Microsoft Outlook and Google Docs are two of the most popular productivity suites used today. While Outlook excels at email, calendar, and contacts management, Google Docs shines for real-time online document collaboration.
Fortunately, with the right setup, you can get the best of both worlds – managing communication through Outlook while collaborating on documents with Google Docs. This guide will show you how to seamlessly integrate Google Docs into your Outlook workflow.
Step 1: Install Google Drive Desktop App
The easiest way to access your Google Docs files from Outlook is by installing the Google Drive desktop app. This creates a special Google Drive folder on your computer that syncs all files from your Google account.
- Go to drive.google.com/download and click Download Drive for Desktop.
- Open the downloaded GoogleDriveSetup.exe file and follow the prompts to install.
- Sign into your Google account when prompted. This will sync all your Google Drive content.
Once installed, you’ll have access to all your Google Docs files right from File Explorer, making it easy to attach them to Outlook emails.
Step 2: Compose Email with Attachments
With Google Drive set up, attaching Google Docs files to Outlook emails is simple:
- In Outlook, create a new email (or reply to an existing thread).
- Click Attach File in the ribbon at the top.
- Browse to the file location in Google Drive and select the file to attach.
- The file will now be embedded in your email as an attachment.
Instead of sending bulky file attachments that fill up inboxes, you can send Google Docs links that allow recipients to collaborate in real-time.
Step 3: Share Google Docs Links
To share a Google Doc link instead of an attachment:
- In Google Drive, right-click the file and select Get shareable link.
- Choose whether to give view or edit access.
- Copy the generated link.
- Paste the link into your Outlook email body.
Now when recipients click the link, they’ll be taken directly to the Google Doc instead of downloading a file attachment.
Step 4: Embed Google Docs Previews
You can make your emails even more engaging by embedding live Google Doc previews directly into Outlook. This allows recipients to view the file contents right inside the email message.
To embed a Doc preview:
- In your Google Doc, click File > Embed document.
- Copy the Embed code.
- In Outlook, paste the code into the email body.
- The Google Doc will appear as a live preview that recipients can scroll through without opening it.
Embedding previews makes emails more visual while allowing access to Google Docs for further collaboration.
Step 5: Use the Harmony Add-in
For even tighter Google Docs integration, install the Harmony add-in for Outlook. This handy sidebar gives you Google Docs controls right within Outlook:
Harmony Outlook Add-in
With Harmony, you can:
- Access all your Google Docs directly in Outlook.
- Drag-and-drop files to upload to Google Drive.
- Share documents and set permissions.
- Open and edit Docs, Sheets, Slides without leaving Outlook.
Harmony makes shifting between Outlook and Google Docs effortless so you can manage communication and collaboration in one place.
Step 6: Automate with Zapier
To take things up a notch, use Zapier to automate workflows between Outlook and Google Docs.
With Zapier, you can build triggers like:
- Upload Outlook email attachments to Google Drive
- Create new Docs from Outlook emails
- Share Drive files when Outlook emails are received
Automating repetitive tasks allows you to get more done while seamlessly connecting Outlook and Google Docs.
Work Smarter with Integrations
With the right setup, Google Docs and Outlook can work together in perfect harmony. Installing integrations like Google Drive Desktop, Harmony, and Zapier can help you get the most out of both suites.
The result is a streamlined workflow that allows you to manage communications in Outlook while tapping into the power of Google Docs for real-time collaboration. Eliminating busywork lets you focus on meaningful, productive tasks.
Give some of these tips a try to work faster and smarter! Let us know in the comments below if you have any other favorite ways to integrate Outlook and Google Docs.