Google is a life-saver. No two ways about it. For professionals, Google has invaluable features including, but not in the least limited to, its search function, stocks, and its advertising clout. However, there is so much more it is capable of, that most of us are barely scratching the surface.
Here are some nifty little tricks we have gathered through the years:
1. Type Using Your Voice (No more strained fingers)
Sure, we’ve all used Google search on our phones, and we know it has a fantastic voice search function. But, this feature can do so much more. Google Docs (the cloud-based version of a text editor) is becoming more powerful by the day, and one of its features is voice-based typing. With a few weeks of practice, the AI is capable of flawlessly understanding human speech, whatever your accent may be. As a fun tidbit, this article has been written by using voice typing!
2. Timer: Know When to Get Back After a Break
Google has a calendar that is used extensively by professionals. However, in their bid to replace offline apps with cloud-based real-time systems, the software behemoth has introduced a tiny, but extremely useful widget in the form of the timer feature. Capable of counting down, it is handy to keep track of time leading up to a meeting or the re-commencement of a professional appointment after a break. Just search for “Timer” in the Google search bar to access this feature.
3. Calculator: Calculate on the Fly
Another applet introduced by Google is the calculator feature, removing the need for an external app. Just Google the calculation you need to be done, and the website is capable of handling arithmetic, percentages, or almost any other calculation that is performed by professionals.
4. Conversions: Convert on the Fly
Dealing with international transactions is often a troublesome affair, due to the simple reason that currencies fluctuate in value with respect to each other. Google offers real-time conversion from one currency to another. Let’s say you need to know the value of 16.50 pounds in American dollars. All you have to do is type “Convert 16.5 GBP to USD” in the search bar.
5. Draw Perfect Pictures
You don’t have to be an artist. Autodraw.com is a nifty little website for when you want to illustrate your articles, but just can’t find the right clip-art/stock image. By drawing a very rough version of the image in mind, you will get cute little clip arts that suit your purpose just fine.
6. Language translation
Be a pro in multiple languages. Google translate is already the most reliable option for tourists in a foreign country for translation to the native language. However, most professionals have yet to realize that this software has an extremely significant application in their respective fields. It provides a quick and efficient way of translating any blog/article that has already been written, into another prominent language, such as Spanish, for example, greatly widening the target audience.
7. Store documents: No Fear of Disk Crash
We all keep important documents and drafts on our computers or hard disk drives. However, there are significant risks in doing so. Loss or damage of the storage medium will lead to a loss of the data too. Hence, a software widely recommended today is Google Drive, which is a cloud based document storage medium. You don’t even need the storage medium to work with the documents, since it can be accessed by any device with an internet connection. As an added bonus, it makes the sharing of any of these documents incredibly easy, and all you need to know is the recipient’s email address.
8. Set Reminders for Special Days
Save your marriage. As part of its calendar app, you can easily set reminders for the future from the Google app (for mobile) or website. All you have to do is type (or say out loud), “Set a reminder for ” and enter in the name of the reminder and at what time you want to be reminded.
9. Flow Chart
No worries if you don’t have MS Visio. Free software is great, right? One little problem, though. There isn’t too much of it on the internet. We have often been asked by BA aspirants, as well as others, on whether they have to purchase software to make flowcharts. The good part is, Google Docs handles all that. It allows us complete freedom in designing the charts, and is a quick and efficient way of making them. Here is a quite interesting video that gives detailed instructions on how to make flowcharts using Docs.
10. Mind-maps: Impress Your Colleagues
The same goes with mind maps, another resource that is widely used by BAs and other professionals. Luckily, Google Docs is our savior once again. Here’s the link with all the details.
Oh Google, what would we do without you?
My mission is to help business analysts to build a successful professional career. I co-founded Adaptive US, #1 IIBA V3 training organization. I manage sales and operations at Adaptive US. Under my leadership, Adaptive is now established as a world-leader. You can reach me at [email protected]