4 Productivity Hacks That Will Make You Love Google Docs Even More

Our love for Google's freaking amazing applications is well-documented around here. From awesome Google Calendar hacks to falling in love with Inbox to loving Google Hangout for cross-continental communication, you could say I'm something of a Google fangirl.

And when it comes to Google Docs, we're... we're total fans.

Google Docs is basically the best thing that ever happened to the Internet. I've been lucky enough to only have had to withstand just a few years in school without the everlasting glory that is Google Docs shining down on me from the cloud. I thoroughly pity those of you who had to put up with Microsoft Word for years and years before Google Docs came on the scene. I shed a solemn tear for you, comrades 😥.

But what if I told you there are even more reasons to love Google Docs?

I've rounded up a list of the 4 most awesome productivity hacks that will make you fangirl even harder for the program.

Here they are!


Even MORE reasons to love Google Docs! These 4 great tips will make you more productive while you work. | Hoot Design Co.

1. Voice typing

Sometimes you are just not in the mood to write. Typing out word after miserable word can feel you're slowly being flayed alive by Ramsay Bolton 😑. Not fun.

But! Google to the rescue.

For times when you need to get those thoughts down but have fingers made of lead, Google's voice typing functionality is here to save the day. It's exactly what it sounds like: You speak and Google types out your words for you. Thanks Google! 💁

Here's how to use it:

  • In your document, go Tools > Voice typing to open up google's handy little voice capture.
  • Now just click the microphone, start speaking, and you're off! 
Find the voice typing capability under Tools > Voice Typing. Make sure you allow microphone access!

Find the voice typing capability under Tools > Voice Typing. Make sure you allow microphone access!

Just click on Google's microphone icon and off you go!

Just click on Google's microphone icon and off you go!

Of course you'll need to go back and rework sections, but at least you got those thoughts down! 

Because spoken grammar isn't perfect, I find it helpful to explicitly state the punctuation I want Google to record. I dictate "comma," "period," and even "ellipses" when I need them!


2. Insert An image without downloading

This productivity hack definitely saves me major time.

Instead of downloading an image and then uploading it and then inserting it manually into your doc, Google actually lets you insert images using just their URLs. Yep!

Here's how to use it: 

  • First, go find an online image you want to insert.
  • Now, right click the image and choose “Copy Image URL” (it'll be right below "Save Image As...")
  • Then, back in Google Docs, click into the document where you want your image to go and choose Insert > Image from the top menu.
After you find an image you want to use, right click and choose "Copy Image URL."

After you find an image you want to use, right click and choose "Copy Image URL."

Click where you want your image to go into the doc and then choose Insert > Image.

Click where you want your image to go into the doc and then choose Insert > Image.

  • Now, when the Insert Image dialogue box pops up, choose "By URL" instead of "Upload." 
  • Finally, just paste the URL you just copied into the space Google provides and hit enter.

You're done! Ta-da! 🎉

In the Insert Image dialogue box, select "By URL" instead of "Upload."

In the Insert Image dialogue box, select "By URL" instead of "Upload."

Now just paste the link into the space Google provides! Total thumbs up.

Now just paste the link into the space Google provides! Total thumbs up.


3. save your Custom font styles

If you're like me, you find  11pt Arial horrendously boring. 

One of the very first things I do when I start a new project is change the document's fonts ASAP.

And I have a certain set of fonts, text colors, and sizes that I use all the time. All the time! So I find myself endlessly selecting headings and subheadings one-by-one to change their fonts, and importing the same colors again in every single doc I create. 

Exhibit a: 11pt Arial is boring AF 😴

Exhibit a: 11pt Arial is boring AF 😴

Custom formatting breaks up the doc and flows so much better.

Custom formatting breaks up the doc and flows so much better.

Wouldn't it be amazingly helpful to save those settings as the defaults for every document I create?

Yes, my friend, yes it would. And you totally can! 😱

That's right. No more 11pt Arial default for me 😎.

Here's how to set custom styles:

  • First, select text that's formatted in a way you want to save as one of your defaults.
  • Then, from the top menu, click Format > Paragraph Styles > [the style you want to set] > Update [style] to Match. Do this for as many styles as you'd like to save! 
First, select text formatted in a way you want to save and choose Format > Paragraph Styles > [the style you want to set] > Update [style] to Match.

First, select text formatted in a way you want to save and choose Format > Paragraph Styles > [the style you want to set] > Update [style] to Match.

After completing this step you've only set the defaults for your current document. Now let's save these presets to apply to all documents so you can access them right off the bat in the future. 

  • Now choose Format > Paragraph Styles > Options > Save as my default styles from the top menu.
Even MORE reasons to love Google Docs! These 4 great tips will make you more productive while you work. | Hoot Design Co.

Viola!

Now any time you open a new Google doc, your custom formatting is already up and ready to get going!

Bonus productivity hack: To quickly apply these styles, use a few quick Google Docs shortcuts: select your text then hit ⌘+Option+1 to apply heading 1, or ⌘+Option+2 to apply heading 2, and so on. 


4. name docs with one click

Do you ever open your Drive and find yourself looking at 10 Untitled Documents hanging out? I definitely do – and always end up spending extra time opening each one to try and find the one I need.

But once again, Google to the rescue!

Use Google's one-click rename feature to automatically rename your doc with the first phrase of what you’re working on, while you’re working on it. Yes, it’s true!

  • After getting down to business in your doc, hover over that onerous "Untitled document" in the upper left corner.
  • CLICK!
  • All done 😄
Bleh, I don't feel like typing out the name of this doc.

Bleh, I don't feel like typing out the name of this doc.

BUT SUPER GOOGLE TO THE RESCUE! With just one click my title is automatically filled in! Thanks, Super Google!

BUT SUPER GOOGLE TO THE RESCUE! With just one click my title is automatically filled in! Thanks, Super Google!


These productivity hacks are major timesavers for me!

I now use these time-saving tricks all the time, and they definitely speed things along. I am such a fan of Google Docs that uncovering new features is like seeing a beautiful, fresh blanket of snow covering the ground after the first snow of the year. Ahh, beautiful, fresh, downy-soft Google features are what make the world seem shiny and new again 🌟

Make sure to give me a heads up with your favorite Google productivity tips!

Until next time,

Avery



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