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April 18, 2022

GSuite & Finding Your Sweet Spot with Dara Sklar


Looking for more time in your day to be productive? Then this episode is a must listen! 

There are exponential time savings when you do things more efficiently and set technology up to work for you. In this episode, Kristina sat down with Dara Sklar, the go-to Google gal, to discuss GSuite and all the ways it can be customized to help you get some time back in your day and be more efficient. There is even a FREE PDF of the Top 40 Time Saving Google Hacks to our listeners… so make sure you tune in! We promise if you take the time now to set up and customize, it will create more time for running your business… and will be worth the effort!

Dara Sklar is a business, marketing, AND productivity expert who helps you get more value out of the tech tools you're already using (and paying for)! She specializes in Google Tools like Gmail, Google Drive, Chrome, and Google Workspace.

Timestamps:
• [14:31] “One of the things that I find people are very resistant to and completely understandably because I am too… is taking time to save time.”
• [17:41] “We set our technology up to work for us. And that's, I think, just a really good thing to prioritize, especially in a small business, where we are so reliant on the things that we only we can do…”
• [20:04] Dara speaks of the benefits of cloud-based storage and its sharing capabilities. 
• [36:42] Dara shares that you can start now, wherever you are, with organizing your files to be more efficient and offers some helpful tips to get you there.

For more information on The Ring The Bling And All The Things Podcast, visit: https://www.ringblingallthethingspodcast.com/

 
Kristina Stubblefield
Coaching & consulting: https://kristinastubblefield.com/
Website: https://www.ringblingallthethingspodcast.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theringtheblingandallthethings
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theringtheblingandallthethings/

The Ring The Bling And All The Things Community Platform: https://www.ringblingallthethings.com/

Guest Information
Dara Sklar
Website: https://withdara.com
Facebook: https://facebook.com/withdara
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darasklar/
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/darasklar

Get the Top 40 Time Saving Google Hacks PDF Here

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Transcript

Kristina Stubblefield  0:00  
Looking for more time in your day to be productive, then this episode is a must listen, I sat down with Dara Sklar, the go to Google Gal to discuss GSuite and all the ways it can be customized to help you get some time back in your day and be more efficient. There is even a free PDF of the top 40 time saving Google hacks to our listeners. So make sure to tune in. 

You're listening to a Business Booster episode of The Ring The Bling And All The Things podcast. My name is Kristina Stubblefield. I'm a technology consultant, marketing strategist, business coach, and in the past a wedding vendor. In these podcast episodes, I'm providing impactful, easy to implement solutions and strategies for efficient workflow and business growth. Now, let's dive in to this episode. 

I am so excited to have today's guest on with me. Anybody that knows me knows me knows that I'm a technology person. I love the tools, the gadgets, all the things. But today's guest I think is going to reel it in a little bit. Because you can have all these gadget or tools, or in my case, you can have GSuite, and not be very productive with it. I'd like to introduce you to Dara, thank you so much for coming on and being a guest. Well,

Dara Sklar  1:27  
thank you for tracking me down and inviting me.

Kristina Stubblefield  1:32  
Yes, so very quickly. I met Dara, just by purchasing a program of hers in 2021 May be the beginning of 2021. And I will share before she introduces herself. Within just a minute or two in. I had this moment where I was like, How did I not know that this was an option? In my Gmail? How did I not know that Dara? Before we hop in, please take just a minute and introduce yourself to our audience.

Dara Sklar  2:05  
For sure. So I'm Dara Sklar, your token Canadian. So I have a slightly different accent than my friend Kristina. And during the pandemic, I was, you know, a little bit antsy a little bit bored and decided that I would finally realize my dream of putting a course together. And I had dabbled in a couple of different course creations. And finally found, and I can tell the story a different time. But I finally found the thing that was going to be a heck yes, for people the product that was going to fly off the shelf, so to speak. And what I had, what I chose to do was actually teach people how to use the tools that they already have, which is all of the tools it's associated with Gmail, that would be drive and calendar and chrome and Gmail itself. Because those are the tools that have been running in the backend of my business for the last 15 years. And I, the moment I slapped the word Google on my course, I had people signing up for the waitlist, banging down my door. And then once I released the course, people like you coming out of the woodwork and you know, giving amazing reviews. And so I, you know, have been called the Google Queen and the go to Google gal. And here I am on your podcast. So thank you again for having me.

Kristina Stubblefield  3:24  
Absolutely. And, okay, I'm definitely geeking out because I love sharing with people tips. One of the very first things that I was like, How did I not know about labels and highlighting in the email? Honestly, I have showed up when I have worked with clients. And they feel like they're overwhelmed in their inbox. And it just comes up in our topic of talking about digital marketing and their systems and processes. I have shown that to at least three people probably since the first of the year. And you would have thought I gave them a Christmas present. The smallest little help the smallest little piece inside your software can make a big difference. Productivity organization, so many things.

Dara Sklar  4:20  
Have you ever heard the expression you don't know what you don't know?

Kristina Stubblefield  4:23  
I say that all the time. Well, I find oil I say they don't know what they don't know or you don't know what you don't know. And it's it changed my life. My husband, he's like, What is all that color going on? In your email? And I was like, that's all my email accounts coming into one inbox says isn't it pretty? And he's like, No, not at all.

Dara Sklar  4:47  
What I love about the tools, you know, tools like Google is that they're so common. They're so pervasive that the tool itself is built for the masses, which means that it's built for everyone to use it in the way that They understand email or technology or even their computer. And everybody it's like, you know, every Gmail account, there's probably a billion of them. And they're all snowflakes, every one of them is completely unique because of the way that each individual sets their own system up. And what I have found in teaching this course, like literally have about 3500 students at the time of this recording, have gone through the program. And what I find the biggest aha that people get is that they can make it custom to themselves. So they can go and oh, well, I'm going to add the stars that I use regularly in this sequence, I'm going to look color my labels, and I'm going to color my calendar, and I'm going to put my signature below my emails instead of at the bottom of the thread, or I'm going to lay it out so that I don't have a promo tab and I do see every email that comes in, like there's so many ways that you can customize every step of the way. And I think people, they sign up for something, they start using it, and then they kind of end up status quo. Like they don't question it, they don't push the boundaries. And this is where I love that expression of like, you don't know what you don't know, because the Ha's that I'm getting from my students in my course are, I didn't know you could do that. And the like the joy that comes out of people just like you from discovering the ways that they could use it to be more efficient. And like one of my favorite tag lines, when I do my marketing is something along the lines of like, based on the tools you're using and paying for, you know how to use these tools better. And, and it's just, you know, as you say, exactly, as you said, just the consistent response I get is that the customization of that tool for your personality to write, it's not, we're not all the same, we're not all the same. And it's a shame, if you look at any tool and thinks that you have to use it exactly as they give it to you out of the box.

Kristina Stubblefield  6:55  
And that was so interesting. You made that comment right before we started recording. And I thought to myself, you that is a really valid point. How many people listening have really went into G Suite, or even their Gmail and went through the settings? There's so many options in there. I've had many people asked me about I wish I could turn an auto responder on in my email. You can, it's just called I think they

Dara Sklar  7:23  
Vacation Responder vacation at the bottom of the step settings.

Kristina Stubblefield  7:28  
Honestly, I don't want to say if you can think it, it does it. But there is a lot of things to utilize in your business. That is there. You just have to go into the settings in some of that. And I'm gonna say from what you just said, I wrote down 10 podcast episode topics, like, I'm not sure how we're going to cover it all. But what you just said, I want to circle back around because this comes up a lot. When I have conversations or I speak or teach about email marketing. You said the promotions tab? Yeah, will you just share a little bit more about that, because what I heard you say was, you can have all your email come in, it doesn't have to go to the tab.

Dara Sklar  8:13  
Yeah, you can customize your inbox, there's I've seen so many ways. Personally, I keep my inbox somewhat sacred. So I don't want, you know, dozens I know some people who say that they get hundreds and hundreds of promotional emails a day. That's not me that doesn't fit with my personality, that's too much noise for me, people whose email lists I want to stay on, I set up a filter. So it's like an automation, where when somebody's email comes in, it just archives it automatically, which means I'm still on their list, I can still go search through their emails, I don't feel like I'm completely, you know, ditching them. But I'm also not being bothered by whatever volume of emails that they're sending. And the way that my inbox is set up is just that I only have one, all my emails come into one tab, there are ways that you can, you know, I think by default, it actually comes as inbox social and promotions. And I just don't want to miss it out. I either want either want it or I don't want to be on the list. Or I either want it or I want to stay on the list. But I'll archive those emails. And it's kind of making me think of a second thing that I was very surprised to find that people don't understand about archiving. So I'm actually going to back up a second say that the fundamental you know, we all talk, we all talk, we use Google as a verb, right? And what is what do we use Google to express? We're talking about searching. So if you look at the fact that Gmail is founded, like the foundational element of Gmail is search, it means that you can always find what you're looking for, especially if you properly use things like stars, which is not the way probably probably most people know or use them. And I'll tell you about it in a second. If you use labels. And if you just understand that the Advanced Search gives you so much flexibility and being able to find anything that you don't need to leave things in your inbox. So I find a lot of people, they'll leave, like, you know, hundreds, if not 1000s of emails, and then they go scrolling through to look for it. And I, there's some of us who have come over from the days of using something like Outlook, you know, we're old enough to be like Microsoft former Microsoft users, then were we used to sort by subject or by sender, we don't have to sort and search like with our eyes, we can use that advanced search bar, we can actually type in a search term, and we can find anything. And that means in my case, for example, I just archive anything that I'm not going to take action on. So if I need to do something with it, whether I'm replying or I'm taking some kind of action on an email, well, then I'll leave it in my inbox until I do that. But if it doesn't require me to do anything, including reading the email, I just archive it. And I just want it out of sight out of mind. I'm trying to keep that inbox precious. So I don't know if that answered the question about because it's just in your I think it's just on the gear, and then that says inbox settings. And then you can just choose how you want your inbox to look. And I was, you were talking about like looking over someone's shoulder and pointing out, oh, you can do this. And this? Well, I did the same with my dad. And he has a lot of labels now on the left hand side of his screen, and he had the chat and the meat, like big boxes that were taking up like, like the whole, like half of the left hand side, you can just turn those off. Like they don't have to sit there and take up space on your screen. And I showed that did.

Kristina Stubblefield  11:28  
Yeah. Wait, wait, you can turn that off. Yeah, you can

Dara Sklar  11:31  
just hide them. They don't need to be taking a visual space on your Gmail.

Kristina Stubblefield  11:35  
You know, our team does use the chat. Our team does. But the other one. Yes. That's precious space to me. Yeah, exactly. Okay. Oh, my goodness, so much to dive into. And we're just talking about the settings really, is all we're talking about right now, inside of Gmail, the options, you can customize it to how you like to handle your email, sort your email, organize your email, that's the best thing is you can use it out of the box. But you can customize it.

Dara Sklar  12:12  
Exactly. And again, coming back to the you don't know what you don't know. So I want to just pause for a quick second. And I am going to tell you guys that I actually have a PDF, that is the top 40 Google hacks you'll wish you'd been using all along. And I'm gonna use m g. Oh, yeah, it's great. I've gotten such like such rave reviews on this. They're like, I had my coffee,

Kristina Stubblefield  12:38  
Instagram. I see Instagram stories coming for days.

Dara Sklar  12:42  
My My coach said to me when I showed it to her because I was like sending for her for her approval. She was like, oh, I want top 40 For every one of the Google tools. I'm like, No, this took me long enough to put together but it's really good. It's like, you know, 40 pages, each one with a little explanation of how to do something. And there's an accompanying blog post, if you want to like go and read in more detail in a more casual, less bullet pointed environment. So what I'm going to do, Christina is I'm going to give a URL that will read after the this is recorded, we'll get we'll make sure this directs to that PDF with your with your affiliate link.

Kristina Stubblefield  13:20  
I'll put it in with the show notes for the podcast episode. But then also, we will also include something out on our social media about it as well. Absolutely, yeah. Yeah.

Dara Sklar  13:32  
So we could awesome, we can take like with dara.com/bling. And make sure that that directs to the PDF for your audience.

Kristina Stubblefield  13:39  
Awesome. Okay, that will be great. So take time to digest those 40 items on that list

Dara Sklar  13:48  
one at a time, just because

Kristina Stubblefield  13:51  
you might write, you might get through three of them. And you're like, oh my gosh, like, just mind blown. Take time to digest those in, I'm guilty of this myself, you know, you get introduced to something new. And you're kind of all over the place going through all of them. So yes, take time to digest them, because they can probably make a huge impact in your business, your productivity, your organization, all of that kind of stuff. So that's awesome. Thank you so much. Yeah,

Dara Sklar  14:18  
for sure. I think that one of the things that especially I mean, I talk about productivity a lot because the angle of my course, is being more productive and using the tools that you're already using those Google tools that we've already talked about. Well one of the things that I find people are very resistant to and completely understandably because I am too is taking time to save time. So I know for example that if I take the time to set myself up for success the next time I do this task that I hate doing that it'll take more time this time but it will save me time next time and I'm always so resistant and I like I kick myself. Oh Dara, why are you why are you resisting this you know you know better you know that if you set up This template, you know that if you copy and paste this thing you say every time into, you know, did you know that in Gmail, there's actually saved templates where you can actually pre populate, you know, all the things you all the standard things you send out, you can create templates in Gmail. So there's all these little things that we can do today. That will take a tiny bit more time today. But we'll save you time over and over and over and over and over again. And so every one of the items on that top 40, Google hacks you'll wish you'd been using along all along, every single one of them, you take the time to read it, you test it out, you make sure you know how it works. And then it becomes just part of your nature and your part of your day to day. And then that saves you time over and over and over again. But it's the mental block between taking the time to learn something that will save you time over and over again, that I find a lot of people struggle with. So I'm calling that out because I think it's a great topic overall. And also, perhaps we'll break down some people's resistance to like, oh, not yet another thing I have to learn or read, because the reality is, we're all in that we can all get stuck in that. But it's worth worth worth the effort. And not just not just because it's mine.

Kristina Stubblefield  16:09  
Yeah, the other thing is, I have to say, I'm definitely guilty of this. Oh, this will be awesome. I'm not going to implement it this week, though. It's so many things are going on. I'm going to wait till next week. And guess what, next week comes and goes next month comes and goes. And I do think it's important to, you know, implement on your own timeframe. But don't constantly put it to the backburner because, oh, gosh, now, Christina, she was on here. And now she's told me I need to do something else. And it's always on your own timetable. I have been so guilty about putting things off, then I forget about it. And then I kicked myself, because six months later, oh, okay, I'm going to implement that. That could have saved me an hour a week, if I just did it. And I think you're exactly right is you have in your mind, it's going to take me more time every day right now. But you're not seeing the end result be, I'm going to get back an hour or two a week of my time to use on something else. So don't let that trip you up, it can seem like you're adding something else to your plate. But that is a small price to pay for the results, you're going to reap the benefits you're going to reap day in and day out in the future.

Dara Sklar  17:30  
Totally. That's exactly it, it's the exponential time savings when you learn to do something more efficiently. And, you know, you and I are both a little bit nerdy, and we love our technology. And we set our technology up to work for us. And that's, I think, just a really good thing to prioritize, especially in a small business, where we are so reliant on the things that we only we can do, you know, there's, there's a long list of the things that only I can do. And other things, I can outsource. But if I, if I can make my time more free and more available, or even my bandwidth, I don't know, like, I think that's a whole another another great Avenue, which is when you get stuck searching for some file that you know you've saved, or, you know, just you end up going off the path, it's like pulling over to the side of the road to check directions. And so you're not still traveling forward. And so you're getting there slower, like the the efficiencies that we can create for ourselves, also help us stay in the zone. And I urge people to to learn to, I don't know, use the search, for example, use the search inside of Google Drive or use Google Drive in the first place so that they can then create the systems and find their files easily. Or, I mean, it kind of depends on what industry you're in. But we were talking about the wedding professionals and sharing sharing data inside of the cloud based storage like Google Drive, and just how valuable that can be, and potentially how scary it can be to

Kristina Stubblefield  19:07  
well, and I think that's something the listeners may not know. And I'm so glad that you've brought this topic up. And I'm going to put this out there. This can this. What we're going to talk about has to do with Google Drive. But this can also be the case with other sharing programs. I also use Dropbox. So what we're getting ready to talk about I know where we're going. As wedding professionals, I'll give an example. You probably get event photos from photographers or videos from videographers. Or maybe you have someone on your team that takes pictures at your events. And if you're not the one that downloads them and puts them in your Google Drive, pay close attention, because if you go off of the link, the dropbox link or the Google Live link that someone send you. And I'm going to let you take it from there.

Dara Sklar  20:04  
Okay. So when you are using cloud based storage, one of the benefits and the reasons that we come to using cloud based storage is not just the security of being able to pick up from any device. It's also because of the sharing capabilities, I can open up a folder and let anybody who is signed into their Google account drop items into that folder. And I'm going to use my own example, from when I was creating my course. And I had a video editor off of Fiverr, some guy in the Philippines did a great job editing, the videos, and so on. And when he was finished with the editing, and we approved it, he would take a zipped file with all of the assets and drop it into my folder. And what I realized, and I didn't even know this, even though I was the one creating the course. So I had to, I mean, I figured this out early enough that it is taught inside of the Google Drive module. But what was happening was that he was still the owner of the zip file, even though I owned the folder, my folder, my Google Drive my Google account, I opened it up to him, he drops the file in, and it shows him as the owner. And what does that mean? That means that if he closes his account, if he decides to purge his files, if he decides to stop paying for storage, or even just to like, go through and delete, he can go and even though it's in my folder, even if I take away access from him, he still owns that data. Now. So there's advantages and disadvantages to this. The The advantage is that when you have something like Dropbox, or OneDrive, and I'm going to use these as examples, because they are very common programs, we probably all have them to some extent, even if that's not our primary storage facility or online storage facility. But something like Dropbox, if you and I are working together, and you have the free version of Dropbox, and I have the paid version. So you have two gigabytes, and I have two terabytes, and I share a photo set or video set with you. You can't see them in your Dropbox account, if you don't have the storage capacity in your account. So Dropbox does something where they're basically double dipping on the storage capacity they're taking, if it's something that's like, I don't know, five gigs of storage, there's five gigs from my account, and five, get five gigs from your account. Now Google Drive doesn't do it that way, Google Drive only takes the storage from the person who owns the file, which in and of itself, as long as you know, and understand that is actually very valuable as a as a way that things work. Because it means you don't have to have people with paid storage. You know, they don't have to have upgraded their storage capacity of their application in order to participate in sharing things with you. But the downside, and this is why I'm telling you this because I think it's super important that everybody should understand this is that that thing that they've dropped in belongs to them. So the the solution, first of all, is to know that. The second part is, once you're done collaborating, make your own copy. So what I went and did was I went through every single folder that he had dropped files into, and I checked that I had made a copy of the thing that he had put in there, all I had to do is right click, make a copy. And then making a copy makes me the owner of that copy. And if I remove his version, or his thing from my folder or not, doesn't make a difference. But that copy belongs to me. And if he deletes his Google account, I am protected. And I still have all of my content. So one of the things that you were saying to me, Christina, before we hit record was that one of your favorite modules was the Google Drive module in which there is a I think it's four different lessons that are called the Google Drive purge fest. And what I'm urging you to do is essentially audit, what do you have inside your Google Drive, because before we were ever aware that we should maybe keep it a little bit organized, or have some kind of semblance of order in there. We have been accumulating stuff. And I was guilty of this before I ever really dug into Google Drive in order to teach this course. But we all just have a whole lot of stuff in there, including all kinds of things that have been dropped into shared folders, or links that we have clicked on. I noticed there were things in there where I had paid a copywriter to write a bunch of copy for me, she was still the owner of the files. Yes, she had shared them with me. But the project was long since over and she was still the owner. So the number one takeaway, if anything, if you take away anything more than just know that the owner of the file could be someone else, even though you have the ownership of the folder. The number one thing I want you to know is that when you're finished working on a project with someone, make sure that you own those files that you own the assets at the end of that doesn't mean they have to transfer ownership to you. All it means is that you're making your own copy. Hey, we're done collaborating, make your copy, cover your own butt basically

Kristina Stubblefield  24:59  
Absolutely. And there's a couple things I'll add to that. If you have a team, I always encourage people, I know there's a lot of people out there that do free Gmail accounts, always encourage people to do G Suite. The price right now, at the time of this recording, I believe the basic one is I $6 a month. And I think the other one is $12 per person. And I think the other one is $12 a month, I believe, per person. And the reason I'm mentioning this is if you have a team, and let's say for some reason, five years down the road, someone's not on your team anymore. And for us, our team, anytime they do stuff, they do it from their business, Gmail, or G Suite account. Um, because if you have a personal one, too, you need to pay attention what's in the top right corner which account you're in. But if for some reason, that person is not on your team anymore, and you go to get rid of that user in G Suite, you get the option to copy over, or have those files transferred to another user,

Dara Sklar  26:13  
you can absorb all the content that your departing employee has, as opposed to them creating a free Gmail account and kind of parting with your content.

Kristina Stubblefield  26:25  
Right, because as you've just said, if they done this work for you, if they're using her copywriter, your social media person, your assistant, whoever they are, and they've done work for you, and put pictures, files, videos, whatever in there. And then they're gone. I really like that feature in G Suite of you get to determine this is the user that should absorb all of these files and ownership of that. And for those out there that may be growing their businesses or thinking about adding team members? Yes. Does it cost money? Yes, it does. But the little amount of money that it costs in the grand scheme of things, whether people come and go, you have access to your own business content. And I have a lot of people ask me free or paid paid without question. So I think this is going to surprise some people. I've had even people say to me, Well, I'll create the folder, you put stuff in there. And that doesn't change anything. As far as Google Drive goes, I'm the one putting it in there. It's still my asset, not you paid me to do something for you, and I'm giving it to you. But should I clean up my Google Drive and delete your folder because our project was done a year ago, that would, if you don't make a copy of it, those those assets are going to be gone. And no one did anything on purpose. They were decluttering or they were cleaning up. So I'm so glad you talked about the ownership and copying. Because for wedding professionals, there's a lot that goes on about shared assets, content, things like that. And this is a big conversation, because you talk about one or two or three events a weekend for a business times 52 weeks in a year, you're talking about a good amount of storage. And if they don't realize, and they just think it's in their folder, it's going to be there. I think this is a really valuable tip. And I know that this can be a lot to take in what we're saying. But the point of talking about this is, if it's something you think you have, when you go to get access to it a year or two years, however long, six months down the road, three weeks, we want that asset to be there for you.

Dara Sklar  28:49  
Yeah, and you also, you know, it's once it's gone, it's gone. And especially if you don't know when it disappeared, it's not easy to recover. So making you know, this is a very, very important aspect of being in business is being certain of the content that you're creating and the assets that you're working with continue to live to live long in your in your cloud cloud based storage. I do want to just add for the audience that what you're referring to as G Suite did get rebranded and so it's called Google workspace, a lot of people still call it G Suite. And in fact, when I named my course, which was which is called get productive with G Suite. I actually named it full knowing that Google had changed their name. And I was trying to find a way not to use the word Google in the title of the course but in a way that people would recognize. So I left it as saying G Suite. But I just want to clarify for anybody wondering whether Google workspace is the same thing as what you're talking about. Yes, it is. And I want to also just slightly go on a tangent to say that yes, of course you can get free Gmail, free Gmail. Everybody has it. But how professional does it look to have your to be handing out doing marketing and have your business email at Gmail? dot com versus at your domain. And it's such an inexpensive in the grand scheme of all the all of the money we spend or waste, it is like one of the least expensive things. And it is the biggest bang for your buck that you can get. And I will add as well, that you can have the the lowest tier like that $6 A month plan for per inbox. And you can upgrade just one of your users. So in my account, I pay for six users. And let me let's not talk about it. But there was only two of us in my business. But I have six inboxes. And I did try and pare down. And at one point, I accidentally deleted my YouTube channel. So let's again really not talk about that. But I was trying to save money. What I want to say, though, is that I have six users and I pay $6 a month per user, actually, it's $7.80, because I'm in Canada, so Canadian dollars, but I pay for extra storage just for one Google Drive, because that's the one that I use that has the most stuff in it. So you don't have to pay the inflated like I don't have to pay $12 a month for all six users just to have more storage. So I pay I think it's like 140 for the one inbox to have one or two terabytes I can't remember. And then I just pay my monthly fee. So I just want to clarify, because I think there's like always the resistance when people are like, Oh, not something more to spend money on. And I feel like this is one of those like foundational elements, that is just a no brainer, yes. Because you get the professional email address, you get the storage capacity for the continuity that your business needs. And like it sounds like I'm giving some kind of sales pitch for Gmail, but I'm just so passionate about it. As somebody who has been running a small business for nearly 15 years, like it's just it's been so instrumental in me being able to do what I've done with such a small team has been having that set of tools running in the background.

Kristina Stubblefield  31:49  
Well, in what you're saying, yes, it you're paying for something. But it's not just an email that you're getting, you know, there's other people out there that pay for webmail, through different host companies, or different things like that. And you get no, you don't even scratch the surface, and what you get with Dusit. And again, that Gmail, Google, Google workspace, none of them are paying us to do this episode. And I just went through this with my own account. Um, because I use a lot more storage than other team members. And that was a great thing. At first, I thought in my mind, Oh, am I gonna have to upgrade everyone? And no, when I contacted support, which by the way, is super helpful, when I contacted support, they were like, No, you don't need to do that here. It's x number of dollars a month just for that additional storage. So you're right on the money with what you're talking about. I just went through it myself. So I am going to throw my own self under the bus a little bit, I am really bad, and need to go back and declutter whatever housekeeping, we can put some fancy term in there to try to make the blow not as hard, but it doesn't matter. It is one of the last things on my list. And unfortunately, for me, I probably wouldn't have had to pay for that storage, if I would have done some housekeeping things. But my mind goes around, well, what if they didn't copy those files over? You know, I don't, you know, I don't want to cause any problems for anybody on a project that I did seven years ago. But you're really right about decluttering, finding files, and everything in, you can set up a file structure. So easy inside of drive, the way you want it, not the way I want it, or the way someone else works, you can decide, you know, for us, all of our clients have their own individual file folders. That's just how it works. But you can determine how you want that file structure set up. And the best part about it, you change your mind, it makes it really easy to move files around. And basically that cleanup process. Again, this is my own mindset causing to get in my way of. But I have these other projects going on that are more important, not my clutter that's going on in my Drive. And one thing I will share when I first started using Drive, I wasn't as good about the organizational structure, my files, my folder structure. And I would encourage anybody, whether you have one or not to really think about how you're labeling things, because what you mentioned at the beginning about the search features throughout all of the products that can really be your best friend when you're trying to find something. Yeah, I

Dara Sklar  34:37  
agree. And I think there's also this element of as we build our businesses, things evolve. And so it's actually really hard to look at the business before you've got clients before you're so busy that you're running all over the place and know what you're going to need. And so a lot of the students in my course and the people that and therefore the people that I talked to, what what I encourage them to do is actually just step back. And what do you need today? Like from now from this moment, now you know your business inside and out, you didn't know it five years ago when you started it, it kind of took its own, you know, took off on its own it went its own path and went on its own, you know, you've found its own way. And now that it is what it is, what would you do if you were starting with a clean slate today? And so I actually say, Okay, now make that clean slate for yourself, go and set up that folder structure, you didn't have to do it right from the beginning, you can do it right from today. And then you can go through and you can pay for storage instead of having to worry about doing the decluttering because storage is cheap and hoarding. Digital hoarding is okay, as long as you can find what you're looking for.

Kristina Stubblefield  35:42  
Especially if you're not sure if should I get rid of it? Do I have a backup copy of this? Exactly. It is different for every person. And I think that's one of the biggest benefits of G Suite. Its fits anyone it no matter your small business, medium business, no matter if you have just one just you as the business owner, or you have 10 You 10 team members, it can fit for anyone, and you can spend as little or as much time customizing it. But the best thing is you can do it on the go as you evolve, like you just said like, and I think we all sometimes get in our own way. Oh, I should have done that. shoulda, woulda COULDA, like I, it's okay, like it is okay. And if you need to hear that you're hearing that today, start your new file structure, move your files over as you get time. You don't have to think about well, I didn't do it from the beginning. So now I can't do it. So I think that's great advice. Yeah,

Dara Sklar  36:42  
people feel like they have to go back and clean up the whole thing from the beginning instead of just starting fresh. And I often liken it to if you were to build your dream home next door, so your whatever house you live in, directly next door is your new dream home. And it has all of the closet organizers, and garage, you know, shelving and everything you could ever possibly want an attic, or crawlspace, whatever your dream organizational system is, is all in that house next door. And you can leave all of your current stuff in the house that you have right away, like the one you're living in now, and only bring over the things you need and want and use currently. And then all you need to do is come next door if you ever need anything else. And so really what I say to my students is take all of your files that are disorganized, and dump them in one big pile, I have one called loose files, dump them all in that folder. And then create the system and structure that you want from now on without worrying about that house next door slash loose Files folder. And then start putting things away as you need them, oh, there's that file, those that project that's in the loose files folder, you go pull it the things you need, you put it where it belongs, and then you're just, you're just working with the, you know, you're you're not investing the time, or the procrastination, dreading the time that you think it's gonna take, you just start today with whatever you want to start doing. And it's like, when I said this to, there were a few people I said it to and they're like, Thank you for permission, not because I never started this project, because I thought, Oh, I'm gonna have to go clean that all up in order to move forward. And then I would never get there. Or I would dread that so much that I would never start. Nope, just start. Shove it all under the rug, start fresh, create a system that works for you and your business as they are today. And you can always just go dipping into that little archive that that data hoarding pile, which is again, it's like you have my full permission to be a data hoarder, because data is cheap. And as long as you understand how to use the search function, and you start building some habits around naming your files and folders so that you can find them more easily. Then brilliant. It's all it's all working for you.

Kristina Stubblefield  39:01  
Well, and I tell you, I know we've been talking a lot about drive. But a lot of times people talk to me about calendar. Oh, yeah. And I have a client of ours. I thought this was very interesting. They presented this to me. They actually in their calendar, they have a color coding system for where a person is in the event process. And what I mean by that, if it's an inquiry for a certain date, obviously you've got to know by dates in the event industry, they have it a color, then if it becomes like they've sent a contract out, they change the color for that date. So then if they get another inquiry on that date, they know right there Oh, that was somebody just inquired or oh, I've sent a contract out on that date, just from color coding in the calendar. That's it doesn't matter if you have a paid account or free account with Google Calendar. And when they said that to me, like they follow it through, contract, receive deposit paid final paperwork received, whatever their steps are all the way to the out boarding process. And I thought, wow, because there's four or five of them that need to see this. How smart not to overcomplicate it, everyone, everyone on their team has the calendar on their, you know, on their phone, or their tablet, wherever. And they're not sending emails back and forth. They're not texting back and forth. They're not going back and forth and say, Well, did you send out some on this date? Well, what about this, it's right there, what a powerful tool to be able to use like that in the event industry. And that's just one aspect of calendar, there's so many great features with Calendar. Well, and

Dara Sklar  40:52  
it's such a simple solution. Because you can't you don't want a double book. And it gives you an opportunity to reach out like it's just it's such that it's such a visually easy solution. And I'll just add my kind of tech take on this, which is to make sure that everybody knows that individual appointments can be recovered. So your calendar itself, like my calendar is, let's say purple, and my husband's calendar is blue. Well, if I have something like I'll put in certain appointments, and I'll change them, even though my calendar is purple, I'll change the appointment to green or I'll change another one to yellow, so on an on an appointment by appointment basis. And just just to explain, technically, what Christina's client was doing is they just were re coloring the actual appointment time not the whole calendar, the whole calendar is still whatever color it is, but the actual appointment and you don't have to change that for every one of them, just the ones that are like you know that your time blocking, but that's a really, really good idea. And it stands out, right, so like jumps off the screen, because it's a different color. So helps you stay in control. I like that a lot.

Kristina Stubblefield  41:54  
A simple solution instead of overcomplicating it or, you know, if they weren't ready to take that CRM step or that all in one business solution, that is just a quick way to, to track things. There's so many things, I do have multiple calendars myself, and one of the ones that I like to keep is for my personal, I make sure it's a completely different color than anything else, whether that be for appointments, vacation, what what that what is that word, but just wear my personal stuff is completely separate. But I can choose to see all of them, I do leave all of mine turned on. And that's an easy toggle off and on. If you only want to see calendar, me and my husband have one as well. He doesn't like to see all of mine, but he knows he can go in and turn them on to see what's going on next week or, you know, if he's talking to a client and needs to schedule something, he can have access to that. And it is great when you have multiple team members, you have an assistant, a spouse, whatever, they don't have to wait to get in contact with you to see what availability is or when was that meeting because there's an awesome search feature in Google Calendar. I know some people use Google Calendar for billing. That's how they track their billable time for clients, for whoever they do it through Google Calendar. And what an awesome tool to be able to do that. In a very, I mean, most of the time I go in and I've created something in Google Calendar in 10 seconds, it's not something that takes me a long time to do,

Dara Sklar  43:37  
I have a couple of tips for for anybody using Google Calendar, one of which is that if you are using Google Calendar with an iPhone, to actually get the Google Calendar app, simply because it will work, the functionality of it will mimic the functionality that you have on the web. Versus if you're trying to run your calendar through whatever Apple or iOS offers you it's just not quite the same. So just check out the apple, the sorry, the Google Calendar app for your, your iPhone or your iPad, or both. And the other thing is just in case anybody doesn't know this, you can have multiple calendars within your own account. And there's a couple of different examples that I can give. But I mean, we were just talking about like event space being reserved, well, event space being reserved has nothing to do with an individual's personal availability. So that so within one organization or within one Google account, you can have several different calendars that appear all under the same account. And they they can overlay or they don't have to. And I'll give you an example because I've taken a bunch of I'm in a handful of courses and masterminds and groups where there there are group calls that I want to schedule and attend, but they're not mandatory. So here you know, here we have our podcast interview and of course that's in my calendar because I obviously personally have to show up for this appointment if I have a squash match with a friend If I have to show up for that appointment, if I'm going to the gym by him, you know, whatever it is, and then there's other appointments that are kind of a little bit more loose. And so what I actually did about a year ago was I split my my events into two calendars I have like the dere has to show up calendar. And then I have the non obligatory events. And the reason I did it that way, I was actually be able to turn it off and feel less overwhelmed about my obligations. So I was able to turn off all the things that I don't have to do. And so each week when I look at my calendar coming up, and this is more of like a personal time management tip, but I look at my upcoming calendar, I turn on the non non obligatory events, which now overlays with all the commitments that I've made. And I choose which ones I'm going to attend, and I copy them to my personal calendar on a week by week basis. That way, it's not every single week that at this time in this time, and this time on Wednesdays, I'm booked or you know, like because because it can, again, it can feel overwhelming. I want to attend all these things. But also, if I ever want to get anything done in my business, I have to give myself some whitespace. So splitting those out actually gave me a real good mental sense of relief and separation from the things that I had to be turned like be, you know, tuned into, versus the things that I could actually let go of. And that was simply done by separating my calendar, I just created a new one, copied over those non obligatory from my personal to my, my non obligatory, deleted them from personal, and then I selectively put them back on. But just that I would give a little tip, not only to say you can have more than one calendar, but then an actual live example of using that that way.

Kristina Stubblefield  46:34  
I feel like we could talk for hours about this, to be honest with you. And this should should this should tell people like we've talked about just I believe three things mail drive calendar, as far as talking a little bit in detail about those, we've only scratched the surface. I mean, we really haven't dug too deep. But a couple of quick things I'll say is the contacts, the contact feature inside of G Suite is is awesome. I've used that for a long time with syncing my contacts. And also I've recently been using Google Keep more. And there's so many. We're going to need like part two and part three. And I hope when you're hearing me say that those that are listening, we're like, wow, I didn't, I'm hoping five minutes into this, you're like, oh my gosh, I did not know that these were an option. But there's so many other tools. And I know you were gonna say something go ahead.

Dara Sklar  47:33  
Oh, I was just gonna say that I love Google Keep. And moments before we had this, this recording, I was talking to a friend who I've been good friends with for about a year and a half. We've never met in person. And we're going to event an event together in two weeks. And we talked about getting T shirts made and we talked about recording each other making cute gifts. And I said, I know I have a list. Where did I put it in. And I'm like, of course I put it in Google Keep because one of the biggest suggestions that I can make is like pick one, don't have five places that you take notes, please take it from me Don't do that. Take have one primary place, maybe a secondary place, but one application that you rely on. And again, what I love about Google Keep, there's a search functionality. It's connected to my Google account. It has a lot of really cool features. And there's actually a whole module on Google Keep. And I wonder, I know you use it, I wonder if you went and you went through that module, if I would shock you with the tips and tricks because there was a lot that I I didn't I did a lot of research before teaching that module, simply because I wanted to go deeper than the things you just see at a glance. And there is so much cool stuff that you can do in there. You can draw in there, it can change. You can take screenshots of text and it will change it into OCR or I can't remember what the term is for it. But it'll it will type out the text that you've you've gotten a screenshot. But you can have labels colors, you can pin things you can search, obviously. So it's a very, very versatile note taking program. And all this is to say that I found my T shirt list inside of Google.

Kristina Stubblefield  49:09  
And it's so nice because think about it as a digital notepad. And I just want to highlight one thing you said about copying the text. Copy the text, and then it will convert it for you. Is that what you said? Yeah,

Dara Sklar  49:26  
yeah, so you just it I think the the term is I have it right here.

Kristina Stubblefield  49:33  
It's called definitely posted in my Instagram stories when this episode comes out about this.

Dara Sklar  49:38  
Yeah, I hear all that is it's called grab image text. So if you have an image tag, grab image text, you take a screenshot of something, let's say it's a testimonial, someone sends you a testimonial via messenger and you can't or you take a screenshot of it and you're like, oh well I want to retype it. You don't have to retype it. You can go and paste it in As an image into Google Keep and then choose grab image text. I'm sure there are lots of other applications that do this. But I love that that's just like one of the little bells and whistles inside a program I already use.

Kristina Stubblefield  50:11  
You don't have to download or install another app. It's right there inside of something. Exactly. Absolutely. And the other thing I'll say you'd mentioned about iPhone, I have had some people so surprised about I can use Google Photos on iPhone. Yes, yes, you can. You can use Google Calendar, keep all of those options, if you're an apple lover, and I'm not going to knock it because I originally learned on Apple computers, even before I went to Microsoft school, not going to knock it because I know there's some iPhone and Apple product lovers out there. Okay, no, nothing against you. Personally, I'm an Android user. But that's just me. You can use these tools on your device, so you can take advantage. And this is why I was really excited about this conversation. Because it's taken me in my own experience in my own business, seeing, not stopping at face value about what we've talked about. Okay, it's gonna take me two hours to put this in place. But gosh, the future you is going to be so happy that you made this decision. And these are just a few items that we talked about. And that's why and I know I'm when I first started this I've with my slang. I know I have slang. And I said Dara, but it's actually Dora. Right?

Dara Sklar  51:38  
Actually, it's neither. So you're okay, probably closer by saying Dara. Dara, you're doing just fine. Yeah, totally fine.

Kristina Stubblefield  51:46  
Okay. Well, I do have some slang. So I wanted her to share with you. I've found her program. Very valuable, very valuable. And, yes, I talked to people about being efficient. I talked to people about productivity, you know, my niche is really digital marketing systems and processes. But I don't just leave my clients when they're using 10 software's and they should be using G Suite. And I was very surprised at how much I hadn't really went in and change the settings myself, just a few items I knew. So her course. And I probably did not implement, I can tell you, I did not implement everything. And I was just thinking I need to go back and revisit it. Because I remember there being something in there about Google Keep. But and I'm gonna say Another side note about that. But I want her to share out about her course. And there will be information in the show notes. And when we post this out, absolutely. But I encourage you to go look at everything that comes with that. Because honestly, what I think you're going to find is the gift of some time back. And we all get the same seven days a week, 24 hours in a day. There's nothing more precious than time in your business and your personal. And that's what I found is some of these small things that I could implement, that I learned in this course made a big impact with me, every single day, hours, several hours in a day, I'm reusing one small tip that she shared one, one teaching that she gave in that so I just encourage you to check it out. I was so thankful she'd be come on and be a guest. The flip side of that is don't get overwhelmed, take it in bite sized chunks. And it's okay, if you can't sit down in a weekend and go through all these modules. I think she's going to sit here and say, you know, it's okay to do this over time. What implement implement is the key?

Dara Sklar  54:05  
What I was actually going to say was that the the all it is, is it's this cumulative learning. So you're basically, you know, you learn one thing, now it becomes second nature. Now you learn another thing, the way the course is structured. And I'm actually going to pause before I get into the course details and tell you that at the time of this recording, the course is actually only $37. And it is a comprehensive course. And if you want to know why it's only $37. It's because we could call it a marketing tactic. But basically, I am an unknown person to, you know, the billions and millions of people out there. And so in order to gain your trust as an expert, I have this amazing product that is a no brainer price of $37. And what the way that it's structured is I know it's like what? Well, and it's you know, when you put out Facebook ads or you're trying to sell something to strangers, you can't just ask For hundreds of dollars when they have no context. So there we go, I put out this course

Kristina Stubblefield  55:05  
it is much more valuable than $37. I can assure you

Dara Sklar  55:09  
Yeah, yes. And I'm not paying her to say this. So that's just for the record, I'm actually

Kristina Stubblefield  55:13  
going to offer to do a testimonial because it that beneficial. And again, I'm somebody that is sitting here telling you, did I implement 100%? No, should I? Well, heck, yeah, I should have. And I'm going to revisit it.

Dara Sklar  55:25  
Yeah. And the way that I've structured the course is that each tool comes in its it has its own module. So if you use any of the Google products, then you will benefit from this course, let's say you only use Gmail, you will still for the $37 price tag, go through and watch the 14 short lessons that are inside the Google Drive, or sorry, the Gmail module. And you're going to learn something and it's going to blow your mind and you're going to change the way that you are running your Gmail. But if you use multiple Google tools, well, then you can go through and one module at a time, you don't have to go and sit and learn the whole thing. And you don't have to you can implement, like you can see learn something and implement it. This is not one of those courses, where you have to sit and listen to me drone on and on. Before you can ever get started and start actually gaining back the time that I'm swearing that you're going to save. So it's just it's laid out in such a way that it's a series of lessons within each tool, like lessons within each module one module per tool. And it's kind of laid out like tutorials, but the tutorials are not focused on how to do this. It's how to save time, by learning about this feature that you probably didn't know and then setting up your system accordingly.

Kristina Stubblefield  56:39  
Well, and I'll also tell you how you have it laid out, if there's really something like I'm I'm really needing to focus in on calendar, you have it set up where you can go right to that section, you don't, you don't have to go through however many are before it, if that's something you're immediately needing help with. And I thought that that was really beneficial, even though I started at the top. And one of them that really just stuck out stuck out to me was about the declutter, or whatever it was called about the drive. I was just like, oh my gosh, she's talking directly to me, like she is in my computer and knows what in the world is going on here. But, um, this has been great. I mean, I would love to have you back at some time. I know, there's so many other things that we could talk about. And the other thing is, I can't wait to hear people's feedback about the 40. Top, I think is what top 40

Dara Sklar  57:35  
Google hacks you'll wish you had been using all along.

Kristina Stubblefield  57:39  
Now, how long did it take you to memorize that?

Dara Sklar  57:43  
I came up with the title before I came up with the 40. Because I was like, I want something that's a good hook. And so I came up with a hook. And then I created 40 of them.

Kristina Stubblefield  57:53  
Well, and I'll tell you, I can't wait. I'm going to get it myself. And I'm going to I'm already planning in my head to document some of that. Because I want to share with our audience. I am with you. I'm not perfect. I don't do everything as I should. I've heard many great things over the years. But when you talk about, I'm learning so much more about using these hacks, especially things I'm my hands are in every day. And that is email, calendar. All the above storage. Absolutely. And that's where I think that you've got to prioritize, from your own standpoint, those that are listening, wow, I am in those every day, or I am in those five times a week, whatever that answer is for you. prioritize what's most important. And I promise if you implement just a few things, from this episode, try it if you you know, if you're like, I'm not sure, just try some of the things we mentioned. And then I think you're gonna want to dive in and learn more about the course and the next steps you can take. So thank you so much for your time, I think this has been really valuable. I think that people can walk away and implement more than just a couple of things out of this episode in their own business. And if anything, I think they can feel a little bit more comfortable. about G Suite being fit, no matter how big or small your business is, no matter how many people you have. There are tools there forever a body that are customizable.

Dara Sklar  59:32  
Yeah. And I think like comfort and confidence with the technology you choose to use is so valuable and important and valuable and important. And you know, I wouldn't I had a conversation with someone yesterday who was using Outlook and she was perfectly happy with everything I said, Well, if it ain't broke, you know, just because, you know, all these features that Google workspace has, doesn't mean you have to switch because the pain of switching is going to negate you like you don't have any pain in the way that Things are set up. So I will leave us on that parting note of saying, If you're happy with how things are and things work for you and your business then don't go and chase after the next shiny object. We're not here to make make you make a make work project. But if you are using these tools or you're dabbling in these tools, then learning to use them more efficiently and more confidently, will always save you time in the long run.

Kristina Stubblefield  1:00:27  
Absolutely, now I feel like I gotta go do some housekeeping on my emails. My Drive I don't feel bad though. Because I know that I can start from a clean slate because you said I could you can. You gave permission. So anyway, thank you again so much. And you, you can connect with Dara. Now I question it every time I go to say it, you're saying it right you're playing. You can connect with Dara. We will include any social media links link to her course. The 40 hacks that she said that she would share will all be in the show notes. Or you can always find them on our website. Just go to ring bling, all the things podcast.com Thank you again for your time. Thank you so much to our listeners. If you have not already hit the subscribe button. Please do so. And if you enjoy hearing these tips and information for your business, you can always go and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform. Thanks again Dara. And until next time, everyone keep working on those businesses.

Thank you for tuning in to this Business Booster episode of The Ring The Bling And All The Things if you would like to get notified of new episodes, make sure to click the subscribe or follow button on your favorite podcast platform. For you can visit our website, ringblingallthethings.com and join our email list. We welcome any feedback you may have. From topic ideas to questions. Just click the Contact button on our website.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Dara Sklar Profile Photo

Dara Sklar

Go-to Google Gal

Dara Sklar is a business, marketing, AND productivity expert who helps you get more value out of the tech tools you're already using (and paying for)! She specializes in Google Tools like Gmail, Google Drive, Chrome, and Google Workspace.