5 Google Docs Features to Help You Be More Productive
Most people think of using Google Docs as a way to work with multiple people while drafting a document.
And it’s true, it works great for collaboration.
But have you considered using Google Docs on your own?
I use Google Docs to draft all of my blog posts (yes, even this one) and it has increased my productivity and made me more organized.
And it’s all because of some very simple and useful tools that are already built-in.
By the way, if you’d like a copy of my Google Docs Blog Post Template, click here to download it!
Without further ado, here are 5 Google Docs features to help you be more productive:
How to insert a Horizontal Line From the Google Docs toolbar, select “Insert”, then “Horizontal line”
When you want to separate different sections of text, a simple horizontal line will often do the trick. You can insert a page-wide horizontal line anywhere in a document and as many times as you would like.
This can be very helpful for organizing multi-page documents and making them easier to read. It’s also a great way to keep a running log of notes separated by date, topic, etc.
I use horizontal lines to split up the sections in my Google Docs Blog Post Template so I can quickly differentiate between the blog outline, the blog post, and the email blast.
How to insert a Dropdown From the Google Docs toolbar, select “Insert”, then “Dropdown”
This is not your old school spreadsheet dropdown menu. This is a customizable, color-coded dropdown button you can add anywhere inside of your Google Docs.
You decide the dropdown options, the color of each one, the order they’re displayed in, and where the button goes in your document. It’s a great way to indicate the status of something you’re working on, give users a list to pick from, or track progress across multiple projects (see the next section about Building blocks for more on this).
I use Dropdowns in my Google Docs Blog Post Template to track the progress of each section I’m working on. Plus, there’s something extremely satisfying about being able to mark something “complete”!
How to insert Building Blocks From the Google Docs toolbar, select “Insert”, then “Building blocks”
These building blocks are probably my favorite new additions to Google Docs. Think of them as templates for things like meeting notes, email drafts, and project trackers, that can be customized and added to any document.
Some of the options currently available, like ”Meeting notes” and ”Email draft”, have smart features built-in. For instance, meeting notes are connected to your calendar events so the template can be pre-populated with details from an event, and the email draft converts to an actual email in Gmail so it’s ready to send.
There are also some building blocks that include tables and dropdowns (mentioned in the previous Dropdowns section), allowing you to track the progress of product launches, projects, content development, and more. Each of these building blocks can be customized, both the table portion and the dropdowns, to fit your business’s processes, workflows, and needs.
For instance, I used the “Product roadmap” building block, customize it for a client’s new web design project, and created a project tracker that my client and I can access anytime we’d like. We’re able to list all the tasks for the project, select who they are assigned to, and mark the status of that task, all in an easy-to-use Google Docs file.
How to add a Checklist From the Google Docs toolbar, select “Format”, then “Bullets & numbering”, then “Checklist”
Another simple but helpful feature is the checklist. You can turn any bulleted or numbered list into an actual checklist that can be shared between people and devices.
As you check off completed items, the text gets crossed out, so it’s easy to see what you have left. This is a great way to keep track of anything from to-do lists, to grocery lists, and everything in between.
I use this feature in my Google Docs Blog Post Template to turn my blog outline into a checklist so I can cross off each detail and key point as I write about them. I mean, what's more satisfying than checking off items on your to-do list?
How to use Voice Typing From the Google Docs toolbar, select “Tools”, then “Voice typing”
If you need to get a document written quickly, I recommend using the voice typing feature, which in my opinion, works far better than the voice-to-text feature on your cell phone.
You can even edit and format the document using voice commands, so with some practice, you may not need to touch your keyboard at all!
I use the voice typing feature whenever it's time to draft my blog post. It makes the process a lot quicker and it helps me get my ideas out before I lose my train of thought.
If you’d like a copy of my Google Doc Blog Post Template, you can download it here!
I suggest bookmarking this page or taking a quick moment to familiarize yourself with these tools, so you’re ready to use them.
I can’t wait to hear how much time these Google Docs features save you.
Feel free to send me an email or a message on Instagram or Facebook and share how these have helped you!
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