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Google Apps Tips: Embedding Google Docs in Google Sites

CollaborationCloud Tools

We are currently in the midst of our Technology Planning for Nonprofits series, and last month (April) our focus was on Collaboration & Productivity: spend time on what matters. So far we've hosted a Toronto Net Tuesday where we heard about the experiences of Timeraiser and Charity Village, and we wrote an article about SharePoint 2010, a popular collaboration tool to consider.

One of the tools that we use internally at TechSoup Canada to improve our collaboration and productivity is Google Apps. It's certainly not the only option but we like it because it is great for collaboration, hosts our email, integrates with other tools we use and is free (for organizations with less than 10 people, starting tomorrow). To help your nonprofit decide if Google Apps is right for you and learn about using it in your organization, we:

Embedding in Google Sites

Today's Google Apps tip is about embedding Google Docs and other information into Google Sites. What this means is that your sites can contain more than simply text and pictures. From what I've found so far, if you can create it through a Google tool then you can embed it. This includes Google Documents, your Google Calendar, a YouTube video, a Picasa photo, a Google map, etc.

Embedding makes it easier to bring together information from multiple locations together in one place - which is often the goal of having a Google Site. For example, if you have a site dedicated to a specific project then you could embed the calendar with your project timeline, or a document relevant to that project.

The best part about embedding is that your Google Site will stay up-to-date when you change the document. Going back to the previous example, if someone on your team goes to Google Calendar and adds a meeting to your project calendar, the version of that calendar embedded in your Site will automatically update. 

How do I do this?

Good news: it's very simple. Go to your site and edit a page. Now go to the Insert menu and tada! you will see a list of all the different things you can embed. Just be aware that you won't actually be able to see anything until you save the page. If it's still not quite working right, see Google's video demonstration on embedding a calendar.

Want to see what this looks like in action? Here's a primary school that has embedded a Google Calendar on their Google Site.

Do you use this embedding feature? What other features of Google Apps do you find helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments.