I make no bones about my love for Google’s online application suite, from Gmail to Docs, I love ‘em all. But yesterday, Gmail added a feature that really just stunned me and I cannot get enough of. It’s the “Create a document from this email message” option from Google Labs. It’s pretty simple - if you’re reading a message and decide you would like it turned into a Google Doc, you just hit the little link that says “Create a Document” and Gmail copies it into a Google Doc.
Why would you use this? Here’s how I use it -
I have some clients who will create content for their Web sites or newsletters and they create it as an email message, rather than sending it along to me as a document file for editing. In the past, this meant opening Word, copying their text into it, gutting all the weird cross-app formatting, then getting to work. With the Gmail feature, with once click, that’s all done for me. When I’m done editing, I can invite the client to collaborate on the new doc via Google Docs, or save it as a Word document and fling it over to them.
I must admit, when I heard about the feature, I thought “Why would I use this?” but then, after getting four emails like the one I just mentioned, and zipping through the process in about 1/2 the time it normally takes me, thanks to this feature, I’m sold.
Oh, and one other cool feature worth a serious mention - you can now view PDF’s right in Gmail, no external reader needed. It’s a Google Apps Holiday Party in my world!
P.S. - one quick trick I’ve learned. If you’re going to edit in Google Docs, but then export it to Word for sending to someone, sometimes the line spacing will be really odd. To be safe, after you edit the Google Doc, do a SELECT ALL on the text, then hit EDIT and set the LINE SPACING to “Single” or your preferred setting. Otherwise, you get what looks like triple-spacing between paragraphs. Remember to save the doc after doing this, then export it.