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G Suite vs. Free Google Apps | What is the difference?

If you’re a company or organization using the free Google Apps, and you’re looking for something that gives you more control over the way that your users utilize them as well as some great additional features, G Suite might be just what you need. Let’s take a quick look at Google’s premium option and what it can offer for you and your organization compared to the free standard version.

If you contact me here or email me at po@prolificoaktree.com or submit , you will receive a code for 20% off of your first year of G-Suite. If you sign up for G Suite using this link and apply the code during checkout, the discount will be applied after your trial period expires.

Admin Console

The Admin Console, which is an addition to your usual Google Apps menu, contains a lot of features that give you control over your users and how they access and share data and use the Google Apps within your organization.

Drive home page showing link to Admin page

If you click on the Admin app, you’ll be presented with a number of useful features. On the left, the Users feature allows you to add or remove users in your organization, as well as assign them to groups, for example when scheduling different meetings on your Calendar.

G Suite admin console with Users selected

The Apps feature gives you control over which apps your users can use and see. For example, you can turn off Gmail if you’d like everything done through Outlook.

G Suite admin console with Apps option selected

The Device Management feature gives you control over access through different devices, for example, if you’d like to prevent access to company data from a phone. We’ll take a closer look at that in the Mobile Device Management section below.

G Suite admin console with Device management option selected

Video explanation

Custom Email

Perhaps the most important difference between the free Google Apps and G Suite, and something which is often the sole reason why people upgrade is the ability to customize your email address. In the free version, your email always ends with ‘@gmail.com’. In G Suite, you can put your domain name in there instead. You must own the domain before you can use it in your email address.

Gmail showing a custom email

Data Migration

Another useful feature offered in G-Suite is the ability to migrate data from a different email service, such as Outlook or an IMAP service such as Yahoo, to your Gmail account. You can migrate emails, contacts and calendar data.

G Suite data migration

G Suite Editions

G Suite is a premium service, and you can pay monthly or annually. The annual plan has a small discount, but a flexible plan may be better for you if you’re adding and removing users regularly.

G Suite Plan types

The monthly payment depends on which Edition of G Suite you use: Basic is $5/month, Business is $10/month, and Enterprise is $25/month. In most cases, if you’re a small organization, Basic will do just fine.

Comparison of flexible plan and annual plan

If we look at a comparison of the different G Suite Editions, there are a few differences to take note of. One of the main limitations on Basic is the 30GB file storage limit per user. In the Business edition, storage is unlimited, with the caveat that if you have fewer than 5 people in your organization they cannot have more than a 1TB of storage each. In Enterprise, storage is completely unlimited.

Comparison of G Suite plans with storage highlighted

The Business and Enterprise Editions offer a couple of unique features. When you move up to Business, you get eDiscovery which can be useful if you’re searching for documents for a legal case. Enterprise offers much more granular control and customization of your Gmail. None of the G Suite Editions feature ads.

Comparison of G Suite plans with enterprise features highlighted

24/7 Support

G Suite offers 24/7 support, which can come in useful if you’re doing complex tasks with Google apps in a company.

New Calendar Features

If you have G Suite and you left-click on your calendar to create an event, there are a couple more options. The first one is the option to put in an Out of Office notification. The second one is Appointment Slots which allows other people to go into your calendar and set up appointments in the time slots you have designated to be available.

Extra options on calendar frin having G Suite

In the following image, you’ll see the public-facing side of your calendar, as it appears to someone who has come in to make an appointment.

Google Calendar showing appointment slots

Google Docs Sharing Options

If you have G Suite and you go to Google Docs to create a new Google Document, and click Change in the Sharing Settings, you’ll find a range of new sharing options that give you more control over how information is shared within your organization and who can see the document contents.

Google Docs link sharing options

Mobile Device Management

Another feature of G Suite is Mobile Device Management, which gives you control over if and when to activate your user’s mobile device, as well as the option to perform a remote wipe.

G Suite admin device management options

Additional Security Features

In G Suite’s Admin Console, there’s a Security feature that gives you a greater range of security options for your organization.

G Suite admin console with Security highlighted

Inside, you’ll find options for password monitoring, login challenges, and Single Sign-On (SSO) for your users. The following image shows the options available in the Basic edition, but you will find much more granular security options in Business and Enterprise.

G Suite security options

Conclusion

That’s a brief overview of the key differences between the free Google Apps and G Suite, Google’s premium apps service. You will now have a better idea of the benefits to you and your organization if you go ahead and choose G Suite. Hope this has been helpful to you!

G-Suite Discount Code Request

Google Sheets | Conditional Formatting an Entire Row

Highlighting Just One Cell

Right now, our custom formula that we built in the previous post is =B1="Joan" and we were applying that formula to column A by using A2:A for the range.

After conditional formatting
Before formatting the entire row
Custom formula
Custom formula

However, we want to highlight each row, in its entirety instead of just one cell.

If you want to learn more about the complex subject of conditional formatting, I have created a course about it over at Datacamp. This is an affiliate link and if you use it to make a purchase I will receive a portion of the proceeds. Thank you for supporting my channel!

Only one cell
Only part of row highlighted

Expanding the Selection

Now, we are going to expand the range used in the “Apply to range” box all the way to column G by entering A2:G into the Apply to range input box. Specifying the range using this syntax will start the range at A2 and expand it down to the end of the spreadsheet and to the right through column G.

New range
Extending the range
Watch the video

This site has a companion YouTube channel that has pretty much, well almost exactly, the same content. If you like this, you'll like that.

Fixing the Formula

If you stop now, it doesn’t change anything. You would think the formatting would extend across the entire row, but it doesn’t. What you need to do is change the formula.

Custom formula with fixed column

Custom formula with fixed column

Before this change, the formula was incrementing one cell to right each time it calculated, just like any other spreadsheet formula when it is copied to another cell. Now, we have changed the formula from =B1="Joan" to =$B1="Joan". The dollar sign prevents the formula from moving to the right each time it decides if the conditional formatting criteria is being met. You have told your formula to continue looking at the same column for the criteria as it formats each cell. Just like you would if you were inside a spreadsheet cell, you used a dollar sign to indicate that value shouldn’t move when the formula moves.

The Entire Row is Highlighted

It’s working now since we fixed the column reference. Every row that was a sale by Joan has been highlighted.

Entire Rows are Highligthed
Custom formula with fixed column

I hope that was helpful. You can take this into your next presentation and wow everyone. You’ll just be amazing;) Have fun with it.

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Add an Email from Gmail into Google Keep – No Extensions

If you have a Gmail email and like to take notes in Google Keep, there have probably been times where you would like to add an email to Google Keep so that you can refer to it later. There’s a way to do this now without extensions or plugins, in just a few easy steps.

First, go to your Gmail and find the email that you’d like to store in Google Keep, and open it. On the far right-hand side of the screen you’ll find a panel with a Google Keep icon. Left-click on this icon to open Google Keep.

keep in gmail

With Google Keep open, you’ll find on the far right at the top there’s a button with a yellow plus sign which gives you the option to create a new note. Left-click on this button to create a new note for the email.

take note in keep

This brings up a window where we can add a title and text to the note. You’ll see that the note already contains a link to the email.

email link note

Add a description to the note, in this example we’ll clarify that it’s an email about time management software. Then click ‘Done’ to add the note to Google Keep.

keep note description


Now, let’s go to Google Keep. Our note is here!

note in keep

We might want to color all our Gmail notes the same color to make them easier to spot. Click the Color palette icon at the bottom of the note and select a color for this note. We’ll make it red.

keep note color

We can click on the link inside the note to bring up the email in Gmail.

keep note link email

It’s important to remember not to delete the email, as our note does not make a copy of anything – it just acts as a link-back to the original email. However, you can archive the email in Gmail to get it out of your inbox, and the link will still work fine.

gmail archive email

You can also have Google Keep remind you about the email later, for example next week. Left-click the Reminder icon at the bottom of the note in Google Keep, and select when you would like to be reminded.

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keep note reminder

You can then archive the note in Google Keep as well so it doesn’t clutter the page, and you’ll still get a reminder notification, so you can deal with it at the right time. To do this, left-click the Archive icon at the bottom of the note.

archive note keep

That’s it! We’ve added our email to Google Keep. The email is archived (out of our Gmail inbox), the Google Keep note is archived (out of our Google Keep home page) and we’ll be getting a reminder about the email next week.

Hope this tutorial has been useful for you and your business!

Tutorial Video

Google Sheets – Group Rows and Columns with Linked Example File

When working with spreadsheets of data in Google Sheets, you’re often switching between different levels of information, and you might find yourself wishing you could control the visibility of data you don’t need so that you can make the presentation clearer. There is a way to do exactly this, by grouping rows and columns so you can easily collapse and hide them or expand them into view.

Grouping Rows

In the example below and in this linked example Sheet, we have individual sales data for a range of products, with quarterly subtotals, and an annual total. To see the quarterly sales information more clearly, we would like to hide the data for the individual products.

Rows not hidden yet

To do this, we’ll create groups for the data we don’t need to see. Begin by selecting some rows that you would like to hide.

First row selected

With the rows selected, right-click anywhere inside the selection and select ‘Group Rows 2 – 9’ (or whatever row numbers you have selected) from the menu.

Right-click menu

This will create a group for the selected rows, which you will see depicted by a thin bracket on the left of the selected rows, along with a small button with a minus sign inside it. This button lets you collapse or expand the group.

Minus sign

If you click the minus button, the group of rows will be collapsed and hidden from view. The button remains visible (this time with a plus sign) so that you can click on it again to expand the rows.

Arrow pointing to minus sign

Repeat these steps for each of the other quarterly product data so that you end up with only the quarterly sales figures showing.

Collapsed rows

Now we’re showing only quarterly sales figures, and the data is much easier to read!

Step-by-Step Video

Layered Groups

Let’s say we want to be able to show only annual sales figures as well. We can create another group, alongside the groups we just created, to toggle on and off everything except the annual sales data.

Select all of the rows corresponding to individual product data and quarterly sales figures. Do not include the row with the annual sales figures at the end, or the header row at the top.

Expanded rows

With the rows selected, right-click anywhere inside the selection and select ‘Group Rows 2 – 31’ (or whatever row numbers you have selected) from the menu.

Right-click group rows

This will create a new group that allows us to collapse all the quarterly sales data and only show annual sales data, alongside the groups that we created before.

Second level minus

Now if you click the button for the new group, only the annual sales figures will be showing.

Parent and child rows collapsed

Grouping Columns

It is also possible to create groups for columns, using the same steps as we used for rows. Select the columns that you would like to hide.

Columns selected

Right click anywhere inside the selection and click ‘Group Columns C – D’ (or whatever columns you have selected) from the menu.

Right-click group columns

This creates a group for the columns, depicted above them by a thin bracket and a toggle button, which we can click to collapse or expand the columns as we did with the rows.

Minus columns

Group Options

Right clicking on the group bracket brings up a menu that gives us some options about how to display the group. For example, if you would like the toggle button to appear at the bottom of the group, right click on the group bracket on the left of the rows, and click ‘Move +/- button to the bottom’ from the menu.

Move plus/minus to bottom

You can see there are several other useful options on the menu that give you control over how your data is being displayed.

That’s it!

Grouping rows and columns in Google Sheets gives you control over what is displaying in your spreadsheet, giving you the ability to highlight different levels of information at different times without the view being cluttered with data you don’t need to see. Hope this tutorial has been useful for you and your business!

Follow image below for the live Google Sheet with this data

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Google Sheets Inventory Tracking Template | Step-by-Step Tutorial

This article will walk you through how our inventory tracking template is created.

Prepare the Sheet

In order to have all of the right column headers, start the spreadsheet by adding the following labels in the first row:

  • Item
  • Beginning balances
  • Purchases
  • Sales
  • Ending balance
  • Purchase Price
  • Ending Value
Headers
Headers

Enter the Items and Amounts

Enter your item descriptions in the first column under the Item header. When you use this spreadsheet for the first month, you need to hard-code the beginning balances. In subsequent months, you will be able to link the beginning balances to the prior period’s ending balances. We will review how to do that later but, for now, just type your amounts in.

We’re using an ice cream shop as an example so the example is using vanilla as one of the flavors. During the first month, you purchased four units and you sold two.

For the ending balance, you will use a formula. If your table is set up with the same rows and columns as the example, your formula for the ending balance should be =C4+D4-E4.

Formula for ending inventory 
Ending Inventory

Consider using this template. This is the end result of what are discussing below and what is shown in the video below as well.

Purchase Price and Ending Value

For purchase price, use the last price that you paid for a gallon of this ice cream flavor. That way, the value will reflect the market value closely if it’s the most recent market price. For the ending value, we’re going to take the ending balance, which is column F, multiply it by the latest purchase price, which is G4, =F4*G4 and that’s the ending value of your vanilla inventory.

Formula for ending value 
Ending Value

You need to remember to update the purchase price every time you buy it or it’s not going to reflect the current value.

To share this Sheet with everyone in your organization, consider upgrading your Google environment to G-Suite. This would also allow you to have  more space in Google Drive and to use a email address with Gmail. Send me a message for your unique 20% discount code for your first year.

Watch the video

This site has a companion YouTube channel that has pretty much, well almost exactly, the same content. If you like this, you'll like that.

Total Inventory Value

Next, we’re going to total the value of our inventory. Go to the bottom of the ending value column and type =SUM for your formula. Open up the parentheses and choose the range of all the ending values. I went back in and I filled out some activity for two more flavors of ice cream.

The ending value of this inventory is the total shown in the ending value column. To reflect the proper value of your inventory in your financial records, you need to adjust it to this number if that’s not what the balance is now.

Formula for total
Total Inventory Value

Formatting your Sheet

Let’s do a little bit of formatting so it’s easier to read. In order to get all of the numbers in the value column to have two decimal points, change the formatting to Number by going to the Format menu, choosing Number, and then selecting Number again. Now all of the decimal points are lined up which makes it visually easier to read.

Number format
Number Format

Let’s do a bottom border to show that this is the sum at the end of the table. Using a thick line at the end of a column of numbers helps a reader see that it is the end of the series.

Bottom Borderl
Bottom Border

Book to Actual Comparison

After all of your careful tracking, some of your inventory is going to mysteriously shrink, right? Or, you’re going to purchase something and record it incorrectly. In other words, this ending value over the months is going to become inaccurate no matter how hard you try to keep it right.

What you can do is a monthly or a quarterly physical inventory. Let’s add a physical count column. Let’s recheck the purchase price to make sure there are no errors there either. Then, add in actual value using a formula, in this case, of =I6*J6.

Formula for actual value
Actual Value

You don’t need to do physical counts throughout the month. You don’t really need to do one every month. But, if you want to double check yourself, this is a great way to do it. If any of these amounts or prices are different, the ending value of the count won’t match the ending book value in the spreadsheet to the left.

Adjust your GL

After you do your physical count and you check your prices, this is the dollar amount that you should have recorded in your general ledger as your inventory. For the months that you do a physical count, you should adjust your inventory to actual and then book the difference to your cost of goods sold.

Note that the first worksheet in the template is linked to a second that you can use for a subsequent month. This process can be repeated for as many months as you would like. Link the beginning values of the subsequent month to the ending values of the preceding month. You do this by typing =, left-clicking on the cell that you want in the other worksheet, and hitting enter.

That wraps it up for creating and using your new simple inventory management template. Hopefully you find this helpful for your business!

Template

Go to the Template here. Choose File -> Make a Copy to copy it into your drive.