Why should you use Google docs (Google drive)?
Slowly but surely the Google docs has been able to become one of my favorite online tools that I have included in my regular usage and work. From randomly to occasionally to regularly, I’ve become an avid user of Google docs. Reason is its simplicity and some amazing cool features that even the Microsoft Word fails to provide. Here’re some of them:
Auto Save feature
As soon as you start typing ‘Google docs’ starts saving it for you. So the moment you are done with typing, your work has been saved already. This lets you concentrate on content rather than worrying about saving it at regular intervals. So anytime you leave your document unattended, you are never likely to lose any content.
Google Docs is online
Its online nature allows you to use it anywhere anytime. I write articles and also working on a novel. And I have to frequently travel for family reasons. So I need my entire document folders to be available anywhere I go. One idea was to carry laptop everywhere I move. That works for many people but I use my desktop computer to do any writings. So before I go anywhere, I will have to copy all content to the laptop. This is a method that will be missed more than often becaue you might copy the document folder but forget to take a single document from the desktop.
So I use ‘Google docs’ which is attached with the Gmail account of mine. I simply log onto the Gmail. And then the tab on top takes me to the virtual drive where all my content is organized in folders and marked with labels. I start writing right away.
Akin to Microsoft Word
Like most of us, the Microsoft Word has been my favorite Word editor over the years. So switching to any other tool was next to impossible for me. But when I used the Google docs, it was same as Microsoft Word. Similar structure, same shortcuts, and editing features, you will not find too many differences if you start using it.
Bundle of Office Suite
‘Google docs’ offers a bundle of online tools and editors. The list includes Document, Presentation, spreadsheet, Folder, Script etc. There is a whole lot of apps that further can be added in simple step by click More apps in the apps drop down on the left.
Google docs offers 5GB of free storage
Free is synonymous with Google and here too it doesn’t let your expectations down. You have 5 GB of free data storage putting all your Google document together. Should yuou need more, you can always upgrade.
Using Google docs
Simply point to https://www.docs.google.com (this link will eventually redirect to https://www.drive.google.com becasue Google docs is now Google drive.)and you will be asked to key in your Gmail credentials. If you are already signed in to any Google application like email or YouTube, you might not need to be authenticated even. This depends on your browser settings of storing cookies.
Sharing Google docs content
Simply add a reviewer or writer and permit them to edit the doc. This helps for people who are geographically dispersed and still working on same document. Allowing someone else to review you work was an idea introduced by Google Knol sometime ago. Google Knol is a dead tool now.
Availability of Google docs
From PC to Mac, Google docs is available in all formats. You cna use it on portable devices like Apple iPhone and iPad and also on most of the Android run devices.
Create locally and sync Automatically
Google docs (read Google drive) also is a free application that you can download and work locally. The local drive structure is always matched with that of online. And it can sync your documents automatically. So whether you created a files online or offline, it will remain updated and available on your PC or Mac or at online version of Google docs (drive).This is just like using drop box.
The flip side of Google docs
For specialized and dedicated work, I still prefer Microsoft Word over Google docs but the usability and portability of Google docs doesn’t let me ignore it. When I’m writing an article or script, I use Google docs and then for further polishing, I copy the whole lot into a notepad and then paste the content from notepad to Microsoft Word. Using notepad in between allows taking the content without any formatting from Google docs.
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