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Google — Life of A Designer

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

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Designer Tip – Google Apps

It is time for another designer tip. GOOGLE APPS is great for any new business or small organizations. There are a couple of options depending on the size and type organization you are. I am going to focus on Google Apps Standard for new and small business, meaning you are 1 to 50 people. The best part about GApp Standard is it is FREE!!!! Because I know as a new business starting out free is great, especially since I do not have a team of IT people to back me nor the money to pay for them. Anyways. What you need to have before you sign up for GApp Standard is your domain name. So go to GoDaddy, Media Temple, Gator something, or wherever and purchase your domain. You don’t have to get hosting with your domain if you don’t want too. So don’t let them up sale you.  Now that you have a domain you can rock out with GApp Standard.

What you get when you sign up for GApp Standard:

Email – All of the above is kinda what you get in an standard Gmail Account but everything will be at your domain name. Also you can share and collaborate with the others on your account.

So lets go through some scenarios. You purchased the domain designtumble.com and your company only has 5 people – Sally, Bob, John, Sue and Jane. Ok with the GApp Standard each of those people can have their own email Sally@designtumble.com. Yeah that is great and nothing really special. Well if you are like any website you will need emails like contact, info, help, advertising, or any number of other non person emails. GApp Standard helps with that too. Yeah you are only allowed 50 users, being the people with individual accounts, but you can create nicknames for each of those users. So,  Sally is the best with questions, she then has the nicknames on her account for info and help@designtumble.com. John on the other hand handles media so he gets contact and advertising@designtumble.com. All of the nicknames can be rearranged or all assigned to one user, which is great if you are a one person company just starting out. What makes it even better is that as your company grows you and assign that nickname to the new person and receive a little less mail. Also this is better than having your mail hosted at one of the companies that hosts your website, like godaddy, is because it is free and if you move hosting you will not loose your mail. I know since I am not the most IT savvy person I would not know how to transfer, sync whatever servers to keep all my email.

Now some other features than mail.

Documents – OK this is one of the best features and can potentially save you tons of money too. OK with Documents you can create upload download word documents, excel spreadsheets, and powerpoint presentations. Basically you have a free Office Suite rather than paying Microsoft some $100+. Google Docs will even let you export it to any number of formats. So, if your client has office 2007 you can export to those file formats. Also a great feature is the share feature where you can share the file with the others on your domain/ in your company. So, Sally can be starting a press release that John now needs to finish. She saves the file and sends him an email or starts a chat window with him and tell him to finish it and BAMM! He opens the file on his computer. AND!!!!!! The best thing about this is your files are whereever you are. CLOUD COMPUTING. As long as you have a computer you can gain access to your files. No more I left the CD or USB drive at the office or the computer just died or Billy the intern drop the computer in the coffee. It is in your account and ready to go.

Calendar – The calendar is great and can be set up to sync with just about any other calendar program. Also this calendar can be shared with all employees as a master calendar and each person has their own individual calendar. Depending on how a person puts in their events/ appointments other will see it as just busy or full description. You can even create group/ project calendars editable by the members.

Sites – I don’t have much experience with Sites. From what I can tell you are able to create a website through your account and set it so anyone in the office has the ability to edit it as well that is great when people need to update info like a new hire or project or portfolio.

In the email there is also chat which is great for collaboration and planning lunch.

So basically, GApp Standard is great option and I think the best option for anyone starting out. Not to mention the fact that many companies and universities are switching to Google Apps. If you have more of a budget and would like additional features like Google Video, Google Groups, and larger storage space; you can update to Premier Edition which cost $50 a year, which is cheaper than getting IT personnel, servers, and stuff.

Go check out Google Apps Standard!

*They are going through some updates that will lead to people being able to email up to 1GB file attachments and Upload any file type.

Would you try Google Apps Standard?

Designer Tip – Google Voice Update

gvoiceUPDATE: A little over a month ago, I told you about the wonders of Google Voice well some new and helpful information has come out it is below.

1. On Wired.com they have just rencently posted an How-To-Wiki that has helpful information on how to “Get the Most Out of Google Voice

2. The is a desktop application for Google Voice that uses Adobe Air for the people like me closing and opening browser windows all the time. Check it out. Here

If you haven’t asked for a Google Voice Invitation I would go ahead and do it!

Designer Tip – Google Voice

gvoice

For all of you designers out there, this is a tip to keep you connected and maintain your boundaries with clients and friends. OK before I start, you should have a GMail account. Moving on… Google Voice is a service provided by Google and it is FREE! Who doesn’t love something free. Anyways, the basic run down. You will get a new phone number for any area code you want. When someone calls this new number, wait for the magic, Google can send that call to your cell, work phone, and/or home phone. What this means for you, is that if you change jobs, cell provider you still have the same number. You can even set your phone to forward missed calls to Google Voicemail to be transcribe and emailed or texted to you.

Additional features such as;

  • Custom greetings for callers – Different greetings for friends, clients, family and unknown callers
  • Get SMS messages in your email – Free texting but you have to be online
  • Transcribed voicemail online – So you can read it instead of listening to it
  • Low cost international calls
  • Block unwanted callers
  • Schedule when and who can call you – Stop mom from calling you while you are at work or clients calling after 6
  • And More…

So you are now wondering how do you get such a service. Well, it is pretty easy here are the steps

  1. Go to Google Voice Website
  2. Request an Invite – GV has not gone out for mass use yet. So, you have to get an invitation. Usually take about a month to get, sometimes less.
  3. Get Invitation and Setup

It is that simple. I also recommend going ahead and getting this service now because Google just acquired Gizmo5. Gizmo5 was a voice over internet company that allows you to make calls from your computer completely cutting out the need for a landline and who knows how that may enhance Google Voice.

Here is a video about Google Voice.

UPDATE: About a month ago I told you about the wonders of Google Voice well some new and helpful information has come out it is below.

1. On Wired.com they have just rencently posted an How-To-Wiki that has helpful information on how to “Get the Most Out of Google Voice

2. The is a desktop application for Google Voice that uses Adobe Air for the people like me closing and opening browser windows all the time. Check it out. Here

Let me know what you think about Google Voice and leave a comment below.