Google is releasing a significant upgrade to G Suite that will aid in multi-tasking and modernize its design. The search giant is introducing Gmail's revamped side panel to several of its apps, allowing quick access to a number of tasks.
“We're adding a quick-access side panel to the Docs editors and Google Calendar to help you quickly access other G Suite products without leaving what you're working on,” explained a Google spokesperson. “You'll be able to access three G Suite products from Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings.”
Naturally, the functionality in the sidebar depends on the app you're trying to access. Google Calendar users will be able to quickly reference, create, or edit invites, which will be particularly useful in Sheets.
You'll also be able to use Google Keep to take create lists, note take, and view any previous notes. Alternatively, you can use Tasks to create and manage to-dos. In Calendar, you'll also be able to access Tasks and Keep.
A Unified Design
Obviously, this isn't at the level of a full-scale re-design, but it does begin to consolidate Google's services. These integrations were previously available in Gmail, but the inability to access them elsewhere made it feel half-baked and meant you'd often have to switch tabs anyway.
With the new release, you may only need to switch between Docs and Sheets, as Tasks let you drag emails onto the sidebar for later reference. However, if you don't like the extra clutter the side panel adds, Google lets you minimize it with a single click.
The features will start to roll out over the next couple of weeks, arriving first for those on the rapid release schedule. You can find more information on the official help page.