The adoption rate of Google Apps continues to rise. Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Gmail, Sites and many more tools are steadily rising, but still surprisingly slow. When people learn what they can do they can't believe they have not been using them all along.
Google is one of the foremost leaders at giving away "cool stuff" for free. Every day people ask themselves, "Wow, I really don't have to pay for this?". The problem is that they offer so much it's hard to keep people informed and focused on what is there.
Every day more diverse groups find ways to collaborate with Google tools. Many Charlotte business and colleges use them, including UNCC faculty and students. Families, religious groups, college alumni groups, businesses, PTAs, even stay-at-home moms find creative ways to utilize many of the tools to be more effective. Why? Because the tools are good, and it's all stored on the web for the entire group to access. And...it's free.
Even in business, a 2009 IDC study revealed that in 2010 27% of all businesses will use Google Apps in their business, up from 6% in 2007.
Here's a sample of what's out there for the taking:
Google Docs / Spreadsheets / Presentations
Basically a free online Microsoft Office (without many of the MS bells and whistles) including word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. What's more, it's all stored on your own online hard drive where you can now store any kind of document or file. Free...
One of the most popular online email programs today, Gmail has mastered the concept of storing emails in "conversations", connecting all related messages. It also gives almost 10GB of storage space. Free...
An online calendar where you can have multiple calendars for youself or shared with anyone else. For example, families can create "Family Calendars" where they store the family's birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, etc. and give all family members access to see and edit it on their account. Free...
A dedicated, private group site where the members of the group can post discussions, store shared documents or files, create website pages, and have a single group email address where anyone in the group can email the entire group with one address. Free...
An easy to use website creator where you can start with templates and create and customize your own websites, all hosted on Google servers. Free...
For anyone that wants their browser to open one web page showing them all their favorite stuff to see at one time, iGoogle is for them. With "Gadgets" that do almost anything for you on your page, the possibilities are endless. Free...
And since there are too many freebies to talk about here, you can also check out Knol, Blogger, Desktop, Earth, Goog411, Toolbar, Sketchup, Talk, Translate, Mobile Apps, and Maps (just to name a few).