Gmail Is Getting a Major Productivity Upgrade

G Suite Gmail Is Getting a Major Productivity Upgrade, and Other Productivity News

G Suite is giving Gmail a major productivity upgrade in an announcement this week by Google at their enterprise conference, and other personal productivity and technology news for you.

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In this Cast | G Suite Gmail Is Getting a Major Productivity Upgrade

Ray Sidney-Smith

Augusto Pinaud

Headlines & Show Notes | G Suite Gmail Is Getting a Major Productivity Upgrade

Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

[Omni Group] released OmniFocus 3.9 for Mac | Twitter

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 110 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements – MacRumors 

How to install macOS Big Sur beta on a separate APFS volume [Video] – 9to5Mac

Launching Camo – Reincubate 

Amazon coronavirus work from home policy extended until January 8 

Why remote work shouldn’t mean micromanaging—and what to do instead | Zapier 

Microsoft Launcher’s biggest overhaul yet is here | Windows Central 

FCC makes 988 the 3-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline | Engadget 

Introducing OnMail, the first Permission-Based Email Service | by Edison

A BetterBook, a Notebook, But Better by orangered life — Kickstarter 

Slack Files EU Competition Complaint Against Microsoft | The Official Slack Blog 

Grammarly’s advanced features are coming to Google Docs | Engadget 

Google experimenting with dual-touchscreen Chromebook – 9to5Google 

“Explore” helps you get the most out of Chromebook 

How to free up space in your Google Account | Digit 


Updates in G Suite unify contacts, content, and tasks in Gmail so you can make the most of your time. | Google Cloud Blog

Raw Text Transcript

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Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:01
Hello personal productivity enthusiasts and community. Welcome to anything but idle the productivity news podcast. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.

Augusto Pinaud 0:07
I’m Augusto Pinaud.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:08
And we’re your hosts for anything but idle. This is Episode 14. And we’re recording this on July 23 2020. Each week, we cover the productivity news headlines of the week. So you know what’s going on in the current research technology products and more in the world of personal productivity. And so with that, let’s get into our headlines. What is our first headline of the week of gousto

Augusto Pinaud 0:28
first headline of the week is a release of OmniFocus 3.9. for Mac. They are unified, the trials and improvement documentation and they have been working into this Omni automation API was the idea of extend the same automation for the Mac as well as the iOS app.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:51
Next up is that Apple has released the safari technology preview 110 and what that means is that that’s just an essence that The experimental browser that Apple introduced actually four years ago, it gives them an opportunity to be able to test features with developers and with the kind of dedicated Apple community Apple Safari community so that they can see what’s going on and what’s happening and so on so forth. So there’s some bug fixes and some performance improvements. But if you want to go ahead and check out the actual update, you can download the browser yourself and test it. I do not recommend that usually on production machines meaning the ones who use every day and but you know, you could do it. The full release notes are also available in the article as well.

Augusto Pinaud 1:36
So the next thing for us it’s another call that came from nine to five Mac where for the people who wants to play with big sore was a changes on a PFS volumes. Now you can go get the public beta if you are dying to test Big Four and create basically a partition on your hard drive. For another apfs an installed big sore that way so that way you don’t need to mess with your production machine, you will mess with the drive on any problem, you can delete that drive and nothing will be affected on your machine. So we leave the instructions in there for any person who wants to play with that. Let’s say in the disclaimer that this is not a productivity or will be any productive time unless you are a developer.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 2:29
Okay, next up is a piece of software built by an Aiden Fitzpatrick, it’s called camo. And what cammo does is it turns your iOS device, your iPhone or your iPad into a high quality webcam for your Mac. And so this is was recently announced on July 16. And in essence, camel has a free version and then I think a paid version that’s about $40 us and It replaces you having to have a webcam attached to your Mac, you just in essence, set up your iPhone or iPad on a stand and connect it physically to your Mac, and it turns your device into the webcam. And so I know that many people have come across this problem with external webcam software, not quite working, the color saturation being off, you know, kind of all those things that come along with using an external webcam, because to be quite honest, the Mac OS devices, the webcams in them are not that great. And so with lots of folks working from home, and if you have an apple ecosystem, this can be a really great tool for being able to make you look good on camera.

Augusto Pinaud 3:47
Next Top is Amazon announced that they’re going to extend the work from home on on at least January 8, you know and in tied up to the to what we were discussing before. With the webcams are going to be used more and more. And we have seen more and more companies extending their work from home, if you feel that your webcam is not that great. So it’s time to look into those kind of options.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:14
Yeah, and I really feel like this is one of those canary in the coal mine type situations where if you’re seeing a lot of major companies pushing back their return to work dates, this is because they see in a much larger sense their workforce. And so you can kind of expect that more and more companies, especially on you know, the coasts and in the southern part of the country are going to have to start pushing back their opening dates, because we’re just having these flare ups of the, you know, novel, Corona virus infecting people in these kind of swaths of the country, and it’s all kind of inconsistent and we just have to be prepared for it. So I think it’s important just to keep in mind, in that same vein, Zapier, the workflow automation software company. They put out an article on the 21st of July that was called why remote work shouldn’t mean micromanaging and what to do instead. And this is one of those cases where they’re talking about the fact that many employers and managers are feeling the sting of not being able to see their employees that not be able to see their team. And so they’re, they’re instinctually, micromanaging people. And of course, that’s not the best way right trust, establishing accountability. If anyone has not read the book, empowerment takes more than a minute by Dr. Ken Blanchard. I highly recommend it and really establishes the right protocol for being able to give people the the the tools, the components for being able to make any work work in a team environment, but especially in a remote work environment. It takes more than a minute is a short book. It has a very clear set of components for being able to help your team have the have the the empowerment, as Dr. Blanchard talks about to be able to get work done, whether you’re watching over their shoulder or not. So micromanaging is not the answer. Okay, next up, we have some news out of Redmond, Washington.

Augusto Pinaud 6:24
Yes, Microsoft lounge, their biggest overhaul jet. So Microsoft lantra 6.0 it’s full of goodie for my friends on Android. And for several months now they are been, you know, teasing and, and showing some things and he’s finally out. So if you, you will be able to get you know, new look, dark themes and many other features if you are, you know, in that ecosystem and use Microsoft products,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 6:54
alright. And so with that, we’re going to take a break and have a word from our sponsor this week. W3C Web Services.

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So before the break we were covering the productivity news headlines, and we’ve got more headlines for you this week. So what’s the next headline?

Augusto Pinaud 8:07
Okay, so the FCC makes 988, the three digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It’s a greatest step forward. And for some reason, this project will take for two years and won’t include text based counseling. But that’s all that I’m going to say about that.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 8:27
Yeah, so So in essence, the FCC has promulgated that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is currently one 800 273 talk, so 1-800-273-8255 and that gives people the ability to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. And so if you know anyone who is in any way, shape or form at risk, or if you are, I would jot that number down and paste it prominently where it could be available to folks and share as widely so that 10 digit number is currently active and people can currently use that. And you now in 2022, in July of 2022, will be able to just dial 988. But until then, it’s just really important for us all to recognize the importance of mental health, and that people are suffering, and especially in the personal productivity space where we sometimes are more highly critical of ourselves. So just be aware that it exists. And and it’s good that that the FCC has started to push this forward. This will include all telecommunications, character carriers, and voiceover IPS service providers, so that’s a really good step as well. Hopefully they’ll bring you know RCS or text chat or online chat as well. I believe that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline does have an online chat, but finding it is a whole nother you know, ballgame. So the the The change is good. I just think that we need more and faster. Alright, next is some news out of Edison. Edison is the email application company, they built the Edison Mail app, and they have done a really great job with it. And now they have introduced a new service. This is actually a bit old, but I only recently came in touch with the news. And so we’re putting it on anything, but I don’t because of that, but they in essence, are introducing a new permission based email service. We talked about, hey, a couple of weeks ago, and some of the controversy around hay and their conflict with Apple’s App Store on mail is the permission based email service that is coming out by Edison. And so what that means is is that they are building a new email service so think Gmail or iCloud mail or any other of those mail services, Yahoo Mail, hotmail you got you name it, or live I guess is the most recent iteration of Hotmail. But the idea here is that they are, you know, kind of professing that email is broken, and they want to be able to fix it. And the idea here is that when someone emails you, you have to facilitate control to get access to you, right, you have to facilitate access to you through this email service. And so the team at Edison are putting this platform together. I’m really curious to see how it will come together. It is, it’s coming out soon. I mean, they’ve I think they had nearly 200,000 people who have signed up for the service already. And they’re bringing all the pieces that are from Edison into the on male experience, and vice versa. So I’m just very curious to see how this will all come out, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more

Augusto Pinaud 11:58
or the next views A Kickstarter project, the better book, it’s an interesting project, they they are already fully funded. And basically, what they are doing is to turn in your whole notebook into an horizontal notebook that you can put on the edge of the desk. And the point is, well,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:22
you know, this space has been reduced, mostly because now you have a keyboard and a mouse and with devices and tablets, so what they were was to how they could envision to make a better notebook that could feed on that space, but also that has some features. So the scanning of the nodes, it’s more effective. So it’s an interesting thing, especially if you are those people who liked the notebook and like to have that paper in front of you. It may be a great way to continue to induce pure scanning with your phone, the dimensions of the scan with your phone is going to be different with a sheet of eight and a half by 11 inch paper, traditional us letter size paper, but even a four a five, outside of the US being the standard shapes are not necessarily the dimensions that phones scan at. So a photo, you know, phone takes a picture and so they in essence have kind of re envisioned it. It’s it’s a very long rectangle based piece of paper. And it gives you the ability to write across the page as well as you know, Mind Map and all kinds of other things. It’s very interesting to me, I mean, in essence, they took a you know, if you turned it portrait, then it would look just like a really long Notepad. And they’ve kind of just turned it on its side. And I’m very curious to see how this all comes together. This is built by product design out of out of London, and yeah, so you’ve got seven days to back the project left in, in their system. So in that sense They close out today is the 23rd. So the 30th they close out. So if you want to back the project and get access, first access to one of these better book sets, you can do so. Okay, next up is some news out of slack slack in the EU and the European Union has filed a competition complaint against Microsoft. And in essence, what they’re saying is that Microsoft has done some anti competitive and illegal practices by using their market dominance against slack. And so, in essence, they’re saying that Microsoft bundled teams Microsoft Teams into their office Productivity Suite, of course that what they’re saying or alleging is that that blocked slack from being able to kind of have an edge in the market. And so what their vice president of communications and policy at slac Jonathan Prince stated was that slack threatens Microsoft’s hold on businesses. Email the cornerstone of office, which means slack threatens Microsoft’s lock on enterprise software and quote, and so I don’t know about you a gousto. But from my perspective, I think this is probably going to be reviewed by the European Union. And then it’ll fizzle out. Microsoft has really been able to defend what is competitive versus anti competitive. And if they’re just better, they’re just better. So I’m curious how this will all play out.

Augusto Pinaud 15:30
I don’t think they really have half a case in their DNS to Microsoft. I’ve been doing things and improving. Yeah, but they have not done anything. At least from my perspective, you know, and competitive. They are making their platform stronger. And again, I don’t see anything, anything in there, to be honest with you. So

Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:53
yeah, we’ll see. It’ll be interesting to watch the the case go before the European Union and their commission on anti competitive practices. So it’ll be it’ll be just an interesting to interesting thing to see what the case uncovers about Microsoft’s marketing practices. And the European Union’s opinions on, for example, teams is kicked into the office, and you can’t remove it. You know, whether they believe those pieces are fundamentally just competitive or anti competitive, you know, though that’s going to put a broad stroke down in and for the rest of the globe in terms of how it sees Microsoft in some way, shape or form, not necessarily how it will affect other legal systems, but certainly an interesting development for the the war of these communication, collaboration tools like slack versus email. I mean, it’s like it’s a weird, very weird kind of argument on the legal side, but we’ll see. See how it all comes down. All right, some news from Greg grammerly

Augusto Pinaud 17:00
so Grammarly now it’s working to integrate themselves or integrate some other features into Google Docs and I think that’s really really awesome. I mean, they are Grammarly has grown, you know, consistently into into been a really useful tool and I think putting that inside of Google Docs it is it is going to be really really powerful for the people who use both platforms.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:27
And so is this coming to grammerly for those who people who pay for Grammarly premium or is this for Grammarly free and premium

Augusto Pinaud 17:34
my understanding is you are going to have access to both you will get the free on the on the sidebar that will integrate. But if you have the premium, then you are going to get all the premium features in that in that basically what they’re allowing. Google is going to allow grammerly to be part of their toolbox. As if we’re part of Google Docs that right now at least on the web, I don’t think you can add Many plugins, so grammerly will be pro the first one, if I correct my assumption.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 18:07
Yes. So this is about adding it into the sidebar, you can add things into the Google into Google Docs or Google sheets or Google Slides, and so on and so forth. The goal, of course, is to write it in such a way that that Google will allow and allow into the Google Apps Marketplace. And they are fairly strict and so you know, that they don’t want people you know, accessing and hacking into people’s content. So they’re, they’re they’re trying to be very, you know, studious about making sure that that good plugins COMM And so Grammarly seems to have reached that bar, and be interesting to see how this all works. A little bit more Google News. Google is experimenting based on some analysis of software, based on some software changes that had been noticed. And nine to five Google is recording that Google is experimenting with dual touchscreen, Chromebooks, and in essence, what will happen is you will have your primary screen, and then you’ll have a lower screen, which may or may not have a physical keyboard associated with it. There have been others like this. There was a Windows laptop like that the zenbook duo Pro. And the goal, of course, is to give to touchscreens, and a trackpad in the Chromebook experience. And so let’s see how that all comes to play. But it’ll be very interesting to see how folks utilize the the ability to have multiple screens, and what they would control on each of those items. And so this is codenamed palkia. And so if you see palkia mentioned in the future, that’s what it’s all about. In line with that Chrome has officially announced it wasn’t just found in the code changes, but the Google blog has announced the access to an application called explore And this is for Chromebook users. And so as you, you know, get started with a Chromebook, the Explorer app is, in essence, a way to navigate you through the capabilities of your Chromebook of Chrome OS generally. And this is really useful. So it’s going to basically be an application that’s installed natively, you open up your Chromebook, and it just walks you through your Chromebook experience and shows you ways in which you can use Chrome better, just from like, how to set up how to set up a printer, how to navigate and switch between applications, how to, you know, like, there’s a, you know, there are certain buttons on the Chrome interface that may be new to you if you’re a Windows or a Mac user. And it just gives you some education in terms of how to do that how to lock and unlock the screen, how to customize the interface. So really good stuff for just getting people on trade into the Chrome OS experience in a more seamless and thoughtful manner. So good on Google for And that

Augusto Pinaud 21:00
Well, our next step is to still the Google world. And it is an article

Raymond Sidney-Smith 21:06
from Digital how to free space on the Google account. Remember when the first school accounts came, people thought that space was going to be unlimited. But as you are integrating now, Google Drive and other things that is space is not that big. So they come six things you can think to reduce and free space, you know, from deleted emails with large attachment to the spam mail, the social updates, the promotional email that we’ll get, and then compressing pictures, and finally, deleting files on the trash of your Google Drive ways to maximize that space that you get with your Google account, giving you kind of a methodology for being able to do that. One of the things that they point out that I don’t think a lot of people know is that if you go to o n, so you’ll be taken to a The interface that shows you how much space your entire Google account has. And that’s just a really helpful item for being able to see how much storage you’ve used and where you might be in the context of things. So, you know, in my particular personal account, I have, you know, two terabytes of space. And so I can see how much space I have used of that, and then saying, Okay, well, if I want to stay underneath X amount of space, then I need to go ahead and find the items that are taking up the most space and start clearing out those items as well. Okay, those are our headlines. And so that means that takes us to the science of productivity with Matt Plummer observado Take it away, Matt,

Matt Plummer 22:39
the science of productivity segment brings you scientific insights you can trust into how to accomplish your goals faster. In this week’s segment, I want to share new research on whether agile methods increase or decrease team innovation. agile methodologies emerged in the 1970s with the goal of facilitating more adaptive and innovative ways of developing software. After getting its more formal roots in around 2000 2001, when a group of developers met in Utah to talk through, you know, some of these more lightweight project management approaches, agile has become the go to project management approach definitely in software development, and increasingly in other fields. And that’s because it’s thought to improve the agility of teams, enabling them both to be more innovative and to waste less time on work that ultimately becomes irrelevant. As Jeff Sutherland know, one of the CO creators of Agile said, quote, innovation is what agile is all about. companies that create an environment in which agile flourishes find that teams can churn out innovations faster, end quote. However, emerging research from Harvard Business School professors, Saru goosh and Andy Wu suggests that agile has a mixed effect on innovation goosh and Wu embedded an experiment within a hackathon Software Development competition at Google. And what they found was that the teams using agile scored higher on one dimension of innovation that is value, but lower on the other dimension of innovation, novelty. Essentially, teams using agile created more valuable, but less novel products, specifically to agile practices drive this increase in value and decrease in novelty. The first is taking time to define an update team goals, that coordination activity and secondly, a high frequency of meetings. novelty you see comes from allowing individuals to think differently from each other, and then to bring their creative ideas back to the team. But frequent coordination focused meetings prevent this from happening. Teams may need to rotate between periods of high frequency coordination meetings and lower frequency meetings to produce more innovative ideas.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:55
All right, thanks to Matt Plummer from carvana for our science of productivity segment that takes us online Our new tools of the week, a good one, I come across many personal development time tasks, project management and productivity, collaboration tools and services each week, some we use some standout from the pack. And so in our segment, new tools of the week, we each bring you a tool we think you might like. And so, tool number one, new tool number one, I’m going to talk about practice Dev. So practice, Dev is a tool that was built by developer. And in essence, it helps you learn real web development skills by these challenges that the developer has created. And you choose the web development language, and the technology. And then you jump into the challenges and do it. They’re free. You can be a beginner, you can be an advanced and experienced developer, and it’s all set up for you at practice dot Dev. And it’s brilliant. I think that everyone should learn to code in some way, shape or form and not because you Want to be a developer, but because the way of the world is more and more software, and if we learn those software, we know why and how things go wrong. And we can maybe provide greater solutions on a macro level or even on the more ground level. So I just love it. It’s so far, but really, really fun and interesting to learn about various, you know, tools out there software tools that are out there, and it’s all open source. And so check it out. Okay, so what’s your new tool of the week?

Augusto Pinaud 26:31
Well, the new tool of the week is niebo. I’ve been doing notetaking on my iPad for a really long time. And I have used and talk on other places about the application that I use called good notes. 5.0. And it is awesome to have that and to do PDF annotations and more, but I discovered nivo recently, and Knievel has a couple of things started are interesting one is if ec ecns were in which they can turn text or handwriting into text, they can do operations thing that I didn’t know so I can now a lot of times you are discussing and you want to make a quick operation in that conversation now I can do it anyone said you know, this type time and give the equal instead of needing to pull a different a different applications you can obviously do freehand writing, it is really really, really powerful. It cannot import PDFs into that it is really a notebook. But he’s in certain things a lot more powerful than what I was using. And so it has turned to complement the other application where I can come make the notes in here, do the diagrams directly with the use of the application creating this rich content as Say kolad. And then after I’m done with that cheat, now I can export it to goodnotes five where everything else leaves. So if you have an iPad and a pencil, and you take notes and you want to take better notes, check niebo. It’s been a really, really interesting experience.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:18
Yeah, there is a Microsoft app. And it is available in the Google Play Store for Android. So it is cross platform, which is, which is pretty amazing.

Augusto Pinaud 28:26
So if you have a surface or, or a touchscreen on Microsoft machine, you can find evil there too.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:31
So that brings us to our featured story of the week. And this week, we’re bringing you something that was dropped without Google necessarily wanting it to drop before they released the announcement. But either way it got out and that is the introduction of G suites, new home for work as they’re calling it or better home for work as they’re calling it. And in essence, what Google is doing is they’re integrating all of their core tools into the Gmail interface. And so this is rolling out for G Suite first, and presumably it will roll out for everybody across the board. But the idea here is that you will have Google meet, which is the video meeting technology. You’ll have chit chat, Google Chat, you will have your email, of course inside of the Gmail interface, and then a Files area and tasks area within the space so that you can manage all of those pieces in the same space. So this is really the introduction of a of a new aspect of Gmail, which they’re calling rooms and rooms is akin to what I think of in the G Suite drive space as workspaces. So if you’re in G Suite, you’ll know inside of Google Drive, you’re able to open up priorities and you’ll see a workspace. A workspace allows you 25 files to be collected together from anywhere in your Google Drive environment. So it doesn’t matter what folder or structure you have, you can pull those files into a workspace and then collect them together so that you can see them together when you’re working on those items. Rooms is, for me kind of akin to that, but in the Gmail interface, and so we’ll see what happens. This is coming to both the desktop and mobile environment,

Augusto Pinaud 30:22
actually, they they did really, really well with that. And it is going to be interesting. I don’t know why they both don’t connect. But I think as more people is coming to this and and really the effort Microsoft has done to strengthen their platform, people need to understand that the Google side is as powerful as Microsoft Microsoft has done a really great job 2020 you know, solidifying or showing people what they can do with their tools that others has been, you know, lagging behind.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:00
Yeah, one of the things that I really noticed about the interface is Google’s desire to keep you in the same interface. So you don’t have to switch between screens. So for example, in these rooms, you’ll be able to do real time collaboration in documents. So you can open up a Google Doc, and you’ll have your chat on one side your files and your tasks. But you can actually real time edit in that interface. You haven’t left Gmail, you’re still in that space, but you can real time edit. So if you’re taking notes in a meeting, and you’re talking about things, you can do all of that in that space. One of the things that most people don’t know is that Google Chat, which is akin to Microsoft Teams, or slack in that sense, Google Chat has a lot of those bot related technologies. So you can integrate with DocuSign, Salesforce Trello, and in the chat, put in these functions, and it will go ahead and connect you to those tools, and then you can of course, get things done right there in the chat. So they’re really trying to bring all of this together so that you’re not having to switch over to here and find things over there and that kind of thing. And that really makes having in the Chrome OS world, for example, you have a single browser tab open. with Gmail, in the near future, in your in your you have a G Suite account, you don’t need to have 510 tabs open to be able to access all of those pieces. It’s all from one interface. So I think it’s going to be really quite interesting to watch what happens as people start to use the tool and whether it becomes useful to them. One of the things I’m really curious about is the ability to say Do Not Disturb in your availability and, and being able to like pause projects that you’re not working on right now. So that others on your team know That just some really interesting and and really forward thinking features that Google has really considered all of this. So as we said, though, it’s not yet available to everyone. They have announced it at Google Cloud Next 2020 on air, which is their current Google Cloud, their enterprise conference that’s going on right now. And they will hopefully be rolling it out to G Suite users. And, and seeing how those users use it, and then they’ll expand that, of course, to more people over the coming weeks. And then hopefully, they bring it to consumer Google products. I’m really hoping that’s the case. But who knows, maybe they’ll just keep it within G Suite proper. So good productivity news out of Google, as usual. And so with that, that brings us to the end of our show, we have a few items that I wanted to touch base on, please let us know if there’s a story we missed this week. You can do that by using our contact page on anything but idle calm. You can also tweet or dm us on Twitter at anything but idle. You can follow us on social media by finding links on anything but idle calm as well. If you can, please leave a rating or review on Apple podcasts or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. It allows for giving feedback. So thank you for helping us grow the anything but idle audience. And finally, thanks for joining us for anything but idle, the productivity news podcast. Until next time, here’s to your productive life.


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