Smart Canvas for Google Workspace: Top 5 Updates to Know

Smart canvas the next generation of workplace collaboration

At Google’s 2021 I/O conference for developers, the company unveiled a major update to Google Workspace—smart canvas. This new release was developed with the current work landscape in mind, which is more online and remote than ever due to a variety of factors including COVID-19. Some professionals are beginning to show signs of “digital fatigue,” a mental state associated with being overwhelmed by digital tools and apps often characterized by exhaustion and disengagement.


But just what is smart canvas?


In short, smart canvas is bringing in the next evolution of collaboration in Google Workspace through a brand new product experience for Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more. Through a variety of smart and highly interconnected new features, Google Workspace users can enjoy a more streamlined, effective digital collaboration experience than ever before. By making digital processes less cumbersome and tools less overwhelming, Google aims to prevent digital fatigue among its users and promote a happier, more productive user base.


The Top 5 Updates to Expect


New smart chips

You have likely noticed that when you “@-mention” someone within a document, a small window appears prompting you to link them into the document, which will notify your colleague. This small window is called a “smart chip.” These smart chips are now being expanded to offer @mentioning for Drive files and meetings in addition to people. This way, users will be able to more easily link to key resources while creating documents.





Users can now create checklists in Google Docs! This feature is already available on web and mobile. Soon, users will be able to assign items to other people within checklists. These action items will conveniently be added to the responsible person’s Google Tasks, providing a great new way to share and manage project tasks.




Timeline view in Sheets

Our team is especially excited about this next addition: timeline view for Google Sheets. When tracking a project, campaign, or other engagement, an ordinary Google Sheet does not always provide the ideal dashboard. With this new update to be released in mid-2021, team members can create a dynamic, interactive timeline as an additional way to track project milestones.




See participants while presenting in Meet

Previously, meeting participants have needed to switch between tabs to see participants while presenting on a single screen. However, beginning fall 2021, team members will be able to see and hear one another while collaborating in a Doc, Sheet, or Slide during a meeting.




Formula Suggestions

The final update we’d like to highlight is formula suggestions for Sheets. As a new assisted analysis functionality, Sheets will now suggest and troubleshoot formulas, making data analysis easier regardless of experience level. Scheduled for release within the next few months, this will help make more complex Sheets accessible while preventing common user errors.




Need support?

Questions? Need assistance with these updates? Current HiView customers can reach out to If you are not yet a customer of HiView but are interested in the numerous benefits of getting a Google Cloud Premier Partner on your side, submit a contact form here and we’ll respond promptly.