Google Sheets adds a sidebar for commenting

Get a free Techzine subscription!

Google aims to make their Google Docs collaboration platform even more collaborative.

Google Docs has become one of the most popular ways for companies to collaborate and synchronize their work on documents of all types. The popularity of Google Docs has surged during the COVID pandemic, as remote working took hold and the need for online collaboration skyrocketed.

A major part of collaboration is communication. In remote workspaces, being able to make clarifications or add comments to a document can greatly improve the way collaborators receive it.

Google Sheets is a popular tool for such collaboration. Some use cases include keeping track of projects and data-based information like sales targets. Now Google is giving Sheets a sidebar to highlight comments and display conversation threads as part of a visual revamp.

How the sidebar works

The sidebar will no doubt make collaboration much easier with the ability to review and filter out comments to complete assignments and tasks. Users can also page through common threads in a document.

This feature helps users reply to, resolve, or create new conversations when working with colleagues. The sidebar also lets users see all the conversations that are happening in a spreadsheet. Users can also take action within the sidebar when tasks are complete.

After opening it, users can @ reference the person they want to notify and then assign the comment to that person in order to notify them that they’re responsible for marking the issue as done.

Google’s concept of a “Smart Canvas”

Sheets, which is part of Workspace, is one office productivity app that Google is working on to deliver its Smart Canvas concept for Workspaces. The Smart Canvas is a layer that connects documents created across Workspace apps. There are commenting features in each app that help users improve workflow and collaborate across projects and documents.

“As smart canvas drives the next era of collaboration in Google Workspace, we remain committed to providing a solution that’s flexible, helpful, and that fuels innovation for organizations in every industry,” Google says.

“On the frontlines, in corporate offices, and across the countless workspaces in between, Google Workspace will continue to transform how work gets done.’