Google’s email and calendar services, Gmail and Google Calendar, worked the same way: everyone had access to the same tool. Not anymore, thanks to Google Workspace Individual.
Google Personal Users, meaning anyone with an @gmail.com email address, can now pay $10 (~35,000 Ugx) per month for Google Workspace Individual. With this they get:
- An appointment scheduling tool integrated with Google Calendar (similar to Calendly).
- An email marketing tool integrated with Gmail and Google Contacts (similar to Mailchimp).
- Google Meet calls can last over an hour (similar to Zoom’s paid plan).
- 24/7 support.
It’s a potentially compelling package, especially if you’re already paying for a combination of appointment scheduling, email marketing, and video conferencing software.
Still, you might be wondering what these features look like, how this service differs from other Google-charged services, and whether it’s worth $120 (Ugx420,000) per year.
When Google Workspace launched in 2006 (then called “Google Apps for your domain”), there was a free version. Google recently announced that these previously grandfathered free users will have to start paying.
You might think that Google Workspace Individual is positioned for these customers, but it’s not that simple. This offering is completely separate from Google Workspace, despite the similar name. You cannot use Individual Google Workspace with a custom domain name, for example. And you cannot manage multiple users, as the name suggests.
But I’m moving forward. Let’s see what is (and isn’t) offered by Google Workspace Individual.
Longer and longer calls on Google Meet
Google Meet is a video conferencing service, most directly comparable to Zoom. The free version of this app offers 40 minute calls, while Google Meet offers 60 free minutes.
Individual Google Workspace customers can host meetings lasting up to 24 hours with up to 100 participants. Zoom’s cheapest paid plan, which offers calls for up to 30 hours for up to 100 participants, costs $12.50 (~45,500 Ugx) per month, so $10 (~35,000 Ugx) per month. months, Google Workspace Individual is arguably worth it for this feature. alone.
And a few other Meet features are offered to individual Workspace customers, as listed on the Google Meet pricing page. These users can:
- Save meeting recordings to Google Drive
- Offer a call-in phone number to meeting participants
- Get a chat room, polls and hand raises
- Enable noise cancellation
Granted, Zoom is the industry standard for video calling, but I think Google Meet is worth checking out, especially if it’s cheaper.
A scheduling tool integrated with Google Calendar
Perhaps the coolest feature is the ability to set up an appointment calendar. You can, in Google Calendar, specify a time when people can register for an appointment.
This is similar, though less customizable, to the free version of Calendly, with the main advantage that you can do it all without leaving Google Calendar. It’s probably not worth subscribing to, but it’s nice to have.
An email marketing tool integrated with Gmail
Google Workspace Individual users can choose from a variety of templates when composing an email. These templates allow you to quickly send out a professional looking email newsletter, all from Gmail.
You can customize the background color, add a custom footer, and add social media links (you can’t change much else, though). There’s also a multi-send feature, which sends a separate copy of each email to different people using mailing lists in Google Contacts. Your readers can unsubscribe from these lists, if they wish.
It’s as simple an email marketing tool as you can imagine – there’s not even user analytics. The main advantage is that you can do all of this without leaving Gmail.
Most people serious about sending a newsletter should look elsewhere. I don’t know why anyone would use it over Mailchimp, which has a free version that sends emails to up to 2,000 people, or Substack or Buttondown, both of which can send a newsletter to as many people as you can sign above.
Still, it’s interesting to see something like this added to Gmail, and I could imagine it becoming a more powerful tool over time.
Note: Google Workspace Individual does not come with additional storage
Google limits free users to 17 gigabytes (GB) of space spread across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. Business customers of Google Workspace benefit from additional storage space: the cheapest plan, starting at $6 (~21,000 Ugx) per user, offers 30 GB of storage space.
Google Workspace Individual, which costs $10 (~35,000 Ugx) per user, does not offer any additional storage compared to the free version. Individual users who want additional storage space must pay for a Google One account above their individual subscription to Google Workspace. The cheapest plan offers 100 GB of space for $2 (~Ugx7,000) per month.
How is Google Workspace for Business different?
Google Workspace was, until recently, only offered to business users. It was called G-Suite until recently; before that it was called Google Apps for Your Domain.
The idea was that, for a monthly fee per user, businesses could use Gmail for their work email addresses and also have secure access to Google Docs, Calendar and other apps. You can only configure this service if you own a domain name.
Google Workspace starts at $6 (~21,000 Ugx) per user per year, which is actually cheaper than Google Workspace Individual, even after factoring in the cost of a domain name (usually $15 (~ 52,500 Ugx) per year).
This plan also offers nearly twice the storage space of Google Workspace Individual. For this reason, some individual users may wish to purchase a domain name and set up Google Workspace for Business.
Not a bad idea, but something to keep in mind: Google Workspace Individual offers features that Workspace for Business doesn’t.
Two of the main selling points of Google Workspace Individual (the email marketing tools and the appointment scheduling tool) are not currently offered in the professional version of Google Workspace. Is it confusing? Yes. Will that ever change? Probably. But that’s the way it is, at least for now.