Expanding your Google Apps purview

google-apps-cloud.jpegAt the University of Minnesota, most of us use Google Apps for our mail (Gmail), calendar (Google Calendar) and document storage (Google Docs). However, built into this Google Apps suite, there are several other tools that shouldn’t be overlooked. Because these tools are part of our U of M system (for everyone except AHC), they don’t require any extra login besides your x500.
Below are five tools in the Google App suite and a description from Google on what they do.

  • Google Talk/Chat: Chat with friends and family on the internet using Google Chat. This tool is built into your Gmail. You may have noticed it in the bottom left-hand corner.
  • Google Tasks: Just click and type to add new tasks, set due dates or add notes, and (most satisfyingly) check them off as you’re done. Your task list stays up to date no matter how you access it. It’s a simple list that’s with you everywhere you go. [Watch a tutorial]
  • Google Sites: Google Sites is the easiest way to make information accessible to people who need quick, up-to-date access. People can work together on a Site to add file attachments, information from other Google applications (like Google Docs, Google Calendar, YouTube and Picasa), and new free-form content. Creating a site together is as easy as editing a document, and you always control who has access, whether it’s just yourself, your team, or your whole organization. You can even publish Sites to the world. The Google Sites web application is accessible from any internet connected computer.
  • Google Groups: Google Groups is all about helping users connect with people, access information, and communicate effectively over email and on the web.
  • Google Reader: Google Reader is a tool for gathering, reading, and sharing all the interesting blogs and websites you read on the web. This guide can help you familiarize yourself with the main features of Google Reader so that you can get started subscribing to and sharing feeds.
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