11/3/21 Google Workspace Roundup: Updates that Matter Most

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Below you’ll find the latest and greatest updates to Google Workspace (previously G Suite) as of November 3rd, 2021. From Calendar event features to citizen development improvements, there’s something for everyone in this batch of updates from Google.


Create meeting notes within Google Calendar

You may have recently noticed a new link when clicking on a calendar event: “Take meeting notes.” By clicking this link, Calendar will automatically generate a Google Doc containing details about your event where you can document key discussion points. A link to the Doc will then appear in that event’s details, and on any future occurrences of the event. This makes your meeting notes easy to access, saving the time it takes to search around for the right document.


Designate Focus Time in Google Calendar

Google has introduced a new type of booking for Calendar: Focus Time. This allows you to block out some of your time to complete individual work. It prevents users with access to your calendar from mistakenly booking a meeting during this time, and encourages focus on your part.

See below for where to find this selection:


AppSheet now integrated into Gmail

In exciting news for aspiring citizen developers, Google Workspace Enterprise Plus users and AppSheet users can now:

  • Create apps via AppSheet that can be rendered in Gmail
  • Easily send embedded AppSheet views and forms
  • Trigger responses using AppSheet automation (e.g. time off approvals, budget requests)


These dynamic applications can be created by anyone at your organization, even those with no coding experience. With AppSheet now integrated with Gmail, citizen developers and other users can now interact with apps without even leaving their inbox.

For a demo of an AppSheet use case, watch this video created by our team, in which a useful application is built from start to finish.


Mark Google Chat messages as unread

Some texting and messaging platforms allow you to mark a message as unread even after you’ve opened it. Now, Google Chat is one of them! This helps to remind you to return to the message later. Rollout for this feature will complete by December 1st, 2021.

To mark a message as unread, simply hover over the message and click the “Mark as unread” icon. This can be done in direct message Chat conversations or Spaces (previously called “Chat rooms”).


Universal “@ menus” for Google Docs

Google Workspace’s ever-popular “@ mention” feature has been expanded. Now, as part of the smart canvas feature releases, users can type “@” within a Doc and see a list of not only users, but also files, people, meetings, and more. This feature will complete rollout by early December 2021. Try it for yourself!


Classic Site deprecation update

As a reminder, Classic Google Sites are going away. Replaced by their more up-to-date edition (simply Google Sites), Classic Sites cannot be edited beginning December 1st, 2021. Furthermore, they will not be viewable beginning January 1st, 2022.

To avoid any disruption, we recommend migrating all of your Classic Sites now. For instructions to help you complete this migration, see this article.

If you fail to migrate your Classic Sites before the beginning of the new year, they will be downloaded as an archive and saved to the owner’s Drive, as well as replaced with an automatically-generated draft in the new interface for review and publishing.


Have questions about any of these updates? Interested in seeing what we can do to help your organization innovate? Submit a contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.

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