• Lifestyle

7 Best Add-ons for Google Docs

Last week, Google launched a new marketplace for Google Docs and Sheets called "Add-ons." If you're a frequent GD user, you may have noticed the new Add-ons tab in your menu bar:

I've taken a look through the marketplace to find the best add ons for freelancers, sure to help you be more productive and make approvals easier.

Note: Although Google says that you can start using the add ons right away after installing them, I had to log out of my Google account and log back in again to get them to work. Not sure if this is true for other people, but that's what happened to me!

1. PandaDoc

This is arguably the coolest of the bunch. Rather than attaching, printing, signing, scanning, and emailing a contract or NDA (which, as a freelancer, you'll be doing a lot), PandaDoc allows you to add fields for the Name, Date, and Signature of the client to any Doc so that your client can sign and send back to you -- all without printing or scanning. The document is legally binding.

Your client does not need to have PandaDoc installed to do this. They'll just receive an email from PandaDoc with the contract inside, and they'll be able to sign it electronically.

Getting your contract signed has never been easier!

2. Letter Feed Workflows

Need to get approval on drafts? With this add-on, you can send your doc to multiple people, and they can choose to Approve or Reject your draft and leave comments. This can help automate a process that normally involves attaching Word documents to emails and lots of back and forth.

3. UberConference

If you want to edit or review a document (like a draft or contract) with someone over the phone, this will come in very useful. Just share the conference number and pin (like a normal conference call), share the Google doc, and you can see (and hear) edits happening in real time.

4. Lucid Charts

If you create project management workflows, UX mock-ups, brainstorming diagrams, or mindmaps, you can now build it in the Lucid Chart interface and put an image of it right into a Google Doc. You can even update the image with one click if you change the Lucid Chart. You can then collaborate with other people you share the map with. Perfect for project managers and technologists!

5. Thesaurus

For all you freelance writers out there: you'll never have to pull down that 5-inch-thick behemoth from the shelf again. Just highlight any word in a Google Doc, and you'll get synonyms.

6. TrackChanges

This has historically been one of the weakest parts of Google Docs for people who need to edit and collaborate on documents. Now you can see who changed what, suggest additions and deletions, and keep track of progress. It's not quite as full-featured as Word's version, but it's a huge step in the right direction.

7. Sudoku

Just throwing on a fun one, in case you need to take a break from client work and want keep your brain sharp. Simple and fun!