What’s changing 

You can now join a Google Meet call from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. In addition to the present to Meet option, you can select “Join the call” to quickly join and present a document, spreadsheet, or presentation to all attendees, allowing everyone in the meeting to collaborate while having a conversation.

Why it’s important 

To help teams do their best work in the hybrid work world. Google continues to make enhancements to Google Meet to help ensure that video meetings are inclusive and collaborative no matter the location or device preference. 

We hope this feature makes it easier for everyone in the meeting to collaborate in real-time while having a conversation—all from the same tab. 

What’s changing 

In addition to appointment slots in Google Calendar, Google is introducing appointment scheduling. The appointment scheduling feature allows users to share their availability via a booking page, which can be used by external stakeholders, clients, and partners to schedule time.

How to enable

  1. In Google Calendar, click the Gear icon, then Settings
  2. Under General, click Appointment Schedules
  3. At the bottom of the page, check the box for Create appointment schedules instead of appointment slots

Why you’d use it 

The existing appointment slot feature in Google Calendar is helpful for internal use cases, specifically if you don't know who needs to meet with you, but you want to make yourself available. For example, professors can invite their students to office hours each week or HR professionals can share availability for benefits Q&A sessions. 

The new appointment scheduling feature is suited for external use cases, allowing external users, including those without a Google account, to schedule meetings. Additionally, with automatic conflict detection with existing Calendar events, this feature helps reduce time spent finding and rescheduling appointments. 

We hope these scheduling options give users the flexibility to share their availability the way that works best for their particular needs.

What’s changing 

Google is introducing a new, integrated view for Gmail, making it easy to move between critical applications like Gmail, Chat, and Meet in one unified location.

Google will introduce this new experience according to this timeline:

Beginning February 11, 2022: 

  • Users can opt-in to test the new experience, allowing them to try it out and become more accustomed to it. Users can revert to classic Gmail via settings. 
  • We will share an update on the Google Workspace Updates Blog, along with Help Center content, once rollout begins.

By April 2022: 

  • Users who have not opted-in will begin seeing the new experience by default, but can revert to classic Gmail via settings.

By the end of Q2 2022: 

  • This will become the standard experience for Gmail, with no option to revert back.
  • Around the same time, users will also begin seeing the new streamlined navigation experience on Chat web ( 
  • Important Note: This also means users will not have the option to configure Chat to display on the right side of Gmail.

Why you’d use it 

When enabled, the new navigation menu allows you to easily switch between your inbox, important conversations, and join meetings without having to switch between tabs or open a new window. 

Notification bubbles make it easy to stay on top of what immediately needs your attention. When working in Chat and Spaces, you can view a full list of conversations and Spaces within a single screen, making it easier to navigate to and engage. 

When working in your inbox, you’ll be able to view the full array of Mail and Label options currently available in Gmail today. 

In the coming months, you will also see email and chat results when using the search bar, making it easier to find what you need by eliminating the need to search within a specific product.

Quick summary 

Google is making it easy to collaborate on an email draft in Docs with the new email draft template. You can mention people in the recipient fields using the @ menu without having to remember their email addresses, and collaborate on the message body using comments and suggestions. When ready to send, simply click the button that is shown alongside an email draft. A Gmail compose window will pop up, with email fields (subject, to, cc, bcc, and body) automatically populated based on the email draft in the document.

Getting started 

To insert an email template, open Google Docs, go to Insert > Building Blocks > Email draft , or type "@email draft"

Quick Summary 

Google has increased the cell limit in Google Sheets from up to five million cells to up to ten million cells. This limit applies to new, existing, and imported files. 

Over the course of the last four years, Google has been steadily increasing the cell limit in Google Sheets: from 2 million to 5 million in 2019 and now to 10 million. Google hopes this and future increases give users the ability to work with their data on a much greater scale in Google Sheets. 

What’s changing

In addition to seeing when someone is out of office, you can now see additional Google Calendar statuses like “In a meeting” or “In focus time” in Google Chat. 

Additional Calendar statuses on web

Additional Calendar statuses on mobile

Why you’d use it

We hope by surfacing these additional statuses, this will make it easier for your colleagues to identify appropriate times to message you.

Quick summary 

You can now embed linked response charts from Google Forms into a Google Doc, Google Slides presentation, or a Google Drawing. When new form responses are received, anyone with the proper permissions can refresh an embedded chart by simply clicking the "Update" button. This eliminates the need to re-copy the chart from the form. 

This feature is useful for sharing real-time responses to polls or surveys and for incorporating Forms responses data into presentations or reports.

What’s changing

Google is introducing several improvements for breakout rooms in Google Meet. These improvements include:

  • The ability for meeting hosts and co-hosts to automatically move participants back to the main meeting room once breakout rooms end.
  • Better visual indicators for breakout room participants to indicate this movement.

See below for more information.

Breakout room participants will see a banner with a countdown indicating when they’ll be moved back to the main meeting room. 

Google added better indicators confirming participants have been moved back to the main meeting room. Additionally, cameras and microphones will be turned off when participants are automatically moved back into the main meeting — participants can re-enable them once they’re ready.

Google has improved the "Automatically add invitations" setting to help prevent unwanted invitations from being added to your calendar. You can now choose to either: 

  • Always have invitations automatically added 
  • Only have them automatically added if you have RSVP’d in the email event invitation.

Why it Matters

These additional controls can help you manage your calendar with less manual work by ensuring unwanted events don't appear, and you see only the events that are important to you. 

Additional details

  • If you choose to only have events added if you RSVP, you’ll see an additional option to allow those who have permission to view or edit your events to see all invitations. 
  • When you change the setting, it only determines whether future events are added to your calendar. Any events that are already on the calendar will remain visible unless you delete them. 
  • If you choose to only add events when you RSVP, you’ll receive an email invitation to all events, even if the organizer chooses not to send one. This will help prevent you from missing events. Note that this doesn’t apply to updates, only to invitations. 
  • We've moved the notification option ("Yes, but only notify me if I've responded Yes or Maybe") into the notifications section to help you better manage when you get notifications. 

To make Google Calendar more flexible in the hybrid workplace, Google has introduced new RSVP options for Calendar invitations. With this update, you can indicate how you plan to join a meeting - in the meeting room, or virtually. 

Then, both the organizer and guests will be able to see how attendees are planning to attend the meeting in the event detail. This will help meeting attendees know what to expect when joining a meeting, and prepare accordingly. 

Note that if you select the new RSVP options, the join method details (e.g. “joining virtually”) are not shared with contacts on other platforms, such as Microsoft Outlook.

See more details here:

Users can now host meetings in Google Meet with up to 500 participants!

We hope that increasing the meeting size will make it easier to connect and collaborate with your colleagues or students.

This feature is only available to NNU employees. Students will be able to join large capacity rooms created by employees.

Meeting hosts in Google Meet can now use Audio and Video Lock to turn off the microphones and/or cameras of other participants in the meeting and prevent them from turning them back on until you unlock them, in the main and breakout rooms. The new Audio and Video lock makes this feature more useful by enabling hosts to prevent participants from unmuting themselves after they are muted. 

This feature gives meeting hosts more control over their meetings by letting them decide when they want to allow different levels of participation from attendees, for example, to address disruptive participants.

Audio or video locks, as well as chat and present locks, set by the host in the main meeting, will also apply to subsequently launched breakout rooms. Once a breakout room is launched, any changes made to a lock setting in an individual room will not affect the settings of other breakout rooms or the main meeting.

Having too much light behind you—such as a window on a sunny day—can also be challenging for many cameras. Google Meet on the web now automatically detects when a user appears underexposed and enhances the brightness to improve their visibility!

You can now quickly start and share a meeting notes document for your Calendar events.

Creating a notes document from Calendar will automatically populate the document with the event information and attach the document to the event.

You can also add this same meeting notes template into any doc by typing “@” in the doc and using the drop-down menu.

Meeting notes are one of the most common use cases in Docs, and an effective way to make meetings a good use of time. However, creating, sharing and finding them later involves several basic repetitive steps, and involves switching between Docs and Calendar. The meeting notes feature is a shortcut to create such documents with some quick clicks.

This feature streamlines the creation, sharing and attachment of meeting notes into Calendar events.

Additional details

In Calendar, this feature is only available to meeting organizers or guests with permissions to modify the event.

You can use this feature several ways:

  • While creating or editing an event, you’ll see a “Create meeting notes” button next to the attachment section. You can click this button to create a new document, which attaches it to the event upon saving the changes.
  • Clicking the “Take meeting notes” button in a scheduled event will create this document, and immediately open it in a new tab so users can get started capturing notes right away. In the background, this document will also be attached to the calendar event for future reference.

Once you make these meeting notes, we’ll automatically link back to the Calendar event from the doc, making it easy to navigate between places.

You’ll still be able to attach additional documents to the Calendar event.

Google will soon be rolling out a feature that allows you to request and review formal approvals on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Once requested, approvers can approve, reject, add comments, or edit the document in response. All of this can be done without leaving the secure environment of Google Workspace. This feature should become available sometime in December 2021.

Why you’d use it 

Securing document approvals can be difficult when collaborating with multiple stakeholders and competing priorities. This feature makes it easy to secure those approvals and see who has approved them.

This feature also ensures that when edits are made to a document, all reviewers are notified and the latest version of the document is re-approved. It also ensures that once all reviewers have provided their approval, the file locks and cannot be edited, securing the integrity of your document. 

We hope this feature streamlines the workflow needed to secure approvals on contracts, legal documents, and other situations where formal approval is required. 

Additional details 

Once a document is sent for approval, reviewers get email, browser or Google Chat notifications, based on where they have selected in Google Drive’s web settings to receive notifications. They will then receive a link they can follow directly to the document. 

If you set a due date, your reviewers will receive email reminders that their approval is needed or past due. You’ll also be able to prevent any user from editing the item’s content or leaving comments and suggestions by choosing to lock the document. 

Note: Documents by default will remain unlocked until they are fully approved. 

If you request approval from multiple people, the document is considered approved once all reviewers approve the file. If an edit is made during the approval process, all reviewers will need to re-approve the latest version of the file and will receive email notifications in those instances. The document approval request is rejected for all reviewers if a single reviewer rejects the file. 

Once all reviewers approve the document, the file will be locked. Locked files can't be edited until they're unlocked or approved. Unlocking the file cancels the current approval request.