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5 Google freebies

5 things you’re paying for that you can get free from Google

If your company uses Google, you’re probably looking at Docs, Sheets, Calendar and more on a daily basis. Did you know you could easily open new Google files from within your browser? Here are the shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner.

“Why pay for something you can get for free?” You’ve heard that old chestnut. When it comes to Google, it’s not so cut and dry.

When you use a free service like Gmail, you’re handing over tons of personal information. You may have no choice, especially if your work is steeped in the Google ecosystem. But if we’re handing them so much info, we might as well get some cool tools for free.

Free storage

Your Google account comes with 15GB of free storage, which is spread between Google Drive, Gmail and Photos. That’s not bad, but if you take lots of photos and videos, your Photos account alone will break the limit before you know it.

If you need more storage, you’ll have to pay monthly for a Google One Plan: $1.99 for 100GB$2.99 for 200GB and $9.99 for 2TBNote: Google Photos has duplicate detection upon upload. 

Tap or click here for more photo storage solutions.

Free phone number

How many people have your phone number? Think beyond friends and family.

When you create an online account or sign up for a service, you’re often asked to provide a phone number. Over time, you’ve probably given out your number to hundreds of companies.

Aside from the risk of spammy calls and texts, your phone number can do a lot of damage in the wrong hands. It’s an easy way for someone to connect you to a leaked password or even intercept your two-factor authentication codes.

Google Voice is a free service that gives you a phone number that you can use for just about anything. It works for both domestic and international phone calls and texts and voicemails.

Here’s how to get a new phone number for free:

  • Download the Google Voice app for iOS or Android.
  • Open the app and sign in to your Google account.
  • Review the terms of privacy and tap Accept or Continue to proceed.
  • Tap Search to choose a phone number from the list. You can search by city or area code.
  • Tap Select next to the phone number you want.
  • Verify the number and enter a phone number to link to your Voice account.
  • You’ll get a six-digit code to enter for the next step. Enter it and you’re done.

Anyone can use a people search site to get information on you. If they have your phone number, they have a big headstart. Here’s how to remove yourself from these invasive sites.

Free word processor

Microsoft Word may have a monopoly on word processors, but Google Docs makes for an attractive (and free) alternative.

Google Docs lets you create, edit, and collaborate on documents. It’s easy to insert images, tables, comments, headers and footers, bookmarks and tables of contents. You can even type using your voice.

Best of all, you can access your files anywhere you have an internet connection.

Check this: Do this quick Google account security check now

What if you’re not connected to a network?

If you’re flying or in a place where internet service is spotty or nonexistent, don’t panic! You can turn on offline access from Docs, Sheets or Slides settings. And it gets even better.

Last year, Google introduced a feature to give Microsoft a bloody nose. With Google Docs Offline, you can edit, comment and collaborate on Office files using Docs, Sheets and Slides — without an internet connection.

And unlike Microsoft’s subscription plan, you don’t need to pay. Here’s everything you need to know about Google Docs Offline.

Free books

On Google Books, you can read books and magazines, download them, cite them and translate them. Some books are provided by publishers, while others are scanned as part of Google’s Library Project.

You’ll find books that are rare, out of print, or generally unavailable outside of the library system.

Just go to and enter a title or author. The database contains 10 million books and counting.

Note: If a book isn’t available in the public domain or Google couldn’t get permission from the publisher, you’ll only be able to browse snippets of the text.

You may also like: Google search tricks: 7 simple ways to find what you’re looking for

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