Have you tried Google Docs yet?

Google Docs is an online office suite – it’s like having Word, Excel and PowerPoint all within your web browser, accessible from anywhere… for free!

(Now admittedly it doesn’t have all the features of Microsoft Office… but how many do you actually use anyway?!)

Here are some useful features of Google Docs that you may not know about:

 

Share a document, and have everyone always see the latest version

If you email a Microsoft Office document to someone, every time you edit it you have to email them the updated copy. This can get time-consuming, and annoying for everyone.

With Google Docs, everyone sees the latest version whenever they open the document. No more emailing another copy every time you make another change!

 

Allow multiple people to edit a document

Imagine this: You write a document, and email it to 5 co-workers for comments. All 5 come back with their changes, and now you have to go through them all and merge the changes (side note: Track Changes really helps here!) and send the updated document to everyone again.

But with Google Docs, everyone can edit the same document, and see each other’s changes. This greatly reduces the amount of work you have to do, and encourages everyone to critique everyone’s changes, hopefully resulting in a higher quality final version.

And don’t worry about someone deleting your original text either – Google Docs automatically saves a revision of the document every time a change is made.

Works everywhere – offline as well as online

As we mentioned, you can use Google Docs from any PC connected to the internet. But if you need to work offline, don’t worry! Simply install Google Gears, open Google Docs and click the “Offline” button.

Google Docs will automatically copy your documents to your computer, allowing you to work on them with no internet connection required. Next time you go online, simply open up Google Docs and it will upload your changes to the web.

Keeps things simple

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best, particularly if you’re working in a small team. And talking of simple, we’ve found that Google Spreadsheets makes a great bug tracker!

Simply set up a spreadsheet with the columns you want (e.g. description of problem, date reported, priority, date fixed) and let your testers add issues to the list. This way everyone can see what bugs have been reported, and which have been fixed, without the hassle of setting up a complicated bug tracking system.

You can even generate a simple form to be filled in to report a bug, if you want to provide a more user-friendly front-end.

Get started now at docs.google.com.

Or if you have Google Apps, ask your administrator to set you up. (Oh, and did we mention that we can help set up Google Apps? Give us a call if you’d like to know more.)


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