How many times a day do you use Google? You likely use it daily to search for information. You probably watch YouTube videos every now and then. And maybe you’re an active Gmail user, too.
What if I told you that you’re not using even half of Google’s most powerful tools?
Earlier this year I attended a Google News Lab training that focused on Google Tools useful to reporters for digital journalism. That got me thinking about the dozens of other tools Google offers – for free – that marketers can use to boost their productivity.
Check out my picks for lesser-known functions of Google you might be missing out on for personal and professional use.
If you use Google Search, try searching by image
Search is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “Google.” It’s their cornerstone product, evidenced by the fact that Google processes trillions of searches per year. Search has come a long way in recent years. You can type your query into the search bar and even use voice to get an answer more quickly. But did you know you can also search by image?
At Google’s I/O developer conference this year, they revealed one of their latest endeavors: combining search with artificial intelligence to provide instantaneous answers to users. Using the Google Assistant app, you can hold up your smartphone camera to a store sign to reveal information about that business, like operating hours and Yelp reviews, right on your device’s screen.
— Google (@Google) May 17, 2017
If you use Google Maps, try Google My Maps or Google Earth Pro
Don’t get me wrong – Google Maps is still your most practical source for directions and wayfinding. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of possibilities for Google’s map-based applications.
Google My Maps lets you take control and create your own custom maps to share with others. You can draw on the map and add icons to identify specific points of interest. Have a spreadsheet of location data you need to visualize? Just upload it to My Maps and see your data visualization come to life on a map. Try it with a list of all your retailers or dealers nationwide to get a visual of the markets where your company does business.
Google Earth Pro provides an even richer experience if you’re looking for something a little more interesting. Let’s say your company is looking to purchase real estate in another state. With Google Earth Pro, you can design a virtual tour and lead a viewer to explore the streets of nearly any town around the world. How’s that for an immersive digital experience?
If you use Google Drive, try Google Keep
You’re probably already working collaboratively with colleagues on documents, spreadsheets and slide decks through Google Drive. But what about those half-baked ideas and random thoughts you have before you start putting pen to paper?
That’s where Google Keep comes in. Think of it as your digital sticky note collection to gather your thoughts in one place. Even better, it’s tied to your G Suite account so you can access those notes on any device.
And that’s not all
Sometimes it feels like Google has solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had. Their offerings are seemingly limitless and they continue to develop more interesting, useful tools by the day. Check out their full list of products and let us know – What’s your favorite Google tool?