11 helpful tips all Google Docs users should know

I am an avid Google Docs user. On any given day, I may use Docs to write and read work documents, draft emails, take notes, organize my thoughts and even plan vacation itineraries. Given all the time I spend in Docs, I’ve unsurprisingly discovered quite a few features that help make all that writing, drafting, editing, reading, note-taking, organizing and itinerary-planning so much easier. Here are 11 of my best tips for all Google Docs users, whether you’re using Docs for work, school or play.

1. Keep projects on track with smart chips and building blocks

I spend a good chunk of my day collaborating with coworkers, and smart chips and building blocks help make it easy. For example, I’ll use the Google Docs “meeting notes” building block to automatically create meeting notes in preparation for a meeting; it includes the name of the meeting, the date, the attendees and an outline for tracking an agenda and action items.

Once the meeting is over, I use smart chips to add additional context to my notes. For instance, when you type a person’s name, file name or location into your document, a smart chip will appear. You can then hover over the chip to see additional information about the person, date, file or location. And for particularly complicated projects, I like to use the “Project roadmap” building block to create a table that lists out all the tasks, who they’re assigned to and the status of everything. These features help me stay organized and help my colleagues stay on track.

Try it yourself: Type “@” in a Doc — this will show you a list of smart chips and building blocks to choose from. To create meeting notes or project trackers, scroll down to the building blocks section, and select “Meeting notes” or ”Project roadmap.” To insert people chips or assign a task to a colleague, scroll to the smart chips section and select your action of choice — you can add people and assign them specific tasks with due dates, as well as insert voting chips, locations or dropdowns.

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