We create and share articles using Google Docs a lot and it’s helping us work more efficiently. What usually happens is 47 writes an article, it’s junk, and he asks 46 to edit it. Or 47 buys an article from somewhere, it’s pretty good but needs a little work, and he asks 46 to edit it. We used to email drafts back and forth, would lose copies or work on the wrong versions, and it was a big mess. Now we share the same article using Google Docs and see updates as the other person makes changes. It’s really convenient and saves time.
Even if you’re working by yourself and won’t use the document sharing feature it’s still worth using. Sometimes just having online storage for your spreadsheets and articles is nice. Especially if you happen to lose your thumb drive. Google Docs also stores your revisions so accidentally deleting that final draft right before you need it isn’t a disaster anymore either.
Working Without Internet Access
Google Gears is another part of the equation that makes it even more worthwhile. Gears is an extension to your browser, at least Firefox and Safari, that lets you work with Google Docs documents without an internet connection. It lets you store those documents on your computer, edit them, and once you’re back online then everything syncs back up. This will become a lot more important as we start traveling more and don’t always have WiFi readily available.
Two Feature Requests
One issue we’ve run into is knowing when an article is done. There doesn’t seem to be a way to label a document. Being able to mark an article so both of us knew it was finished would help. That potential confusion did actually happened to us once. I thought an article was updated, put it on a website, but it wasn’t. I didn’t notice until later. There’s a way to put a star next to a document but, unfortunately, it only shows up for the person that added the star. Right now we’re just changing the titles and putting a note about status in the articles themselves.
I’d also like the ability to download all of my documents for offline use. What happens now is you have to open a document before it stores it on your computer when you’re running Gears. So sometimes I want to make changes to an article when I’m not online but can’t. An option for doing bulk downloads would be handy.
Liking Google Docs
We both like Google Docs and it’s made working together much easier. I actually use it for storing drafts and have hundreds and hundreds of documents. If you’re not already using it then give it a whirl.
Are any of you using Google Docs and Google Gears? What do you think about them? Do you know of anything better?
Addicted to Google Docs.
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