20 Must Have Features for Google Docs Workflow

Many businesses are adopting Google Apps for Work for seamless collaboration. However, just using Google Apps for Work as email service is a waste of great opportunities. Google has great ecosystem where you can harness the power of your existing employee information. You can install various productivity tools on top of Google Docs and Google Drive to boost work efficiency.

But when it comes to Workflow Function for Google Docs/Drive, there is no suitable solution you can use in Google Apps for Work. For those who want to design structured workflow in Google Docs and Google Drive, Collavate can be the right solution for you. It leverages Google Drive as a repository and augments Google Docs with document approval features and other efficiency enhancing features.

(www.collavate.com) is a cloud-based document management application that focuses on efficient workflow management with approval processes, tagging, and document centralization. Google Apps and Gmail users can start using Collavate by simply logging in to Collavate with their Google accounts.

Your document workflow processes for Google Docs and Google Drive can be made easy by the following features of Collavate:

1. Initiate Workflow Process using Google Docs or any file in Google Drive. When you use Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides for collaboration, you may want to design more structured workflow for collaborative document review and record. After editing the same document with your teammates, you can submit (share) the document to those who will review, comment, and approve (or reject). Even when files are not in a Google document format, they can still be processed and approved by reviewers.

2. Workflow within Google Docs and Google Sheets. Collavate Add-on from Google Docs and Google Sheets add-on store extends the usability of workflow features. It will enable you to quickly start the review/approval process in your Google Docs and Google Sheets, and save time to catch up with changes on the document made by teammates.

3. Fast Document Creation with Templates. Google does not provide templates, but Collavate does. With Collavate, you can easily save Google documents (you can upload Microsoft Office documents as well) as Templates, for individual use and shared use. When creating document that are frequently used – such as an expense report, vacation request form, purchase order – you can save time spent to formatting and adding people who collaborate together.

4. Document Centralization – Ownership Transfer of Documents to the Company. When you process documents or files, the ownership of those files is automatically transferred to Document Manager’s account. With this feature, your organization can prevent unwanted document security related incidents and maintain the continuity of document management regardless of changes in personnel.

5. Flexible Permission Settings: Originators can give editing permission or just comment and viewing permissions to reviewers.  Also, an originator and reviewers can maintain initial access to the document as an editor after processing the document according to originator’s settings.  

6. Submit Documents to Everyone with Email Accounts. As Google Docs gives you an ability to share a document with any user with an email ID, so does Collavate. The originator can submit files not only to colleagues within a company, but also to outside users such as clients, partners, and customers who will review and approve the document.

7. Categorize Documents in Workflow Process. Users can assign categories to documents when they submit them for processing, making it easy to organize, identify and access the documents. Administrators can create and edit these categories to suit their organization.

8. Save Frequently Used Reviewers as My Favorite. If you teammates whom you frequently share documents with, you can save them in Collavate as a Favorite Reviewers. After you register the Favorite, you will be able to click on a list and retrieve teammates without putting same input multiple times.

9. Two Ways to Design Workflow – Parallel and Serial Approval Processes. You can have multiple people at a workflow process step whether it is a parallel or serial review process. Under parallel approval request, there are two options of requiring consent or just one out many. As for the big picture, serial approval process enables a sequential procedure where the previous process step has to be completed before it can proceed to the next.

10. Multiple File workflow. When you want to share a document with multiple files together, such as images or PDFs as a reference, you might have been sending email with attachments. In Collavate, you can  process up to four documents and files together. When reviewers check those multiple documents, they appear as a thread so reviewers easily recognize how those files are connected to each other.

11. Undo submitted document or Edit submitted documents. You can edit or cancel the approval process if the process has not been finished by reviewers. When you edit the approval process, you can either delete a reviewer who has not yet approved the document, or add other reviewers in the workflow. If you would like to cancel the approval process, you can simply do that by resetting the process.

12. Reminder. After processing (submitting) documents, some reviewers may not review them during the absence, or due to heavy workloads. In that case, users can send an automatic email for reminder to the current reviewers in the workflow. This feature can be also applied to the domain level, according to the settings of an administrator with a custom message.

13. White Labeling/Menu customization. Almost all of the menu names in Collavate can be renamed to meet the needs of a specific industry. For instance, If you don’t like the term “approve/decline” for our document approval process, you can change it to “review/reconsider” or anything that better fits your intended use.

14. Automatic Numbering on Documents: When documents are submitted for review, they are “stamped” with information such as date, team name, sequential numbers, and  more. This allows electronic documents to be stacked in order, which will relieve the burden for document management.  

15. Enjoy Workflow on mobile devices, Get Work Done Everywhere. Collavate is fully  compatible with all kinds of mobile devices such as Android, iPhone, and Tablets. When you receive requests for document review on mobile, you can review and pass them to upper levels right away to shorten the lead time to make the important decision.

Collavate 2.png

[Collavate Mobile Version]

16. Create Triggered Workflow after document are approved.CC and Group CC the documents: Once your documents are reviewed, the documents will be shared with an individual or a Group (Google Group) with viewing only privileges. Not having to email your documents separately will save you time and increase your work efficiency.

17. Approve with Digital Signature – PDF Document with Approval History. With the click of a button, a document turns into a PDF file that contains a cover page showing  information such as approval history with digital signature of reviewers, document URLs. Also, creating a PDF version of a document allows for the preservation of the document’s format and prevents possible formatting issues when printing directly from a document.

[Approve with Digital Signature – Publish as a PDF Document with Approval History]

18. Tagging. This feature, unavailable in Google Drive, enables users to manage and access their documents more easily. Tags can be created by an individual that are marked grey, and by an administrator that are marked yellow in the tag library. When users select tags in the tag library, only the documents with selected tags are listed.


19. Filter Processed Documents by Workflow Status

You can filter the processed documents by their status. The big category being [My received], [Draft], [My Sent] and [Reference]. You can see the documents that you received, and draft documents that are not yet submitted, and the documents you submitted respectively. Using this filtering feature, you can easily organize the documents in a neat fashion.

20. Approve a document for someone who is absent. A reviewer can approve the document in place of a higher level reviewer according to the administrator’s setting. When a reviewer click on a “Approve for Everyone”, it completes the approval process by turning all status of reviewers in upper process lines as “Approved”.

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