Last month Google announced the rebranding of their Google for Work platform to G Suite and rolled out some new machine intelligence powered enhancements to tools like Docs, Sheets and Slides. Google is wasting no time in trying to continue their move into the enterprise with the G Suite platform and today announced five new improvements intended to help teams and their workflows.
Two of the improvements revolve around a new feature called Action Items. According to Google, the addition of this feature is intended to help people quickly identify requests and other follow-up items that they may be responsible for completing. Google is using their Natural Language Processing technology to identify Action Items and the person they should be assigned to when someone is working in a document. For example, if someone types “Andrea to schedule a weekly check in” while working in a document, G Suite will create a proposed Action Item and even assign it to Andrea.
Besides the use of the NLP algorithms to automatically create potential Action Items, users can also manually create Action Items by creating a new comment and then typing a user’s name in the comment. This will bring up a new proposed Action Item option. If the Action Item is created, the assignee will get an email notification.
With all of these new Action Items potentially being created, Google also anticipated users may need some help in identifying what needs attention. When viewing their Drive, users will find new badges on files with Action Items that they may need to address. Google also includes badges related to suggestions that others have made to their files.
Another function that received some attention and improvements thanks to the data Google has been collecting over time is Forms. Google determined that people typically use the same types of questions and answers for certain topics. Based on that, Forms will now suggest potential responses. Google says making use of these suggestions, which are editable, can save users about 25 percent of the time it normally takes to create a form.
For internal users, Google also added a new “File upload” question type that can be included on a form. Google says this is one of the most requested features they received. When users upload files, G Suite will place them all into a separate folder in Drive for quicker access.
Google also made some enhancements to the Voice typing feature in Docs. These are focused on new commands that can be used to format content. Some of the new commands include options for changing text color, deleting words, inserting links or adding comments.
Finally, Google has improved the integration available between Drive and Slack. When working in Slack, users can now use the “+” button to directly import Docs, Slides or Sheets into a Slack conversation.