be used to run an entire company and keep everyone in the office connected and communicating with each other. A boss wanting to keep an eye on everyone’s work can have an entire folder he checks in to see what his employees are doing, so long as they write a log of it.
The most underestimated feature that many companies, otherwise spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on, is backup. Many companies may lose their data, data may become corrupt, hard drives may fail, get damaged, etc.
If companies were using Google Drive: It is automatic instant backup for FREE. Any company could easily find and restore all their files without any issues. No hard drive or technician necessary, saving a company hundreds to thousands of dollars in technical support and general maintenance costs.
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.