You know that moment when, you use Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Calendar, and you simply can’t remember which one you used to create or send a document or a note? This usually means that you’ll have to perform searches in each app and this adds up time and frustration, especially when you’re on a tight deadline.
To eliminate this, Google introduced integrated search which is a great feature that allows you to perform a search over several G Suite cloud services . This feature is integrated into both G Suite Basic and Business (formerly known as Google for Work) and allows you to perform integrated search in Gmail, Drive, Google Calendar, Groups, or the web.
One small note: You may already be familiar with the concept as Google Drive already allows for a similar search for any documents or files (not emails), but you have to be in the app in order to use it. It doesn’t work otherwise.
The integrated search feature is based on some of the most recent technologies developed by Google and its main purpose is to save users’ time. It is also a feature that adapts to your search needs and the type of services you have enabled for your domain. So, just to give you an example of how this would work, think about a business manager that works with both Gmail and Google Drive to create proposals. If you’re working with a regular customer and you want to search your history and see previously sent information, but you don’t know which app you used, you must perform a search in two places. Now, if you add Google Calendar notes to the mix, you understand how time consuming this thing is. With integrated search, you perform a single search to find previously sent documents, information in emails, and even similar documents created by colleagues that they shared with you. This way you avoid doing work that’s already been done and reinventing the wheel.
Ninja tip: Google Drive has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) turned on by default. This technology is used on non-editable files like PDFs and photos to identify words that will also appear in your search results. For instance, if you take photos of your receipts and upload them to Google Drive as a jpeg, it will be a lot easier to search for them using keywords than scrolling through several hundred images. The keyword can be the name of a product on your receipt or anything else you find important.
Gmail recently released this feature too so attachments or embedded images in emails can appear in searches however this is not enabled by default. We always recommend our customers to enable this feature so they can get better search results in Gmail and Google Drive.
How to configure OCR settings in Gmail
If you want to know how to enable OCR settings in your Gmail account, follow the steps below.
Keep in mind: You may need your Google partner or the person who manages your Google accounts to do this as regular users don’t have access to the Google admin console.
- Sign in to the Google Admin console (you can see here how to do it)
- Once you have access to Dashboard, access Apps > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings.
- Find the Organizations section, and highlight the domain or the organizational unit for which you want to configure settings.
- Find the Optical character recognition (OCR) setting and check the box to turn it on.
With this setting on in both Gmail and Google Drive and with the integrated search feature, your work will become a lot smoother. In the end, with all the changes that happened with Google and its business niche this year, this is one of the coolest features.