After Google posted “Bring a little something extra to Docs and Sheets with add-ons” in its official blog, Google Drive comes again in sight with all sorts of powerful adds-on. I’m a Google Drive user for 2 years as well as a tech writer for 7 years and highly appreciated this fancy upgrade. Now I’d like to introduce 10 best Google Drive add-ons (found in Connect More Apps after click “Create”), which can help your work more productively, especially for tech writers.
1. Zoho Writer
The reason I recommend this add-on is very simple and reasonable. I’m a tech writer and I need some high-efficient word processor rather than basic Google Document for my daily jobs. One of the most favorite features of this add-on is to insert watermark. Every time when I published posts in some sites like slideshare.net, I may need watermark to protect it from stolen.
2. Hello Fax
After download this extension, as long as you have the fax address, you can send document files directly to the destination at PDF format. What’s more, you can design signature. It would be helpful if you’re a column editor who may need to file well-format articles via PDF with signature in the last minute to magazine. One of my objects is to become the column writer for MacWorld someone. It occurs to me that I spent 2 hours to find a Fax shop to send my thesis with original signature to supervisor 7 years ago when graduated from University of Texas—Austin. I may lose my Bachelor Degree if I didn’t find way to fax it at that time. How lucky for those young students, who won’t suffer the similar situation like me if they use Google Drive to write paper and fax it with Hello Fax.
3. Mind Meister
Xmind is my brainstorm backup and when I can’t clarify my thoughts, I will use it to build a mind map, which can highly speed up my working schedule. However, after using Google Drive to edit my freelancer posts, it’s really wasteful to bring up new ideas by reopening another application in desktop. Now Mind Meister can solve my problem. Install and open it directly to create, edit and share mind maps online. What’s the best? I can also keep on my jobs at home for those didn’t complete at office after open my Google Drive App on PC or Pad.
Many users may claim that this app shouldn’t be this list because it’s not an add-on. It’s undoubted that you can see Google Slides the first time when use Google Drive. However, it’s also the add-on for Google Drive, the difference results in that the developer is Google, which is embedded automatically. Features of this add-on can be enlightened when you need collaborative work with remote partners. Because there’s no restriction to the size of the file (expect for your space, the minimum free space is 5GB), you can create PPTs with tons of themes and animations. At the same time, leaving comment is also available on the file for colleagues, which is much more productive than engaging in endless emails and calls. As a Category Editor for Gizmo’s Freeware, some reviews should collaborate with other editors who can moderate and maintain the category for me when I’m out of office. That’s the time when I need Google Slide.
5. Drive Tunes
I have some favorite music songs like The Best of Me by Daniel Powter in Google Drive in Home PC, but I want to listen it at office. It really pisses me off to download this song again from the internet. At this moment, Drive Tunes helps a lot. This is Music Player for Google Drive, which can search all your music files in Google Drive and display randomly without download again. The only drawback is it only supports 2 formats right now, but will adds more in near future. Don’t doubt about the role Music plays in your productive writing. Writing could be a boring and tedious job especially when it comes to an assignment. For me, it’s my hobby, but Music can make it taste better. Why not?
Google Reader was my only RSS reader for the 4 years before Google claimed to stop this free service. Therefore I’m looking for a useful and efficient RSS reader like RSS Merge and Reader. This is a simple but powerful merge, which can compose all your RSS feeds into one. Every morning, when I open Google Drive, hundreds of latest tech news around the world gets me updated. What’s the best news in Lifehacker today? Microsoft Office Mobile is Now Free for iPhone and Android Phones. Gathering necessary news and information should be the base for tech writers. Technology always updates fast, writers should keep pace.
It’s the so-called superman in Google Drive Add-Ons Field in my mind. Why? It can work with almost all apps with cloud service like Works with Google Drive, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Evernote, Box, Skydrive, CloudApp, Delicious, GitHub, Trello, RSS, and more. It’s the private social network for team work. How’s that? It can facilitate your workflow by adding comments and task assignments to Google Drive. Whether you collaborate on media files like music, video or image, documents files like word, sheet or PPT, Hojoki gives you a simple and smooth way to discuss with your team members.
Rather than creating a Java, I prefer to use Gantter for Google Drive for my project. Actually, writing is not a simple work, especially when you’re contributing to several big websites like lifehack.org (I’m the freelancer writer here). Take big content for example, successful writing is not just to gather information for one topic but to collect and analyze all related information with various formats for a bigger topic. Build project for each big topic and make it up step by step. If you don’t want to mess them up, try this app for Google Drive.
It’s not the truth that all tech writers can be a coder, but most of time, it happens. I’m not a coder, but a coder learner. My major is e-commerce and Journalism, therefore I have no clue about how to code. However, analysis of tech gadgets, especially software, needs deeper understanding, which can only obtain after you can recognize those complicate and sophisticated codes. This app can help to open, edit, share, upload, and collaborate on coding projects with 106 languages and 36 themes. Most of time, I won’t edit coding projects but only review and check the formula and logic.
10. Realtime Cube
I love games and I think people should learn to balance leisure and working. As the last useful recommendation, Realtime Cube is my favor, which can be shared with your friends to start solving the cube puzzle in a real-time, collaborative way, especially after whole busy day. In The Pursuit of Happiness, do you remember how Chris Gardner gets the job at last? He can play Cube Puzzle and believe the happiness will knock his door sooner or later. Try this add-on to fresh mind and you will also have a break during writing work.
All in all, Google Drive add-ons expand Google Drive’s power to higher level. Some Microsoft users like me may turn to this powerful service again. Here I only recommend some useful apps for tech writers who are using Google Drive to scratch ideas and you may find more efficient add-ons in near future if there’re more add-ons published by others.
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