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June 17 : 4 new productivity tools in CevApps

posted Jun 16, 2011, 11:09 PM by Francois Tricot   [ updated Jun 16, 2011, 11:29 PM ]
[Article copied & modified from various sources]
The constant evolution of Google Apps means there's never a shortage of updates to its suite of productivity tools. The last month was no exception, either: Among its many tweaks and new components are five updates that stand out from the rest.

From pivot tables that help you decipher your data to an easier way to manage your calendar, check out these five features you may have missed that keep you organized and productive.

Gmail's People Widget

It is still not rolled out into our domain ( but will come soon.
Gmail's new People Widget does a few things to help keep you organized. First, it aggregates contextual information about your contacts that is already available to you, but might be hard to find.

For example, the new widget--which is rolling out to everyone over the next few weeks--displays a contact most recent emails to you, their calendar and availability and recent shared documents.

The People Widget also provides quick ways to contact the person, displaying buttons under the contact's information to chat, email or talk with them, as well as buttons to start a group chat session and schedule meetings.

Pivot Tables in Google Spreadsheets

Pivot tables let you summarize large quantities of data according to factors that you specify in order to get high-level insights on what your data means. For example, retail chains may have thousands of data points that represent purchases. Pivot tables are an ideal way for managers to view the total annual revenue for each region without having to enter multiple formulas.

To create a pivot table, open a Google Spreadsheet that contains your data. Select all the data, then choose Data from the toolbar. Scroll to "Pivot table report" and select the rows and columns to analyze, as well as the values. Your pivot table will appear, and can be reorganized by moving sections within the Report Editor up or down.

Appointment Slots in Google Calendar

Finding a preferred meeting time can be a hassle as many execs' schedules are constantly changing. One new update to Google Apps, called "Appointment Slots," aims to make scheduling a little easier.

Appointment Slots lets you set and share with others times during the day when you are available. To start, create blocks of time you'd like to offer as appointment slots. Click anywhere on your calendar, then on "Appointment slots." From there, create a single block of time or automatically split a larger block into smaller appointment slots.

Every Google Calendar has its own personal appointments sign-up page, which you can either embed on your website or direct friends and clients to via a URL. You can find this URL at the top of the set-up page, which you can access via the "Edit details" link.

It may be very useful when someone organise a trip to corporate and want to meet several people to optimize its agenda, or when organizing performance evaluation meetings.

Pasting Images into Gmail

About a year ago, Google announced an easier way to upload attachments to an email--by simply dragging it from your computer and dropping it into Gmail. Google has once again refined this feature, now letting you paste images straight from your clipboard, too.
Right now, this feature is only available if you're using the latest version of Google Chrome, but Google says it hopes to enable it on other browsers soon. So, if you need to send along a screenshot to colleagues, for example, copy the image on your screen and paste it right into the body of your email.
I know many who miss this feature they could use either in Lotus Notes or Outlook. Combined with a screen capture tool, it's now really easy to copy/paste screenshots of an excel spreadsheet into emails.