Using Google Workspace in private practice can have a lot of advantages. It’s not just an email account….but even the email account is the best. In my opinion. I was always an outlook girl and always used that platform for work. I was resistant to change in this department. However, after using it for one of my clients I have now moved everything I can over there. And I’m happy to pay for the privilege.
Below are by no means the total features of the platform. These are features I love for my own business or what my clients use.
Most of us probably use Gmail for our personal accounts. But how many of the features do you actually know about? Below are some of my favourites and how they can be used.
Smart compose – Predictive writing suggestions appear as you compose an email. You can also go further and add Smart Compose personalisation which is personalised to your writing style.
Conversation view – Can group your emails together by conversation to keep everything neat and tidy within your inbox.
Easy out of office autoreply – This was always easy when I worked for a big company but when you don’t have outlook for business it really isn’t such a simple task.
Switch between signatures – When composing a new email you can switch between signatures with one click.
Schedule Send – Best thing ever! Great for if you’re working late at night or at the weekend when you have time to catch up on your admin. You need to send emails but you don’t want them to go to until an appropriate time. Just use schedule send and pick the time and day you want it to go.
Filters – Easily set up filters for specific emails. From specific senders or containing specific words. Decide what happens to those messages. It might be that you never have to see them again. Alternatively they could skip the inbox go directly to a folder (label) so they’re already sorted before you read them.
Templates – I love the template feature in Gmail for lots of reasons. If you have standard emails you send or standard replies you can easily create a template for these. You can create up to 50 templates! This is great for if you work with an assistant as you can create the templates you’d like them to use so there is a brand voice. It’s also great if you don’t. You won’t need to overthink what to say to clients in relation to non-payments, cancellations, booking an appointment or advising people you’re currently full etc. For a quick tutorial on how to create a template you can click here.
Essentially this is cloud storage. What I love about this though is that you have your own personal drive and you can have shared drives. You’ll need the Business Standard plan (currently priced at £8.28 per user*) to have access to shared drives but then you can:
- Create a shared drive so that an assistant for example can have access to all your practice admin.
- Set the permissions for all members so they can just view, they can have full access or lots in between.
- Give individual settings for documents and even individual tabs within documents.
In addition you can create documents and send the link so they can have access to it. Even if they aren’t part of the shared drive. You may have a document that you want a client to download and complete. You may need input from another professional on a document but this keeps it safely within your organisation.
Its GDPR & HIPAA compliant. So its a great place to store all your signed paperwork and other client related letters and files.
I talked about this in my previous blog which you can read here. It easily syncs with online booking system tools as well which makes it the perfect partner. Another thing I love about google calendar is that you can add on additional calendars. This way you can see by colour what you’ve got on. You can also turn them on and off to only view a certain one.
If you are only using Google calendar you can add Zoom as an add-on or use Google Meet. When creating an appointment you can effortlessly create a personalised video meeting. Send an invitation and set reminders for all within one appointment creation.
You can also share your calendar so that an assistant could help you with appointment bookings. With this feature you can set the permission levels so you can keep any personal stuff private but the other person will know you’re busy and unavailable for appointments.
Creating a Google Form is simpler than you think. And they can be used for a variety of things in private practice.
You could create a simple enquiry form and embed it on your website. When a potential client completes it you’ll be notified via email. In addition to this, you could link it to a Google sheet and it can auto populate the fields. That way you have a list of all your enquiries in one place without you having to do anything.
Unfortunately google forms doesn’t have an option for e-signature capturing. I’d recommend something like Signable for contracts or any agreements. You can however create an intake form and send the link to new clients to complete. It is much easier than sending them a word document or PDF, which lots of people don’t know how to populate.
Try It For Yourself
These are just four features of Google Workspace, there are loads more. I truly believe that if you invest in one online system this should be it. With the exception of receiving payments you could run the majority of your practice with this one platform. You can try all the features for free by setting up a personal Gmail account and see if you’d find it beneficial.
For lots more practice admin information visit www.virtuallyirreplaceable.co.uk. Alternatively contact me via email on [email protected] and we can discuss your requirements on a free discovery call. For lots of online practice tips you can also follow my Facebook page.
*Correct as of Oct 2020