Using Google Docs to collaborate on documents

Google Docs logoGoogle Docs is an online tool that enables collaborators to work in a synchronous environment on a single document. Rather than passing a document between authors, Google Docs allows authors at different physical locations to work together on the same document in real time. Changes made to the document can be tracked and attributed.

So what does this actually mean? What does Google Docs do? There a is a rather nice explanation of this on the Google Docs Help site:

“Google Docs enables multiple people in different locations to collaborate simultaneously on the same doc from any computer with Internet access. For example, Alice and Meredith are working on a project together, and they need to write a document, keep track of their work in a spreadsheet, and create a presentation and a drawing to share with other people involved in the project. Alice lives in New York, and Meredith, in Los Angeles. When Alice makes changes to the document, spreadsheet, presentation, or drawing, Meredith can see them in real time and respond to them immediately. Both of them work on the same docs, so there’s no need to go back and forth, comparing and consolidating individual files.” (Source page)

Sounds fabulous! And with Google Docs you can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. You can start a document in Office and then transfer it to Google Docs for collaborative editing. In addition, documents are saved to the cloud meaning that you can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection – no more faffing about with saving documents to pen drives or emailing documents!

Google Docs is free to sign up to; access is via a Google account.

You can keep up to date with enhancements to Google Docs via their blog.

If you’re already using Google Docs then let us know by commenting on this post!