7 Little-Known Google Tools That Will Make Your Life A Lot Easier

The Cool Google Tools You Didn't Even Know About Until Now

Photo © Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Practically everyone knows that Google is the world's largest search engine. In fact, most people who own a computer or a mobile device are pretty familiar with other popular Google products too, such as YouTube, Gmail, Chrome Web Browser, and Google Drive

It turns out that when it comes to Google, the tech giant has a lot of different products. Over the past 18 years of its short lifespan, Google has created over 140 products.

While using that many tools is probably overkill, it's always worth looking into the ones that could really help solve problems you regularly have, save time you'd rather not waste or accomplish something more creatively and efficiently.

Here are some Google tools that most people don't talk about much, but would be extremely handy to use in a wide range of situations.

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Google Keep
Screenshot of Google.com/Keep

Google Keep is a beautifully designed, visual note-taking app that can help you keep all your notes, to-do lists, reminders, images and all sorts of other tidbits of information organized and easy to view. The card-like interface makes it super intuitive to use, which you can customize any way you want by adding labels and colors.

Need to record some audio for a reminder? Or have a shopping list that you and your family members need to access and edit as you pick things up? Google Keep lets you do it all. You might just find that it's one of the most useful note-taking apps out there. More »

Photo © Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Ever wished you could do a Google search for something according to what it looks like because you can't for the life of you remember what it's called? Well, Android users, you're in luck—because Google Goggles is an image-driven search engine that actually lets you snap a photo and use it to search for information about it. (Sorry iPhone users, Google Goggles isn't available on your platform!)

Just point your camera at a famous sculpture, a landmark at a specific location, a product you're using, or anything else to see if Google Goggles has it included in its vast database. You can also use it on barcodes and QR codes to find more information about products as well as related products. More »

Google Spaces
Screenshot of Google.com/Spaces

Maybe you already use Google Drive and Gmail to connect and collaborate with others on all sorts of stuff, but you probably didn't know that Google also has a dedicated tool made just for small group sharing. Google Spaces is a tool that you can use to create a new space for a group, invite who you want into them, have conversations based on what you share and find anything easily that was previously shared.

Similar to Trello, Google Spaces uses a card-based layout to keep it simple, functional and easy to use. And the best part is that you can use it from the regular desktop web plus take advantage of the handy-dandy iOS and Android apps for when you need to collaborate with others while you're on the go. (There's also a Chrome extension!) More »

Google Forms
Screenshot of Docs.Google.com/Forms

Many people are already very familiar with Google Docs, Google Sheets and even Google Slides in Google Drive, but do you know about Google Forms? It's just one other amazing tool that's somewhat hidden beneath all the others, which you can access in your Google Drive account by clicking the More option whenever you go to create a new type of file.

Google Forms makes it ridiculously easy to create surveys, questionnaires, multiple choice quizzes, subscription forms, event registration forms and more that you can share via a share Google link or embed anywhere on a website. You also get to see the information you collect in an organized analytics format that allows you to get close up to the details and a bigger picture glimpse of your responses. More »

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Google Duo
Screenshot of Duo.Google.com

One of the most frustrating things about video messaging apps is that there are too many that require a certain device or an and corresponding user account. Want to to FaceTime with someone? You're out of luck if the person you want to FaceTime with doesn't have an iPhone! Love Snapchat's video call feature? Good luck video chatting with your mom if you have to first instruct her on how to create a Snapchat account.

Google Duo is a simple one-to-one video calling app that just requires a phone number to get started and access to your contacts to see who else is using Google Duo. Tap a contact name to instantly call them. The app uses Wi-Fi or your data plan to bring video to the forefront on its super simple, super intuitive interface so you can talk and see each other face to face in real time. More »

Google Wallet
Screenshot of Google.com/Wallet

When it comes to shopping online, sending money to someone, or receiving money from someone, it helps to keep it as simple and as easy as possible. Google Wallet works with any debit or credit card, allowing you to securely send money online (even via your mobile devices through the official app for iOS or Android) to someone just by knowing their email address or phone number. You can also request money through Google Wallet and have it automatically transferred to your bank account.

Google Wallet can help take the pain out of splitting restaurant bills, pitching in with others to buy a gift, planning a group trip and so much more. And if you use Gmail, you can easily attach money using Google Wallet to pay for something via a simple email message. More »

Inbox by Gmail
Screenshot of Google.com/Inbox

If you're a fan of Gmail, then you'll love Inbox by Gmail — a tool Google developed based on everything known about how people use Gmail. It's a slick, visual platform that makes it easy to view, organize, and respond to your email messages both on the web and on mobile devices with apps available for both iOS and Android.

In addition to making Gmail a lot easier to manage, other tools like reminders, bundles, highlights and a "snooze" button are worked into Inbox in a way that combines email management with other important tasks and organizational features. While there may be a slight learning curve to getting to know the platform and all it has to offer, going back to plain old Gmail would probably be out of the question once you're familiar with how Inbox works. More »

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