yesKevin McAllisterNone
×

Get access to Protocol

I’ve already subscribed

Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

People

Nine top tricks from Google’s productivity guru

These productivity tips were voted as some of the best by Google employees. Now they're yours.

Nine top tricks from Google’s productivity guru

Google Workspace, G Suite's successor, has plenty of integrations to take advantage of.

Image: Google

Each Friday, Google's top productivity expert, Laura Mae Martin, sends a note to more than half the company globally describing ways that different departments are using their own tools to be more efficient. Here's a list of the favorites, as upvoted by Googlers themselves.

Read more about how Martin coaches Google's top execs to work smarter.

  1. Group your tabs in Chrome. Tab grouping, a feature available in Google Chrome, allows you to color-code and collate tabs at the top of your browser. By right-clicking, you can name tab categories and make sure you don't accidentally click on a tab of sports scores when you're trying to pull up a spreadsheet on a video call.
  2. Swipe-to-switch in Gmail mobile. For those managing multiple Google accounts, Martin advocates taking advantage of the account-switching features Gmail offers on your phone. On an iPhone, by clicking your email address in the hamburger menu in the top left corner, you can jump from alias to personal and back.
  3. Change your default reminder time in Calendar. Tired of being reminded for events 15 minutes ahead of time? Martin suggests catering Calendar event notifications to fit the way you work instead of only relying on the default settings. When editing a calendar event, you can click the pencil icon and add an additional notification as well as remove any other notification preferences.
  4. Spice up Slides with a virtual laser pointer. If your forearm is tired from using your cursor to circle figures in a slide deck, Martin suggests taking advantage of the laser pointer in Slides. In the app's present mode, the toolbar at the bottom has a pointer button between notes and captions that can draw attention to a part of the screen without the workout.
  5. Watch your audience when presenting. "Anyone? Anyone?" During a presentation, you might want to know that you're coming off better than Ferris Bueller's teacher. Martin highlights that it's possible to share your screen on Google Meet while still looking at your colleagues around the "room." As with Zoom, you can reposition the gallery to whichever view best suits you.
  6. Open attachments while video conferencing. A common theme in the features Martin points to most are ones that cut down on context switching. With Google Meet, you can open attachments that are shared within the app so people don't need to hunt through an email thread to find a relevant document. By attaching materials to a calendar invite, the relevant Sheets, Docs or Slides will be available to the meeting's participants if they hover over the bottom left corner of their screen.
  7. Integrate everything. Google's broader focus on integrating its products means that, in each app, you can do a little bit of everything else too. The slim right rail that now can be found in Google Workspace products lets you access some of the basic functionality of the entire product suite to save you from switching tabs. If you're writing an email and are reminded that you need to schedule a meeting, you can do it right there. Same goes for making notes in Keep when you're in a Calendar tab, or really any other permutation.
  8. Test your Gmail links. Another favorite of Martin's is testing Gmail links without taking the time to click out to every site while you proofread; if you hover over the link, you can see the preview instead. In link-rich environments, like a company-wide newsletter, Google sees this as a time-saver where the seconds really add up.
  9. The .new shortcut. Lastly, creating a document, presentation or spreadsheet Is a one-step process In a Chrome browser. Instead of opening a blank document through Drive, Martin just types one of the following: "doc.new," "sheet.new," or "slides.new."








Power

Yes, GameStop is a content moderation issue for Reddit

The same tools that can be used to build mass movements can be used by bad actors to manipulate the masses later on. Consider Reddit warned.

WallStreetBets' behavior may not be illegal. But that doesn't mean it's not a problem for Reddit.

Image: Omar Marques/Getty Images

The Redditors who are driving up the cost of GameStop stock just to pwn the hedge funds that bet on its demise may not be breaking the law. But this show of force by the subreddit r/WallStreetBets still represents a new and uncharted front in the evolution of content moderation on social media platforms.

In a statement to Protocol, a Reddit spokesperson said the company's site-wide policies "prohibit posting illegal content or soliciting or facilitating illegal transactions. We will review and cooperate with valid law enforcement investigations or actions as needed."

Keep Reading Show less
Issie Lapowsky
Issie Lapowsky (@issielapowsky) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University’s Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing. Email Issie.
Protocol | Enterprise

SAP unveiled a big sales promo. It's a bid to juice cloud customer numbers.

The move is the culmination of CEO Christian Klein's efforts to turn around the German software giant.

SAP unveiled "RISE with SAP" on Wednesday.

Image: SAP

SAP CEO Christian Klein is trying out a major sales gambit in his attempt to get more customers onboard the software giant's signature cloud platform.

A new offer unveiled on Wednesday called "RISE with SAP" bundles together several products, including the flagship S/4 HANA platform, under one contract with a flat cost, a promotion that the company is hoping will encourage more users to more quickly switch from the on-premise services that dominated the company's product line until the last few years.

Keep Reading Show less
Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Microsoft wants to replace artists with AI

Better Zoom calls, simpler email attachments, smart iPhone cases and other patents from Big Tech.

Turning your stories into images.

Image: USPTO/Microsoft

Hello and welcome to 2021! The Big Tech patent roundup is back, after a short vacation and … all the things … that happened between the start of the year and now. It seems the tradition of tech companies filing weird and wonderful patents has carried into the new year; there are some real gems from the last few weeks. Microsoft is trying to outsource all creative endeavors to AI; Apple wants to make seat belts less annoying; and Amazon wants to cut down on some of the recyclable waste that its own success has inevitably created.

And remember: The big tech companies file all kinds of crazy patents for things, and though most never amount to anything, some end up defining the future.

Keep Reading Show less
Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy ( @mcwm) is the director of special projects at Protocol, focusing on the industries being rapidly upended by technology and the companies disrupting incumbents. Previously, Mike was the technology editor at Quartz, where he frequently wrote on robotics, artificial intelligence, and consumer electronics.

Protocol | China

More women are joining China's tech elite, but 'Wolf Culture' isn't going away

It turns out getting rid of misogyny in Chinese tech isn't just a numbers game.

Chinese tech companies that claim to value female empowerment may act differently behind closed doors.

Photo: Qilai Shen/Getty Images

A woman we'll call Fan had heard about the men of Alibaba before she joined its high-profile affiliate about three years ago. Some of them were "greasy," she said, to use a Chinese term often describing middle-aged men with poor boundaries. Fan tells Protocol that lewd conversations were omnipresent at team meetings and private events, and even women would feel compelled to crack off-color jokes in front of the men. Some male supervisors treated younger female colleagues like personal assistants.

Within six months, despite the cachet the lucrative job carried, Fan wanted to quit.

Keep Reading Show less
Shen Lu

Shen Lu is a Reporter with Protocol | China. She has spent six years covering China from inside and outside its borders. Previously, she was a fellow at Asia Society's ChinaFile and a Beijing-based producer for CNN. Her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The New York Times and POLITICO, among other publications. Shen Lu is a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, a community serving and elevating Chinese professionals in the global media industry.

People

Google's union has big goals — and big roadblocks

Absence of dues, retaliation fears and small numbers could pose problems for the union's dream of collective bargaining, but Googlers are undeterred.

Recruiting union members beyond the early adopters has had its challenges.

Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

When the Alphabet Workers Union launched with more than 200 Googlers at the beginning of the year, it saw a quick flood of new sign-ups, nearly quadrupling membership over a few weeks. But even with the more than 710 members it now represents, the union still stands for just a tiny fraction of Google's more than 200,000 North American employees and contractors. The broader Alphabet workforce could prove difficult to win over, which is a hurdle that could stand in the way of the group's long-term ambitions for substantive culture change and even collective bargaining.

The initial boom of interest from Googlers was thrilling for Alex Peterson, a software engineer and union spokesperson. "It's really reinvigorating what it means to actually be a community of Googlers, which is something that's been eroding over the past four or five years, or even longer."

Keep Reading Show less
Anna Kramer

Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (@ anna_c_kramer), where she helps write and produce Source Code, Protocol's daily newsletter. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.

Latest Stories