Collaborative Writing Online
If you’re haven’t had a chance to use online writing tools, consider this your invitation to do so. Google Docs (docs.google.com) is the most popular online writing tool, but Adobe Buzzword is also very good (www.acrobat.com). These tools function like a normal word processor, but you access it through the web broswer instead of installing on your computer. This gives you two major advantages:
1.) Your documents are accessible from any computer with an internet connection. Earlier this month my hard drive crashed and I lost everything I had been working on. Since I now use Google Docs for all of my writing projects, I simply borrowed my wife’s computer and continued working as if nothing had happened.
2.) You never have to send documents as attachments again. If you want someone to read or contribute to your documents you can just add them as readers or collaborators. This means you never run into version problems from multiple people working on the same document (which is especially nice if you are working collaboratively on the same part of a document).
If you’re already familiar with Google Docs, here are a couple of things you might not know:
- Documents can be accessed and edited even when you don’t have an internet connection (such as on a plane).
- Every revision of your document is automatically saved – if you deleted something you liked from a couple of weeks ago, you can still retrieve it.