Google G Suite
Google Drive is an online storage solution for your files. You can virtually store any type of file and Google has their own native applications (Docs, sheets, slides, etc) that you can save files through as well. A few helpful and user-friendly features that come with Google Drive are:
- File and Folder Sharing: You have the ability to share individual files or whole folders with others in your organization or outside.
- Live Updates: With Google’s native applications, you have the ability to see live updates and it is very intuitive.
- Versioning: You also have the versioning capability on the files. This means that you can look back to see the changes that were made and by who if you have several users collaborating on the same doc.
- Permissions: You have the ability to give permissions if others can edit, comment or just view the files/folders.
- Syncing: You can also sync your Google Drive to your computer so that you have the files accessed via a Network Drive connection. This will give you access to the files on your computer and when you select the Google native applications (docs, sheets, slides, etc), it will just launch in the browser. If you have other types of files such as Microsoft Word documents, it will launch the applications from your computer.
- Offline Feature: If you have the Offline feature enabled, you will be able to access the files while you are not connected to the internet for having that on-the-go ability.
- Team Drives: The administrator on the G Suite account can give users the ability to create Team Drives to where they can invite others to do all the above as well. This option is great for a more centralized management of files and can be revoked by the admin on the account. Team Drives gives more control to the administrators.
Best Use Case
If you are collaborating with your team members frequently and even daily, using Google Drive with it’s native docs, sheets, slides, etc. is great. You can see what is being edited live and saves automatically a few seconds after something is typed or edited. If you have Google Drive connected to your computer via a drive, you will also have easy access to other file types that launch the application on your computer where you can edit and save. For instance, if you open up a Microsoft Word document, Microsoft Word will launch on your computer and you would just need to click “Save” once you are done editing for it to sync to Google Drive, where you opened the file from.
Things to be Aware of
If you are solely using the browser, other file types may not be able to be edited. For Microsoft, there are some extensions that you can add to the browser to give you that capability. You have the ability to convert file types, such as Microsoft Word to a Google Doc when you upload them to your Google Drive. In some instances, you may see some formatting issues.
If you have Offline Mode set up to where you can edit documents when not connected to the browser, you can see some issues when two or more individuals are updating the same document offline. The last person to connect to the Internet will be the most recent version. The good thing is that versioning does take place so you would be able to see the edits from the previous uploads before and can add them to the new version of that last individual that connected.