Google Docs is a free tool that Google provides and all you need is an account with them (and if you have a Gmail account, this means you already have a Google account). If not, it’s free to sign up. This tool acts like an on line word processor where you can either upload your own files or create them there and then.
This in turn means that you can access these files from any computer with internet access and is not limited to word processors but also includes spreadsheets and presentations. A few of the features with their corresponding benefits that are included are that you can work from a template, you can add images or video, forms, surveys and it accepts most file formats. For presentations for example you can do these in power point formats, as a spreadsheet or based on a word processor with bullet points, embedded images, and so on.
Just the facility of making documents and spreadsheets that are saved on line and easily accessed from any computer makes it more than a good tool – for team work and joint presentations it becomes a great tool. Google Docs actually goes beyond just writing and editing documents and spreadsheets. There is the ability to share and collectively edit documents with other users.
How this works is that you have options that allow you to define the type of sharing that you want to do. The first is to invite others to the document. This means that the material will be shared with them so they can look at it and even edit the content if they wish to do so. This is good when you are working on a project with someone else and need to both be able to edit the document and give feedback. You can even have your document completely accessible or sharply restricted; you can publish it to your web or blog.
The other options are to send the document as an email attachment so that someone else can open it up either in Google Docs or their office suite like Microsoft Word.
Using the interface in Google Docs is a much easier way of compiling information between two or more parties than trying to sync Word documents through email.
The one thing to always keep in mind is to keep physical backups of your work as Google Docs could lose information. This hasn’t happened yet, but at some point in time could and is just basic common sense. It’s easy to export hundreds of documents quickly in a zip file for backup.