A woman wearing glasses and a light blue button-up shirt sits at a desk in front of a window lit by the sun. Her attention is on a computer monitor showing a calendar program with events shown in red, green, yellow and blue. One of the woman's hands is operating a corded mouse. Her other hand holds a pen to her lower lip in a thoughtful pose.
Google Workspace boasts a variety of business products that cover everything from email and scheduling to security and team collaboration. — Getty Images/NicoElNino

Microsoft has long dominated the market for business tools with offerings such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Recently, however, Google has developed new apps and platforms to compete with Microsoft. Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace — rebranded in 2020 — offers a comprehensive set of business products to help companies collaborate and communicate seamlessly.

Here are the core tools available in Google Workspace and some security apps you can add for a fee.

Gmail

Gmail is perhaps Google Workspace’s most popular product. Many business owners and employees already have a personal Gmail account; creating a company account means your team can get started with little to no learning curve. Businesses that pay for Google Workspace can get a professional email address at your domain and create group mailing lists (e.g., help@yourcompany.com). Gmail integrates with Chat and other key apps in the Google Workspace suite of tools.

Google Drive

Drive offers shared cloud storage for your company. It’s where you can share key documents, presentations, images and spreadsheets. Users can upload files directly or create new ones from Google’s native apps (such as Docs and Sheets). Security settings allow you to share documents, and with flexible storage options, ​you will always have enough space for your files.

Google Meet

Meet is Google’s video meeting tool. Teams can easily join video conference calls without downloading a new interface, setting up an account or adding a plug-in. Simply set up a meeting and share a link. Rigorous security settings mean your company won’t be at risk of “Zoom-bombing.” Plus, Meet comes with handy features such as live captions, low-light mode and noise cancellation to help make your meetings more productive.

[Read more: Grow with Google: How Entrepreneurs Can Stay Organized to Grow Their Business]

Google Chat and Google Spaces are two products that aim to compete with Slack.

Google Calendar

Calendar is, obviously, Google’s calendar tool for scheduling meetings, appointments and events. Like all tools in Google Workplace, its biggest advantage is that it integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Drive, Contacts, Sites and Meet — meaning it can suggest additions to your Calendar based on email correspondence, add a Meet link automatically for team calls and add documents from your Drive to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Google Chat and Spaces

Google Chat and Google Spaces are two products that aim to compete with Slack. Chat is an instant-messaging tool that can be used right in Gmail. Spaces are a central place for teams to engage in topic-based discussions, share ideas and collaborate on specific projects. Think of Chat as more of a 1:1 direct communication tool, while Spaces can be organized by topic. Both can be used to collaborate on Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Docs, Sheets and Slides are Google’s answer to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, respectively. The key difference is that Docs, Sheets and Slides are hosted in Google Drive, meaning they are cloud-based and members of your team can access and edit these assets from anywhere. Multiple people can work on a document at the same time, providing everyone with the most up-to-date version and making collaboration much easier. Like Microsoft, Google offers templates in all three products for whatever you’re trying to create.

[Read more: 6 Document Collaboration Tools For Working Remotely]

Google Forms

Forms is a user-friendly tool to create surveys and collect feedback. Customize a questionnaire and collect responses in a Google Sheet for easy analysis. Drag and drop questions in a number of different formats and share your form in an email, a link or a website.

Pricing and additional products

These core products are included in all Google Workspace subscriptions (plus a few others, including Google Keep and Jamboard). Pricing for Google Workspace starts at $6 per user per month. Pricing increases as you add storage space, advanced endpoint management and security tools such as Vault. Individual users can start for free or pay $7.99 per month for a custom appointment booking page and advanced calling features.

Ultimately, Google Workspace offers affordable, integrated solutions that make it easier for teams to collaborate remotely and in the office.

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Published February 11, 2022