Efficiency and convenience are two important things when trying to improve and maximize your workflow. Tab hopping, though not difficult, isn't the most efficient method of multitasking. The seconds wasted hopping through multiple tabs in Chrome add up to minutes. With more and more tabs open, the brain power used to remember which tab is which app/site wears on you. Anything to make this process easier is welcomed.
Not too long ago, Google added a right side panel to apps such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets. This panel is viewable by clicking the little arrow icon in the bottom right corner of the aforementioned apps. This side panel gives you at a glance access to Calendar, Keep and Google Tasks.
In Gmail, Google Drive and Google Calendar, there is another button, below the default "at a glance links", for Add-ons. For example, in Gmail, you can install an Add-on for Zoom or DocUsign on the side panel.
Using this side panel within GSuite is a great way to improve your efficiency and workflow. As an educator, my favorite way to use the side panel is the ability to add important emails as a task in Google Tasks. This helps me set reminders and due dates for action items I receive on a daily basis.
There is also a great feeling I get every time I complete a task and it disappears from my list. When you complete all tasks, it says good job.
Something as simple as having my Google Calendar in the side panel, at a glance, while working in Gmail is another workflow improvement. This helps tremendously when scheduling emails, video calls and other tasks.
With students, the side panel is a great way to have kids easily access notes and sources when writing. If kids take notes from different sources in Google Keep, they can open Keep in the side panel while in Google Docs. Any notes can be added directly into the Doc to jumpstart their writing.
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