People of different ages think differently: Combining G Suite and Office 365 to work as you please

People of different ages think differently: Combining G Suite and Office 365 to work as you please
Geschreven door Marcel Martens op 19-11-2020 Laatst bijgewerkt op 22-03-2024

Did you know that people of different ages remember things differently?

The way young adults (18-30) remembers where they've put their files is different from the way older people remember it. The former knows what tool, while the latter knows what folder.

The question is why this disparity in memory?

Why is memory not the same in all people?

Does it feel strange when you and your friend experience the same event together, but when the time comes to talk about it, both of you recall details of the event differently? Why exactly would two people experiencing the same event at the same time, have different memories of it?We must all accept the fact that memory can never be perfect, and most differences in memory are not significant. However, in some cases, they can have major consequences. Let's assume both of you witnessed a crime, differences in recalling details of the event can put the investigation at risk of collapsing. Who should we trust between the both of you?

There are three important aspects of memory:

  • Encoding: Encoding deals with how we get information into the brain. The level at which different people focus on an event can affect how they remember things. If we use soccer as an example. A Chelsea fan will most likely watch a Chelsea game with more focus than a game that doesn't involve Chelsea FC. And his/her memory and attention will be biased in the sense that he/she will likely remember (encode) a foul play instigated by their opponent rather than one instigated by a Chelsea player.
  • Storage: This is all about how we can retain information over time. Memories are first encoded into temporary storage in our brain called the short-term memory. These short term memories are then moved to the long term memory over time based on how we consolidate them. This can be either through verbal rehearsal, sleep, among others.
  • Retrieval: This points to the process of getting stored information from the brain. This is a complex process and can be affected by several things including health, our environment, the presence of other people, and even the wording of a question can affect how we remember an event.

There are those who remember detailed information about a unique personal event (episodic memory) and those who remember the facts in general (semantic memory). Research from the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Health Sciences Center, affiliated with the University of Toronto, proved for the first time that it is not about better or worse memory, but rather that these two types of memory are associated with different brain connectivity patterns.

The main novelty of the study, "Intrinsic medial temporal lobe connectivity relates to individual differences in epic autobiographical remembering," published in the scientific journal Cortex., is that it ends decades of a dominant focus on memory and brain research.  This study shows that memory has different features and that they are observed in different actions of the brain. There is too much variation between individuals and the study obtained a clear picture of how the brain supports these different memory processes.

The motivation for the study came from previous research on more extreme forms of memory. Those studies proved that some people have far superior autobiographical memory. These are people who can recall in detail what happened on a certain date, usually with the ability to recall very rich visual images associated with those facts.

When we talk about long-term memory, there is this distinction between episodic information versus semantic information. When you remember, for example, what you ate one night, you can recall episodic details of the dinner by evoking specifics like time and place. But some people can remember more semantic details, general data associated with that past event, such as going to a seafood restaurant, or that the dinner took place while one was on vacation in the summer.

Our ability to remember the past, or how we remember the past, truly affects how we plan for our future and how we solve problems. These individual differences that we observe in ways of remembering the past suggest that there will also be individual differences in how people approach tasks into the future, how they solve problems, and how they tend to approach creative actions.

The most important aspect of the research above is the fact that it recognizes the existence of differences in the ways that people remember, and thus opens a way to value rather than ignore differences in the way they face cognitive tasks.

How does age affect memory?

Age is a major factor that contributes to differences in memory. This is because our ability to encode the context of memories reduces as we get older.

Think back to when you had your first kiss. Now try to remember all the events that took place. If you're able to recall what exactly your sweetheart was putting on, where the both of you were when it happened, whether someone interrupted, and other specific details about the event, then there's a high chance that you're young.

On the other hand, if you can't recall what either of you was wearing, but you can remember how the relationship developed, how your life was going at that time, and if your country was in crisis, then there is a high possibility that you're over 30 or a senior citizen.

A study by Canadian researchers revealed that young people excel when it comes to recalling specific details. While seniors perform on the same level and can be slightly better at putting their memories in the right context; as well as adding perspective as they discuss details and create a broader picture.

According to Neuropsychologist, Brian Levine of The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and the University of Toronto, "We asked older and younger people to tell us about things that happened in their lives and we found that there were large differences in the way they talked about their past," As quoted by abcnews Author, Lee Dye.

"Younger adults tended to focus on specific details, the unfolding of the story, the sensory and perceptual information, what thoughts and feelings they might have had at the time of the event," he says.

"Older adults also talked about that sort of information," says Brian Levine. "But they tended to include less detail and more general factual information that doesn't so much relate to the specific event but relates to extended knowledge, the significance of that event in their lives, and other facts that might apply to more than one event.

"Older adults don't need to focus on the details as much. They are focused more on the general patterns that are helpful in decision making, which is probably why they have positions of responsibility. Their memory is different. If the goal is to remember exactly what happened, they are not going to do as well as younger adults. But that's not always the most important goal."

"We found two very distinct styles of talking about past events."

Overall, the processing power of the brain and our ability to remember details is at it's highest at the age of 18. As stated earlier, most older adults struggle to remember bits of information without context, a phenomenon that can be linked to the "Baker/Baker paradox". Younger people are not burdened with this issue, though. While they may excel when it comes to the speed and flexibility at which they process information, adults in their mid-years may be better at remaining focused.

Before we go any further, let's take a look at this cognitive experiment (Baker/Baker paradox), which shows how associations can impact memory. Researchers split people into two groups and showed both groups a picture of a man. The first group was told that the man's last name was Baker, while the second group was told that the man was a baker. Some days later, the two groups were shown the picture of the man and asked to recall what they were told. Those in group two (occupation) were significantly better at remembering than those in group one (Name). This is because association is a great memory hook. When you hear that someone is a baker, there is a high chance you may think about a bakery close by or your favorite baked foods, thereby creating a mental link to the original image-word memory.

How G-Suite (Teamdrives) and Office 365 can be used together to give everyone the freedom to work as they please

Younger people seem to be more comfortable using the Drive (tool) when trying to remember where they have put work documents. They don't care where it is stored in the computer, but would go to the tool used in saving the file, and use a quick search to pinpoint the file they need, by typing the name.

When a member of the team uploads a file to the Drive, it becomes accessible to every member of the shared drive. But as a shared Drive gets larger, it can become tricky to find specific files. However, G Suite has provided an advanced way to make this search quick, easy, and intelligent, which appeals better to the younger generation, who are more detail oriented.

The Drive helps you organize and share individual/team content with ease. In the search-bar, Drive offers you suggested searches based on your usage history. You can also use advanced search to filter with even more parameters, like the file owner, the date it was modified, or even the action items and suggestions inside the documents. Or, just click the priority tab where you will see AI-powered suggestions for the files you're most likely going to need at the moment.

With features like 'Advanced Search' and the 'Priority tab', Drive helps you find what you need quickly so that you can be more productive while working.

G-Suite gives you and your team members the ability to work on the same documents at the same time, even when opening documents stored on the drive with Microsoft Word. Every document edit is displayed in real-time and is saved in the cloud. Access rules on the suite allow you to give users editing capabilities, among others, to improve collaborations on projects.

With the teamdrives functionality, you and your team can easily store, search, and access common files from any device. Even when team members leave, the files are properly preserved so you and your team can continue working and accessing information when ready. Teamdrives also allows you to invite third-party access on documents or teamdrives level.

On the other hand, older people tend to lean towards their file browser when searching for files. For instance, they go over to their Google Drive folder, they recall it's in 'Marketing', then they recall it goes through the MIT folder, then Websites folder, before they finally get to the file. They bank on folder names (Context) to retrace their steps to where they put a particular file.

For the older ones, office 356 can offer efficient collaboration on files amongst in-house departments, third party individuals, and employees. Office 365s Co-Authoring tool, brings this to reality, as multiple users can handle a task simultaneously. In other words, employees can effortlessly engage each other on the same project, without worrying about duplicate copies, as updates are in real-time.

This feature also offers time-saving benefits for workers, as edits can be made on a project without waiting for your co-workers to finish their piece. Undoubtedly, this multi-collaboration feature promotes a better professional experience, while also ensuring a smooth working process.


These are two different methods you can use to get your hands on any file you want. And by combining G-Suite with Office 365, everyone has the freedom to work as they please. You can open the same file on both your google docs and office 365, and while working on it on one, you will receive notification changes on the other. Both the younger and older adults can switch between both applications, depending on how they want to search files and collaborate for better productivity.

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People of different ages think differently: Combining G Suite and Office 365 to work as you please
Marcel Martens 19 november 2020

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