Simply put, I'm not quite sure how D&Co would operate without Google's suite of intelligent apps. The D&Co business model heavily relies on collaboration whether it's with our D&Co Network or directly with our clients and like any business, we need to stay productive. Bonus - if your website was built on Squarespace (like us), it's super easy to add on G Suite (you get the Basic version).
At D&Co, here are a few ways we use the different apps offered with G Suite:
- Gmail: has an almost identical interface as my personal Gmail account, making it very easy to stay organized. Plus we have our @dalziel.co branded email address, which is great. Setting this up in Squarespace is very easy and we can add aliases as well, which you may find helpful for the general inquiry type emails.
- Calendar: we use for just about every meeting, event and even invoicing or payment reminders. We also color code based on the activity and/or client. It's very easy to update as well as invite your clients to.
- Hangouts: occasionally, we run into some technical hiccups but largely we use this to interface with our Network and/or clients from all over the globe. We definitely rely on this to facilitate three-way video chats when we need to speak with our client and bring in some of the Network team, as well. Otherwise, we use the chat feature quite frequently.
- Docs & Drive: probably one of my personal favorites and most used. With the cloud based storage, we are easily able to share files with our clients for review and avoid so much email back and forth. I heavily rely on Google Docs to share files with our clients and also started getting into Google Drawings for brainstorming exercises. The real-time collaboration is great. I also recommend Google Forms to help clients gather feedback and/or conduct market research.
Of course, there are other tools out there that can be very helpful. It's really dependent on your needs. Check out the table below to see the comparison between G Suite (Basic) and an alternative, Office 365 Business Essentials to see which is right for you:
G Suite (Basic)
Office 365 Business Essentials
|Price||$5 per user per month
(or $50 annual)
|$5 per user per month (annual)
$6 per user per month (monthly)
|Similar interface to the free Gmail account. You can also have a custom business email (i.e. @yourcompany).||Leverages Outlook, which you can access from your desktop or browser. I've used Outlook before and you can also easily organize emails into different folders too.|
|Calendar||Again, uses the same interface as the Calendar that you get with your free Gmail account. We find this to easy to color code and individual meetings and also set reminders!||Leverage Outlook, which you can access from your desktop or browser.|
|File (creation & collaboration)||Google Docs
|Microsoft Word (online)/ OneNote
Microsoft Excel (online)
Microsoft PowerPoint (online)
|File Storage||Google Drive, which is a secure cloud file storage. You can grant certain permissions to internal or external people based on the folder and/or file level. We use this a lot with our clients.||OneDrive
Microsoft Teams, which isn't really like any other feature or app we've found with G Suite.
|Chats & Video Conference||Google Hangouts||Skype|