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5 Apps That Help Microsoft Office and Google Apps Play Nice Together

5 Apps That Help Microsoft Office and Google Apps Play Nice Together

Even though Microsoft Office is a standard Office suite in many organizations, on occasion you may work on a project of mixed Microsoft Office and Google Apps users. While this might sound open to frustration up front especially when it comes to multiple authors on documents, there is a growing list of options to help Microsoft Word and Google Docs play nicely together without a loss in productivity.

Beyond the multiple authors or geographically dispersed project team use cases, some of the tools in this post can even be helpful to freelancers to backup or sync their project documents with a Google Apps account.

Here are some free apps you can resort to if you are a Microsoft Office and Google Apps user to help with transferring documents back and forth:

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1. Google Cloud Connect

Google brings us Google Cloud Connect, an installable Microsoft Office toolbar that adds collaborative editing, tracking tools, versioning, and sharing to the Microsoft Office interface. It also helps resolve the document hijinks that can ensue when it takes a lot of the complexity out of these tasks. I use Google Cloud Connect to synchronize certain project documents to my Google Docs account even if I am not collaborating with another writer. Google Cloud Connect requires Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP with .NET Framework 2.0. It is compatible with Office 2010, Office 2007, and Office 2003. It is not available for Mac OS X, which is a bit of a disappointment to us Mac users.

    2. Google Drive

    As I write this post, Google Drive  is going live around the web. Even before the pundit complaints die down, it is easy to see that with the Google Drive desktop client (available for Mac and Windows), that Google Drive can become a handy bridge between Microsoft Office users and Google Docs users through straight up file synchronization between Google Drive’s free 5 GB online storage and a Mac or Windows desktop.

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      3. SyncDocs

      I found this gem in the Google Apps Marketplace (always worth a visit!). SyncDocs is free up to the first 10,000 documents and lets you treat Google Docs as another drive on your PC. It creates a backup that is an exact mirror of your local files in your Google account. It is an example of the power of Google Docs for the freelancers and small to medium business users out there because it is easy to use and maintain without the need of an in-house IT department.

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        4. Harmon.ie for Google Docs

        Originally, I wasn’t planning to mention this option because Harmon.ie for Google Docs  is a Microsoft Outlook Add-in. While, I have objections over using Outlook as a document management tool I do know there are those of you out there who live and die by the email inbox with Outlook open all day. This app is for you! After installing Harmon.ie for Google Docs, you have a new sidebar in Outlook, which you can use to upload and convert Office document into Google Docs. Since it is an Outlook add-in, Harmon.ie automatically shares linked document with your email message recipient(s). This is a great option for breaking Outlook users of email attachments because it asks you if you want to replace a file attachment with a link and then automatically uploads the file attachment into the sender’s Google Docs account for sharing. It has some useful search tools and lets you open and edit Google documents in Outlook (groan!). Most importantly, it lets users save Google native format documents in Microsoft Office formats, OpenOffice, PDF, HTML, and TXT. One annoying element of this app is the Thank you pop-up that appears after you use the sidebar encouraging you to share the fun of Harmon.ie with your social network contacts.

          5. GoDocSync

          To round out the list, I chose the free standard version of GoDocSync for this lineup. It’s a great example of how synchronization should work between Google Apps and Microsoft Office. GoDocSync supports Microsoft Office 2003/2007/2010. This Microsoft Office add-in application also includes a powerful search tool, local file history and restoring, and support for Google Docs file attributes. This app is simple and elegant in its implementation.

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            The apps I profiled in this post can help you get Microsoft Office and Google Apps to play nice together during a project, hopefully saving you time and frustration. Plus these apps let you and your team have the best of both Office suite worlds.

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            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

            No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

            If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

            But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

            Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

            Let’s dive straight into the list.

            1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

              If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

              RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

              2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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                  This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                  Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                  4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                    Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                    Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                      There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                      6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                        Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                        Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                          Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                          This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                          Available on iOS and Desktop

                          8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                            This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                            This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                              Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                              MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                              10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                                1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                  When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                    This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                    Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                    13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                      This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                      Available on desktop (macOS)

                                      14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                        Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                        The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                        15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                          Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                          16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                            Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                            17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                              This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                              Available on iOS and Android

                                              18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                Final Thoughts

                                                The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                                So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                                Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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