Time Management
How to Connect Google Docs with Slack

How to Connect Google Docs with Slack

Alyssa Towns
November 6, 2022

How to Connect Google Docs with Slack
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Working on the computer all day means switching between tabs and apps more times than you could count to finish your work. It can seem daunting and mentally draining to keep up with everything all the time. You’ll love this quick how-to guide for connecting your favorite apps if you're an avid Google Docs and Slack user. 

You’ll learn the following:

  • How to set up the Google Drive and Slack integration
  • How easy it is to share and create Google Docs in Slack
  • Why this integration will save you time and energy
  • And how to collaborate effectively with your coworkers

How to integrate Google Drive with Slack

Connecting Google Drive and Slack is easier than you think. Follow these steps to integrate your Google Drive with Slack to create, share, and access your files from your Slack workspace.

First, you need to navigate to the Slack App Directory. Search for the Google Drive app and click “Add to Slack.” Then, press the “Add Google Drive app” button and select “Allow.” Click “Authenticate your Google Drive account,” and select the Google account you want to connect to Slack (make sure you are connecting your work account and not your personal one!) Select “Allow,” and you are all set!

A few important notes about this integration:

  • Owners and Admins on Enterprise can install Google Drive at the org level
  • Every Slack member who wants to use the Google Drive app must connect their Google Drive account to Slack (if your account is already connected, thank your workspace owner or admin) 
  • You can create a Google Drive file in Slack, share one, and view and reply to comments
  • When you connect Google Drive to Slack, you will automatically receive notifications for files

How to share Google Docs on Slack

There are a few different ways you can share Google Docs on Slack. We’ll show you all of your options so you can find the best workflow that makes sense for your needs. First, let’s look at how to share a Google Doc in any conversation. 

Adding Google Docs in conversations and channels

Once you authenticate your Google Drive account, in any conversation, you can click the plus icon in the bottom left corner and select “Add from Google Drive.” Browse your Google Drive files and find the Google Doc you are looking for. Insert the file, type a message to your coworker, and send it! Here’s an example of what your Google Doc will look like in your Slack message:

If you need to create a new Google Doc, you can do so directly in your Slack conversation. Click the plus icon in the bottom left corner, select “Browse all shortcuts,” then click “Google Drive” in your app list. Then, select “Create a document.” Give your document a name, add a message if you’d like, and select which channel or direct message you want to share your new Google Doc. It’s that easy to start a new document in real time!

Using Google Docs and Slack integrations

In addition to this method, you can use various Google Docs and Slack integrations. Zapier allows you to send information between Google Docs and Slack automatically. It does not require any code to set it up. When you use Zapier to connect these tools, you can do things like:

With plenty of triggers and actions to choose from, you can automate many connections between your Google Docs and Slack tools.

Benefits of sharing Google Drive files on Slack

If you are part of a team that lives by collaborative tools like Google Docs and Slack, you already understand the benefits these tools provide on their own. If you use Slack with Google Drive, you’ll experience even more benefits, including:

Receive and respond to comments directly

Collaborating with colleagues through comments on Google products is one of my favorite ways to ask someone a quick non-urgent question. Adding questions and notes directly to Google Docs prevents those remarks from getting lost in a sea of Slack messages.

Here’s the kicker—you will receive automatic notifications in Slack anytime someone leaves a comment on one of your Google Drive files. Not only that, but you can reply directly to any new comments on your files via threads in Slack. Yes, without opening the document! So, the next time your coworker asks you a question in your shared Google Doc, you can respond in seconds (assuming you aren’t in the middle of Focus Time, of course). 

Update permissions quickly

Have you ever sent out a Google Doc and forgotten to adjust the permissions so your coworkers can edit it? Within minutes, you receive a handful of emails from your teammates requesting access to the document. Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. 

When you share a Google Drive file in Slack, it quickly checks permissions for everyone in the channel or message you are sharing the file with. And if there’s a permission issue, you’ll receive a notification instantly and the ability to change permissions using a drop-down menu. Slack has your back, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to adjust permissions.

Image source: Slack

Search and find documents fast

Unless you’re a Google Drive pro, your drive files might look something like mine—chaotic and disorderly. Locating documents in Google Drive can be a challenge. (Was it in a shared drive? A folder? Somewhere else?) 

When you share Google Drive files in Slack, Slack will index them for you. And Slack is the real indexing pro—searching for content within Google Docs and their titles. When you search for a document, Slack will locate results based on the titles and content of the shared files. You can find your files fast, and thank Slack later. 

Tips for better collaboration when sharing files on Slack

Are you ready to take your file-sharing game to the next level? Consider these tips to optimize your collaboration efforts when sharing files on Slack.

Use clear naming conventions

While Slack’s indexing functionality works great, you’ll save your teammates time and energy by using clear naming conventions for your documents. Be descriptive and include relevant information such as dates, versioning, and team names. For example, instead of “Marketing meeting,” try something like “Q4 2022 Marketing Planning Meeting_10-01-2022.”

Pin key files in channels 

Did you know? You can pin important messages and files in any channel or direct message for quick access to important links and information. As you add files to Slack, pin the important documents so that any new channel members can quickly get up to speed. If you share a meeting agenda for a recurring meeting in your team’s channel, pin it for easy reference.

Implement an emoji approval process

One of the perks of sharing files in Slack is quickly obtaining approvals on materials when needed. While there’s always the option to respond to a document and type out feedback, consider streamlining the process even further with emojis. Determine and agree upon an emoji reaction that conveys the approval of a document, such as the :heavy_check_mark: emoji, so team members know when they can proceed.

Here’s to file-sharing in Slack

Make Google Docs and Slack work better for you in no time with the Google Drive integration. You’ll be able to receive and respond to comments directly, update permissions quickly, and find your files fast. Try to use consistent naming conventions, the pinning functionality in Slack, and an emoji approval process to save even more time.

About the author

Alyssa Towns

Alyssa Towns is a freelance writer for Clockwise based in Denver, CO. She works in communications and change management. She primarily writes productivity and career-adjacent content and has bylines in G2, The Everygirl, Insider, and other publications. When she isn't writing, Alyssa enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband, playing with her Bengal cats, adventuring outdoors, or reading a book from her TBR list.

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