What do most people have in common when owning a computer?  The answer is… an email address. The most popular email service is Gmail from Google.  Gmail can be accessed by using Google's web application or different client based software on computers and mobile devices.  When signing up for a Gmail account it comes with fifteen gigabytes of storage.  If you upgrade to one hundred gigabytes, it costs two dollars per month.  

After signing in click on the box in the upper right hand corner displaying the nine dots.  This will show the various tools that google gives you access to at no cost.  The four tools I will discuss are drive, docs, sheets and slides.  

 To start any of these applications all you have to do is click on the one you wish to access.

 

This is what Google drive looks like when you first open it.  If you have just created an account, this will be blank.  I use Gmail for school and as you can see I have a folder for each class.  This helps me  stay organized and keeps everything in one place.

 

 To start, click the “new button” and it will give you different options for creating different files and folders that you can use with Google Drive.

These are the different options that will come up when “new” is clicked.  Now click on the “Google Docs”

button and create a new document.  

Google Docs is a cloud based word processor.  This will give a lot of the same options as Microsoft Word.  One of the benefits of Google Docs is that it saves while you’re working so you don’t have to worry about losing your work.

Another nice feature is that it gives you the option to download, using different formats on  your computer or mobile device.  This also works with slides and sheets as well.  When downloading as “Microsoft documents” be warned… sometimes the formatting can be slightly off and needs to be adjusted.  You can also upload a document from the office suite and open it in docs.  

 

“Sheets” is Google's application for making spreadsheets.  It works well for people on the go that need to keep track of different types of numbers.  If you know how to use Excel, using this program is very similar.

“Google slides” is  a good way to create presentations for personal or professional use.  This software has different templates, animated transitions and more.  It also has a feature called “voice type speaker notes”  This is very handy when you’re planning a speech during a presentation.

All of the applications presented in this discussion share the “share button” feature.  This means if you are involved in  a team project, you can give everyone access to a folder or a file to work on.

To be able to share a file or folder, right click it and click “share”.   

Afterwards, the sharing settings will appear and you need to change the permission options from (can edit, can comment or can view) depending on how you want to share the file.  There are two different ways you can share the file by typing in the person's email or sending them a link.

These Google tools  have a lot to offer.  If you thought this article was helpful I encourage you to dig deeper and learn more about it.  For more help with these apps click here for a video.  Another application from google  that might be helpful to you is “Blogger” which lets you create your own blogs, thanks for reading this article. Now,  try typing “Do a Barrel Roll” into the google search.