10 Extensions to Improve Google Drive
Google Drive is rapidly become the cloud storage market leader. Its integration with Google’s other apps, its default inclusion with Google Apps for Business, and its 100GB of free memory with a Chromebook purchase have seen it explode to more than 130 million users since launch in April 2012.
Despite its popularity, there are numerous apps and extensions that can make the software more powerful. CloudTweaks takes a look at ten of them…
With a five star review on the Chrome Web Store, StackEdit is the best Markdown editor available in Google Drive. Based on PageDown – the markdown library used by Stack Overflow and several other Stack Exchange site – this open source editor synchronises with Google Drive and Dropbox, lets you publish directly on to GitHub, Gist, Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr, and supports Google Drive multiple sign-in.
And you thought the days fax machines were gone? This apps lets its users send and receive faxes and sign forms or sign documents remotely. Incoming faxes will be emailed to you as a PDF. The initial offering of fifty free pages can be expanded with promotions and incentives (sharing on social media, inviting friends, etc).
Developed by the Google Drive team, this app adds a ‘Save to Google Drive’ option on a computers context menu. In practice, this means you can save web content and screen captures directly to Google Drive. After your content is saved, the progress dialog box will allow you to open the file, rename it, or view it directly in the Google Drive document list.
Google Docs works well as a replacement for Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, but is not as useful when wanting to make a quick list or do some basic text editing. Drive Notepad solves this problem. It lets users read and create basic Notepad files and provides syntax highlighting for scripting and programming languages.
If you us several different cloud-based storage options Cloud HQ is not only a huge timesaver but also doubles as a backup tool. This powerful plugin enables you to sync and manage files saved in Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox and Basecamp directly from a Google Drive interface.
Produced by Google themselves, Google Forms allows users to collect data on any topic. Captured data will be automatically compiled into a Google Sheet document and made available through Google Drive.
Pixorial Photo and Video Sharing lets users easily edit and share documents that have been uploaded to Google Drive. With instant sync all video media in your Google Drive will automatically appear in your Pixorial library, and its Universal Import feature will seamlessly transfer all the photos and videos from computers, devices, other sites and social networks.
HTML5-based Lucidchart is the best way to create flowcharts, mind maps and other online diagrams. Its standout feature is its online collaboration – letting you work with an unlimited number of people to create and edit diagrams in real time, with changes merged and synced instantaneously.
This one is outside Google Drive, but nonetheless is an excellent timesaver and powerful productivity tool. The extension lets users add events to their Google Calendar with an easy right click feature, and even supports voice notifications – unlike the official Google app.
Mapping Sheets is an easy way to create maps on Google Maps from data contained on Google Sheets. Useful for both businesses and individuals, it can easily plot contact locations for sales calls, help optimise a vacation route, or act in conjunction with Google Calendar to help plan a week of appointments.
What do you think? Have we missed you ‘must-have’ extension? Do you already use some of the plugins we mentioned? Let us know in the comments below.
By Daniel Price