All staff and students at the University of York have access to Google Workspace through their university account. It includes Google Mail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive, which is cloud-based storage that includes a number of apps that can be used to create documents, websites, and more
Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage system, meaning that your files can be accessed over the internet. Files in Drive can be shared with other people; the 'Sharing' options for any file can allow you to share files with certain people, anyone at the University of York, and anyone on the internet.
Our guide to Google Apps for collaboration has further information on Drive and how you can use it. It also has information on the Google Apps you can use at York.
If you're not familiar with them all, it may be confusing to know which of the Google Apps is the one you best suited to your task. Here's a quick overview:
Our Google Apps for collaboration guide has more details and links to further support using these apps.
The Google Workspace Learning Center has a tips library for some useful things you might want to try out doing with the Google Apps, as well as guides on how to use all of the apps.
The University's email service for all staff and students is provided by Google as part of Google Workspace. Google Mail is accessible via a web browser and mobile apps. You can access your staff email account as well as team accounts and aliases.
IT Services have a page on Email that gives details on using Google Mail at the university, including non-personal accounts (a separate account to your own email, which may be for a specific role or team). For more help using Google Mail, see Google's own Learning Center.
Under Settings > See all settings (which can be found under the gear icon) you can personalise your email account, from setting an email signature or an out of office message to the ability to set a theme for Google Mail that gives it a different look.
You can use labels to sort your emails and keep certain emails together. You can manage labels under the Labels tab in Settings or by selecting 'More' down the left hand side and choosing 'Manage labels' or 'Create new label'.
You can set up filters for incoming mail. Filters are based on the search criteria that you define, for example all emails from certain addresses or including certain words. You can then define all emails matching a filter to have a certain action performed on it, such as being marked as read, have a certain label applied, or deleted.
The University's calendar service for all staff and students is provided by Google as part of Google Workspace. Calendar is accessible via a web browser and mobile apps. Calendar is an effective way of managing and scheduling meetings, events, and even reminders.
You can add other people's calendars that have been shared with you so that you can view them alongside your own in Google Calendar. The option can be found down the left hand side of Calendar. You can set these calendars (and your own calendars) in different colours to help you view them side by side, for example when arranging meetings.
For more guidance on using Calendar, see Google's Learning Center.
At the University, you will have access to some other tools which you can use with the Google applications for more efficient collaborative working.
Using Google Calendar will allow you to invite others to meetings, view others' availability, and keep track of events you have been invited to.
It can also be used with Doodle, an event scheduling tool that allows you to suggest potential times for a meeting or event and have respondents state their availability. Doodle can be linked to your Google Calendar. IT Services has guidance on signing up for and using Doodle.
By signing into Google Chrome, you can create saved websites (called 'bookmarks') that will follow you on any device where you also log into Chrome using your university account (see Advanced browser functions for more on bookmarks).
This will also allow you to use Chrome extensions whenever you are logged into Chrome. Extensions give additional functions to your browser, such as blocking the adverts on web pages. One tool that has a Chrome extension and which can help you save websites in a more organised way that using just bookmarks is Paperpile.
Paperpile is an web-based tool that can be used for reference management (keeping track of your reading), but it can also be used to save websites and PDFs to find and use later. These can be organised with folders and tags and shared with others, for example people working on a certain project.
Another option for keeping track of websites you might want to refer back to is Google Keep. Keep is a Google app that allows you to keep notes on various digital post-its, which can also be shared as with other Google applications. Google Keep has a Chrome extension that allows you to quickly save a website onto a new note, ready for you to add comments to or share with others.
Google Groups are a way of communicating and collaborating with a group of people. They are similar to mailing lists, but you can also email the whole group using its own email address, allow a group access to folders and files on Drive, and invite a whole group to a Calendar event.
For more information on using Groups at York, see the IT Services page on Google Groups.
Applications and online tools can help you work collaboratively with others and work more efficiently, both in terms of time and resources.
The Google apps can be used together to facilitate collaborative working in your office and within wider departments and projects. For example, the sharing permissions on files and folders in Google Drive can be set so that everyone in a particular Google Group is able to edit, comment, or view that file, or all files in that folder.
Below are some example scenarios for collaborative working within Google Drive and the Google applications.