How many times do you find yourself sending tons of documents as email attachments? Sometimes those are docs that don’t need to be modified anymore, other times you are dealing with multiple people modifying the same document. Result? A real pain…
In the past weeks I started using Google Docs more and more and I can confirm that the overall experience in terms of collaboration capabilities is much better than sending/receiving attachments continuously.
1) No More Attachments
Storing your docs in the cloud with a service like Google Docs lets you easily share them without the need of sending them as attachment. No more big files sent to your contacts, less pain.
2) Easier Collaboration
No more document merging, no more crowded revisions in the same doc, but you can simply work on the same document, at the same time, seamlessly. You can see who is viewing the document and modifying it and immediately interact with them. Cool, right?
3) Revision History
Every change you make in a doc is tracked and you can always get back to the previous version. You can also easily compare two versions of the same document to review/remind the changes you/others made.
4) Quick Search
If you use Google Docs, you can easily find a certain doc through their powerful search engine. You can also save the most common searches and easily reuse them later. Wonderful!
5) Virtual Folders
While you don’t really need to use folders since every document is easily discoverable through search, Google Docs recently introduced them. They basically work as labels in Gmail and you can easily in create groups of documents. I find them very useful to group documents about the same clients.
All that said, I’d like to point out a missing feature I would love to see: I’d like to keep a synced copy of my docs in a folder of my computer, a feature that could be very useful in many cases. What do you think? What about a service that combines Dropbox with Google Docs?
Anyway, I highly recommend to use Google Docs or great alternatives like Zoho, you don’t realize what are you missing until you try them. Or, you can experience Microsoft Office directly on the Web with the new upcoming Ms Office Web Apps.
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