Microsoft Outlook is by far the best email client for Windows. It helps you to manage all your emails, set up contact lists, plan meetings, schedules and so much more. You can also use Microsoft Outlook to read Google Reader feeds as well.
So is Google Docs – one of the best online office applications available till date. Google docs lets you create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings and stores them in your Google account, so that you can access the documents from any computer.
If you love using both the above services, why not use Harmony – a simple Outlook add-in to integrate both the services and manage Google docs documents from the desktop.
Manage Google Docs Documents from Microsoft Outlook
1. Download Harmony Add-in for Microsoft Outlook
2. After you have installed the application, start Microsoft Outlook and you will see a new sidebar has been added to the interface as shown below:
3. Enter your Google account credentials and hit the “Sign in”button. The application also works with Google Apps accounts, along with normal Gmail accounts.
4. Once you are logged in, you will see the entire list of documents stored in your Google account in the Outlook sidebar.
Editing Your Existing Google Documents from Microsoft Outlook
1. To edit a document, click the “Actions” button and select “Open” from the menu options.
2. This will open your Google docs account in the “browsing pane” of Microsoft Outlook. Sign in again with your Google account credentials
3. Once you are signed in, the selected document will load inside Microsoft Outlook’s browsing pane as shown below:
4. Now you can edit the document as you normally do inside Google docs. You can add images from your computer or from a web URL , add texts, paragraphs, create spreadsheets and possible do everything that you do inside Google docs while working from the browser. Once you are done editing the document, hit “Save and close” and the changes will be saved to the document.
Sharing a Google Docs Document from Outlook
If you frequently share documents with a group of people, this feature would be immensely helpful. To share a document, select the document from the harmony sidebar in Microsoft Outlook and click “Actions”. From the options available, select “Share” as shown below:
This will open a pop up window. Enter the email address(s) of the people with whom you want to share your Google document.
As you can see, the add-in window shows live suggestions of email address from your Google account and thus it won’t be a problem if you do not remember the exact email address of collaborators or friends. Once you are done adding collaborators to your document, you can choose whether the person can edit the document or can only view it. You can set this role by clicking the “Role options” as shown below:
You can use the rename option to rename the document and the star option to mark the document as a starred item.
Creating a New Google Docs Document from Microsoft Outlook
Creating a new document is also easy, just click the “New” button and select the type of document you want to create.
If you want to upload an existing office document, click the “Upload” button and navigate to the document location in your computer. Once you have created the document, the application will open the Google docs editor in the browsing pane of Microsoft Outlook and then you can add and edit text as you normally do inside Google docs.
The Harmony add-in for Microsoft Outlook is a must have for web workers who use Outlook and always needed a way to edit, share and create Google docs documents from their email client. This is useful because you do not have to open a new browser window just for sharing or editing a Google docs document. Please note that unlike emails, you can not create or edit a Google docs document offline – you will need an active internet connection to fetch the documents in Microsoft Outlook. Overall, the application seamlessly integrates Google docs with Ms- outlook and there are no flaws or drawbacks found as such.
Do you use any tool to access Google docs documents from desktop? Do you use any other Outlook plugin to add to your daily productivity ? Please share your ideas and suggestions in the comments section.