See also: Primitive shovel - does the same as a shovel, but the Shovel being more durable and faster.
Other shovel uses:
Plowing/Ploughing, until you get a real plow (that is faster)
Planting tree sprouts to reforest - a good tip is to carry sprouts and a shovel and after cutting down a tree, plant a new one or two.
Unlike many other objects, you can't drop ore or ground into a bag. But you can just drop ore -- 30 units at a time -- from your inventory onto the ground, then use terraforming / lower ground level to pick it up again. Don't make the pile too large -- thus steep -- to climb! Spread it around a little.
At level 90 in forging, this tool can be recycled for 25 iron lumps.