Over the past 5 years using Google Apps for Education at the Collaborative, I have slowly learned through experimentation and loads of frustration (my own and that of other people) that Google provides the tools you should be using to simplify your collaboration and communication. The challenge is understanding the ways in which these tools work together and how to use them effectively (i.e. as Google wants you to use them).
Take, for example, using Google Groups. For a long time, I only used Google Groups as a listserv. It is only in recent months that I have realized that Groups is a powerful tool for being proactive about sharing and communicating. In many ways, using Groups is a gift to your future self. Your future self will be grateful to your present self and couldn’t we all benefit from more kindness and gratitude?
Before I get to the full recommendations, let me tell you a story. It’s a sad story of wasted time, much confusion, and tedium.
Once upon a time, there was a team (Queen and her village) who did everything in Google Drive. They had many collaborators within their team and beyond. They built an elaborate structure of myriad folders and subfolders (castle), each shared folder and document with different permissions and individual email addresses (keys made by the royal locksmith). This worked fine until they hired a new person (Prince)…. [Read More]