Google is today updating its G Suite of apps, formerly known as Google Apps for work, with a handful of new productivity features. Among them, users will get access to new advanced voice commands, Slack integration for Google Docs and Drive, and a handful of other new features for collaboration with forms, Docs, Sheets and Slides.

As for the new voice commands, G Suite will now offer a number of new commands for formatting text including changing text color, deleting words, inserting links and comments. Google has a full list of newly supported commands here.

Also new for G Suite is Action Items and Suggested Action items to assign tasks for users in any of the G Suite apps:

Best iPhone, iPad, & Apple TV game controllers

You can now assign an action item to someone for follow up in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Just start typing their name in a comment, check the new box, and the assignee will get an email notification and see the action item(s) clearly marked with a blue bar when they open up the file… Suggested action items is an underlying intelligence feature in Docs that uses baseline heuristics and machine intelligence to automatically extract action items and allow users to create tasks more easily. Suggested action items will detect potential action items and assignees, and suggest them to users, allowing them to create an action item in one click. (examples in blog post)

Integration with Slack means those using the popular work chat app will now be able to upload and create new Docs, Sheets, and Slides from directly within a Slack chat.

suggested_action_items

A full list of what’s new in today’s G Suite update below:

  • Action items – You can now assign an action item to someone for follow up in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Just start typing their name in a comment, check the new box, and the assignee will get an email notification and see the action item(s) clearly marked with a blue bar when they open up the file.

  • Suggested action items – Suggested action items is an underlying intelligence feature in Docs that uses baseline heuristics and machine intelligence to automatically extract action items and allow users to create tasks more easily. Suggested action items will detect potential action items and assignees, and suggest them to users, allowing them to create an action item in one click.

  • Better visibility into open tasks- A count of open action items and suggested edits that need attention are now called out on the Docs, Sheets, Slides homescreens, and in Drive, in a grey circle.

  • Forms Autosuggest – Forms uses NLP (natural language processing) to identify patterns to be able to predict the type of question you’re asking and suggest responses based on what you type, resulting in 25% faster form creation.

  • Forms File Upload – You can now collect files from your respondents—by upload or from Google Drive—and store them in a new folder in Drive.

  • Advanced Voice Commands – We’re giving users a bunch of new ways to format and customize as they go, with new commands for changing text color, deleting words, inserting links and comments, and a bunch of other ways to format, hands-free.

  • Slack-Docs/Drive integration – Slack users can now save a bunch of time by importing files from Drive directly into to a chat, or even create new Docs, Sheets, and Slides files by clicking the “+” button in the Slack message box.

About the Author